I love my wall calendar that was gifted to me by my Buddhist friend, Jim. It has inspiring quotes and artwork guaranteed to put me in a blissful state. I was surprised to note that today, August 25, 2010, is Kiss and Make Up Day. I’ve never heard of this holiday, but I can certainly support the sentiment.
Just the other day I was wondering what ever happened to the Flower Power and Make Love Not War sentiments that were so popular in the 60s? So much of our current, volatile culture is laced with fear, greed, and vulgarity. How did we stray so far?
Just imagine if every person on the planet decided to Kiss and Make Up today . . . Wow! Heaven on earth! It can seem a distant, if not impossible dream from where we stand now.
Yet it is becoming increasingly clear that life as we have known it is shifting into something new. I know some people are fearful of what will happen to them as our culture continues to crumble right before our eyes. However, as a visionary, I am seeing this not as a death of a way of life, but as a whole new beginning in which we each have the opportunity to co-create the world into which we are stepping.
A major element of the Spiritual Growth Community is to be a resource and clearinghouse of information of interest to Pioneering Souls on a path of conscious evolution. So it is not surprising that my heart is calling me to explore community living as a way for people to come together to join in intentional communities. We have the opportunity to influence the emerging paradigm with our intentions and actions. Imagine living in a community founded on mutual support, and sustainable and joyful living where resource-sharing significantly reduces the amount of money needed to live the “good life!”
In some sense we are each already a part of many different communities — family, work, neighborhood, organizations, etc. The movement toward intentional communities is to self-select who you want to be in community with, then this community becomes your family, your neighborhood, your work, and the place to organize into the special-interest groups that call to your heart and soul.
A group has formed within the Spiritual Growth Community that is interested in knowing more about what intentional communities already exist, and exploring what sort of community they would like to create or be part of. We’ve gathered twice so far to share information and enjoy informal gatherings to get to know each other better, which is a form of developing community in itself. Go here if you’d like to be on the mailing list to receive notices of future events.
Back in the day, neighborhoods were mini communities. It was common to go next door to “borrow a cup of sugar.” Block parties, coffee klatches (defined as a casual social gathering for coffee and conversation, a.k.a. gossip) and shared supervision of the neighborhood children were common.
Today it is rare to know your neighbors, let alone socialize with them. With children in day care, the elderly in assisted living, and most adults working in environments away from home, there is little opportunity for true connection. Add to that the dwindling earth resources, and the resource-sharing benefits of community living begin to have some appeal.
Now, my first reaction to the idea of community living was reluctance to giving up my privacy. I have found I am not alone in that. But the more I explore the huge variety of intentional communities already in existence, the more certain I am that it is possible to create private space to retreat to whenever necessary to maintain a sense of self, while also being a full-fledged community member.
After all, the new paradigm we are evolving into is one of “and” rather than “or,” all of which is possible because we are expanding our consciousness to easily integrate diversity in ways humanity has never before been able to do.
How this will play out for me personally, I don’t know . . . yet. For now I am living in the unfolding. What I do know for sure is that community living is the direction evolution is taking us. In the meantime I am focusing on developing the communication and conflict resolution skills that community living will demand of me.
BOTTOM LINE: Once you get past the fear of “losing your privacy” and open your mind to exploring the myriad configurations of existing intentional communities, a whole new world of freedom opens up. Freedom from having to do everything yourself. Freedom from having to supply every resource for yourself. Shared appliances, tools, bicycles, cars, and on and on tremendously reduce living expenses leaving you free to pursue what you love to do to earn a living rather than working a soul-sucking job just because it pays well!
TIP: Start thinking about what qualities you like about your best friends. (If your best friends don’t have qualities you like, you need new friends!) What commonalities would form the basis for coming together in community? Who do you want to live with?
P.S. Having a diverse pool of viewpoints, coupled with great communication skills are a solid foundation for successful community living.
P.P.S. You don’t have to live together to be a community. Get a weekly or monthly potluck group together. Get together for a game night. (Canasta, anyone, or am I dating myself . . . oh yeah, it was my mother who played Canasta, with two decks, no less!)
What are your thoughts on community living and intentional communities? What is your vision of your ideal community? Have you lived in community in the past? Are you living in a community now? I’d really love to hear from you!