Asulon is a Greek word, meaning refuge and pronounced: (us-oo-lon).
Refuge can mean many different things to each individual person, but it is something we all need in times of distress. Refuge can be a physical place or it can be experienced in relationship; sometimes it is an encounter or can be an internal state of being. We each have a unique journey with unique hurts, trials, joys, and celebrations.
If I asked you what you first think of when hearing “refuge,” what would you say?
I’d like to invite you to take a moment to think of a person who has been a refuge to you in your lifetime. Who or what has provided you shelter or protection? Who has helped you or been a source of strength? Do you currently have a safe group of people you encounter regularly with whom you can be your true self?
For some, refuge has been experienced with family, for others it is their friends, perhaps even strangers have demonstrated this. You may be able to name a lengthy list of people, or just one or two, or perhaps you have never known this experience as your own.
I believe the home is meant to be a refuge where you are deeply known, loved, and accepted. It will never be perfect because we are broken human beings, but I believe when we let down our walls and choose to move towards each other we can experience this. I know the words “home” and “family” can trigger complex emotions, and so many different ones dependent on your experiences – thankfulness, anger, hurt, joy, sadness.
While we do not have the ability to choose our own story, we do have an opportunity to be that place of refuge for one another. So even in the midst of your own disappointment, loneliness, or pain, I want to throw out the question, no matter where you find yourself…
What are you doing with these opportunities?
How are you impacting your sphere of influence?
How do people experience you every day?
Becoming a safe place, and being a safe place for another person does not happen overnight. It takes the process of building a trustworthy relationship. It requires discernment, consistency, and reliability. It doesn’t mean you’ll always agree on everything, but it does mean that love and respect will be active within disagreement. This work is done one word, one action at a time.
Why am I sharing all of this?
Well, I had a dream 7 years ago that I thought had died. I found myself broken and confused; yet my dream was reignited as I received life-changing vision. I found refuge through faith, family, the farm where I grew up, and in relationship with others. Experiencing refuge has led me into a state of peace, freedom and hope. In refuge, I found deep, healing rest.
Ever since I decided to dare to dream again, I’ve been on the most adventurous journey. One that I believe is only just beginning; one that I’d like to share with you and for you to also embark on with me!
In launching, Asulon Collective, my hope is that it will become a group of people coming together to experience family. That it is a movement for you and those you encounter on a daily basis to feel at home and encounter safety in relationship. No matter your background, beliefs, political party, gender, race, status, socio-economic class, geographic location, or talents… there is room for you at the table.
There are too many things in the world that separate us, and it’s time for there to be a movement of unity. It’s time to link arms with our neighbors and come together.
My hope is that we would have open hearts and listening ears; that we would experience fun times where memories are made and dare to share the depths of our souls with one another; that we would choose love and do generous acts that meet practical needs.
The long-term dream for Asulon Collective is to develop into a coffee shop. One day, I want to have a physical space to bring you all together where authentic, vulnerable community changes lives and makes an everlasting impact. I want to open the doors to welcome you in where you feel at home. I want to have open arms with hugs filled with love and comfort.
I want to have a place where generosity, integrity, servant-leadership, community, presence and love change lives. A place that develops and invests in the whole person. A place where love flows, good conversations are had, connections are made, and dreams are stirred. A place where you are encouraged and celebrated. A place that becomes home to you and to those who do not have one.
Refuge brings rest. A rest where you can exhale, let your guard down, and refill.
I would love for you to join me on this journey, as we not only work towards sharing a cup of coffee together, but in creating a sacred space. Sacred space created through coffee conversations and sharing stories. Stay tuned to hopefully be inspired to BE a refuge as WE experience Asulon Collective grow together.
Edited by: Alida Cassinari, @hacassinari