create in community
together we rise
A year ago, I joined a collective called Creative Community, a private online community that runs on a Discourse platform, away from the world of traditional social media.
To be fair, I had technically joined in the fall of 2020, when it began. But it wasn’t until last January that I started to actively participate in this cohort.
Over the years, I have participated in many online collectives and communities created by specific mentors or teachers. Many of these “communities” are really membership programs or subscription models centered around the work of the founder.
Even the free Facebook groups I’ve joined are often a vehicle for the founder to gather an audience to which they can promote their work and launch their offerings.
There’s nothing wrong with that model. There can be a lot of value there and I’ve met many friends over the years through my participation in those communities. But we often refer to those communities as belonging to the person who started them, as in
I met Mary through Joe Black’s community.
Creative Community is different.
This isn’t a community that belongs to a specific teacher or “guru.” It is a community that belongs to all of us who are members, who show up and participate in it.
It exists and flourishes because we all contribute to it. We share our dreams, our challenges, and our creative work. We receive reflection and feedback. We witness and are witnessed by the collective.
But it’s not just about what we share with each other. We have also created together. We collectively put on three gallery shows in 2021, which you can peruse on our public-facing website.
Over the summer, many of us engaged in a collaborative experiment to create artwork together by passing pieces through the mail, with each person adding their touch.
The peer support that I’ve received within the safety of our sacred space has encouraged me to reveal more of my creativity in public. After sharing some poetry in Creative Community, the encouragement I received emboldened me to publish some of my poems on my blog.
My haiku project was influenced by haiku conversations that happened in our hallowed halls.
Within the safe space of the collective I summoned the courage to teach a workshop about how I use astrology as a productivity tool.
My high moments and milestones have been bolstered by cheers and celebration. My moments of doubt and despair have been witnessed and held with compassion and love, and insightful and non-judgmental reality checks.
Even when I have had stretches of being offline and away from our sacred space, I know my friends are there. They welcome me back without judgment, and they are teaching me to give that compassion and understanding to myself.
I am grateful for them; for us. I am grateful for the space we hold together. For the weaving of ideas and inspiration that emerges from this collective. For how they have influenced and inspired my work and for the ways I have influenced and inspired them. I am grateful for what we have created and built and are continuing to create and build together.
I am grateful for the synchronicities that led to my becoming a part of this innovative group.
The Embodiment of Aquarius Season
As I reflect back on the past year, I realize the synchronicity of the date I started to participate: the start of Aquarius season.
This community is a living embodiment of the themes of Aquarius.
Aquarius is about community and innovation. It places the collective above the individual — the true essence of community. Community does not belong to one person; it emerges from a collective with a common interest — this is what community means.
I believe the model of Creative Community is the model of the future. We don’t need more gurus; we are all wisdom teachers with much to offer. What we need most in this time is safe spaces to share our deepest longings and fears and to create shared experiences. Community is the path to healing much of what ails us: loneliness, isolation, shame.
In community we find paths to innovate and to flourish in our creativity. The image of the lone creator toiling over a desk in solitude is an relic from the past. The future of creating is through collaboration and community.
We are not meant to do it alone. Aquarius season invites us to find or create a community, to innovate in how we ideate and create. This is how we rise.