In my last blog I talked about choosing to act small by applying your energies and spreading your personal message to your surrounding area of influence instead of trying to influence the world. Be The Village Within The City Today I want to expand on this a bit and talk about choosing that community.
Have you ever given thought to why you live where you do? Of all the places in this great big world, why are you living where you live right now? It may be as simple as because my family lives here. It may be because you love the landscape. It may be because you have little choice due to the need to be close to medical care or a school or a good paying job. Whatever the circumstances are that has found you living in the town or city that you do there comes a point where in order to feel you belong in that community, you need to feel a connection.
One of my favourite questions to ask people who have just moved to my fair city is, “Why did you choose to move here?”
Aside from the obvious which is the city where I live is in a beautiful location. Check out my city here: http://www.tourismnanaimo.com/
But lets be honest here, there are thousands of amazing locations in this great wide world so I try to grind down their answer a little further to get a deeper response. For most, they choose to move to Nanaimo because it reflects a lifestyle that is better inline with how they want to live their lives. They like the slower pace that living on a island brings while still being in a fair sized city. Most have relocated from larger urban areas so they still want to enjoy all the amenities that a city can offer.
Last week I met two people who recently moved to Nanaimo but who have had very different experiences within the city.
The first was a fellow who decided to move here to gain more living space (bigger yard) and for cheaper living. He purchased an older home close to downtown (my little village within the city) but did not educate himself on the neighborhood he chose which is where the fringe of our society tends to hang out, so he regularly has hookers and junkies hanging out on his street. His frustration, understandably, with this problem was unmistakable.
It’s interesting that while he is unhappy with this revelation, he has met all of his neighbors and formed friendships with them. I told him that the way I see it was if he wanted to stay living there he had two choices, except this transient fringe element or use his personal energy to influence his neighbors to band together and push them out.
The second person was a lady who had first located to the north end of our city when she originally moved here. The north end is the newer part of town where all the soul sucking malls are. She had what she described as her dream house complete with contemporary architecture and panoramic ocean views and thought she had found her forever home. But try as she might she could not make any connections there so she and her husband relocated again to one of Nanaimo’s more eclectic neighborhoods which is a small island out in the harbour called Protection island. Even though it’s an island, it is still included in the district of Nanaimo. I wrote about it here: The Gates of Protection Island
Maybe because it is physically defined, being an island and all, Protection island is indeed a small community village within the cities boundaries. The lady told me that she no longer has an ocean view and her house is much smaller and not even close to having dream status but what she does now have is a large circle of friends and has been fully embraced by her community.
Here are two folks who understood that they needed a change in their surroundings in order to live a lifestyle that better reflected their personal energy. Both wanted simpler lives than they had before. Both made choices with consequences they were not happy with.
The man has yet to decide whether the pluses out weigh the negatives of his new neighborhood and if the friendships and connections he has made so far are strong enough for him to use his energy and influence to affect change.
The women quickly decided her new neighborhood was not working for her, that it did not match her personal energy and easily made a happier move away because she had no connections to it.
So here’s the point I took from all this. Whether you want your personal influence, your energy or your message to be of significance to one person or a million, you have to have a connection to the neighborhood.
You can live in the most fabulous house, with the most beautiful landscape as the view out your window but if your soul does not feel at home there, you can never be truly happy.
This translates to what you do in life as well. You career can have the most beautiful website and promotional material, great products, even awesome support staff but the message that you offer to the world in the form of your business or your personal work has to nourish you before it can feed another’s soul. So consider what village you locate it in before you send it out to the great big world. Is your personal village surrounding the work you do feeding your soul with the type of energy that you can thrive on?
When your roots are well planted in a community that sustains your lifestyle or your work’s essence, there’s no need to go out and conquer the world because you may just find that everything that you need is right there in your personal village within the city where you live.
“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
Thanks for visiting my little virtual village. Come back soon and next time bring a friend.