The past two years have ushered in whirlwinds of change for all of us. Whether it’s in career, household dynamics, or even beliefs, we’ve all been through a period of transformation.
My journey began on a late night in the winter of 2020. A Clubhouse room completely changed my life. I came across a room discussing the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of December 2020, and I decided to hop in. Ideas were brewing about a place for astrologers, specifically astrologers of color, to be able to thrive, learn, and connect with others. After a few post-Clubhouse meetings, we ultimately determined this was a community that everyone needed, while recognizing our priority in serving BIPOC and LGBT+ practitioners.
In a world separated from one another by social distancing and sickness, an online community for other spiritual practitioners and astrologers only made sense. We needed a place where we could all truly connect, and truly belong. And after months of hard work, research, diligence, and blasting through fear, Novaa Network was born, fully launching in summer 2021. I, the chief executive officer and our co-founder, Idara Ubak, chief information officer, have been working endlessly since then to keep things running smoothly for the community.
Novaa Network is a place for astrologers, tarot practitioners, mediums, reiki practitioners, and other spiritual professionals to learn, grow, and connect in both online and offline spaces. In the past year and a half, it’s grown far beyond its original expectations to a community of 900+ members. Recently, we launched a non-profit called the Novaa Foundation. This resource for will provide grants, emergency funding, and other forms of tangible resources to ensure the needs of the spiritual community are met.
As a 20-something being zapped into a leadership role seemingly overnight, my world has completely flipped on its head. But if I could go back and do it over again with all that I’ve experienced thus far, I wouldn’t—everything happens as it’s meant to. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, spiritual practitioner, or a leader of your own community, it’s almost natural to look back and reflect at what you could’ve done better along the way. Grab your popcorn, prepare to clutch your pearls, and be ready for a shift in perspective, cause this ride may get a little bumpy.
While I wouldn’t change a thing, here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way:
1. Community is not universally defined
Most of us have heard the term “community,” growing up whether it be at church, within the context of our neighborhood, or maybe based on who you are (like the Black community, or the LGBTQ+ community). But WTF does “community” actually mean?
While community was once a source of survival for groups throughout our human history, thanks to social media, it’s become a place to be around others who are like you. And hilariously, despite being around people who you think are just like you, there are still sinkholes worth of differences, because humans are complex.
Even in a community full of astrologers and spiritual practitioners, there can still be tensions and challenges, because we won’t always see eye to eye. Everyone has their own unique approach to the field. These differences can create bumps, but these conflicts and disagreements can actually strengthen us. If our common goal is rooted in our beliefs, it acts like a glue that hold us together. At the end of the day, we all just want to be seen, heard, and included.
2. Leadership is all about stepping outside of yourself.
Being an astrologer or spiritual practitioner of any kind is difficult as it is, especially as it pertains to working with clients and helping people solve issues. Leading an online community is no different. It requires an ability to think beyond yourself for the sake of everyone around you. Approaching leadership within my community became so much easier when I realized that everyone has something to bring to the table. My job is simply to provide them the space to do so.
When problems arise, every challenge is a new opportunity to learn more about your community, their needs, and what you as a leader can bring to the table. There’s no such thing as a perfect leader, but there is a such thing as a leader who’s willing to learn, grow, and evolve. This type of leadership creates a community of people who are interdependent, like an eco-system.
3. It’s okay to put the astrology down—seriously. (And the same goes for whatever *your* community is centered around.)
When you’re in an online community, it can feel necessary to constantly discuss the thing that makes you, well, a community. But whatever your community is based on, it’s important to remember who you are outside of that.
Everyone has a reason why they were guided to astrology. Learning about how the people in your community got there is more important than agreeing 100% on everything about astrology. When we understand each other as individuals, this creates space for empathy and understanding.
Get to know your peers outside of their practices. Tell your story, and listen to the stories of those around you. When we bring our uniqueness to the table, we create a stronger ecosystem. As individuals, we can create ripples of change, but as a collective, we can formulate waves of evolution and growth together.
Source: Read Full Article