The Holistic Chamber of Commerce (HCC) – Kelowna branch celebrated its grand opening on Tuesday March 18, 2014 in downtown Kelowna. The 100% full-to-capacity venue, The Bohemian Café, was positively buzzing. President of the first branch in British Columbia, Andréa Dykstra, gave an introduction to the organization while holistic practitioners and business people mingled over a sumptuous spread of food and drinks.
Recognizing a need to unite ‘pockets’ of local holistic groups, Andréa brought the chapter to Kelowna to bring together people who can work towards a healthier community and planet. She believes that this organization can shift not just the lives of individuals and businesses, but also an entire community. Andréa’s vision is that through collaboration we can truly be the voice of change to lead to a more ‘whole-istic’ society.
The HCC is different from a traditional chamber of commerce because it considers being holistic first (members are reference-checked) and commercial second. With a meeting style more like a rotary or toastmasters group, the HCC supports members, extends its reach, and shares ways to make a living helping people.
I was drawn in by the keynote speaker, Jo Dibblee, internationally acclaimed author of Frock Off: Living Undisguised. Her wonderfully dynamic and inspiring talk began with a sharing of tragic detail in her tumultuous childhood. There was point and purpose to this. Jo says:
“No matter what happens to you, it does not define you.”
In her aim to survive the ordeals, she moved a lot and became adept at changing her look and her identity. What finally gave her the courage to step out and go public with her story?
“I learned you could be visible and invisible at the same time.”
Jo explained how we wear costumes, or ‘frocks’ to hide our fear. There are 4 frocks we all wear at one time or another: frocks of conformity, expectation, significance and connection. Engaging the audience, Jo asked us to share with someone next to us what frocks we had the greatest tendency to wear. Then Jo had us all stand in a proper pledge stance, left hand on heart, right hand held high, for the Frocklamation Declaration (three times, no less!):
“Frock off, ill-serving frock! Frock off!”
She ended the talk with the following.
“Let your life be your message
and your voice be strong.
Don frocks of compassion
so that others may not fall.
Don’t let others define you
toss those frocks away.
take the life you’ve been given
and be in service today.”
After the talk, naturally gifted and self-taught musician/song-writer Eden DeBruin beautifully played guitar and sang a few tunes to entertain the crowd. And yes, there was even some dancing! With a desire to share his gift with the world in a bigger way, Eden is available for event bookings and can be contacted through Facebook.
What I took away with me the most from the evening (all its participants and attendees were a great testament to this) was another of Jo Dibblee’s statements:
“Live your legacy today.”
You can apply for membership to the Holistic Chamber of Commerce by visiting the website (holisticchamberofcommerce.com).