Building Communities of Love and Support

Dr. Raby standing in her officeAre you feeling it yet—the energy and excitement that comes with the reawakening of spring? For some of us, this time of renewal inspires us to clean out our homes, throw open the windows, and let fresh life in. Others of us feel prompted to spring clean our bodies, (as the Raby Institute’s annual Spring Detox makes possible). For me, spring is also about cultivating the communities in my life.

 

Spring’s energy instills in me a sense of self-exploration. I feel an urge to step out of my inner, winter-self in order to embrace the outside world and people around me. It’s my own journey out of hibernation from the isolating Chicago winter. Those days when Chicagoans fill the streets for music festivals, art shows, and parades are close. I can feel it.

 

In anticipation of that arrival, I turn to my communities at home, at work, and in the various places I go to seek spiritual comfort. Each of these communities creates sacred, safe spaces in their own way. They’ve shown me how essential community is, enabling support and connection as we find our place in this world.

 

I’ve been thinking back on a few events that highlighted that for me recently. First was our Raby Institute holiday party in December. That evening, we laughed and danced together as not only co-workers but friends. We shared gifts, food, drinks, and entertainment. As is evidenced in the photos, we couldn’t stop smiling.

 

Another event happened just a few weeks ago, when I returned to my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico to celebrate my sister’s birthday. It was humbling and heartwarming to come together with my family. Many of us are spread out across the country now, and gathering in person enabled us to re-connect in ways that we can’t over distance.

 

Now that I have stepped back from that event with time to reflect, I continue to honor the role that my community back home plays in my life. The desk in my office at the Raby Institute faces north, which I planned intentionally because I wanted to feel my people in New Mexico behind me to the south. These are people who have lifted me up and continue to do so. They have my back.

 

Really, though, community is about so much more than how others can support me. It’s about how I can support them. Being able to help people shows us a deeper side of humanity. It deepens the connections we share. I witnessed this at the Women’s March in February. Women from throughout the city and around the world stood shoulder to shoulder with each other. I was honored and grateful to be a part of it, just as I’m honored everyday to support my husband and children, my co-workers and friends, my patients and spiritual guides.

 

When we show up for each other, we show up for ourselves. And we make of our communities what we put into them, so I encourage you to get out there this season and stoke the fires of the communities that speak to you.


Be present for those around you,

Theri Griego Raby, MD, ABHM

"Dr. Raby is genuinely compassionate, a good listener, very bright and extremely helpful."
- Raby Institute patient