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Creating Community: Six Easy Steps to Get You There

Dont get stuck in your imagination or the future. Read these steps to create and identify the processes you need to start today !!!

1: Taking Stock - Yor Personal Resources

Take an inventory of the resources you already have, your experience and connections including personal support networks. As you do this you will begin to view community as a reality, something to build on rather than an impossible dream.

2: What type of community to you Want ?

Community can take many shapes and sizes and levels of commitment. To avoid false starts and disappointments it is important to define what you want to get out of it and what you want to put in, especialy in time and financial resources. Define your primary goals - emotional support or activism, group living or further friendships. These are not mutually exclusive but it is important to have a vision to share.

3: Personal Requirements for Successful Community

You may find that before a successful community can develop certain personal skills are needed for everyday functioning. These may include a healthy sense of self, openness, listening skills, interest in others, a willingness to abide by community decisions, conflict resolution, decision making skills, and a willingness to take care of others and have them take care of you.

4: Overcoming Resistance

Many fears can arise including the fear of giving up too much time, independance, money, or fear of rejection and failure. Fear can debilitate the process both consciously and not so consciously.

You simply need to be aware of your resistance and be willing to release them. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

5: Reaching Out

Start with people you know then work from there. Make a list of your social network and identify the ones you would like to expand. Arrange informal or formal gatherings to let people get to know each other.

You can begin with a small commitment to call or have lunch with someone just once a week. Talk about the type of cummunity you want and watch the ideas evolve.

6: If at First you Dont Suceed Try Again

It is easy to get discouraged. Sometimes you can find yourself holding the ball alone. Remember that you are blazing new cultural trails. Also remember that community is organic and changes forms as it evolves.

Community is where you find it, it is give and take. It provides support and empowerment, as well as being demanding. It only takes a few minutes to take the first steps.

Source: Yoga Journal 1993

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