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The Community of 
Me, Myself and I 

By Nicole Schreuder

      For years when I would experience community, I simply believed it was when I was in a collection of people in the same place and time, and we had a shared purpose.  My thinking was very simple, if I surround myself with people and we are headed in the same direction I was in community, right?  In my own personal discovery and journey what I learned was not as simple as what I had initially thought.  Community was not just about being a part of a group experience it really began as a personal experience.  If you want to experience true community, you first need to understand the community of yourself.  I hope you have a yearning like I did, wanting more from a community than just the presence of people, I sought for a deeper connection, a purpose to it, I wanted to contribute in a more meaningful way.  I wanted to change my world and community was the experience and catalyst for me to do more and be more.  First I had to re-evaluate my why and so I simply started with “I”. It became a critical step in my journey, and it should also be one for you.  Understanding who you are brining to the community is important, so ask…. 
                                                 Why do I want to be in community?
                                                 What kind of experience/vibration/energy will I be bringing?
                                                 What innate gifts do I have to contribute to others?
                                                  In what areas do I want to grow or enhance my own life?
     Most of the time we don’t spend any effort understanding ourselves, we bury ourselves in the crowd and loose ourselves in a community narrative written by someone else, but your words, your purpose and goals need to be part of the story.  Community is not just about the presence of people in the same place and time, it is about each person being present and bringing their best selves, gifts, and energy of who they are.  Know that community is not about having yourself all together or playing a role you are not meant to fill, it is about bringing your authenticity to the table for each person to grow and learn from.  It was only when I started first with the community of “I” was I able to understand how valuable a community of “We” could grow and develop me.  Finding and connecting in community helped me to understand I had great value to add to the world, and those who understood there “I” contributed to my growth.
     I can tell you today that I am different, I am different because I am present in community contributing my authenticity rather than simply being in the presence of community.  

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