Creating Community

Recently I attended a wonderful workshop in Portland, Oregon based on a great book called Falling Awake–Creating the Life of Your Dreams by Dave Ellis. Dave is the masterful coach with whom I did my life coaching training program. Out of doing many exercises from the book in preparation for the workshop and clarifying my goals for the workshop, I realized it was time for ME to hire a life coach again to support me in reaching my goals!

One of the goals I have is to create a greater sense of community for myself. My coach challenged me to look at who I consider to be in my community: friends, family and groups. So I asked myself, “How much time do I spend with them? How much do I enjoy being with them? Do I want more people in my life and who would they be? Do I want to share more time with friends who are already in my life?” Consciously reviewing the people and groups in my life is quite daunting!

I also saw that it would be helpful to create an image of concentric circles (with me in the middle) to determine how close I want to be with various people. It’s possible that I may not fully appreciate the community that I already have. I’m in the process of exploring what I mean when I say “community.”. Each person’s definition can be very different. Realizing that meeting like-minded people through activities can also help create community, I’m thinking about what I typically do. Am I still interested in the activities or have they become stale? Are they things that I do alone or with others? Is it time to explore new activities? I’ve also decided to ask a few people about the activities they’re involved with and how they have fun. By learning how other people approach these matters differently than I do, I may get some fresh ideas.

If you apply my “community” exploration to your life, what do you find? Do you have a sense of community? Is it important to you? In the book Wellbeing by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, they list community as one of the five critical areas of wellbeing. People who have a strong sense of ‘community wellbeing’ tend to be healthier, happier and live longer. I encourage you to take a look at community in your life and see what you find. You may be very happy with your community as it is. Or it may be time to consciously decide to make some changes. Only you can say!


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