#36 Creating Community & Connection - with Lucy Lichtenstein
The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast
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- What is community, what has it meant to us in the past and how do we re-create it in modern society?
- How do we find “our tribe”, where do we actually start?
- What the hell is Women’s Circle and what are they actually about?
- Resources to inspire your own community journey
- Letting go of old relationships to build new stronger connections
Women’s Circle Facililtator & Yoga Teacher
Welcome to the holistic nutritionist podcast where he’ll find inspiration and answers to how you can become the healthiest, happiest version of you. Do you think whole food nutrition, smart supplementation, movement and lifestyle hacks, your host Natalie Burke and Kate Callaghan, a degree qualified dietitians and nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers and authors with extensive knowledge and clinical experience in the wellness industry. So sit back and enjoy the show.
Natalie K. Douglas 0:40
Welcome back guys to the holistic nutritionist podcast. today. We actually don’t have Kate with us, but we do have my good friend Lucy so Lucy is a Sydney based wellness Radha women’s circle facilitator, yoga teacher and host of the reconnected me podcast, and the website www.reconnected.me. She is also a philosophy geek poet whole foodie nature being experienced, ecstatic dance and mover. Lucy has spent many years down the path of health and wellness which naturally progressed into a wondrous journey of heart and consciousness expansion. Realizing, reconnecting with and remembering who she truly is, and who we truly are as humans and beyond. Lucy believes in spreading love, health, kindness and inspiration. She now knows that her purpose and path of heart is to share from her experience to serve support, hold space for and walk alongside others on a simultaneous journey home to the to the self. She feels We are here to be in communities to connect, collaborate, co create, contribute, and to express the innate travel part of our nature. I will link loot our link to Lucy social channels and podcasts in the show notes as well. So you guys can all get in contact with her. But Lucy, welcome to the show
Lucy Lichtenstein 2:04
that thanks so much for having me. And I have to say it’s really interesting and kind of cool to hear someone talk about me while I’m listening in this way and read out my bio. Wow, thank
Natalie K. Douglas 2:16
you. No, thank you. And it’s a really, I’ll have to say a different bio to, you know, other ones that we would usually read out on on the on the podcast. For our regular listeners, Katie and I often talk about the power of nutrition, movement, stress management and sleep. And we do kind of mentioned social connection, community and play. But we haven’t really taken a deeper dive into that side of things yet. And I feel that it’s something super underrated. So I thought why not get someone on the show who is really passionate about the impact of community on overall health and who has experienced it as a personal transformation, and also whose mission is to see other people discover this for themselves. So thank you for being that Kirsten Luce.
Lucy Lichtenstein 3:01
Amazing how it’s such a big wrap. Thank you.
Natalie K. Douglas 3:05
So I think where we will get started today is I would really like to understand your thoughts on the benefits of community? And where does this whole idea of community come from?
Lucy Lichtenstein 3:21
Yeah, it’s a great question. And it definitely is something that I’m super passionate about. It’s really been an area of my own exploration and experience for many years now, but especially the last couple of years. So what I’ve found is that it can actually be a missing piece to the puzzle. When it comes to health and wellness, that community aspect, that social aspect. Because what I’ve experienced through different healing experiences and through the work that I do so myself is that we are tribal beings, we have this part of our nature, that is all about tribalism, and community and being together and you only have to look at from a historical perspective. tribes and traditional cultures still leaving their traditional ways of life, whether together in communities, or together in a tribe. And in the modern Western world, what we see is when there’s a lack of this, which it can be, in many ways, so many of us growing up and I say that, from my own experience and my own perspective as to that when there’s a lack of this tribe, we have these concepts, like loneliness, and sense of belonging, and knowing where I fit in and and
they also decide dear, besides the Ruby individualization as well in, in our culture, where black gotta do everything on my own. And I’ve got a rise above other people instead of
doing things together. And look, I feel this is definitely changing, and it shifted a lot. But we can see that
and feel that this tribal part of us really wants to be expressed and we can I know that I feel so amazing when I’m around people that I love who when I’m in community and when I’m I’m in tribe and and I actually feel like there’s a slight differentiation, at least for me when it comes to say friendships and communities and tribes as well, because, you know, each of us has friends in, in many different places. But I feel this something really different about being part of this community that says like a collective.
Thanks. Hi many ways.
Yeah, I think it’s super important.
Natalie K. Douglas 6:08
Yeah, I completely agree with you. And I think it is really interesting, what you said about how we have kind of come away from that. And it is a bit of a bit more about, you know, doing things on your own and feeling empowered through that process, as opposed to feeling empowered within a community. And I think that there’s definitely a lot of drawbacks to feeling like you have to do things alone. And by viewing, doing things alone, as as strength and also viewing thing, doing things in part of community as weakness. And I think I yeah, it’s my mission as well to try and help people shift away from that. But I guess the first question that comes up to me is how, I guess for the listeners that are listening, sitting in and I’m a bit unsure about, well, how do we actually create that in a modern world where we, we don’t actually have a lot of for a lot of people, they don’t have very many traditions, or kind of like, gatherings that are regular within the same community? How do we recreate finding a community? Or how have you created finding a community for yourself in a world that has very much moved away from that traditional type of tribal community that we used to once have?
Lucy Lichtenstein 7:36
Yeah, great question that, I feel that I mean, there’s many ways about this. Maybe looking at what do you love? What do you love to do? Do you love yoga? Do you love to go to the to the gym? Do you love to? Gosh, so many different things? Do you love to read books? Do you? Like what do you love, and chances are, that if you if you look for a gathering or a community and something that you love, and then there’s going to be other people there, and I’ll just speak from my experience, which actually involves, you know, and it’s, it’s yoga. And I truly feel like I hadn’t necessarily found a community and a tribe until I started attending the yoga studio that we both now go to. And
for me, what I found is, for whatever reason, my path
was drawn there. And when I got there, there were always different types of people that are very much very similar on a similar wavelength, a very like minded and like hearted. And for me, what I found is as I continue to go back there, and as I continue to learn and grow. So almost as if these types of people were attracted into my life, and from that there was the yoga community, but then notice the women circle community because what I also found was I was really wanting to connect with the community more so I started looking for because I’m down this course health pub, but also spiritual path looking for different gatherings that I could go to. So I started this was last year, I think it was started just going to different types of conscious gatherings. So whether it was
different ecstatic stances, or
sound healing and kick ass ceremonies. And
we’re talking about healthy nutrition. I mean, there’s many different health made up as well. And foodie meetups. This is how you and I met. Yeah, yeah. And yeah, and so I feel like
there’s something for each of us out there. It’s a matter of just exploring and finding what it is. And I suppose like, one practical thing is like, we found each other through a meetup group meetup.com. And I feel like now, and it’s been many years later, I did something for everyone on there. Well, any kind of interest that you’ve got any kind of
something that you’re drawn to, there’s probably a made up word for it. So I feel like that’s a really good place to start.
Natalie K. Douglas 10:44
Yeah, totally. I agree with that. And I think, I think he made a really good point with the first question you asked, and it’s the first question that I often encourage people to ask is, what do I actually enjoy doing because you need to find what you enjoy. Because when you find what you enjoy, you’ll often find the people, the kind of people that, you know, perhaps you have a lot in common with are, you’re on the same wavelength to an extent and for you, it was yoga. And for me, I absolutely feel the same about yoga. But I also found that in, in CrossFit, so it’s really about finding what resonates with you and, and trying to connect to and create a community within that space as well. And I think that it can be difficult when we haven’t grown up with that kind of mentality. And a lot of us kind of have our friends that we’ve gone through high school with or, or university with, and they were a kind of our world for a period of time, but then past you start to drift apart, and you can kind of let be led to a sense of not belonging within those circles anymore, and, and really struggling to find some way where you belong. And I know, you know, for me, that’s been part of my story and going to yoga and going to CrossFit. And, you know, going to these different kind of meetup groups just like you, Lucy has allowed me to find that sense of connection and sense of belonging again, in in a different way to what I have had in the past, I still have a lot of strong friendships from high school. But I also have a lot of new friendships, based on interests and the kind of journey I’m on at the moment. And it really does make you feel empowered. And I love your women’s circles, and I have actually been to them myself. But for a lot of people listening, they probably have no idea what a women’s circle is. So I thought that’s something we could actually touch on. Because I know I’ve mentioned it to people outside of this kind of health space. And the general consensus is that perhaps it’s something for hippies who can’t who can sit perfectly cross legged in Gypsy pants, drinking herbal tea, but
there’s so much more to it than that. I mean, I did actually wear my my Gypsy pants to it, but you know, I wear mine as well. So it’s all good. Yeah, totally,
that what exactly is a women’s circle? So what’s, what’s the purpose of it? And what actually happens? So break down some, some myths that it’s about what people might think of when they think of a women circle?
Lucy Lichtenstein 13:22
Yeah, absolutely. And look at men circles as well. But from my experience, let’s Yeah, let’s talk about women circles. So look, women, women, and tribes and communities have been gathering together for a very, very long time. In traditional cultures, I think maybe something in you know, Western culture, this is a bit of a new, newer or lesser known idea or way to be together. But yeah, that these communities have been gathering together for a really long time, to be together to share wisdom and to share stories. And just to be part of something that’s larger than themselves, it’s a really great way to just be part of a supportive community. And my experience of going to women’s circles, and also facilitating my own is that it’s a really safe space, for women to come together to take time out of their busy lives, to do something for them, to reconnect to who they are, as well and to connect with with other women and just be part of this really supportive, loving community. And what I found is many women come and they share things in that space, that perhaps they might not even share with their partner or their kids or their best friends or someone else in their life. And this little quiz can be for many reasons. But this type of gathering is really safe and non judgmental, nothing, or anything that is shared within that space, doesn’t leave that space. So that’s in itself is really, really powerful. And it is a really amazing way to really realize things about yourself. And it’s another way of healing. And yeah, so it’s, it’s really, really beautiful. And every women’s circle is different, it’s going to be depending on who is running the circle who’s facilitating it, it’s really going to be an expression of that person and who they they are and their experiences and their interest and what they can bring for mine. This idea of reconnecting and everything that you mentioned in my bio, at the start, and everything I talked about on the podcast, and the website, it’s reconnecting to who I truly am as a human and beyond that, and to share this week in circle with, with the women that calm and so it’s definitely not a place, it can definitely have that perception of being hippie or, or wishy washy, or I don’t know, we will, whatever you want to call it, but it really it’s not. And there’s women from all walks of life, you know, there’s mothers, there’s different types of professionals, there’s natural paths, there’s, there’s so many different types of women. And the one common thing that I can say, or maybe it’s more than one, but is connection, right. And it’s also, and this really understanding what it feels like to be a woman, and to be there together. And yeah, I also find every time I sit in circle now that it’s almost like this ancient remembering of what we used to do, and of who we are,
Natalie K. Douglas 16:51
Yeah, totally. And I definitely get that vibe. And what I found really beneficial about it, as you said, Lucy, it’s really about walking into a non judgmental space and feeling like you belong there and can open up because so often, we enter into conversations or situations where it is a bit of like the highlight reel of our life, and no one really says what’s really going on. And I think it’s a completely different feeling or vibe, when you go to these women’s circles. And you’re in a space where there’s people there for the same reason, as you often and you feel safe to express what you’re feeling, and know that it’s not judged. And I guess that’s what stops A lot of us from expressing our, our thoughts or our feelings is that we are going to be judged either by ourselves or by other people. And I think it’s really important to have a space like that where you don’t feel that pressure. And you can actually just be who you are and share with you especially in a world where or in a society where we are so vz, and so much of us do so much suppressing of our own feelings and emotions. I know a lot of my clients who are moms, especially I say to loading, just suppress, suppress, suppress and put everyone else before them. And I think it’s really healthy and and important to find a space where you don’t have to be the strong one that has it all together. And you can actually relate to other women and share what you’re feeling and and experiencing in that moment, too. And yeah, I just I think if you are able to find a space like that, it’s definitely worth going along. But as with every single thing in life, every activity, every kind of sport, all that kind of stuff, try a few different ones out until you find one that resonates with you. Because as Lucy said, not every women’s circle is the same and I wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you go to one and you feel like oh, this slack didn’t really job with me just try a few out and see. See what it feels like and see what resonates with you. And I think, Lucy for people who are actually local, perhaps in Sydney, or even in the Sutherland Shire, listening to the podcast, when do you actually hold your women circles if people wanted to check out your circle in particular?
Lucy Lichtenstein 19:24
Yeah, thanks, Matt. So my circle is on the first Wednesday of every month, we’re actually at the time of recording now the next circle for March in tomorrow night or Wednesday, the seventh of March. And it’s at higher yoga studio, Miranda. And it’s from 7:30pm. And yeah, I highly encourage I invite any women that are looking for some kind of community or social connection to, to check it out. And even if you’re not close by I know that my good friend, and she’s she’s also kind of a mentor for me image and Bailey, who trained me in women’s circle facilitation. She’s actually at the moment, she’s doing a lot of training around Sydney and around Australia. And she’s putting together on her website, a hub of financial local women’s circle. So that’s honoring heart.com I think that’s still a work in progress. There might be few different areas up there now all around Sydney. But that’s a really good space that if you’re not nearby where my circle is, or perhaps maybe mine’s not for you, which is absolutely fine. But you can you can find other circles as well. And and I suppose one thing that I just wanted to say just what you was mentioning before now, and maybe one of the most important things, it really is a space where you are saying you are heard, and where you are felt and understood. And what are you afraid to be yourself as you mentioned? Yeah,
Natalie K. Douglas 21:03
yeah, definitely. And I think that’s, that’s the key, because that’s missing in a lot of our lives. Now, the other question I wanted to discuss with you Lucy was, say, someone’s listening to this podcast, and they feeling like maybe they’re not ready to go to a women’s circle. But now they want to start to learn more about connection or community. Are there any podcasts or books or different resources that you use to, I guess, help you understand more about the benefits of community?
Lucy Lichtenstein 21:39
Good question. Yes,
Natalie K. Douglas 21:43
I would say your podcast would be one. So
any particular podcast that you’ve actually done? Because I know you interview a lot of people? Are there any podcasts that you’ve done, that you have discussed community or connection or any of those types of things that might be beneficial for people to listen to?
Lucy Lichtenstein 22:05
So I did an episode with imagined Bailey, who I just mentioned, all about well about several different things. But we definitely touched on women’s circles and community. And the importance of that, and I also did an episode with my good friend for odd Khasab from quirky cooking. And he, it was just him an eye on the shows probably a few months ago. And even though I was kind of interviewing him, he also threw some questions back at me. And we did talk a fair bit about community and tribe and the importance of that for sure. I’m just trying to think of what other resources I mean, I think
what I would also say to this is
that it might be a bit of an esoteric answer thing to say. But I feel that this part of connecting a community is actually more about looking within than looking for external resources. And just, of course, that’s helpful, it’s great. But actually noticing what how it is that it makes you feel, maybe what it is that you feel that you need, or that you’re looking for, that you’re searching for. And just know that, like what you mentioned before, not about moving away from old friendships and different directions. And maybe this thing distant, stalled, letting friendships. Yeah, is that it’s okay. And it happens to all of us. It happened to me, too, seven years ago, and it continues to happen. I know it will happen throughout life, because it’s just kind of the nature of things. So to know that you’re not alone, that we all experienced this. And also know that when you let something go, that creates space for other exciting things to come in, and perhaps maybe finding people that
have a similar on a similar path to you.
Natalie K. Douglas 24:30
Yeah, absolutely. And I guess, bringing that back, for everyone listening, bring that back to something that Kate and I talk about a lot is creating a supportive environment. So often, we’re talking about creating a supportive environment, in the context of achieving health and nutrition goals, to, I guess, encourage you and support you to have the best chance possible to reaching your goals. And it’s the same thing when it comes to feeling really connected, and like you really belong. And if there’s something or someone in your life holding you back from feeling that way, then there’s nothing wrong with doing a bit of a clean out, Dave, and that sounds like a really harsh way to put it. But it’s true. Luckily old has had toxic relationships in the past, or we’ve all just had, perhaps relationships or circles that we’ve traveled in that haven’t really made us feel like we belong or that what what our goals and what our morals and what our beliefs and what our our mission in life is, is like is the right way, like sometimes we feel like that should be changed. And I don’t think it’s about changing your instincts and what you want. I think it’s about finding a group of people of like minded people that inspire you to continue down that journey and challenge you along the way. And if you’re feeling stuck, and like you’re not in that space, right now, there’s lots of different suggestions that we’ve made throughout the podcast to to try and bring that out. And it doesn’t have to be, you know, what Lucy and I have found helped us It can be anything. So I would just say start somewhere and start with something, an activity or something that you really enjoy, and go into everything with an open mind. And also the mindset that, you know, there is something it’s just a matter of finding it and just try all these different things until you do find it. Because once you do I know for me, and you know, perhaps you Lucy, but I’ll let you talk to this after I give my experience, when I found a group of people or groups of people that shared similar values, or at least were kind of interested in personal growth, and we’re very open and non judgmental to that process. It made me feel really empowered. And I’m really comfortable in vulnerability, which helps facilitate growth, which then just helps feed back into feeling connected and happy and content and resilient. At least for myself. That’s what I found. And it’s helped me a lot in in all areas of my life loose. I don’t know if what your experience of finding your tribe has really changed for you. I know you mentioned that it’s been a key thing to your health. But in what way or in what aspect what aspects of your health or what changed for you in your mind when you found a group of people that you felt like you You belong to?
Lucy Lichtenstein 27:44
Yeah, right, please. Yeah, great question that. So
it’s kind of like a feeling that maybe it could even be hard to put into words, but it’s like this, this feeling and this knowing, and this understanding
Unknown Speaker 28:07
Lucy Lichtenstein 28:11
all of that connection. Yeah. And,
and there’s so much joy in that and Hatton and I happier and just, yes, it’s a feeling to show. And it’s, I’ve also feel that it has trickle trickle into so many other areas of my life, because it just makes life more enjoyable. And it comes back to what we were talking about before. It’s that it’s in our nature to be a part of something like this. And so
it’s very easy to see how
that enables us to feel better to be more healthy, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, all of it. And yeah, I think that the biggest thing is just that, that understanding and that joy. And actually something else that came up when you were talking before this thing about the longing. For me, when I went through a time seven years ago, moving away from friendships that I had for 10 1112 years, it was really, really hard. And I did have this couple of years of feeling like where is it that I belong? And who are my real friends who are my closest friends, I’m not sure at the moment. But what I’ve realized, as after just continuing to walk down a path and after growing and expanding so much, that belonging is internal. So I feel now that if you belong within within yourself, that you can belong anywhere. And of course, I mean, there’s so much in that. And of course, but of course it makes a huge difference when, as you said you have people in your life that are on a similar path and that are like minded that understand you that don’t judge you that except you. But I feel like yeah, it’s really key to continue to grow and learn and expand within yourself to get to that place of of true belonging within.
Natalie K. Douglas 30:31
Absolutely. And what an amazing point to actually wrap up the podcast, we then something for everyone to ponder, because I absolutely resonate with what you’ve said there, Lucy and I think that it is, you know, a big question for a lot of us and something that’s worth exploring and worth putting time and energy energy into because it is transformational when you you get to that place. But hopefully, we’re providing everyone with at least some things to think about and some strategies to use in order to get back to that feeling of having a community and knowing that feeling that sense of connection and community is absolutely important in this whole picture of health that, you know, we talked about on the podcast so often. And I think it’s really good to bring this kind of this kind of conversation into the context of people who are listening because they want to improve their health. I mean, so often it’s it’s actually easier to focus on things like nutrition and moving enough. But, you know, to be honest, some of the biggest transformations in my health have had nothing to do with that. So I think there’s some food before and thank you so much for joining us and for providing us with all of that information and insight and things to think about. I will absolutely link to all of your social channels and and your website in the show notes so people can find find you and find out more about you. And if you guys are listening and a local you know in Sydney or even in southern shy then definitely go out go and check out one of Lucy’s circles. If not, I can highly recommend listening to her podcast. It’s she’s interviewed a lot of really interesting people. And Lucy, I have to say you are a very good interview, I think you asked some really interesting questions. So thank you.
Lucy Lichtenstein 32:32
Thank you so much for having me on the show. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for saying these nice things. I really appreciate it.
Natalie K. Douglas 32:41
You’re welcome loose. Thank you again, and we will hopefully hear from you again soon.
Lucy Lichtenstein 32:47
Absolutely. Thanks, everyone. Bye.
Unknown Speaker 32:52
Thanks for tuning in to the holistic nutritionist podcast. Remember, we’d love to make the show relevant to you. So if you have have any questions or topics you’d like discussed on the show, simply submit them to [email protected] or [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe rate and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friends and family to need more personalized nutrition advice. Why not invest in a consultation to accelerate your journey to optimal health. You can find that over at healthbyhealthfoods.com.au and [email protected] See you next time guys
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