It is easy to let someone else tell us what to do. To follow the herd. From the barn to the pasture, and back to the barn. Day after day. The work of being human is The Hero's Journey-- finding what is meaningful, not because it is supposed to be, but because it is! Not because someone else says so, but because we say so! Because we know so! The right kind of community is a community of innocence-- innocent in the sense of having nothing to get, nothing to gain, from the individuals making up the community, but existing solely to assist each individual in the work of finding what is meaningful and letting their life fall into place around that. Once meaningful is at the center, we only need enough money to allow us to pay the bills required to do what is meaningful, and everything takes shape around the center. The Hero's Journey is finding and serving what is meaningful with our life. The right kind of community helps us with that, and is composed of individuals supporting each other in the work of finding and doing what is meaningful to them individually. It does that primarily by listening one another to the truth of what they are saying, listening in a way that allows the speaker to hear what they are saying, and realize the truth of what they are about. The right kind of community serves as a sounding board, as a mirror, to everyone in the community, so that in looking, we see ourselves, in speaking, we hear ourselves, and know who we are and what is meaningful to us-- not because someone else tells us so, but because we know so! Because we experience it to be so, and no one can knock us off of it. As you step onto the path of seeking and serving what is meaningful to you, be aware of the people who resonate with you, who understand the importance of the search for what is important, and can share things they have learned in their own search for what is important, and let the right kind of community coalesce around the quest to find and to know what is meaningful individually for each person in the community, and to make that the center and begin to live in ways that flow from the center, and serve the center, throughout what remains of the time left for living.
It is the experience of life, of being alive, that is at the heart of existence, not what we have, or attain, or acquire, or achieve/accomplish... Being present with what is present with us, without trying to escape the moment by dismissing, disregarding, discounting, denying it, but receiving the moment just as it it, "thus come," and doing what is called for in response to it, moment-by-moment is the hallmark of the grace and acceptance, of the wonder of being alive.
There is our life to live-- the life that is ours to live-- the life that no one but us can live. And there is our idea of a substitute for that life-- an acceptable (to us) facsimile of that life, which we generally prefer because it is apparently softer, smoother and easier than our Real Life, and requires (at least at the outset), less anxiety, and, hence, less courage than our Real Life. What we need in order to live our Real Life from the start is more awareness of what the deal is, and more encouragement and preparation for the task, from birth on. All of which is tragically lacking, and we are thrown into life, like all of our ancestors before us, with no guidance whatsoever, and only what comes with us from the womb to stabilize, balance and direct us through the maze of options, choices and pitfalls that await all along the way from birth to death. We need better odds-- which is where I, and those like me, come into your life. We are here to compensate for all the miss-direction and bad advice that litter your life from the beginning until now. Diane Osbon, who was wise beyond her years, and very much on our side, had this to say about that: "An old Apache storyteller said, 'The plants, rocks, fire, water are all alive. They watch us and see our needs. They see when we have nothing to protect us, and it is then that they reveal themselves, and speak to us.'" This is the Apache way of saying that we are surrounded by "the hills from which our help comes" (Psalm 121). Help is everywhere for those with eyes to see (Which come with us from the womb). We only have to wake up and start looking to know that it is so (Which come from having the right people in our life to tell us what to do). We are at once on our own, and we have everything we need to find what we need to do what needs us to do it, if only we will wake up and start looking-- and trust ourselves to the process that is waiting to assist us all along the way. If you are going to take anything "on faith," if you are going to believe in anything, believe this, and start walking-- with your eyes open!