The Second Pillar: Serving With Joy (Part 1- Connecting In Community)

The 2nd Pillar of Transformational Positivity is Serving With Joy, which is about how we find connection within community. Let’s start by taking a quick look at what “community” actually means beyond simply being a group of people. There are 4 basic types to consider:

  • Common Interest: Communities of people who share the same recreational interest or passion.
  • Action Based: Communities of people trying to bring about change.
  • Place/Circumstance: Communities of people brought together by geographic boundaries.
  • Professional/Practicing: Communities of people in the same profession.

These 4 basic categories are not mutually exclusive, and there can be overlap (Common Interest + Place/Circumstance, or Practicing + Action Based + Place/Circumstance, for example). You might find yourself in one or more of these communities at the same time, and it’s entirely possible that you’ll run into a few of the same people in some of the other circles that you frequent.

A Closer Look at Your Connections

The Second Pillar: SERVING WITH JOY [Key Area = Connection to Community] Which communities do you most identify with? What are some of the various roles you have played or are currently playing in your different communities? What do you need in order to feel like you are seen, heard, and a valued part of your community? How are you contributing? How are you receiving? Where are you serving with the most Joy?

“Community” includes all of the other humans we interact with outside of ourselves. Some of these relationships are knit closer to us than others- family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, colleagues. While other relationship threads are going to be much thinner and stretched over a greater distance, it is important to recognize that in the most basic sense we are all connected in some way. If we can understand that the First Pillar is about Who We Are, then we can recognize that the Second Pillar is about Why We Are Here.

  • Whenever clients come to me looking for guidance in this area, it’s typically because they are struggling to find meaningful ways to connect their “Why” in ways that feel in alignment with Who they are and the people in their communities. They feel unfulfilled because their is no reciprocal Joy that they are experiencing. I help them to look for opportunities that they may be missing, shifts in mindset, perspective, and/or actions that they can take to create more positive connections in their various communities.

Desire to belong to a community of our choosing is a natural part of our identity. As people, we are inherently social beings and are hard-wired for human connection, a part of our development as a species that dates back to prehistoric times and served as a marker for safety and survival. In modern times, even the most introverted people and rugged individuals still need some form of healthy human interaction, even if their community is just 1 other person.

The communities we belong to can serve to provide a sense of belonging, safety, normalcy, education, support, inspiration, camaraderie, entertainment, joy, healing, purpose, personal growth & positive transformation. These are all important aspects of our human experience that we actively seek out, share, and receive through participating in community.

Think about and make a list of the different communities you currently belong to (include in person and online groups, common interest groups, action based groups, geographic groups, professional groups, etc.). Ask Yourself:

  • How do I fit in to each space?
  • What are my roles in each space?
  • What are some of the ways that I contribute and serve in each space?
  • Are there any gifts, talents, ideas, strengths, or other resources that I can offer to better serve my community/ies?
  • Is there anything that I need that I am NOT getting from my community/ies?

Now, take a closer look at your answers to the above questions. Do you notice any gaps? Do any of your answers elicit an emotional or physical response in your body? Write them down, this is valuable information for you moving forward.

To discuss your answers with me privately and work on solutions, reach out to schedule a 1:1 coaching session.

Next Week: Tips for Bridging the Gaps in Your Community