|Re: New member intro, from CT||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Raines Cohen (rc3-coho-Lraines.com)|
|Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2012 06:53:44 -0800 (PST)|
Welcome to Cohousing-L, Tina -- you're doing just fine, and your post reminds me that we're overdue to invite any other "lurkers" out there to de-cloak and let us know who you are, where you're at, and what you're looking for. It's great to have you here and Green Haven represented as part of this virtual community. It was exciting to learn of your upcoming training, and I wish you well; it always warms my heart to see cohousers invest in the tools and training that can make their process more fun, efficient, and productive, bringing in professionals from other fields as well as our own. I feel compelled to comment on one thing you mentioned in passing: > We've even had Raines Cohen drop in on one of our meetings (blush) while ubiquity may be my personal brand, and I have visited over 100 US cohousing neighborhoods, I should mention the context that made this possible, lest communities everywhere start to expect me to spontaneously manifest anytime they start chalking runes on the floor and chanting the necessary invocations. I also would like to use this opportunity to provide some insight on what it takes to manage the complexity and be in many places while spending very little, and what drives me to take a series of little detours to do all this. Feel free to go on to the next post as this one doesn't have much to do with cohousing -- except in the sense that living in community provides the support and inspiration for this sort of connectivity and evangelism, weaving threads together as a Cohousing Coach to support the movement. I'm particularly inspired to share by the book "Walk Out, Walk On," which I just participated in book-charting as part of a study group at a workshop -- but more on that later. It profiles several people in communities who are edge-walkers like myself. The following chronicles just two weeks in my world. In November, 2010, my wife and business partner Betsy Morris traveled to Sunward Cohousing in Ann Arbor, MI, while participating in the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) conference in town, while I helped organize a sharing booth including cohousing at the San Francisco Green Festival, participated in a "Ripple the World" fundraiser in Santa Rosa for a group that's lead cohousing tours, coached an Australian community-seeker, renewed our county Green Business Certification by showing off the green systems of our shared space in a LEED Platinum-certified building (the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley), celebrated the one-year aniversary of our coworking space (The Hub) and participated in the launch of the Sustainable Economies Law Center with our friend Janelle Orsi, co-author of The Sharing Solution and then-resident of a micro-cohousing neighborhood here in Berkeley (CA). I hopped a red-eye and met up with Betsy in New York City for a 1-day workshop that we wanted to learn more about, organized by a new coworking space (a shared office community, based on participatory principles similar to cohousing) expanding there from London, using visioning and organizational development tools similar to what many cohousing groups do. We ended up the day meeting with an architect interested in developing cohousing in the area at New Work City, an established coworking space. That evening, we took a cheap commuter train trip to Philadelphia to participate in an annual conference for the Beacon Hill Village movement that helps people stay in their homes as they age -- I consider it an "on-ramp" to cohousing (especially senior cohousing) and wrote about both movements in my Aging in Community chapter in the book Audacious Aging. We stayed with her sister there, visited my cousin, and I went to a meeting of Wissahickon Ecovillage, a forming Philadelphia-area cohousing group that had just found (but later lost) a site, run by my friend Lynne Iser who I got to know through Chuck Durrett's Senior-Cohousing "Study Group 1" training workshop. And late that week we bopped up to Boston and stayed with my folks nearby while attending the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) organizational meeting at Mosaic Commons in Berlin, MA -- I was on the board there, and Betsy has now joined it as I step off. I keep an eye on the community calendar on www.cohousing.org, and had been following Green Haven's progress for many years, so I had noticed that the group would be meeting after Sunday evening after my meetings wrapped up -- and Betsy would be flying home early that evening to participate in the Behavior, Energy and Climate change conference in Sacramento, CA. I got in touch with the group and hopped on Amtrak for the short ride down to New Haven and a group member brought me to the meeting. As I told the group, I was impressed with its unity, cohesion and task focus; they dined together, met at a member's home, and seemed to spend a lot of time paying attention to each others' needs, a visible manifestation of their caring. It was clear that this was a genuine community, not just a real-estate development. At the time, they thought they had a site, but it turned out to be one of many "fire drills" that forming groups go through. As a result, the conversation was mostly about logistics and next steps in building the group; I shared some models other groups used to build commitment. My key mission there was to urge them to get as many folks as possible from the group to the next national cohousing conference in DC and get connected with the movement, so I'm delighted to see that some did, leading to valuable collaborations like the upcoming workshop they're hosting. After the meeting, I got a ride back to Boston with a co-worker from a quarter century ago (I was a junior-high-school summer intern at Lotus when it was 5 people in a basement) who is now forming a cohousing-ish community in New Hampshire -- one of my everyday reminders of what a small world we live in. Way too early the next morning I popped over to Chicago for workshops on LEED standards for Neighborhood Design at the US Green Building Council's national conference, staying in the small residential community in the upper floors of the Institute for Cultural Affairs (ICA)'s building -- I had gotten to know this innovative organization, which pioneered the Technology of Participation (ToP) methods that involve putting cards on "sticky walls", naming and clustering them under the direction of the group, through the dear departed Fred Lanphear of Songaia Cohousing (Bothell, WA), who had served with me on the FIC board and mentored me in facilitating a gathering of New Earth Song, an aging-friendly offshoot of Songaia Cohousing, where he lived. (I just this past Monday night returned from Sacramento where I was at the ToP Network's annual conference (where I did the aforementioned book-charting) and a training on using the methods with Appreciative Inquiry, so I'm buzzing with refreshed ideas about how to use the tools in community -- plus I got to join a common dinner at Southside Park Cohousing and visit friends there, including Liz Stevenson, who shares a virtual "wave hi" to all her friends here). >From there, I used up all my frequent flier miles to get to the first European Coworking Conference in Brussels, and ended up visiting coworking spaces and a workshop in London, but that's a story for another time. Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach http://www.CohousingCoaches.com/ at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing where we were just joined for common dinner last night by Jennifer Ryan, another serial cohouser, who migrated from being Ann's neighbor at Takoma Village Cohousing to Temescal Creek out here in Oakland, CA; she got several of my neighbors buzzing about potential talks and topics at the next national cohousing conference coming to town in June. Co-manager, East Bay Cohousing http://www.ebcoho.org/ the world's largest Intentional Communities/Cohousing MeetUp group, now with over 1500 members seeking sustainable community in the Urban East San Francisco Bay Area. And partner groups in Silicon Valley/Peninsula, San Francisco (hosting a Getting it Built workshop in March), Marin, and all around the state through Cohousing California http://www.CalCoho.org/
New member intro, from CT Christina Smillie, January 10 2012
- Re: New member intro, from CT Raines Cohen, January 11 2012
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