So here I am missing Pride while I am over in the UK honouring a spiritual commitment.

Once-a-year near the Summer Solstice, I venture across the sea to join in a similar community event with a project called the Sacred Fire Community (you can check them out at All the folks in the UK who are participating in the SFC come together for a weekend shindig, of a rather more humble scale. We sit around the fire and allow the primal energy of fire to help us connect with heart energy. No wonder I have ended up being the columnist of From the Heart!

One of the big values of the SFC is community building, recognizing that humans have always lived in community and in connection with each other–this was the way all of society formed close relationships…until rather recently, that is.

After our big weekend of time around the fire, camping, eating together, playing music, having serious chats, children running around playing, moms nursing, washing up, a smaller group of us continued onward to the borders of Wales, to a town called Church Stretton.

So here I am cozied up in a country home, hugged by the impressive hills called the Long Mynd, with seven other people of diverse character, but similar values.

We are having a lot of fun. Sometimes we are stepping on one another’s toes. It can be tricky to find time to oneself when the time together is so precious. I often feel when I need to withdraw to gather myself I am missing out on the fun, or being a bummer. There are moments, frequently, as we try to organize something like meals, or shopping, or what to do for the day, that chaos reigns as we talk over one another, and wrestle to reconcile a lot of suggestions, needs, desires, and those of us who are more in need of control step to the fore to mould it all into some semblance of a plan.

As one of the elders of the SFC community says: “community, it’s messy.” But definitely worth it. Relationships expand us, melt our defenses, mirror our blind spots back to us, give us an opportunity to risk, feel a whole range of emotions, and ultimately to cultivate courage of heart.

Enjoy your community. Build your community. Make some international friends and you just might find yourself on a similar adventure to mine next summer! Be open to some messiness, and keep allowing your heart to expand.

Blessings from the UK,


About the Author

Shelley A. Harrison is an Energy Healer in Ottawa. She graduated from the Barbara Brennan School of Healing 4-year professional training and has been working in private practice for over 10 years. She visits Toronto regularly to see clients and visit her brother, Jeff, the editor of this magazine. You can write Shelley at or visit her at