Finding Community When “Place” Is A Figure of Speech

Community is about a lot more than proximity. For many of us, being physically separated from our workplaces, teams, community groups, and other tribes has both diminished our feeling of community and also highlighted its importance. This pandemic has reinforced that communities are defined by so much more than the places where members gather.

Impactful communities hum with a sense of purpose. They are bound by the profound commitment members have to each other. They are defined by the ways people support each other in times of struggle, sadness, and celebration. They imbue their members with a sense of belonging and acceptance. They matter because of their unwavering belief in the limitless and unique potential of each member.

We all seek to belong, to feel seen and encouraged, to move with others towards something we care about, to recognize that with support and belief we can accomplish anything. This is why we seek community and why its absence feels so devastating.

What communities do you belong to? What purposes do they serve in your life?

One of my most cherished communities is The Hivery, two co-working spaces in the San Francisco Bay Area, designed largely for women. When both locations of The Hivery were forced to close due to COVID-19, The Hivery’s founder, Grace Kraaijvanger, and the incredible Hivery team figured out how a community literally defined by location could continue to be relevant and nourishing when “place” became a figure of speech.

Thanks to thoughtful and creative virtual programming since mid-March, The Hivery has introduced me to new friends and mentors, stretched me intellectually and spiritually, inspired me to take risks and stand up for what I believe in, and to live my best, biggest life. In fact, Everyday Leadership was conceived and cultivated with incredible support, encouragement and guidance from The Hivery community.

And, now I am excited to give back.

On Friday September 18, I am leading a virtual workshop aimed at helping parents connect and find their footing – and support their children to do the same – during virtual learning. Currently, we all feel like we are forced to make sense of this new academic reality alone. It’s exhausting and crazy-making. Let’s support each other to move from trying to survive to thriving.

Details and links to sign up are below.

Distance Learning: From Surviving to Thriving


Friday September 18 • 10:30 – 12:00pm PST via Zoom

** Free for current/active Hivery members. This event Is $20 for non Hivery members.

**Zoom link will be emailed with your ticket confirmation


Sharon’s 25+ years as a teacher and school leader have shown her the value, limitations, and compromises of traditional school models. With only a few weeks of formal distance learning under our belts, we are still discovering what works and the challenges of our new shared reality.

She’s an optimist and believes that as hard as distance learning is on all of us – from students to parents, to teachers – there are opportunities inherent in this time to align learning with our priorities and values and to make the situation easier on all involved. Please join in a discussion about how to feel more ownership, community, and sanity while school buildings are closed and our children are learning from home. 


  • A new way of thinking about the opportunities provided by distance learning
  • A reflection on what you want most for your children in relation to learning and school
  • Conversations to support you and maintain your sanity during distance learning 
  • Tips for making the most of distance learning for your kids

Learn more about The Hivery.

Learn more about Gateway Public Schools.

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