The Commune Blog

Where is Walter Cronkite?

commusings Apr 17, 2020

At this moment, we are not just suffering from COVID-19, we are also suffering from the absence of a dependable source of fact. It is specifically in times of public crisis when we look to steady leadership for reliable information. Sadly, we are now left groping in the dark, anxious, experiencing the end of the truth. 

Can we cohere as a society around the truth for the common good? Let us know your thoughts below.

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Sway in the Wind

commusings Apr 15, 2020

Now that we have awakened to what makes life sacred and worthwhile, we know this: We are enough. Right here in our pajamas. We are enough. 

We can envision a new human story, once obscured by smog, but now visible on the horizon not solely because we’ve awakened but because we stopped spewing filth into our skies. 

In our quarantine, something shifted. Quietly, as if out of a collective unconscious, we all imagined the same thing.

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Take the 5-Minute Shake Challenge!

the lab Apr 14, 2020

Bonus points for how big you smile...

Ever since I first heard Chubby Checker sing “Let’s do the twist” at a second-grade sock hop, I’ve loved songs that make you shake your body until you can’t breathe, or stop laughing, or both. 

Shaking just feels right. Happy, wet dogs wading out ponds and tiny kittens trembling for a warm touch know what I’m talking about.

This where I could point you to ancient qi gong shaking practices or the groundbreaking trauma work of Peter Levine, but I don’t feel the need for a hard sell here...

I don’t need to teach you any poses or positions. has no special equipment to sell you.
Carpet or hardwood, it’s all good.
No partner required. 

Welcome to the perfect social isolation self-therapy.

Turn on some music.
Set a 5-minute timer.
Don’t. Stop. Moving! 

In this little timelapse, Julia and I were listening to:

What is your favorite shake soundtrack? How did you feel after...

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A Return to the Local

commusings Apr 13, 2020

We have inevitably been forced to adapt and evolve in the face of COVID-19.

What patterns have you seen evolving? Are you learning to live with less? Are you experiencing more gratitude for what you do have? Have you gotten out of your pajamas today? (I'm personally business casual on top, bedtime jammies on the bottom ;)

We'd love to hear more about how you have been coping with this new way of life. (as best you can) 

#Commune #Commusing #COVID_19

PS - If you'd like to receive more conversations like this in your inbox, please be sure to go to our site and sign up for our new weekly newsletter designed for deep thinking, quiet reflections, and unhurried self-care:

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The Key to Healing Pain & Trauma

teacher wisdom Apr 11, 2020

It is important to feel your feelings. 

We cannot transform that which we refuse to feel. You probably were not taught to sit with discomfort or acknowledge your pain. It's more socially acceptable to numb out than tune in. Yet the key to healing on a psychological level is connecting to those parts of ourselves that feel out of control and wild. The only way to heal is to feel and process our feelings. In this video, master teacher Hala Khouri explains more. 

Hala Khouri is a co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World, a training organization that bridges yoga and activism within a social justice framework. She leads trauma informed yoga trainings nationally.

Healing from trauma is just one important topic we cover in our 7-Day Spiritual Survival Guide, now made available and free for you to take through daily guided lessons.

 Please use and share this resource to help you and others navigate through the stress and anxiety of this challenging...

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A Simple Game to Rekindle Your Dinner Conversation

the lab Apr 11, 2020

Rose, Bud, Thorn is a nightly conversation game I learned as a summer camp counselor years ago. Surprisingly, it has become a big hit here in Commune Topanga quarantine. Every night Jeff and Schuyler’s daughters insist we play — maybe because they want to head off any talk of statistics and politics, but, I have come to suspect, because they crave the healing hidden in the game.

Here’s how it works: Each person shares their Rose, Bud, and Thorn for the day. The more specific the better.

Your Rose is something positive, an opportunity for us to collectively rejoice in your success or relive a happy moment. Recent examples of family Roses include:

  • “Today we picked a bag of oranges on a neighborhood walk."

  • “I got a good grade on my school essay."

  • “How sweet it is that we sit down for dinner as a family every night these days."

Your Bud is either something that shows promise and/or something bittersweet. This how we know what you’re...

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Why We Gather

the lab Apr 11, 2020
Nearly 30% of all millennials self-identify as religiously disaffiliated, subscribing to no institutional religion. While many churches provide community, an infrastructure for charity and a place of spiritual refuge and worship, institutional religion has turned off many young people through scandal and social policy that seems to lag behind the times. We explored this idea in depth in Commune podcast episode "Why We Gather."

This movement away from traditional religion has left a hole in many people’s lives including my own. Personally, I am yearning to connect with a power greater than myself. And I am looking to commune with others on a higher plane. For example, I am deeply drawn to the teachings of Jesus. I am less drawn to religious institutions that use faith to divide people and discriminate against “others.”

There is a saying, “God has no grandchildren.’ In other words, your relationship to God is direct. It’s yours. For me, this...

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The 5 Fresh Herbs We’re Drinking on the Commune (and Why)

the lab Apr 11, 2020
While it’s not true that drinking warm liquids will prevent coronavirus, we’ve nonetheless fallen into a routine of herbal teas here in Commune Topanga — mint in the morning, lavender at night, rosemary, sage, and thyme (yes, they make great tea!) in between. These herbs are simply bursting out of the hillsides right now, and their vibrant aliveness has suddenly made our cabinet of tea bags seem dry and dusty in comparison. 

Plus, all fives of these common plants have a host of medicinal qualities. Here, our resident nurse and herb-nerd Julia explains some of their benefits. 

What herbs are you harvesting and steeping right now? Let us know in the comments.

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Surrender to the Wim of the Moment

the lab Apr 11, 2020

When we say honor the teacher, we mean honor their wisdom and experience. The best way to travel a land you’ve never been to before is with the humility of a stranger — and that sometimes means relying on directions and trusting the process.

So when Wim Hof stopped by and decided to throw an impromptu “BYOI” party (Bring Your Own Ice), it was an exercise in surrender. Grabbing your friends for an ice bath hasn’t gone fully mainstream and it’s no wonder why. It’s daunting, it’s scary, and it stands in the face of the common wisdom that you spend your life avoiding discomfort instead of actively seeking it out.

So you breathe, you listen, you surrender to the cold instead of your impulses and instincts. You let that thick Dutch accent wash over you as he beatboxes and pontificates, and you give yourself to the newness, the experience, and the space for growth within you. Waiting on the other side for you is the wisdom of expansion, of...

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Homemade Masks and Revisiting the 3 Rs

the lab Apr 11, 2020
When I filmed Julia making a homemade face mask this weekend, my intention was to write a DIY post. But as I watched her discuss her materials (an old sheet, leftover jewelry wire, thick elastic cut thin enough to use), another angle emerged. 

We have entered an era where the CDC is posting articles on how to make your own mask and videos with the U.S. Surgeon General in full dress uniform folding an extra t-shirt. Scientists are rigorously testing the filtration merits of vacuum cleaner bags vs. pillowcases.

In the early 1980s, my mother’s first job out of college was working for the local waste management facility promoting their new recycling program. I vividly remember her coming to my elementary school classroom to teach us the three R’s — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. 

Unfortunately, time (and corporate propaganda) has obscured that the three R’s are actually a hierarchy. Reduce your waste, creatively reuse what’s left, and only...

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