Images Courtesy of Heather Gene Photography

“I believe myself capable of great things.”

The words, haphazardly scrawled, are tacked above my desk in resolute response to the little voice that says daily, but what if you’re not?

And again, written larger, “I believe we are capable of great things,” posted in the communal dining space of my home, The Center Collective in San Francisco; a sprawling four-story converted rectory in the lower Haight. A place where twenty-three residents, eighteen bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two cats, and a multitude of imaginations hold one grand vision: to radically engage in community for personal, spiritual and social transformation.

We are deep into the year of the dragon and all around the intensity of the collective pushes forward to a new age. The pieces and parts, the far-flung shades of life that make our hearts beat faster are starting to coalesce directly to the source. We are being called into realization with great urgency and extraordinary beauty, and oftentimes not without difficulty.

As products of our highly competitive and specialized society, with all its ladders and ceilings, neat compartments, titles, and categories, to remain in an expanded state can feel like swimming upstream. But at The Center, and indeed, in many such communities of people—in the honest yoga of relationships—the impulse leans towards connection in service of expansion, communication in service of shared experience, collaboration in service of celebrated individual expression. The time to recognize the power of community is here again. Not as some romanticized renaissance from times past, but as a necessarily new and innovative response to “life as it is offering itself to us.”

This past week as I returned exhausted and spent from months of vigorous travel, I came home to camaraderie. I saw myself only as strong as all of us together, and the little voice that often says, close, but not close enough, entered into the fire of togetherness and became arrival.

I believe myself capable of great things. Some days it feels as if I can’t do it alone. It is nice to know I don’t have to.

Bio

Shakti Sunfire is an internationally celebrated empowerment educator through movement, mysticism, and mindfulness practices. A leader of the international hoopdance movement and a dedicated student, the firey Sagittarian has always pulled inspiration first from the Natural World and counts herself blessed to have the wise council of many teachers in her life. A true rolling stone, Shakti teaches workshops, leads retreats, and performs globally.

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