For a very long time I prided myself on being a solo adventurer, a lone wolf. I relished the feel of moving about my world unencumbered by the expectations and needs of others. I longed for the leeway to find and follow my own inner voice. But the deeper I delved into the evolution of my own being the more I noticed the subtle shifts that occurred when I gathered with other like minded people.
As someone who didn't quite fit in, I often found it very uncomfortable to connect with many of the communities that I encountered – whether that community were members of my family, groups at school or colleagues at work. Like the scent of hamburgers pulling Wimpie towards his inevitable destination, I found myself over and over again in situations that had me question this assumption of aloneness.
It was in 2001, when I enrolled as a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, that the pieces started falling into place. My aloneness was so embedded in my nature that I had to have pep talks with myself to sit next to someone new after every break and start a conversation. As I ventured forth I found that many others felt the same. We were all strange rangers navigating a very lonely landscape.
You may or may not have been born into your tribe of choice. Your family, friends and colleagues may get you. They may not. As someone who is separate from the pack it can be difficult to navigate the cycles of ungroundedness, but nothing will shift your experience faster than an aligned and conscious community.
If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
~ African proverb
Today, as much as I treasure my aloneness, my greater gift is connection and community. Here are 7 gifts of aligned and conscious community:
1. Wisdom. When you gather with like-minded people the wisdom of your community is greater than your own. Divergent world views and life experiences provide a richness and depth that gift you a variety of perspectives from which to choose. That's not even counting the specific expertise that each member brings to the party.
2. Gifts. Sometimes it's hard to figure out your gifts in isolation. In community there are abundant opportunities to be seen and heard and you’re given the opportunity to discover your gifts and share them with others. This experience alone will help you get rock solid on your gifts and strengths. Plus, the powerful group intention amplifies your purpose and passion and moves you into inspired action.
3. Leadership. A collaborative community invites you to share in the voice and direction of the group and provides ample opportunities to try out your leadership style. One of my favorite ways to explore this is to host a writer’s circle. There’s nothing like gathering with other highly aware playmates and engaging in regular inspirational writing. You can do this in person, or you can make it super easy and gather on the phone.
4. Belonging. We all have a primal need to belong, to be a part of something greater than ourselves. When you're different, it's an especially precious gift to find others that you can relate to and that totally get who you are. What a treat to discover a community where you can be yourself among others doing the very same thing.
5. Support. There will be days when you falter, lose hope, and your belief in yourself is at low tide. It can seem overwhelming. A like minded community will nourish you and help you handle the dips, as well as celebrate your wins. Some days those big goals just seem impossible. On those days when you most want to give up, you are buoyed by your community. They believe in you, probably more than you believe in yourself.
6. Influence. Communities give you the opportunity to share your influence, to explore a bigger vision than you might be able to execute on your own. They allow members to explore things with each other they previously wouldn’t have been able to. New ideas, resources, and experiences are shared and discussed leading to community accelerated innovation.
7. Evolution. There is nothing that will stretch the edge of what's possible for you, and your community, than coming together on an aligned purpose. When you gather in aligned community you are creating a living organism. This is highly organized intelligence at its best. Not only do you grow, so does the entire system.
A group of people coming together in a state of presence generates a collective field of great intensity. It not only raises the degree of presence of each member of the group but also helps to free the collective human consciousness from its current state of mind dominance. This will make the state of presence increasingly more accessible to individuals.
~ Eckhart Tolle
We’re connective creatures by nature. A vibrantly aligned and conscious community not only empowers you but creates transformation for everyone. If you can’t find your kind of crowd, host it! Take the lead and create a community that alivens your experience, inspires your vision and serves your purpose.
PS Ready to tap into the power of community? Join us …