In Search of Community
Lately I have been hiding in the world of books.
Not just any books. I seek escape in the world of paranormal women's midlife fiction. Books where women my age often stumble into as yet unknown powers as they build new lives in magical towns where they are welcomed by an eclectic mix of diverse and quirky characters.
The woman always faces some challenge or danger, which allows her to discover her own inner strength.
Sometimes she falls in love (often with a shifter) but that's not the aspect that draws me to these books.
No, what draws me is the idea of this person discovering and building a family--a chosen family--made up of people who accept her for who she is. The idea of truly belonging with a group that doesn't always agree, but always supports, loves, and values the quirkiness and flaws of every individual.
I confess, this is something I have been searching for throughout my life. For you see, I've always felt as if I was on the fringes of any group. Not quite belonging anywhere.
Perhaps we all feel this way. I'm not sure. I also don't believe that my otherness makes me unique or special or anything like that.
In reality, I think its just easier to find community inside our imaginations.
When I decided to build a world around my imagination, around my creativity, I began to connect with people who value things that I value. Things like:
- living each moment fully
- supporting one another without competition
- being kind
- going with the flow
- books, words, creativity, and writing
And yet, even as those people appear, I find it challenging to build community. Why? Because there always seems to be something that prevents us from truly connecting. Perhaps it is time, the need to make a living, money, competition, or something else.
I honestly don't know. What I do know, though, is that unless we can find a way to truly connect with other people we are never going fix what's broken in our society.
How do we do this? By allowing for spaces and places to open our hearts and our voices honestly. By truly listening without an agenda. By playing with another, rather than competing.
That's why I lead workshops in creativity and writing using a Gateless method. I build spaces where its safe to try, to fail, to laugh, to cry, to make mistakes, and to truly listen. I would love to meet you there.
Let's build a community together.
To join one of my Gateless writing or creativity workshops, become a member of Spark Collaborative, a free online community that we are building together.