We Create Community

We Create Community

We Create Community 1050 618 Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living

We Create Community – Making the Shift from “I” to “We”

Rev. John DePalma

“Stand Tall and Proud, Go Out on a Limb, Remember Your Roots, Drink Plenty of Water, Be Content with Your Unique Natural Beauty, Enjoy the View.”

– Advice from a Tree by Ilan Shamir

Even in the darkest times, some people have found a way to thrive. Somehow they see those opportunities arise in the midst of uncertainty.

Where do we put our attention?

Moses of the Old Testament, couldn’t enter the “promised land” because he didn’t have the vision for it – he was too focused on managing his community’s survival in the desert FOR GENERATIONS!

He lacked the vision to free people from the consciousness of slavery. But consciousness and community evolved by bringing their attention to the possibilities implicit in a “promised land”.

Because I imagine a world that works for everyone and feel as though we’re on the cusp of a huge cultural/spiritual breakthrough it’s easy to get triggered by so called cultural and political setbacks that bring sadness and anger if not despair.

But I quickly remember to shift my attention away from what’s not working to what is working that vibrates with the possibility of thriving.

At Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living, we’re bringing our best love and attention to what’s working. By clarifying our values of compassion, trust, accountability and extraordinary respect we are experiencing a shift into a consciousness of thriving. We are awakening to finding ways to engage within the community to nurture and embolden healthier, compassionate, equitable and loving relationships.

The science of mind philosophy has served well to free us individually from an angry vengeful, God(Life), to an awakening of personal power and creative process in the individual.

Now when things appear darker, we need to go deeper.

With the challenges of today’s world, we can fall into a behavior that could be called emotional and spiritual truancy. It is characterized by:

“The evasion of one’s own growth, the setting of low levels of aspiration, the fear of doing what one is capable of doing, voluntary self-crippling, pseudo-stupidity and mock humility. No matter how sophisticated or ingenious the avoidance, it is still a cheap adaptation to the imploring of personal evolution. It is clinging to the trivial, to cultivate our own little gardens.”

-From “Callings” by Greg Levoy

The way we relate to ourselves, one another , our world are all interconnected and inseparable. We cannot claim to love God while hating ourselves and others. We cannot claim that it is a just and equitable universe while treating others unjustly and inequitably.

Now we must cultivate the skills of a deeper emotional and spiritual intelligence required to experience the power of the creative process in community.

In their book, “Building a Church of Small Groups: a place where nobody stands alone”, Donahue and Robinson remind us,

“Few of us are trained from birth to be emotionally sensitive to other people’s needs and responses. That’s why you need to emotionally prepare people for the words you say. You need it to enter a conflict situation willing both to speak and hear the truth,” letting fear, doubt, worry loosen their grip.

At Seal Beach, in the safe context of our care groups, we are learning to give voice to personal and community injustice and inequality so we may learn together how to break the “mind-forged manacles” of rigid and worn out thinking wherever they appear. Then compassion and respect overflows from those groups into the larger community, creating a place where people feel safe, loved, inspired and supported.

As you travel through the month I challenge us to free ourselves and reclaim our independence from worn out thinking. By bringing the gifts of ourselves and engage with our community like never before the change we desire can begin to take shape. Embrace the idea that a world that works for all begins with your next thought, your next action! And know that if it is an action that grows, expands or deepens love in the community, it is the right thing to do!


Rev. John DePalma

Rev John’s personal mission is to help our spiritual centers build diverse, inclusive, healthy, sustainable, and thriving spiritual communities. Why? To awaken humanity to its Spiritual Magnificence and create a world that works for all where no child goes hungry, where no one fears persecution, where no one is unloved and where prosperity and peace prevail.

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Seal Beach, CA 90740
Phone: (562) 598-3325
Email: sbcsl@sbcsl.org

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