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Monday, May 17, 2010

Community week kick off!

COMMUNITY - Sharing, participation, and fellowship.

Penguin Community Image from Red Deer Public Library website

When I begin each week, I take a few minutes and review what I have done in previous weeks. I have to say that I am rather disappointed in my previous outings on this topic. Of all my virtues, Community has been with me the longest. Long before I ever considered this project, community has been my lynch pin.  More then 20 years ago, I attended Tony Robbins'Date with Destiny seminar and was guided through an exercise that brought us to an aha moment about our core values and what it was that was most important to us. The thing I came up with in that moment was "Fostering Community." I really felt in the very core of my being that I wanted to do something with my life that helped to bring people together.

I had distinguished community as my highest priority.  Ever since that moment I have been really certain that 
somehow my very presence could be a catalyst for people belonging.. Frankly, I really can't help myself. Whenever I show up some where I end up running things or otherwise putting my spin on things.. Just this past week, as I was choosing which committees to join at the parent participation pre-school little J will be attending, I had to laugh at the question  "Would you be willing to chair any of these committees?" Yes damn it. I would. I will be chairing committees and devoting way more personal time then any parent that school has ever known. When I am in. I'm ALL in. I don't really know how to stop myself. 

I wrote last time out that my fear of my all consuming participation has been keeping me from participating but I believe it is time for me to grow up. The trick for me will be about balance. I already know I am good at bringing people together. Can I do it without it being at the expense of other things in my life I also deem important? I have been shying away from community for fear of letting it overtake my life. This week I'm going to find a middle ground.

To recap for my newest readers, my Everyday Bliss game is based loosely on Ben Franklin's weekly focus on each of his 13 virtues. Instead of using Ben's virtues, I have chosen virtues that I believe will encourage Everyday Bliss. In addition to focusing on my virtues, each week I come up with "Bliss Initiatives" (color coded in purple for quick identification!) which are concrete things that you too can try, if you want to play along with me. However, because as Earl Nightingale says, "you become what you think about," even if you only follow along, and never take on any of the bliss initiatives, I expect some increase in your experience of bliss too!

  • Get off the Couch -  Turn off  electronics and get out of the house. Find a local activity that sounds fun and attend. 
  • Sit on your front porch - In the world of backyard decks people have stopped hanging out in front of their houses. Try sitting on your front stoop and saying hello to those who pass by. I've started a Monday ritual to clean out my car right out in front of my house. I'm busy doing something that needs to happen, anyone who has a pre-schooler who shares a car with them will concur on this fact, and I have the added bonus of seeing and talking to my neighbors who I otherwise wouldn't see. 
  • Find a group that shares your passion - What ever your passion, gardening, scrapbooking, skydiving or anything else and there are likely groups who gather to do these very things. Seek them out and join one. Doing something you love in the company of others can be exhilarating!
  • Buy local - One of the quickest way to really feel like you are part of a community is to get to know your local merchants. Get to know the folks at your local hardware store, farmers market, small gift shops and diners. When you know these people by name even mundane purchases become excercises in community building.

How will you foster community this week?

Next Post - A terrific guest post by Pam of Pam's Perspectives, one of the founders of the new on-line community Words of Wisdom 

My 13 bliss virtues are joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.

This week we are studying Community. Next up is Romance Week.


  1. First of all, thank you for visiting me today. I love this post. I can say that I will try and play along...and yes I can relate to the car thing. Funny, just yesterday we were talking about electronics and their impact on our kids get used to texting, etc. I am taking a pledge to put down my phone and spend more time doing the things I enjoy most and doing them with my family more often. Thank you for this post and I'll be checking out your others.

  2. Myda Thank you so much for your comment. I'm so happy to have you playing along. I hope doing so adds some bliss and fun in your life!

  3. Hurray for Community Week!!! Would it be wrong for me to say that I actually do prefer the online community? LOL I feel much more at ease here. :) Theresa

  4. This is a test... I'm testing out the new commenting system...


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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