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Awakening Humanity with Community and Arts by Kim Engler

In this time of distant interconnectedness with moment-tomoment life, where we touch and reach each other through keyboards and computer screens, we inherently still crave the warmth and intimacy of community, responding and interacting with others in person. It is easy to forget, easy to be too busy, easy to overlook and push to the side that primal need to be in the company of others in a like-minded warm community creating, enjoying, learning and experiencing together.

We seek that union with others, union within ourselves and union with nature. Arts and community nourish us as people, remind us who we are, where we’ve been, where we are from and what greatness is possible. It teaches us how we can serve and what we can build upon, learn from and create.

A Place to Connect

Meeting in a space that delights us can enable a reflection of awe, awaken our soul and spirit and open an opportunity to have a new conversation or build upon a percolating dream. We can recognize the sameness among us and accept the differences in celebration. It creates the opportunity to circulate new ideas and be reminded of our inherent ability to create what is deeply imagined within the wellspring of the heart mind, and soul.

Spaces that are dedicated to art and community are gems for us as cultural, curious, warm creative beings. Participating in arts and community have proven health benefits, inform our paths, and inspire us to create our best lives by taking deeper chances knowing that we have the support of those around us to bring dreams, service, health, best-practices and our own unique light into form.

As arts seem to continue to disappear from school programs, and our careers take a great deal of our time away from family, friends and ourselves, by allowing ourselves the opportunity to prioritize time to participate in arts and community, it enables us a moment of pause, quality time with our family and friends, outlets for children to explore their genius and imagine their dreams and time for us to recognize and spark our individual soul. The gift of being in the company of others and sharing in local foods, music, learning and discovering expands and refreshes our spirit.

Deciding to Matter

Engaging ourselves in our community and expressing our artistic selves in the arts (including healing, culinary and environmental arts) as creators and curious participants, feeds what Martin Seligman, PhD, who is regarded as the father of positive psychology, considers the five critical elements of psychological well-being: positive emotion, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and achievement.

In creating meaning we ’decide to matter’. Eric Maisel, author of Coaching the Artist Within, reveals “Creativity is not a talent nor an ability. It is the fruit of a person’s decision to matter.” Deciding to matter engages us more deeply within our own selves, perspectives and lives – and we bring this awareness of personal truth into our community through our participation with those around us. We anchor in the sustainable knowing that our community matters.

As we cultivate the conscious decision to matter, that our individual and collective perspectives matter, our community matters to us more and more. Our outer and inner worlds are more supported and supportive, our inner dreams and knowing come into matter and form. This circular investment in local and global relationships allows the moment where we create merely by being in each other’s presence. This interaction creates more and more deliberate conscious form with a more clarified vision for our own individual good, and the good for all.

Mattering, creating and sculpting our vision and awareness together, while ever continuously more deeply discovering ourselves in the community of others who have embarked on their path, produces that resonant unique fulfilling unifying joy that comes from witnessing and supporting greatness and sharing our own light in the company and presence of others.

When we participate in the arts and community we are immersed into moments where the essence of creation happens. We are stretched into greater flexibility and the warm, real, powerful interconnectedness reminds us of who we truly are.

Exploration: What is your very favorite thing to do? What conversation sparked a new inspiration and created an ah-ha moment? What would you like to share in the company of others?

Kim Engler is the creative director at The Union Arts Center which is located at 2 Union Ave. in Sparkill. For more information, visit or or call 359-0258.

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