BE June Newsletter

Community 

By Tom Kovach, Executive Director

What does community mean to you? What value do you place on it? Community means different things to different people, of course. But at its heart, it’s about fellow feeling, a bond that rises out of common attitudes, mutual interests, and shared goals.

I live on the frontier in rural New Mexico, and out here, community can mean helping one another with time and resources, something that is important for an aging population, and that can be invaluable during seasons when a lot of work needs to be done all at once or when a storm hits.

Community can be restorative. As the writer S. Kelley Harrell says, “We don’t heal in isolation but in community.” Healing is certainly something we do at Body Electric.

Community can be emotionally significant; that feeling of belonging, siblinghood, perhaps even “we-ness,” ( a more profound sense of oneness with the broader community), as I recently experienced in Touching the Heart of Stillness. I was chatting with an alumnus before that retreat, and he told me that more than half of his closest friends were in Body Electric. 

If you have been to even a weekend workshop, you can relate when I say the bonds created in those days are immense, deep, and lasting. I am still friends with someone from my first CBE over a decade ago. When you share an intensive, this bond only deepens. Many “workshop groups” created for intensives last well over a year; the connections often last a lifetime. 

That solid connection and shared experiences give power and beauty to the BE community: to the faculty, coordinators, ambassadors, board, and operations — and most importantly, you, the participants, and alumni we do this all for. 

This is why we started the BE Community Platform. It’s a place to find fellow travelers on our BE journeys, where you can stay in touch or reconnect with fellow alumni. A bubble of like-minded folx where you can share ideas, poetry, and photography and maybe get some support from people who understand the healing power of Eros. And it offers all this without the algorithms found on other social media platforms that commoditize discord and hate. 

An archive containing BE videos, and items from BE’s past, like old articles and catalogs, will be posted there. You’ll also find a list of valuable resources like books, videos, and groups for sacred intimates, life coaches, and fellow BE alumni in your area. 

Give it a try. We have made many improvements since its launch, thanks to many hours by our volunteers. You can log in with your BE account credentials.

Move Your Body Heal Your Soul with Harmony Lee

I imagine we all missed community during the pandemic lockdown. The COVID-19 Emergency officially ended on May 11, 2023, but most of us came out of our isolation before then. Many are still experiencing, to some extent, that “I can’t do a large crowd” feeling. In our rush to return to normalcy, we tend to push back the feelings of fear and separation we experienced. I have spoken with many people, including doctors, who are still navigating this transition back. Even if it is not a problem for you, it can be for those in your life.  Bring them back to togetherness by suggesting a workshop to help get them back into their bodies.


Your BE Stories

 By Tom Kovach, Executive Director

We have been planning many events and projects for our 40th anniversary. Those discussions included how we would reflect on our past.  We realized your stories are the most essential parts of that history, and we wanted to find a way to share and preserve them.

One of my greatest joys in the last year has been hearing so many remarkable accounts of how BE transformed lives. Sharing these stories can help inspire others to overcome barriers to attending their first workshop.  So we have launched the Your BE Stories Project.

We invite you to go to the website and sign up to share your BE journey. This can be in whichever format you prefer: video, audio, or written. The link on the page will let you schedule a time to tell your tale. 

You will have a few questions to prompt you as you tell your story. 

Your audio or video will be edited, so you won’t have to worry about that long pause or sneeze as you think about sharing. You can focus on what Body Electric has meant to you and how your life is different because of it. 

It will only take a few minutes, and your story can help preserve our history and encourage a new generation to join the BE Community.

JEDI Town Hall Series Begins June 20 By Kristy Lowther, Director of Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion

In difficult times we need the support of our community, and other communities need the support of ours. Recent governmental actions — controlling what we can do with our bodies and trying to implement legislation reminiscent of the Jim Crow era, as David Townsend has recently written about on his blog — are direct attacks on members of our community. And the philosophies behind these actions, telling people they are not enough and that their authentic selves are not welcome, are an assault on the fundamental beliefs of Body Electric.

To discuss how we can protect and support one another, the JEDI+ Committee (that’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) will be devoting the first of a summer series of town halls to the othering and marginalizing of our community members. We’ll be holding it on June 20, 2023 – 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern/4:00-5:30 PM Pacific, and we hope we’ll see you there. Register here.

Announcements

Wildwood Retreat Center will be reopening after its four-year struggle for updates; go to their website.

The Body Electric School has donated workshops to the Fire Island Charity Action; for more information, go to their website.

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