Hero Training 103: The Benefits of Community Engagement

by | Jan 28, 2019 | Wellbeing | 0 comments

self-care-community-engagementWe’ve been back in the city for close on a year now and hanging out with Brian Johnson remains one of our favourite pastimes.

Drinking organic wine is a close second.

Philosopher extraordinaire and the mastermind behind Optimize —an online portal that delivers more wisdom in less time— Brian is inspiration on steroids.

If you’re as lazy as I am, you’ll love Brian’s minimalist approach to getting better at life.

Hero Training 103

In his Hero Training 101 seminar —which is based on Joseph Campbell’s well known book The Hero’s Journey and features the fascinating documentary Finding Joe— Brian emphasizes the importance of getting really comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Our five-part Hero Training 101 series chronicles the seven months we spent untethered. Hero Training 102 focused on continuing our learning now that we’re settled again.

Hero Training 103 is all about self-care. Last year brought up a lot of health issues for us, so I figured it was something worth exploring more fully.

Self-care is all-encompassing. It includes everything from fitness, health and nutrition to our spiritual, mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s morning coffee and wine at five. It’s snuggling and movies and peanut butter toast.

Ed: This is the third post in our Hero Training 103 series. These are the others:

The Benefits of Community Engagement

Today is Global Community Engagement Day. The brainchild of Engage 2 Act, the aim is to bring people together to talk about important issues in their community.

We live in a world where people still believe building walls is a reasonable approach to solving problems. Fortunately, the world is also filled with normal people doing incredible kind things.

I believe there are way more humans in the second category. You can tune into mainstream media and be bombarded with bad news or you can look around and see the community engagement that’s taking place right in front of you.

Open Streets Cape Town

Open Streets Cape Town is a citizen-driven initiative working to change how we use, perceive and experience streets. They’re encouraging community engagement by bringing people together in a shared, safe space.

A space that inspires creative expression, enables more cohesive communities, contributes to job creation and local economic activity, and provides choice in how we move around the city.

The Western Cape is a notoriously segregated province, Open Streets aims to change that by lobbying for a more equitable, integrated, vibrant and, ultimately, a safer Cape Town. 

The Street Store

The Street Store is the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free pop-up clothing store for the homeless. Homelessness is a global issue, so after the success of their local initiative these guys decided to go open-source. Now anyone can host a street store,

It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, you can still create a pop-up store in your community. Simply download the guide and poster files (which are available in various international languages), print them out and you’re good to go.

Now all you need to do is put word out on social media asking people to donate clothes. Before you know it, you’ll have a shop full of amazing stuff for those less fortunate to come and help themselves to.

Feeling Down? Indulge in a Little Seva Therapy

Seva, or service, is the selfless giving of oneself for the betterment of others and the world around. At Seva Cafe, the concept of service takes the form of a “pay it forward” restaurant, where every meal is cooked and served with love.

Therapy can take many guises. It could be a focused activity, like, say, seeking out premarital counselling before waltzing down the aisle.

The importance of ensuring sure you’re both on the same page cannot be overrated.

It could also be something more informal. Exercise, yoga, meditation, even your morning coffee, are all very therapeutic.

I’m not a complete tightwad, but if I can avoid paying for my therapy I will. If it’s one of those win/win situations where both parties benefit from the experience, even better. My absolute favourite example of this is volunteering.

As much as I revel in my morning cup of Joe, nothing lifts my spirits quite like the simple act of making a difference, Seeing the impact you have on another is profound, as is the reminder of all there is to be grateful for.

But it’s more than that. It’s a coming together of love, community and spirit, where, in that moment you recognize that we are all one. That all beings have been our mother and our perceived differences are just that.

Now more than ever we must stop building walls to keep us apart. Engaging in community is a great place to start.

Watch Ang’s TEDx talk!

Who are Ang & Sporty?



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