Connections- Why it’s important to have a Community

You are the Average of the Five People you Surround Yourself With - Jim Rohn

Most of us desire a connection to other individuals, in-order to find fulfillment in life, and this is wonderful to acknowledge. As a person, on the path to enlightenment, we have the tendency to idealize the aesthetic sitting on a rock or in a cave, looking peaceful and we believe that this is the only path towards enlightenment; to sit quietly in solitude for a long period of time content with our thoughts.  However, I believe another path to wisdom, starts when a person begins to seek a deeper connection with like minded individual who share an intense interest in the pursuit of personal and spiritual growth, developing healthy mindful lifestyle habits, serving the community and ultimately connecting to each individuals own personal divinity.

Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don't need a lot of money to be happy--in fact, the opposite. ― Jean Vanier

On a superficial level we search for human connections because they increase our assurance and self esteem.  Relationships cause us to feel important, worthy, and valued.   We have all craved connection so strongly because we are afraid to be alone that we occasionally ignore "red flags" and make bad choices.  Thus, without being aware, we allow people to emotionally take from us.  A better path and a deeper longer lasting connection to people is to choose to overcome our fear of being along, and thus allowing ourselves to find the space to discover connections with people that enhance our lives.  Simply put we have different types of friends and being aware of these dynamic relationship helps us foster positive relationships

1) Temporary Friendships: exist between you and someone who is appreciated for a set period of time.  These individuals provided you with a connection once, but no longer.  You do not need to feel guilty about not hanging out with temporary friends. You had your time together in a specific part of your life - honor it but let it go.

2) Maintenance Friends, who you keep in touch with once or a few times per year just to “maintain” the connection. Set these folks up on reminders in your calendar but don’t feel so bad you don’t connect more.

3) Growth Friendships: are based on mutual respect and admiration. These friendships take longer to build than the other two kinds--but they're also more powerful and enduring. They often arise when two people recognize that they have similar values and goals; that they have a similar visions for how the world (or at least their lives) should be.  Growth Friends, will continually strive to better the relationship, themselves and support you in your emotional, spiritual, mental and physical growth - these are great friends you want more time and adventure with.

Having growth friendship or even being an authentic friend is not easy. It requires a lot of courage to make a deep connection with someone else. It also takes time and dedication in order for them to grow. Examine the people in your life and be truthful with yourself: let go of the toxic relationships and devote your energy toward the genuine ones instead. We all go through friendship losses, but I truly believe that taking a conscious mental audit of your friendships from time to time allows you to better value those who are positively impacting your life and making it worthwhile. Life’s too wonderful to waste time on unhealthy friendships