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Melody Warnick is the author of two books about thriving where you live: This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are and If You Could Live Anywhere: The Surprising Power of Place in a Work-from-Anywhere World. Her books have been featured in the New York Times, Time magazine, Fast Company, Psychology Today, and others, and her writing has appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, the New York Times, Slate, Reader’s Digest, The Guardian, Good Housekeeping, and Woman’s Day. A regular speaker about creating connection with your community, Melody lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, where her husband serves as stake president.
5:30 Serving in Melody’s stake in Virginia
8:20 How the book came about
10:50 Experiments in loving where you live: micro-action steps you can intentionally take to create positive experiences for yourself
18:45 Applying these principles to wards and stakes
- 19:20 Creating a community based on geography creates a situation where we can practice being more Christlike
- 21:50 Benefits of “instant community” in the ward, as compared to moving for people not in the Church tribe: familiarity and similarity
25:45 When you struggle fitting into the community
- 26:25 Leaders need to pay attention to these people
- 27:30 The more engaged you are, the more you will feel at home
- 28:30 Everyone can feel left out or like they don’t fit in
- 30:10 Being proactive can have a big impact
34:00 Serving in callings and outside of callings: have a personal ministry from a desire to be of service
- 37:35 Taking your talent to the community
41:30 Do we have to participate in the Church community?
- 43:30 It can be easier to socialize with Church members
46:10 Serving in a Church community within the larger community
- 50:55 Being the mayor of your street: building social cohesion in your neighborhood
54:40 Cliques and community: creating horseshoes, not circles
59:00 Detaching from your ward and going forward: moving or changing callings
1:07:00 Choosing to live near family… or not
1:13:00 Finding joy wherever you live
1:15:00 Two-hour church and missing connections: You don’t have to ask permission to create community
1:17:45 Asking, “Where are we needed?”
1:20:00 Building relationships with people and finding ways to serve them is key to living a Christlike life
This is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are
If You Could Live Anywhere: The Surprising Importance of Place in a Work-from-Anywhere World
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I’ve lived back East, in Utah, and now in Arizona and have traveled the world and found both solace and acceptance as a stranger first walking in as well as isolation and loneliness when not welcomed as I thought I should be. My wife and I discussed this episode and becoming the “Mayor of our Street” and remembering that just because the majority of a ward may feel ostentatious at times, there are always other newbies like we have been or introverts quietly awaiting me to make the first move. While we’ve lived in our current neighborhood and congregation for 8 years, during Covid most everyone we knew had moved and we’ve spent the past year building new relationships close by while keeping remote relationships alive as time permits.
If there is ever a follow up episode, I would be interested to dive a little deeper into personality types, but I felt you both did a great job of exploring creative ways to share your passion and share it instead of waiting for someone else to try and guess what is in your heart. As the father and friend of many introverts, I am learning to appreciate how much more the struggle is for someone not as comfortable as I am with walking up to a stranger and initiating a conversation.
This is one I’ll be sharing a lot and referring back to from time to time to remind me to be “the guy” who is reaching out to those who are feeling estranged and alone. I’ll also be reaching out to my bishop and friend and apologizing for asking him how to help instead of offering him a specific idea of what I can do to help :-). Thanks for that insight.