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Alone but not lonely

Shunya Anna’s story


Text & photo: Anders Wilmann

Alone but not lonely

Shunya Anna’s story

Text & photo: Anders Wilmann

In a red wooden house in the center of Molkom resides Shunya Anna. Without any perfection, the garden is well kept, and the house shows that it’s been taken care of. Attention to details, colours and that feminine touch grace the kitchen area and is clearly seen as we enter. Over a cup of tea, we talk about connection, life, unity, how we interact and what we believe in. She gets noticeably emotional as she shares her first feeling of community:

“I participated in my first sharing-circle at Ängsbacka in 2010 and I felt so lovingly seen by the fellow participants. I managed to shed my mask of upheld politeness which covered up my sad feelings underneath and as I revealed my true emotions that day, I felt completely accepted for who I was. That’s when I knew Ängsbacka was going to mean a lot to me.”

Anna shares that she feels strongly connected to Ängsbacka even though she seldom utilizes the workshop space and gatherings offered on a weekly basis. She came eight years ago during a festival and she moved to Molkom in 2013. She has worked directly at Ängsbacka in the marketing department a few years back, but these days she is not so often up there outside the festival season, at least not just to hang out. She feels it is more of a time constraint than anything else and that she loves being home and see friends when not working.

Ängsbacka is still “the Mothership” though, the ground for her personal development and she is forever thankful for everything that it has given her and so many others.

When asked about togetherness, she leans back with a smile, as she says there is a big handful of people she knows she can always reach out to no matter what, so she feels a strong sense of unity and a feeling of being together. She speaks warmly of the women’s-circles where a group of sisters meet, dance and share. And it is easy to invite people for spontaneous meditations, potlocks and parties where the ambiance is safe, relaxed, loving and fun. A lot of dance and very little alcohol if there is any at all.

There seems to be something that connects all the “Ängsbackatarians” as she smilingly refers to them, and she tries to put her finger on what it is. Without any form of doctrine, manifest or rules, there still seems to be this consensus that everyone owns their emotions without blaming others for how they feel. She shares how she tries her best to speak kindly of others, be supportive and own everything that arises in her.

“I can get triggered and situations can be a catalyst, but it is not anybody else that makes me feel whatever I am feeling in the moment. And this goes for all the people I hang with. We talk openly about what happens within to help each other to understand ourselves.”

The way she sits back as she talks about not taking things personally and owning your own emotional stuff, it is not just in her head, it seems embodied. This is somehow maybe a basis for all the people here, as she sees it, and more or less integrated in each person. Owning emotions and being honest with each other, a deeper and nonjudgmental understanding of people´s way of being, a wish to live a relaxed life without perfection and also experiences of being in conscious presence seem to be the red thread in the community. At least so it seems for Anna. That and hugs.

She shares how she loves that she can go for a quick trip to the local grocery and end up spending 30 minutes in the aisles having a deep conversation with someone. A conversation about everything except the weather and those medial things. How that gives her a feeling of being replenished. She also mentions the hugs. How meeting someone in the line at the register sometimes causes that little uncomfortably with the regular world and people as the hug often shared within the community is more of an embrace. The way we embrace our loved ones. How the efficient world seldom has time for that type of interactions.

As we part we share a hug and our eyes lock and hold for that fraction longer than what most of us commonly do before looking away. We allow ourselves to be seen a bit deeper in that moment. In that silent exchange there’s the mutual acknowledgement that we both see just beyond this first and short interaction. It isn’t spiritual, sexual or weird. It is simply a feeling that there is a human connection here that digs slightly deeper than the common “hey how are you” and “what do you do” type of interactions normally exchanged in everyday life. We silently agree that we are not alone.