“Community is where differences go to die.”

(That is not exactly what he said, but as we get to know each other better, you’ll come to start chuckling at my fact recollection.)

Gary Zucav’s different approach on the idea of community, helped me to feel okay about choosing separateness this last year. The piece below, inspired by his book, The Seat of the Soul and Super Soul Sessions (watch here), with Oprah Winfrey, who introduced me to this powerful thought leader. I mean not personally, we didn’t all meet for coffee or a bagel, but I’m not discounting the future possibility.

Imagine a community that includes everyone. This is impossible from the perspective that is limited to what we can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. From this perspective power is the ability to manipulate and control, and everyone seeks it. Survival requires it, and human evolution requires survival.
From this perspective, communities are good things. Individuals who dress, behave, think, and believe alike are safe in them. Communities are shelters of sameness, and they are effective. As we become multisensory and begin to experience ourselves and our world beyond the limitations of the five senses, we recognize something so evident that we are shocked not to have seen it before. Communities do NOT bring individuals together. They keep them apart! They separate differences forever because frightened parts of our personalities forever fear differences.
Now we are leaving the domain of the five senses behind. Survival is no longer sufficient. Our evolution now demands spiritual development, and spiritual development opens the waterways of love. Soul-to-soul connections sweep away all distinctions between personalities — color, size, appearance, and belief. They become inconsequential to personalities as consciousness of their souls emerge within them.
We want to include, not exclude. We strive for love, not fear. Our emotions inform us, nonphysical Teachers assist us, and we ourselves choose the roads we will travel. All lead to home, and we are all travelers — now waking, now welcoming others along the way, now emerging with astonished eyes into a community without boundaries that includes everyone — the Biggest Community — and recognizing it for the first time as the home that has always been ours.
-Gary Zucav

A few years ago I was all about community. I found my feet in one of the best. It nourished me and I grew legs. I created a different kind of family and a new life.

I was part of facilitating a community for an up and coming thought leader (he actually just made the New York Times bestseller list!) This world was beautiful; I felt accepted, encouraged, loved. It was a dream being a part of and I’m proud of the work they continue to do on massive levels.

I was living a life that I wanted for everyone and being a support system for evolving and changing perspectives of the self. I was a small piece of the lives of millions and actually, crossing the paths of 1000’s as I supported huge theater events, private coaching clients and an online community. I felt like I was a part of something world changing.

Today I’m sitting at home in silence on the opposite coast. I meditated under the trees in the humid, southern, summer air and I just saw two foxes pass through the yard. Earlier, my boyfriend’s mother anxiously called me out to scoop up a dead Vole not a Mole, they are clearly VERY different rodents that make holes. (And that is where I inserted death!)

I will be headed out to my new art studio soon to continue remodeling. As a painter, this is a huge dream come true, to have my own space dedicated to art. Then at 8 pm tonight I’ll be working at a wine bar, hosting and serving alcohol to people, even though I myself don’t drink, so that I can pay the bills.

I’ve had to take myself away from distractions of what everyone else was doing and be a support system for myself this year. I dropped a lot, including my amazing, once in a lifetime career, community, friends and apartment by the beach in San Diego to get back to what makes me, me, or at least find it.

The connections and friendships that I’ve made within the consciousness community in the past 5 years have dwindled. People that I had daily contact with have been in the background but quiet. I’m not receiving emails or phone calls that last hours to talk about how consciousness and self-love is the only way the world will be at peace. I didn’t bring my weekly possibility group with me to NC. I’m not coaching or selling anything to anyone. Even my Yoga practice has been better served at home these days. I’m not feeling much a part of something outside of myself and family, let alone a “community”.

Maybe it’s because it’s new here, or I need a reason.

“Outside of the walls of society, who are you, really? Strip down your belief systems, religions, cultural heritage and even as you’re sitting, wherever you are reading this, ask yourself, what is it that brings all of yourself together to do so?”

These are the questions that I had dared to ask others but I was not voluntarily taking part in the experiment. When lack of support, self-worth and the inability to receive my own knowledge and trust collided with moving forward, my boat caught a different current.

My destination: inwards.

Stripping myself, as much as I can here in modern America, while my brain is also calling me names like “hermit” and “loner,” is hard. I like feeling a part of something. It feels amazing to be inside of a room where 1400 people get you. It’s beautiful to have an outside support system for those times we can’t seem to find the strength from ourselves. It’s a start when we don’t know what to do, so we use the lives of others to follow along. It’s what we do as humans, model ourselves by watching mom and dad and being in the family and community we were born into. Life is doable when there’s somebody telling you everything’s going to be okay.

We don’t all think the same because we don’t need to. We don’t have to agree on anything. The only truth you as an individual can know, is your own.

The wine bar is a very different type of community. It has been a profoundly awakening experience. When I was in my “dream job” of being a part of something that I thought was bigger than myself, I said I’d never go back to restaurant work. But, man, you do what you gotta do with what you know at the fluctuating moment and go with the river. Or wine. Or the flow. Or beer, we serve beer too.

I’m interacting with an entirely different demographic of people. I gave myself the goal to have one amazing conversation per shift, a perk of being a bartender. And the conversations are with very different-minded people. (For example, in California, you can NOT legally carry a concealed weapon in your bra.)

Yes, I attract the light seekers and flexible feelers and those days are fun. It feels good, being validated and recognized in similar lifestyles. But the conversations that really stand out, that actually shift me, are the ones with the people I appear to have nothing in common with. We don’t come from the same family or think the same way. It’s humbling, expansive and sometimes really uncomfortable. It’s the furthest from nostalgic. Sometimes people piss me off and I go home all out of sorts.

But, if one of my bar patrons is living a life I don’t agree with, I get to consider them and practice what I preach; we are all connected through love. These are the true tests of my heart. This is where I learn and practice patience, empathy and compassion.

Mutuality doesn’t always mean the same content.

When I’m a space of love and I’m learning something about myself through others, perhaps they’re learning something in return. Exclusivity doesn’t mean special, unconditional love.

Finding yourself in the world is fair game and if you expect the rest of it to shift and mold for you, you’d better be willing to do the same. This is true acceptance. This is where what we think and feel has an individual personality and what we know is true, becomes a community.

Belonging isn’t something to keep or achieve, it just is.

A community is a safe space. It is a haven of comfort and interdependence, it is acceptance and validation. But just like fledglings leave the nest and you eventually move out of your mom’s house (maybe next year?) I have to learn to fly in the big, big sky.

Are you willing to throw yourselves out there, to jump in and out? How else do we get to use and spread ourselves in benefit of humanity?

This is a part of something, a part of what’s true. It’s not exclusive. I don’t get to pick who I walk pass on the street, but I can surely choose to slow down and walk beside them before the swift current takes me away.

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