Why Community Life?

As I have mentioned before, what I think is needed to build towards a more sustainable and harmonious future, is a shift of consciousness and a paradigm shift. The current crises are pushing us to reframe our worldview. A crisis is a situation where the old patterns/approaches of dealing with that situation suddenly are not sufficient/adequate anymore. In our rapidly changing society, with more and more people competing for limited resources and with a climate that is changing, it is clear to me that our current mainstream worldview and the politics it holds is not providing a holistic approach to these challenges.

I don’t believe anymore that for a long term sustainable peaceful future building walls to keep refugees out, separation, abusing power and Rank to safeguard privileges, etc. are a solution. And on the other hand I am also asking myself how these things could ever work differently on a bigger scale if we don’t first start by bringing down the walls between each other in our daily lives, transcendent our small sense of ‘self’, and start to feel connected and compassionate with what is beyond ‘the edge our skin’. We are often so disconnected with our own inner world, our emotions and feelings that it becomes more difficult to genuinely connect with others. I hope we can learn to feel safe with each other so we can be authentic and that there are more options than to wear a mask or to hide away to protect ourselves from judging and hostile actions or looks .

I see the crises we face as an invitation to shift our consciousness, and to find new way of relating and living with one another. We have the choice to gracefully accept it and proactively change our ways, or continue the old ways until there is so much pressure on the system that it all collapses.  

One way of proactively taking steps is through communities. I see community as a beautiful playground where people can experiment, be exposed to- and be challenged to explore new ways of perceiving “reality”. When people get together who see clearly that the current set of beliefs and worldview is not serving us anymore, we can create an environment which fosters a new way of looking at the world and start creating a new reality. Community life in itself is not a panacea for all the challenges and it is not a guarantee for making this inner journey or live more connected and harmonious. By living closely together the processes we go through are intensified and it becomes a lot more difficult to hide or to run away from our blind spots. Depending on our attitude this can become an opportunity of growth and transformation, or another thing that needs to be resisted or to run away from.

The time I was in the Findhorn community was truly a wonderful transformative experience. I was lucky to be part of the “Yes to Sustainability youth exchange” program that provided a 2 week course in Findhorn. The daily interactions with the people there were deep and eye opening. The community (not just the people but the whole setting) was able to create a safe space where deep conversations and authenticity were fostered. The magic of the place made me take on a different attitude towards my interaction with people and events around me. Where before I used to think “I don’t like this person” of “Why did this have to happen”, the conscious support of the environment made me more aware of myself and my dislikes as a part of my own shadow side that has been mirrored by the other person. The problem suddenly was not anymore in the other person or the event, but became an invitation to get to know myself better. Another example was that when I was sharing  some experience or thought, I would come to a point where I found it more difficult to find words and where I was avoiding eye contact. Normally I would have tried to change the subject, but now I was curious which hidden belief of judgement I was having about myself that that made me shy. This reflection was possible because I felt that the other people were open, kind and nonjudgmental, but also because the whole atmosphere was inviting me to take on an attitude of trying to consciously relate with whatever crosses my path, as if this way of looking at life is the norm. It felt like living life in a different gear, looking at it with a new pair of glasses. Everything that happened was not merely coincidence, but a reflection of my own mindset and patterns and therefore a very interesting object of observation. Not that suddenly everything was easy or perfect, but I felt that whatever was there, joy and pain, was welcome and was teaching me something about myself, my shadow side and where I was invited to grow to be more free.

Not all communities I visited were like that. But there is a big potential when conscious people come together with the intention to challenge one’s own belief system and to discover new ways of looking. These communities can become a “transformation hub” and creative center where more harmonious and holistic ways of thinking and living emerge. They are in their own way an important piece of the puzzle of sustainability. When you bring people together who are hungry for going to the edge of their comfort zone and go beyond it, people who want to live life fully and squeeze all the juice out of it, people who want to be challenged, go deeper within and are tired of repeating the same old patterns over again, people who aren’t bothered by the obstacles but welcome them as part of their search in living life more intensely, their synergy can create a powerful space of transformation.

I hope to find a few more people who want to live this intensely, live in community, hold the space to catalyze the transformation of others and who want to take baby steps towards an harmonious future.

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