We create in community.  This reality, which we have written about before, came home again to David a couple weeks ago when he attended a weekend conference on “Thriving Communities” at the Whidbey Institute.

As a Creator, you are a member of a whole host of communities, towns, neighborhoods, organizations, work teams, professional associations, and families.  These are all examples of communities that hold something in common.

Sometimes we believe our unique creation is ours alone but the fact is, we cannot not create in community.  The illustration that David often uses is the craftsperson working alone in their garage making something–let’s say a table–and appears to be creating alone. However, the craftsperson draws upon the community of other carpenters who taught them the skills, or work from a previous drawing from another carpenter.  Someone created the tools they use and even others harvested and milled the wood they use as materials for the table.  All creating is co-creating and takes place in community!

We also turn to communities when we experience the Challengers of life.

During the weekend David heard a presentation from a group of psychologists who are working on identifying the qualities and characteristics that make for healthy and thriving communities.  Participants were asked to take 10 minutes and write of a time in which they had an experience of resilience (the ability to recover from adversity).  Each person shared their stories with 2-3 other people before the whole group came together to talk about common themes.

One common theme that virtually everyone reported was that they turned to some form of community for support – be it family, colleagues, friends, etc. – during their time of challenge. (Ironically, the disastrous Oso, WA mudslide that we wrote about last week occurred that last day of the conference.)

Creators resist going it alone when life’s Challengers show up.  They ask for assistance from their communities even though there is a strong human desire to hide or resist asking for support.

Take a few minutes to think about all the communities of which you are a part – personally, professionally, locally, regionally, even nationally.  How do you co-create with others in your communities?  Do you ask for help when challenged?  How can you support others as Co-Creators as they work to accomplish their envisioned outcome or face a challenging situation?

The more we make this a conscious practice and process, the more we will thrive in community.