What is community? Is it your neighbourhood? Is it your suburb? Is it your region? Communities are collectives of people who share a common thread, be it a location or a shared belief. Communities are what I would classify as modern tribes, we gather together like tribes, and walk to the same beat!
You are surrounded by communities that YOU have created, it could be the families who are linked to your young one's soccer team, or the people you meet with over coffee once a week. Communities form the backbone for our lives, they provide the social support that ensures not only survival, but also enriches our lives through conversation and a sense of belonging. Our habits are formed by our communities, including how we eat, how we interact with others and our daily exercise.
The Sunshine Coast - an amazing community of communities!
Since moving to the Sunshine Coast in 2013, I have been amazed by the diversity AND the strength of community here on the Sunshine Coast. The Sunshine Coast is a hub of healthy food, sports and organics (in my opinion), I regularly joke that we host the greatest ratio per capita of farmers markets, organic stores and sporting events in Australia! As residents of the Sunshine Coast we can tap into so many great communities that support healthy living.
The strength of these communities on the Sunshine Coast lies in the long standing towns that existed on the Sunshine Coast prior to the significant population growth. Community infrastructure has created town centres, that offer great community services and places for us to meet and strengthen our community bonds. My favourite community found on the Sunshine Coast is one that centres on The Lane in Palmwoods, this community meet regularly to access the beautiful cafe, coffee roastery, fashion boutique and organic grocer. You know it is a strong community when you arrive by the way you feel at home, it feels "right". Where are your favourite community hubs on the Coast? Comment below, I'd love to visit them!
Are screens destroying community connection?
There has been much discussion about how in our hyper-connected world that we are more out of touch with our local communities. I tend to disagree with this, I feel that the virtual world is strengthening our local communities, through providing support to individuals who feel left out and allowing our communities to access the collective consciousness on how to consume more whole foods in our diet and compliment that with the right physical activities. Social media pages and groups, forums and websites now provide places for people to not only find information, but also find support. Most of us interact daily with these virtual communities, how many of us follow a page on social media that provides support, information or connection with regard to how we want to feed and nourish our bodies?
The only downside to the virtual connection can be the "pioneer" effect in your own communities, someone (it could be you!) is very likely to blaze a trail towards something new that interests them, leaving them feel isolated. Leading the way can sometimes mean having no one by your side, the good news is, pioneering is about to become more than a solo effort.
Isolated within your community
Do you at times feel isolated or alone when it comes to how you stock your pantry, or the foods you put in your child's lunchbox? This is common, and challenging! If it feels right, and it gives you energy and purpose, keep at it. Humans are observant creatures, and if they see someone thriving through a change in lifestyle, they will likely be curious and ask you what changes you are making. Communities shift and change through pioneers, over time the community will oscillate and gather around you.
In the meantime, until the pioneer effect wears off, surround yourself virtually AND locally with like-minded people, to help keep you on path and access the support you need. All of a sudden you might find that you are no longer a pioneer, you've created a beautiful community that helps you thrive, grow and make change. Keep an eye out for events and group catch ups, you may find yourself a new community to be involved in!