“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Monday, August 10, 2009

Community and Relationships

So many of us work on our inner selves because this is where true happiness and love reside. We read books on personal growth and learn to meditate, care for our health, recite positive affirmations, reflect, set goals, face our fears and learn to embrace failure. But we don’t live in vacuums, we are sharing the planet Earth with ~6 billion people. And a significant level of our growth arises from the influence these tools and exercises have on our relationships with others that then challenge us, teach us and allow us to evaluate our progress. It’s so much the events in our lives with people that catalyze our rate of growth. The plus side of this is that when we strengthen our relationships with each other, we create synergy and can all expand in positive ways.

Last weekend at the City Seed Farmer’s Market, I interviewed some members of this community, Nate and Joanna Price - owners of Nate’s Naturals. Nate has been making granola for almost twenty years and last year he and his wife Jo launched their business around it.

Their pride and love for their granola is exhibited in their enthusiasm at the market and in their product and they declare on their website that they’re “learning how to make a business out of doing something that we love”. I’m a huge fan of granola and theirs is one of the best I’ve ever had. But what impressed me even more with Nate and Jo was that this endeavor has become more about relationships with the local community than about making money. While in the past they were supporters of the local, whole foods movement, they are now active participants at the local farmer's markets and even purchase some of their ingredients like maple syrup and honey from local vendors. They are supporting the local community as their own business grows. This is what it’s all about. Whether in business or life in general, we grow when we are helping others to grow and collectively generate a strong foundation of support greater than any individual alone could ever create or maintain. Thank goodness for people who love to do what they do and thank goodness we’re here together. : )

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