Building community takes work. Sometimes more work than we want to give as individuals, but when we set aside our preferences for a collective goal, magic happens, and often, we find that giving wasn't so bad after all.
As a community we recently decided to set two days a month aside to collectively work on a project, together. It's amazing what can be done in just a few hours when everyone works together. Sometime's it's as simple as getting that old eye sore of a wood pile organized into usable lumber, firewood, or chipped mulch. Sometimes a task that might seem like a monumental effort for one person becomes a piece of cake for many hands. Labor is fun when everyone gives a hand.
But community work is hardly confined to physical work. Sometimes navigating the emotional landscape of a community feels like ten times the work of hauling some wood to the burn pile. Before our work party last week, we help a "community connection" evening. We sat in a circle in the practice room and took time to check in, to hear what was personally challenging us and practice active listening, and to reflect what we loved about each other. Then we took a nice long steam on the bathing deck together. We harmonized our hearts before we put our bodies to work the next day.
At times the Liberty Arising Resident Program probably looks like heaven on Earth, and sometimes it is... but not without a tremendous amount of work, both inside and outside.