Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Community? Just Community!

As may be abundantly clear, community matters to me. I have blogged about it several times, from the professional conference of an organization in which I feel like I grew up, to a brand-new professional organization’s conference to yoga classes and my own workshops. I think community is what drives us.

Today’s Reverb10 prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Can you think of anything more perfect?

While I have focused on so many communities before, I want to focus on a new one with this post. I joined an executive coaching class this year, actually the last 100 days, and today was the last day, so what better time than now to discuss the community it helped me create? The class focused on many different business-related themes, both internal and external (from determining your reason for doing the work you do to learning concise, time-management techniques). The hardest/scariest one for me was the focus on networking.

Seeing as I have been un-self-employed since August 21, I have had sufficient time to take advantage of the networking opportunities offered through the class and with the class teacher. Never have I felt more out of my element, but never have I gained so much about myself. Sure, I went to networking events and met some really wonderful people. I loved that aspect, and I enjoyed many of the conversations I shared. I heard about people doing fascinating work here in Phoenix, and hopefully when I return those connections will be incredibly beneficial to me. So, there was that community - professionals.

But I gained something more, something deeper, and it explains why I have yearned so much for community and written about it more frequently than any other topic on this blog - I created a new community of friends. In the past, I have been very much a home-body. When in public, I connect with people, and then I go to yoga classes, go home, and stay at home, often alone. Getting me out of the house outside of my routine is nearly impossible. But the combination of being jobless and learning to branch out, I have found myself reaching out to more and more friends. Perhaps the fear (is that the right word) that I am leaving the country for a year was a motivating factor as well.

What I learned is that I enjoy it. I still enjoy my nights home alone, seeing as I am having one right now, but only after a full day, during which I made time to meet with a friend I had not seen in months. In the last few months, I have reconnected with old friends, made plans to go to CA over Christmas to make sure to see people, made jam-packed plans every time I go to Tucson, and made new friends and colleagues along the way. In short, I have entered community, in all its meanings. There was not one particular community, just community. Instead of only being part of it when it found me, I decided to find it.

What a blessing.

In addition to the more personal community of daily interactions, I have found community through this blog, through reading other blogs, and through facebook. The digital community has helped spark a real-life community for me, and for the first time in my life, I am enjoying it. Thank you all for being part of it, whether we have met in person, chatted online, or never communicated in any way except through your reading of this blog. I hope that is not the case, but if it is, know that your presence is felt.

So, for next year, what do I want? In some ways, I fear that I will be losing this community I have just begun to create, but then I realize that community is larger than that, never to be lost. Creating community is a skill, and over the next year I want to keep this openness to building community. I want to not fear living among people with a different culture and different time schedule. New Zealand is on the other side of the world, and my life has already literally been turned upside down. Thank you, universe, for preparing me, yet again, for what lies ahead.

To community!

Namaste and Blessings!

© 2010 Rebecca Stahl, all rights reserved


  1. Beautifully wise. One community. Two communities. 4 communities. One community. Namaste.

  2. Thank you, Stan. Namaste to you as well!