Last week, when I wrote about the power of a group of 10 friends, we had a large group of comments from readers – many wanting to know more about the power of 10 and also how to create such a tribe.
This week I want to share with you that creating this small tribe can prove more powerful as a preventative than any diet or drug from dying from heart disease – which is almost always, metaphorically speaking, caused by dying from a broken heart.
Studies of populations, such as Japanese-Americans, demonstrate that social networks and social support protect them against heart disease — regardless of whether they smoke or suffer from high blood pressure.
Even in America, in a study of over 200 elderly, healthy adults, those with good support networks had lower blood cholesterol levels and higher levels of immune function than those without this emotional support.
As I mentioned last week, how much you smoked or what you ate didn't seem to have as much bearing on your heart as whether you felt isolated from the world.
This situation even exists in animal societies. Researchers conducting heart studies on rabbits were flabbergasted to find that among the animals given high cholesterol-producing diets, those who were played with and petted by researchers developed less cardiovascular disease than those who were in cages out of reach and left alone.
Whether in animals or humans, a high-cholesterol diet appears not to have as much to do with heart disease as a lack of connection. Many other studies have shown that strong community involvement is one of the most important indicators of health.
The power of a coherent community
As those of you who have read my books know, one of my favorite examples of the power of community is a small town in Pennsylvania called Roseto. This tiny town was entirely populated with immigrants from the same area of Italy. Along with the people themselves, their culture had been transplanted in its entirety. The town shared a very cohesive sense of community; rich lived cheek by jowl with poor, but such was the sense of interrelation that jealousy seemed to be minimized.
Roseto had an amazing health record. Despite the prevalence of a number of high-risk factors in the community – smoking, economic stress, high-fat diets – the people of Roseto had a heart-attack rate less than half that of neighboring towns.
As soon as the cohesiveness of the town broke up a generation later, Roseto began to resemble an ordinary American town – a collection of isolated individuals – and, seemingly in parallel, the heart-attack rate quickly escalated to that of neighboring towns.
Numerous studies show that people who are self-absorbed, cynical and hostile to the world also are more likely to die from a heart attack. One study actually found that the number of times a person used 'I' words like 'I', 'me' and 'mine' in an ordinary conversation multiplied the risk of a person's dying from heart disease.
How to set up your group of 10
But for many of us who are busy with work, partners and even children, we lack the time to set up these important social lifelines, and eventually, once we want them, we have forgotten how or don’t have the contacts to find likeminded individuals.
So why not create some groups of 10 right here on the website? Here’s how to do it. Go to our Intention Experiment Community home page and click on Groups. Then just set up a Power of 10 group. To help you along, I’ve already set up a few. And then you can begin writing to each other. You can also set up some in particular areas – a Power of 10 group for Seattle, or London. That way, you’ll begin meeting with likeminded souls in cyberspace, and once you feel comfortable, you’ll be able to meet them in person.
As for all the rest of you, here are five ways to meet your tribe:
· Blog on this site and ask for people near you
· Leave a notice at your local health shop or alternative clinic – people interested in consciousness often are often also interested in alternative health
· Go to a talk or workshop concerning the new science or consciousness being held in your local area and ask the organizers to mention that you’re interested in meeting likeminded souls to discuss this work afterward
· Join or create a Living the Field group
· Contact your local IONS group to find people in your area who meet regularly and talk to them about creating a cyber site here on the website (www.ions.com)