There is great power in community.  I’ve been honored lately to see the efforts of community force in action; where individuals give of their time and talents to uplift one another and serve a greater purpose.  It’s amazing to me what is possible when we consciously choose a life of giving and service.

One of my dearest girlfriend’s is moving to Germany in just a month and a half.  I’m so incredibly proud of her vulnerability and openness, to life, to take on this incredible adventure.  Several mornings a week, she and I do a two mile walk to Lake Michigan and back to witness the sunrise.  And, while I know I can continue to take this walk, even after she moves, what I truly cherish, beyond the exercise and the natural beauty, is the connection with my dear friend.  This connection fosters in my life that sense of community; of how coming together with another or others, adds a level of greatness to our lives that is irreplaceable.  Ultimately, I believe it’s what we are all here for – to spread the love.  Hopefully, I will be able to recruit another beautiful spirit, in need of connection time, to join me on these morning adventures, so that what my friend and I have begun can continue to nourish those around us.

You see, when you connect, and invest in something beyond yourself, that is the energy you are carrying into the rest of your day.  It is what you are proposing to others through conversation, and thus inspiration.  It is growing love beyond yourself, as we all are drawn to a life of connection.  It’s this very connection that creates our joy.  Consider this:  Joy floods our spirit each and every time we give of ourselves.  We feel a sense of self-pride, of purpose, and of a connection to something greater than ourselves.

I recently began attending a nearby church that does a significant amount of community outreach.  Their congregation participates with other local faith institutions to pool their resources and promote social justice, to free yoga classes, to community pie day; they have a cancer support group, soup kitchen for the homeless, hospitality groups, convalescence outreach groups, a choir, children’s education, beautiful art hangings in the sanctuary made by a member, and they also merge their financial collections with local outreach organizations in need of assistance.  It is, to me, what a church is intended to be!  They are for the people, all people, and they put their time, energy, and resources into reflecting that.  Since I’ve been attending, I’ve found myself adding activities into the calendar because I want to celebrate life this way.  I want to share in the giving, the power of community, and thus the joy.

How much time do you spend each day on social media?  Or watching television?  What does that add up to each week?  And how do you feel after investing your time that way?  Are you more happy?  I’m going to go out on a limb here, as someone who used to know the Netflix series intimately, after the last episode has run, it’s likely you still felt alone.  While you might have been entertained for a few days, I’m guessing it was more about passing the time than genuine interest.  If you honestly never saw the next episode of the series you’re currently watching, would you really care?  There is no connection through the blue light of a screen.  Nothing is happening.  None of the ills of society are being fought against, none of the loneliness we all feel at times is being healed, and likely you’ve not moved even an inch more towards your overall life goals.  I’m not boo-hooing entertainment, but ask yourself:  Are you really using it as entertainment or as filler?

So, what might hold you back from joining in community activities?  Or fostering more relationships that feed your spirit?  I assure you, that tiredness might just simply be lack of emotional stimuli inspiring your life.

We all need quiet time, and it is nice to veg-out sometimes, but I encourage you to reach beyond this comfort zone into the whizzing energy of life, where your uniqueness is truly valuable and desired.  Where who you are, and the story of your life could serve another’s.

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