Monday, 1 April 2013

Healthy Transformations

Healthy living is about feeling love, happiness and belonging.  Ukrainian community celebrations in Calgary have traditionally been full of these!  And scientists know that these feelings are related to the good hormone levels, among them, the "mothering hormone" oxytocin.  Of course there are other hormones involved, things like dopamine and serotonin but the point is, these all enhance emotional bonding so necessary for a transformative experience in the world.  Transforming information received from social contact, and converting it into healthy, sustaining energy is that "interior decorating" plan we all undertake over time.

Ukrainian Calgary is more than just an idea for me.  It is a sense of place, of personal relationships, of friendship and family.  Participants in Ukrainian Calgary are processing information all the time. And because everything is new for newcomers, first impressions matter perhaps more than we think!  Aesthetics have a huge impact!  Familiar sights, sounds, smells all give an impression.  We know what we like, love and what attracts us.  We all recognize beauty, skill and craft.  Like connoiseurs, experience has taught us what is good and beneficial for our life journey.  Does Ukrainian Calgary exhude that sense of "home away from home" for newcomers?

Many of Calgary's Ukrainian newcomers and others are quietly visiting "Ukrainian Calgary".  Impressed,  many are taken aback at the organizational vision and personal leadership of the pioneer generations.   Most are astounded at the love, purpose and cultural bonds of Ukrainian Canadians of three and four generations, much less the unity of purpose!  Satisfied with visiting?  Perhaps.  

The linguistic, cultural traditions of the first Ukrainian Canadians has become a small part of the Western Canadian way of life.  "Ukraina" exists here in every pysanka, every "Carol of the Bells", in every braided bread and embroidered sorochka.  "Ukraina" exists here in the dancers, onion domed churches, and pyrohy available in every grocery store.  But newcomers can call home, go on the internet, purchase online - anything they "need" is available for purchase. But can you get "mothering hormones" via email?

What next? Well, relationships have a way of evolving. Transformation is the dance of life. Meditation and spiritual life is but a start; lifestyle changes that stimulate youthful thinking involves having fun together; leading to stress management and positivity, which helps to gain the skill to make new connections. Youthful new Ukrainian Calgarians are looking for these in their new life in the diaspora. 

Is Ukrainian Calgary welcoming new energies, new ideas and lifestyle changes that could transform our dance of life here on the Canadian prairies?  What would a huge embrace of newcomers do for Ukrainian Calgary's future? What are your "interior decorator" plans for Ukrainian Calgary?


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