Creating Community : Deepening Our Connections and Feelings of Belonging in a Fast-Paced World
How often do you have your neighbors over for dinner? How do you define your community? Where do you feel the most connected in your life?
In a world increasingly isolated and separate, community is still readily available—we just have to look around and make the effort. In Creating Community Wherever You Are, Deanna Jaya Nakosteen opens our eyes to what’s possible. When we create community, we create meaningful relationships and connections. When we live our lives with connection and meaning, we broaden our capacity for love.
Deanna has been living in an intentional community for over 30 years—a residential setting that was purpose-built for cooperation and closeness. She opens our eyes to a different type of intentional community than the stereotypical ones portrayed in the media while providing the reader with a vivid account of her atypical but deeply fulfilling life.
Join Deanna in a walkthrough of her community. Meet the smiling faces of the other members, experience the depths of their relationships, and play alongside the children—immersed in the wonders of nature and comforted by the security of togetherness. Hitch a ride with Deanna and fellow community member Brie in Brie’s gold Honda Civic as they venture to the local farmer’s market, purchasing an abundance of local, colorful, organic produce—peppers, eggplant, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, apples, and lemons, to name a few. Labor with the community members who stay behind during the workweek, tending the garden and feeding the chickens and adorably small and hairy Kunekune pigs. When it’s your turn, grasp the talking stick as you share your thoughts and feelings at a community meeting, where all are heard, and every opinion is valued. Partake in the abundance and freedom that results from pooling resources—in food, childcare, and workloads.
The members of Deanna’s community embrace the values of health and wellness, respect for the Earth, and cooperation. Through her voice and the voices of other members, Deanna shares both the aspects of her alternative lifestyle that are unique and beneficial and those that can be challenging. Deanna provides tried-and-true solutions to these challenges as well as guidance for the reader who wants to integrate aspects of community into his or her own life.
Topics that Deanna reflects on, from her perspective as an intentional community member, include food, health, permaculture, relationships, communication, children, abundance, systems and groups, and being a member of an intentional community. At the end of each chapter topic, readers are asked a series of personal reflection questions that relate to the material presented—prompting them to reflect and then make small but meaningful changes that will dramatically increase their quality of life.
Deanna also offers community action steps. These are ideas for implementing the topics presented in the book into one’s own life and community, including swapping cooking responsibilities one night per week with a neighbor, pooling childcare efforts, and starting a local community garden where members can grow their own food and share their bounties.
Written with warmth and wisdom, Creating Community Wherever You Are issues an invitation to all of us, no matter where we live, to deepen our connections to one another, the world, and ourselves.