When I lived in Findhorn, a spiritual community and education centre in Scotland, http://www.findhorn.org I discovered the true power and benefits of community – it feeds the Soul! Engaging each person in a journey of personal growth, it asks you to go to new places in yourself in order to get on with everyone (challenging), discover how to be authentic when you don’t like certain people (eeek), decide whether to talk through conflicts (which are many, spiritual community or not) or ignore them – and more!
Western living is increasingly isolated. Economic empowerment creates self sufficiency which is wonderful, but it also enables the family unit to operate independent of the extended family and deep social contact. Many people are so self contained and busy they don’t even say hello to their neighbours let alone know their names or what goes on behind their doors.
Before I lived in community (and yes for a good while during my stay) I avoided conflict and tricky encounters with all my being. If I couldn’t contain myself and had a tiff or run in I would shrink into my inner shell and hide emotionally. But by the end of my 3 years at Findhorn I had learned to manage myself into doing the opposite, and boy was it healing! Learning to talk through conflict and unhappiness with community members invited me to meet more parts of myself. But I was only able to do this because of the love and support of the community who offered me tools and encourage me as I took each tentative step. That’s the beauty of having deep community relationships.
If you wish to create a robust aligned connection with your Soul it’s essential that you engage meaningfully in community ie. get involved! The rich landscape of feelings that other people bring up are wonderful mirrors that when looked into offer you much more than company. Deep dialogues and sharing create a sense of togetherness that speaks of the true oneness of all life. Conflicts and troubles are in essence a call to greater intimacy -when embraced they bring intimacy with yourself. So look at your life today and make the steps to strip away isolating barriers. Step forward to meet more of yourself, stand in your centre and live aligned to Soul – in community!