Go often to the places your spirit smiles.

The value of community in spiritual self-care.

When I reach the place where the sand meets the sea I look for them first. I look to the shallow sea in the center of the bay. To see them is to see heads and shoulders bouncing just above the waterline. Better than seeing them is hearing them. Rising from the water is the symphony of their stories and laughter. It is like the sea is singing. And the song? It is the tune of the Elders.  Monday through Friday they gather at the bay in the hour after the sun rises. They come in ones and threes and they come to surrender, soak, and connect. 

A delight and privilege in my life is, I call the island of Tobago home. I live here with my husband, (a.k.a the werewolf) with our growing flock of sheep, and our manifesting dreams of our retreat business. For the past two years (since I ‘officially’ moved here) we have been building the foundations of our own big life and tuning into the magic here. 

Magic, that happens every morning when I make my way to the beach. I walk first. I walk to ease out the threads of knots in my mind (confessed overthinker, I am). I’ve learned that the knots need gentle teasing to release to freedom and walking the sand stretch every morning is their medicine. After the mind release of toes in the sand and support from the earth, I surrender to the sea. I return to where the Elders gather to bathe and I submerge. I feel it so strongly now, the Caribbean Sea is part of my spiritual self-care. Recently when flying home from a trip to New York City I saw the sea as the plane descended towards the runway. The sight of the sea after weeks away inspired a sudden sob from my heart. Happy tears fell as I saw the sea. I am home my heart sang, back by the sea

It is undeniable, the sea cares for me. I believe this is true for the Elders also. I can only assume as I have never asked them. I safely assume this as I feel it. You would feel it too. The sound. It’s the sound that lets you know. The laughter that floats on the surface of the sea. 

The difference in our medicine is community. I walk alone. They gather together. Each morning as we meet the smiles are wide and the morning blessings are shared. In its way, it is exactly as it should be. We, swimming in the same sea, but not in the same circle. I am not an Elder. I have not lived my life here, and I have not known the others since I was young. They have. 

I wish to be them when I grow up. Spending my mornings in community with nature, stories, and laughter. I told one of them this. This Elder, a tall gentle man with a crown of grey hair meets the sea each day with two walking sticks. With steady slow care, he makes his way across the sand. He is then supported by the others to shift from sand to sea. On the morning I speak of I meet him as he is leaving and I am arriving. 

“Good morning, good morning” we share. (it’s said twice here by most people)

I stop and turn to him.

“You inspire me.”

“Me?” He is genuinely surprised. 

“Yes. Every day I see you, I see you making your way to the sea and it inspires me. You give me that.”

He laughs. He accepts as an Elder does and should. 

Moving to my Caribbean life has dramatically changed my spiritual self-care. A few months into my move from city to sea I tuned into the change. 

Hah. I’m the person I always wanted to be. I walk every morning and swim in the sea. I meditate and journal. I eat mostly clean food and I am sober.” This is the me who I could see in my 20s with desire. Back then it felt so far away. Time on the island has changed me. My intuition is sharp and sensitized. My spirit plays here. 

And some days it feels lonely. I am the middle child of seven and we are a close clan. I grew up in a family that felt knitted together, and I was in the center of that woven life. I am a gregarious witch who loves to not only connect with others but to know who they are. And here, on the island, things move slowly and there are no straight lines, so building a community here has been much slower than my desire. In the beginning, it felt much lonelier than it does now. I have learned that my desire to connect can be fed by my time with nature. This gifts me a deeper connection with my spirit and my spirit tribe. And, I still crave time with people. 

A few months into my island life I sensed my business, Big Life Magic, was ready for a shift. I knew there was more I could develop and I felt ready. I set to task by tuning into this new direction and evolution. At first, I thought it would be a new program. Others were counseling me towards what is known in the online space as, The BIG Offer. I could feel the desire for big, and I could not see or feel the offer. So, I waited. I continued to ask and listen. “What is next for Big Life Magic?”. Days into my asking, allowing, and waiting, it dropped in. “Build Community!” The message was clear and affirmed by the smile it inspired on my face and in my heart. I thanked spirit for the affirmation and clarity and I began to build. In February 2022 I opened the doors to the Big Life Magic Makers, the virtual community for the magic-curious. My intention was (and is) to create space for people to come home to, to connect, explore spiritual practice, and deepen their belief in themselves and what they can heal, transform, and create in their lives. 

The Big Life Magic Makers has proven to be all of that and so much more. My desire to connect with others has been met, and it has expanded and multiplied. Women who joined the membership as a ‘solo-curious-one’ now have friendships with people they may have never crossed paths with, yet, the people who align with where they are at, and what they are going through in this chapter of their lives. It is more than friendship, it is time with soul sisters. 

Meeting my desire at a frequency that felt good has resulted in the creation of an online community that is today the joy inside my business. I have soul sisters and a place to return to. I have a place to share my teachings with people who wish to learn and play with me. Our collective energy has zoomed (literally) across the globe. To date, Magic Makers have connected from the USA, UK, France, Australia, Canada, Barbados, Ireland, Ibiza, Mexico and Borneo. We swim together in our collective cyber sea. 

In our magic home, we meet to affirm our magic and our connection to spiritual practice. I teach masterclasses in intuition, manifestation, soul connection, energy mastery, and more. We connect every new and full moon to set intentions and tune into what the moon is guiding us to explore. We meditate together and we play with the application of what I am teaching each season. The community is a diverse group of women ranging from early 30’s to our elder (a.k.a Our Moon Queen) who is celebrating 83 years of life. The diversity is also mirrored in the years of spiritual practice. For some, working with magic is new, for others, this is a deepening of a practice they have been doing on their own for years.

One evening, in a circle (that is what we call our gatherings) a valued and joyous member, Val, commented that her time spent with us had become part of her self-care. 

“My membership to Big Life Magic serves to support and strengthen me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. This loving and magical community is an important component of my self-care practice”

It stopped me in my magic tracks. I had never framed it in this way. For me, the frame was spiritual practice and play. What Val revealed to me was the benefit I felt we were all receiving. It simply was, so I had not yet articulated it as such.

What drew us into the circle was our initial thread. If you ask each member they would all say they joined the community to add to and explore their spiritual practice. We are all ‘magic-curious’. Our collective curiosity has created more threads that now bind us together and support us individually. 

My curiosity was tickled so I decided to ask more members about the connective threads of our community and their spiritual self-care. Caroline shared, the ripple effect she feels beyond the circles. “A dedication to my spiritual health gives me a supportive and loving core from which to take every step, make every decision, and follow every intuitive hit.”

Is it possible to dedicate to your spirit health and ensure your self-care without community? Yes, I believe it is. I also believe community ensures consistency, support, and the buoyancy we feel when connected with others aligned with our desires. My curious inquiry to members about the benefits of the community and their self-care highlighted many common threads. The core threads we all share are accountability, connection, and play.

I now feel accountable for my spiritual self-care. As shared, I tend to my spirit daily. And, as also shared this was not always the case for me. It was a desire that felt a step away. My dedication to my spirit-led life and the integrity I hold as a core of my teachings means I see my spiritual self-care as part of my life and vital to my work. Before this defined dedication my practice and care were at times fickle. When things were going well my practice was consistent and when life got busy I almost always dropped something. When life got tricky or overwhelming I would scold myself for dropping the consistency and vow to return. This roundabout of care, not care, scolding of self, back to care, was at times nauseating and frustrating. I know through my work with many people at different stages of their lives, that this is a very common roundabout and pattern in our self-care. What I know to be true is that a community can be the circuit breaker to this pattern. This is true for Magic Maker, Tosca, “The community provides an important touch base for me to come back to when I feel lost or am looking for a connection to keep me consistent in my practices.” 

When I am having an initial conversation with magic-curious women who are not yet a member, the most common remark I hear is the wish to be connected with like-minded people. I think we all crave this. It is the human need for connection and belonging. What I believe is the sub-text to the wish to connect with like-minded people is the desire to be understood and accepted. When we find ‘our tribe’ this is what we find. It’s more than connection, it runs deeper.

“I’m feeling almost overwhelmed and so lost for words but so very very grateful to know and be connected with each of you in some magical way! Thank you for what you share and teach me, even when you don’t know it. I love you all so dearly.” Rose.

Recently I asked Rose to share a video testimonial with me. She shared about her journey from divorce and a cancer diagnosis two years ago to her life now. Spoiler alert, Rose is much better now and attributes part of that feeling and healing to her engagement in our community. It was when Rose said, “I love myself now”, that I felt the underbelly waves of connection. Connection to others supports us to connect deeply with ourselves. And like Rose, to open up to loving ourselves. 

Like the Elders I meet each day at the sea, there are ripples of laughter in our magic circles. We are all there to learn and apply our spiritual practices and are there for each other when it is a day that inspires a scream or some sadness. And, we laugh. It is the freedom to be exactly as you are, and the permission to play that inspires the laughter. 

If you were to directly ask your spirit how it would like to be cared for, I believe it would say “PLAY, Please.” Our spirit seeks freedom and playtime to explore and expand. I am sure if I asked a magic curious person what they believe their spirit is craving for its care, they would say something like, meditate more, say your prayers, or gift thanks. And I agree, we all feel the benefits of these practices. And we all need to play more. 

Play with me. Imagine your spirit is bound in the energy of a three-year-old. What do they want? Do they wish to sit still and be quiet and remember to say thank you as all the adults are telling them? Not so much. They want to play! And, it’s undeniable, that playmates expand the joy of play.

What is possible for you if you choose to care for your spirit within a community? 

Can you imagine adding play to your practice? Who would be your playmates?

I do believe we need time alone with our spirit. Time for tuning into listening and allowing. And, I also believe somewhere along the way we began to believe that spiritual self-care is perfecting solo meditation, committing to pages of journaling, and keeping ourselves accountable on the spiritual straight and narrow. For many, spiritual self-care can become a ‘should’ and a ‘have-to’. The result… not much fun. 

The Elders inspire me every morning, they are having fun. The members of the Big Life Magic Makers, are having fun. For all of us, we have accountability, people notice when we are not present. We have connection, it feels safe to let go and share the truth and vulnerabilities and to hear, “I feel that too.”  And we have play! When we are at play, we naturally accelerate and amplify our health. That’s the bonus our lives deserve. 

Maybe I don’t need to wait to grow up to be like the Elders that inspire me. It is possible to acknowledge that their inspiration has already manifested into what I need. I acknowledge the community I have and seek to stay connected, now and into my elder years. I seek to remain patient with the community I desire here on the island. I seek to care for my spirit in ways that support my self-care. I seek to smile often and make space for my spirit to play.

What is it that you seek? 

In the quieter moments can you hear your spirit whispering to you? 

Are you seeking community?

I know that from the outside looking in it can feel intimidating or overwhelming to step into new communities. If this is how you feel then I offer you what Magic Member Suzy said, “I came in thinking, ‘Ok, a group of women who are into magic? This could be cool. Let’s see…!’ And it’s WAY more awesome than I imagined it would be because it’s such an open, accepting, loving, supportive community of humans aligned in wanting to live a magical life in the time we have left on this planet, and getting after figuring out how to make that happen.”

I wish this for you. I’m sure your spirit wishes for it too. 

Just as we care for our bodies, our hearts, and our mental health, our spirit seeks care too. 

I invite you to be inspired by the Elders and the Magic Makers and to go often to where your spirit smiles.

Big love

Debra Driscoll (Deb D)


This article was first published in SOULACY Magazine in the Self-Care Edition in October 2023. To read the full edition go to: https://debdmagic–soulacymagazine.thrivecart.com/2023-self-care-special/


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