I sit here on the Pacific Coast of Mexico watching the sea awaken in the soft pastels of the changing morning light of sunrise. The waves, stirred by a night of winds from the north rise and fall, then crash into transformative white foam, obscuring the boulders that define our boundary between land and sea. It is a continuous rhythm that defines the pulse of the experience of this place.
Wild Sage Cohousing is thrilled to welcome Coho/US Regional Conference attendees to our community. We’ll be hosting the Board of Directors retreat, holding some of the intensive workshops on Friday, April 20, and giving tours of our community on Sunday, April 22. Here’s a handy guide to let you know what to look for when you come to Wild Sage.
It’s the first question newcomers ask when introduced to consensus (or consent) decision-making: What if you just can’t agree? My answer is usually, “That’s when the really good stuff happens!” It is too. It’s when we are pushed to be thoughtful, collaborative and creative and find solutions no one has thought of yet. Most of us have experienced that, but sadly most have us have also experienced gridlock. Whether we’re locking horns or passively standing our ground, we get stuck, feelings get hurt, process grinds to a halt and cohousing isn’t quite so wonderful anymore.
A friendly reminder the early-bird deadline for the Regional Cohousing Conference coming up April 20-22 in Boulder, CO is just around the corner! The early bird rate is $60 off the regular price, so round up your community members this week and sign yourselves up here: http://cohousing.org/boulder2018
My favorite thing about attending conferences is the people that I meet. Don't get me wrong, the information gleaned while attending intensives and sessions is invaluable, but what I really love is the informal conversations with other conference attendees when waiting for the elevator or while sitting in the hotel lobby lounge. This is when you might hear about creative use of an old space, or of someone's challenges with community neighbors that might be similar to an experience you had just a few months ago in your own community, or perhaps you learn of a fun, unique tradition that you can take home to share and implement with your community.
The 500 Communities Program is a year-long training for motivated professionals to acquire the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary for consulting to cohousing groups while expanding career options and collaborating with like-minded entrepreneurs. The program is led by Katie McCamant, cohousing expert who has consulted on, designed, or developed dozens of cohousing communities over the last three decades.
10. Get ideas for your community.
Whether you are a brand new community or you’ve been living together for decades, there is more to learn about how to thrive in community. At Conferences you will meet people who have solved the problems your community is currently facing and hear new ideas for green living, social engagement and community life.
Why is connection so elusive? How can something so universally desired be so difficult to attain in a richly resourced culture like the United States? Especially, how can it be difficult among members of an intentional cohousing community?
I believe there are two elements essential for connection lacking in our broader culture, and co-housing provides 1½ of them.
The 2018 Boulder CO Regional Cohousing Conference holds the keys to creating a highly functioning cohousing community. There is something for everyone - those exploring the idea, newly forming groups or existing communities.
For Newly Forming Communities:
You will learn how to get started, meet the people who can help make it happen, and discover best practices from others who have already made the journey.
For Existing & Newly Forming Communities:
You'll learn from the experts how to attract new members, enable affordability, and improve your community.
You will network with your broader tribe of cohousers and cohousing friends and have fun!
Mary Kraus - cohousing architect & consultant, resident Pioneer Valley Cohousing
Imagine you have been a member of a forming cohousing group for several months now, and you have just joined the circle for a big decision-making meeting about the vision and future of this community where you hope to live. You’re nervous. You have some health concerns, and you absolutely need to have a clean environment and access to organic food. Will the other group members care about these issues? Will they think it’s too expensive to accommodate your needs?