When you go out into the world, it is best if you hold hands and stick together.
THE CONNECTICUT HOLISTIC HEALTH & LIFESTYLE ALLIANCE
On a late Sunday evening in 2008, I created a Meetup group called The Connecticut Holistic Health & Lifestyle Alliance. Seeking others like me, I was mindful about the intentions I was creating and the kind of spirited people I wanted to attract.
I combed the Internet for the lotus-sitting logo we now have on our website. I wrote the intro, customized the look, reached for my credit card, and around 3:00 a.m., pulled the trigger on creating a Meetup group that has, ten years later, attracted over 3,000 members and produced over 130 events with as many different guest speakers.
You were out there looking for each other, too.
Our first gathering was held in the front room of a friend’s yoga studio. I knew no one except for my then 11-year old son, and two gal pals that I’d secretly asked to attend that evening in case no one else showed up. Yet over twenty people stepped curiously through the door that night. (Many didn’t know each other, so how courageous was that?) We huddled in there, some on chairs, others lounging on the floor.
No one knew what to expect – least of all, me.
But one thing I learned that night that continues to be a lesson for me:
When we put our own truth out into the world, we invite others who are seeking the same to find us.
The number one reason I created what has since become a small Connecticut community was to build a tribe of like-minded people to share the journey. I craved life-affirming, healthy-minded, open-hearted, compassionate, courageous, and authentic people who want to make the world a better place than they found it.
And you arrived!
Many members drive over an hour each way to attend our events and we’ve even had members (and speakers) who have traveled from New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont, bringing along their friends and family.
People find us at our Meetup group website or Facebook group page, but most hear about us through word-of-mouth. We’ve met in venues across various Connecticut towns such as Naugatuck, Norwalk, Westport, Stamford, and Bethel.
Through our group, people find a deeper source for belonging. Friendships have ignited, health has transformed, and ideas and beliefs grew stronger through the sharing and holding space for one another. Learning to be healthy (and feeling good) became hip and social and fun for the first time for many people. I am moved and feel honored by the dozens of testimonies shared with me about the personal transformations and healing that have resulted from our group.
We offer events in the form of experiential workshops, motivational and educational classes, sacred sharing circles, free online tele-classes, and important and inspiring documentary viewings – all in the name of expanding our health and wellness, our personal growth, and our spirituality.
I invite some teachers and healers to speak, but many of these wonderful beings find me and request to be a CHHLA speaker so that they can share their wisdom with our community.
Our vision is to unite an inspired, cooperative-spirit of like-minded people who want to create a ripple effect of healthy awareness first in ourselves, second in our communities, and then across this united big blue planet we share.
Years ago I attended a workshop at the Omega Institute and we were asked to draw or use magazine clippings to create a vision board of the life we wanted to create. Recently, I found this full-page illustration that I’d savored that day.
And tonight I recognized that somewhere along the way, this canvas of connectedness and spirituality has become my world. It is a great reminder to me that what we manifest (even subconsciously) really DOES become our realities when we mindfully choose good thoughts and intentions. Build it, and your like will attract the like of others. It’s true.
On behalf of our community, we hope that you will join our dancing circle.
Visit and join our official CHHLA Meetup site
Interested in presenting a workshop? Become a Guest Speaker.
Our first photo on March 20, 2008.
Today we have over 3,000 members.