passion and community

My friend Sarah and I were sitting in our favourite cafe discussing ideas and dreams as we always do. One recurring theme was our little town, and how much we’d like to create community there. “There are so many talented artists and crafters around here… and none of them know each other!” I exclaimed.

A month later, we held our first Community Market in the large beer garden behind the local pub Sarah’s family owns. Yesterday, we had the 4th of the monthly markets, and we’re getting more and more stalls each time. Artists and crafters are coming together and getting to know each other. The atmosphere on these markets is quite unique; fun and inspiring at the same time, for both stall owners and visitors.

There’s a certain magic which happens when creative people share a physical space. The truth is, making art or crafts can be a little lonely at times, and so can writing or practising music. To touch minds with other creatives feels like the breath of life, and it’s something I believe could benefit practically everyone. This includes you, even if you say you’re “just a beginner” or “not good enough” at your art or craft!

 
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The Red Tent movement

You may have heard about the “Red Tent” movement, inspired by the novel. Basically, women of all ages get together in a safe space to share stories and experiences. They laugh, cry, dance, support each other, and form a bond which spans generations.

Of course arts aren’t excluded from these spaces, but they aren’t their main focus. I’ve always thought that we need a similar movement for passions, and the Community Market I mentioned above is part of this dream made reality. It’s so incredibly important to share and reach out to others.

There’s a powerful synergy effect when people share things they have in common. It doesn’t even have to be the same passion, or even an art at all (our market includes everything from bows and arrows to homemade food, with paintings, knitting, homemade soap, and jewellery in between). Passionate people are contageous. Put in the same space, they “infect”, inspire, motivate, and support each other. It’s a natural process.

 

How this can benefit your passion

When I talk to friends or clients, it’s always variations of the same theme: We don’t have enough time for our passion or we don’t have the money. Oftentimes it’s just a matter of finding “headspace”, enough energy to devote ourselves to what lights us up.

It can be a struggle, and it’s all too easy to just give in to society’s demands. We end up going with the flow of being functioning citizens who work, eat, sleep, and do the housework.

But that’s not how we’re supposed to be. To truly live our joy, our full passionate and creative potential, goes against our modern society’s fabric. In order to stick with it, we need all the support we can get. And where better to find it than from other passionates and creatives?

 

Ways to make it happen

Not everyone’s family owns a pub with a beer garden. There is, however, a strange dynamic which happens when ideas like this are born: Things tend to fall into place. When you start to reach out to even one fellow passionate in your life, the universe begins to move in your favour.

Make a point of seeking out others like yourself and talk to them. Plant in their minds the idea of community, of sharing and mutual support. Have a pie-in-the-sky session where nothing is too crazy and every idea can be voiced, even if it sounds completely over the top.

Eventually, someone’s going to come up with an idea. There could be a community space that’s available for free some nights a week. It might even be a private person’s large garden or living room at first! Whether you’re starting a knitting group or a book club, a market or a discussion space, things will fall into place. They always do, as long as you make your intention heard and share it with others.

If all else fails, you can always resort to the internet. It’s not quite as powerful as sharing physical space, but it’s still inspiring to exchange ideas and mutual support with fellow passionates online. Seek out forums, Facebook groups, or other platforms. A Google search can open up a treasure chest of new friends to be made.

Stack the odds in your favour when it comes to pursuing your passion. It’s worth working for, and the rewards far exceed the investment in terms of time and energy.