Growing the Grove: Co-Creating Spiral Grove Community
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Saturday, 17 July 2010
Seeing Opportunities: A Personal Perspective from a 17-Year Member of the Spiral Grove
Topic: Community

by Cellina Rhiannon Whiteflame 


Being with a co-creative, inter-path community of nature spirituality for years, I have been presented with both mundane and magickal challenges——or rather opportunities to grow within myself. It has been an amazing journey learning that we are all mirrors for each other and can learn a great deal from interacting with people in a co-creative community structure. This blog is about seeing the challenges in a 501c3 organization as opportunities for bringing in fresh, new energy while learning how to be a co-creative community.

So what is co-creative community? In the Spiral Grove, it's when we all help to create the community. When we speak of community in our literature or rituals, we mean “Each of us.” You, and you, and you, and you, and so on.   

It means having a voice and being active in creating the community you want to be part of.

And, yes you do have a voice. But, you have to be able to think outside of the box. Being part of our community is an opportunity to be part of something that isn’t really like anything else. We need to awaken the realization within that each of us can be a pioneer, a forward thinker, and a co-creator of our future of the Spiral Grove; that an idea or invention or process you may have could be the very thing the Grove need to that positive change; and to never forget that you have power to help the community. 

We are a grass-roots, co-creative inter-path community which is another opportunity presented to us; it's our choice to take the more challenging path through the forest with unseen turns and hills than to take the easy path that is marked and mapped out by others before us.  

Pehaps it's easier to belong to a community that has a leader who can tell its members what to do or who presents a single doctrine for all to follow. But, this isn’t what we strive to do in the Spiral Grove. We choose to be inter-path (interfaith) so that all are welcome, from all walks of life, from all faiths and creeds in keeping with our 501c3 mission of harming no one. Learning how to be a co-creative community is an opportunity that we can use to hone our skill-sets to live on this planet in harmony with other people, with nature, with ourselves and be able to know it so well that we can effectively pass it on to the future generations.  

These opportunities in community set many challenges before us that require tapping into that deeper sense of who we are; situations that require us to think fast and stand our ground and not run away. Community is like family. They test our mettle, our endurance level, our patience, and our limits. We grow up in our family as well as in our community. And just like family, the Spiral Grove community for me has been a font of information and wisdom over the years that has enabled me to grow both inwardly and outwardly. The members make community a rich and colorful garden of experiences that has and will continue to expand and contract, all according to the natural order of things.

When you visualize the Spiral Grove in this moment, I invite you to see an image of the Spiral Grove as a freshly tilled community garden ready for planting and you and everyone else reading this are being asked to plant seeds. Right now is your perfect opportunity to grow whatever you want for this community.

In order for the garden to grow it must be carefully tended. In order to get things done, to do our business, and make essential changes we all have to help be part of the decision-making and consensus process. We have to commit to coming to meetings and events and either agree or not agree when our voices and votes are needed. We have to be present, we have to find the thing that juices-us-up, that stimulates our hearts and minds, and we need to find our place in the community. Bring something to the table. What is it that you do best? Are you the administrator or the organizer or the creative artist or the ritualist or what? What skill-sets are you not sharing with the world? What gifts do you bring to the Spiral Grove?  

See, this is how it works. We have to find our place and rally each other; there is no one person in charge or responsible. And wow! Doesn't reading that give you a wonderful sense of freedom from traditional hierarchal systems? How refreshing that we can leave that behind and have an equal voice in what happens in our community! But, hold up! We as co-creators need to commit to speaking up and to being heard and seen. We can’t sit and wait for others to do it for us or make the changes we want to see take place. 

Co-creating = movement and action 

Some people say that this co-creative community structure enables a situation of too many cooks in the kitchen. One way of reflecting on that could be to think of how innate some of our responses and reactions are to others in situations where there is no identifiable leader. This puts the responsiblity back on each of us as individuals. 

From my perspective, I think that perhaps it just creates an uncomfortable situation for people and they would rather try to change it and avoid the discomfort than to just adapt to being in close contact with people, those with which they may or may not agree with, rather than learn to live along side them. Again, it's the harder path we choose to take. We risk the unknown when we open ourselves up to others but if we could see it as Anais Nin so aptly put it in two of her famous quotes below, then maybe we can learn to see it all differently. 

"Each contact with a human is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it."   

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin  

Let's take the risk to plummet into unknown territory together! Let's drop our human defenses and our unmet expectations of the past, of what has happened or could have happened in the Spiral Grove, of what others "Did" or "Didn't do", and start to visualize where the Grove can go now—today, fresh and anew. Let's see what happens!

Rediscover the opportunities in the Grove that gift us with growth and . And with each other as support, with new faces and new ideas and visions, we can make it successful and thriving for now and for the future generations.

Let's begin to fulfill and live out our mission statement and co-create the Spiral Grove we want!  

Posted by thespiralgrove at 2:21 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 July 2010 9:38 AM EDT
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