Re: Why we can’t get it right once and for all
From: Lisa Kuntz (lisa.kuntzgmail.com)
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2021 09:45:08 -0700 (PDT)
I appreciate both of these posts.

Sharon, even those who don’t read How Emotions are Made can benefit from 
knowing that the different points of view each of us bring to cohousing are 
based in our vastly differing life experiences.

It takes remarkable maturity and a lot of patience to actually welcome 
different points of view without reacting!

Sharon’s paragraph below is a great summary:

"The synchronization of realities is important and takes time. You have to give 
your brain and everyone else's brain time to do that. A few decisions can be 
made on the basis of current information but writing them in stone is unlikely 
to be workable. Exploring and understanding realities is likely to be more 
fruitful. To the extent that considering rules does that, it can be a good 
practice. But it needs to be done in a way that enhances bonding, not sets up 
fences.”

Most of us don’t come into cohousing with this knowledge embedded in our life 
experience. We have to learn how to be in community. We do have to give our 
brains time to adjust, maybe a LOT of time!

Maturity is the ability to see the similarities and differences in any 
situation and the ability to integrate them.

That sounds a lot like successful consensus.

Communities and individuals both have to evolve a level of maturity in order to 
be successful and resilient, and that takes effort and skill.

Lisa Kuntz
Daybreak Cohousing
Portland, OR

Other resources:
Together Resilient: Building Community in the Age of Climate Disruption, 
Ma’ikwe Ludwig

The Cooperative Culture Handbook: A Social Change Manual to Dismantle Toxic 
Culture & Build Connection, Yana Ludwig & Karen Gimnig (companion book to the 
the award-winning Together Resilient)

The “toxic culture” she refers to is competitive, hyper-individualistic 
mainstream culture.





> On Mar 29, 2021, at 9:02 AM, Martie Weatherly <mhweatherly [at] 
> earthlink.net> wrote:
> 
> I am adding to Sharon's post on why we can't write all the rules of our 
> community before move in. I assume the premise for getting all the rules 
> right is that we want people who believe as we do about the important things. 
> 
> That misses the point that consensus welcomes different points of view. The 
> underlying value in being a collaborative community is to honor and respect 
> different points of view looking for a solution that is the best one for the 
> whole community at that time. 
> 
> Therefore it seems to me that trying to get all the rules in place before 
> will not work because there will still be differences of opinion that you 
> will have to work out. The ability to do that is the heart of consensus. Best 
> to learn that before move in and you will have a foundation to resolve 
> differences. 
> 
> Martie Weatherly
> 
> Health and Wellness Coach
> Consensus Coach
> coachmartie.com
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org>
>> Sent: Mar 28, 2021 5:40 PM
>> To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org>
>> Cc: Sharon Villines <sharon [at] sharonvillines.com>
>> Subject: [C-L]_ Why we can’t get it right once and for all
>> 
>> A nerdy post for a Sunday but I’ve discovered why I resist the idea that you 
>> can define the rules of your community before you commit to move-in, or as 
>> one community did, write ALL the rules before too many people get involved. 
>> (“Too many” was more than three.)
>> 
>> Each of us constructs our own reality that changes moment-to-moment with new 
>> information. People coming together in a new organization, assembling 
>> themselves in a new order, and taking a new direction, will be most 
>> successful if they can synchronize their realities—not conform them but make 
>> room for them. That can’t be done by setting down rules. Everyone has a 
>> different idea about what they are getting into and those ideas change 
>> throughout the  process.
>> 
>> "How Emotions Are Made” by psycho-neurologist Lisa Barrett presents the 
>> findings of current research on how the brain works — how the brain forms 
>> mind. It is a groundbreaking explanation of why the classical models of 
>> certainty and boundaries don’t work. Why you can’t get it right once and for 
>> all, or why the perfect answer hasn’t been worked out in 30 years of 
>> cohousing. It doesn’t work because the classical models of organization 
>> aren’t true. 
>> 
>> Our concepts and expectations (she calls them predictions) about the world 
>> are defined by each of our brains and are re-formed each time we bring them 
>> to consciousness (and probably even while we don’t). Re-forming means 
>> correcting and extending them. Each opinion, response, action, etc means 
>> re-assembling stored data—not just consulting our stored already polished 
>> responses. The brain starts this assembling and ordering before we are even 
>> aware of needing a response. 
>> 
>> My analogy, but I think it is accurate: Making a decision is like searching 
>> a database in which we have stored many terabytes of information in tiny 
>> bits and pieces. These bits are corrected and added from second to second 
>> because we perceive new information, form a new piece of emotional reality, 
>> and have new experiences. With each decision these bits are re-assembled in 
>> a new unique way to meet the current unique need or goal.
>> 
>> Cohousing brings a ton of new experiences that have to be perceived and 
>> sorted out. Your brain is likely to come up with different responses are 
>> bound to change in every contact with the group, and certainly change over 
>> the years of building the community. Concepts of reality and solutions to 
>> problems will be re-perceived or re-ordered by each person many, many times. 
>> 
>> The synchronization of realities is important and takes time. You have to 
>> give your brain and everyone else's brain time to do that. A few decisions 
>> can be made on the basis of current information but writing them in stone is 
>> unlikely to be workable. Exploring and understanding realities is likely to 
>> be more fruitful. To the extent that considering rules does that, it can be 
>> a good practice. But it needs to be done in a way that enhances bonding, not 
>> sets up fences.
>> 
>> The book is not an easy read but not impossibly technical. The ideas are 
>> discussed in a more precise vocabulary. (It aligns very nicely with Buddhist 
>> teachings about the self if you are familiar with those.) 
>> 
>> It’s the only book I’ve ever read in which I have 3 bookmarks in addition to 
>> strategically placed stickies and highlighting. Barrett gives so many 
>> examples that I get bored and want to move on so I have skipped whole 
>> chapters. Then find I need to go back and read them. It makes more sense 
>> when I understand why I need that much detail.
>> 
>> "How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain" by Lisa Feldman 
>> Barrett Ph.D, Neuroscientist in the Psych department at Northeastern.
>> 
>> https://amzn.to/39oR55L
>> 
>> Sharon
>> ——— 
>> Sharon Villines
>> http://affordablecohousing.com
>> affordablecohousing [at] groups.io
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