Cohousing Now!
Cohousing: Alleviating Fear

I was struck by Marilynne Robinson's assertion in a recent issue of NY Times Magazine (10/5/14): "Fear has, in this moment, a respectability I've never seen in my life." She was referring to what she thinks is a "default posture" of human beings: fear. This recalled for me a presentation at Shadowlake Village that included a slide on safety. I thought: how smart to address, our "default" concern of navigating a dangerous world. Fear may be the motivator for questions among those seeking cohousing: is it safe? can I feel secure? We are all looking to alleviate fears and live in a safe and secure environment. Fear chips away at confidence and happiness: fear of being attacked, fear of being alone when illness strikes, fear for children whom we can't always protect. With a society obsessed with security, with gated housing developments, subway "don't mess with me" stances, and insurance policies for every happenstance, it is no wonder we suffer from stress. Enter cohousing, which can indeed contribute to security and comfort, from exterior parking that keeps the interior safe from cars, to neighbors caring for each other, to preventive policies that reduce risk to our resources and health. If Coho/US had marketing resources, we might be tempted to take advantage: "scared to walk out your front door? join a cohousing community and live happily ever after...." Seriously, none of this is a surprise to cohousers enjoying a more secure and relaxed life. So let us continue to promote cohousing as "safe," and "secure," and part of the solution in seeking a better quality of life. Because it is.                   Alice Alexander, Executive Director

Tours & Events
Coho/US Presenting at Conferences

How do we elevate cohousing to a household name? One way to raise awareness is to present at conferences. Good examples of late: Grace Kim at the Leading Age Conference in Nashville; Laura Fitch at The Senior Agenda Coalition of Rhode Island; and Patrick Han at an American Institute of Architects (AIA) event on Alternative Housing. Please contact us with speaking opportunities. Groups and conferences that focus on quality of life, environment, sustainability, resilient communities, and social well being might well appreciate learning about cohousing.
 

Boulder Conference Survey Results Summary

We found the comments enlightening, and appreciated the good ideas for future gatherings. Click here for summary. 

 

Aging Successfully Workshop Report

Over 20 attendees - having traveled from as far away as Brazil - participated in a week-long workshop on Aging Successfully in cohousing. The concept stems from a workshop in Denmark that is designed to set seniors up for success, called Study Group One. read more 

Urban Cohousing Breaks Ground in Seattle

After 5+ years in development, a first-of-its-kind Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing breaks ground. read more.

It Takes A Village to Boil a Lobster at Silver Sage Village

   read more 

Why Cooperative Groups Fail to Accept Offers of Help Laird's Blog   ...those of us with deep familiarity in community living believe that we're learning something in the crucible of that experience that has wide application-in neighborhoods, in the workplace, in schools, and in churches-yet we're frustrated with the lack of invitations to share what we know. What's going on?  read more
Love
In principle, it is love that truly changes hearts and transforms people, not power or rules. It is love that compels sustained changes in behavior, not oaths or doctrines. It is love that provides a willingness to give; and it is love that helps us accept, let go, and find peace. Most group decision making models encourage that we not include love in the mix. We are supposed to be objective, rational, and unemotional. This works well when the goal is to beat the other guys, but it does not work well when we are trying to find win-win, peaceful solutions. Peace asks us to love our neighbors.

Practical TipIt is okay to allow love into your group decision making. This means encouraging passion...and compassion. It means treating everyone as a valued contributor, and no one as an enemy. It means making decisions not just with your head, but also with your heart. It means paying attention not only to the best available knowledge, but to wisdom. I once heard someone say, "Wisdom equals knowledge plus love."

End Notes
Cohousing Communities & Supporting Coho/US
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Cohousing Now! provides timely information on Cohousing... Now! From Coho/US, the Cohousing Association of the United States, Cohousing Now! is emailed monthly. Please forward to your friends, communities, and other mailing lists to help spread the word about cohousing - now! 

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In This Issue
Classified Ads

Homes for Sale

Seeking Members

 

Homes for Rent / Exchange

 

3 Bedroom Townhome for rent/sale in Minneapolis (Monterey Co-Housing Community)  

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Cohousing Professionals

Connecting with professional services is easy! Visit Cohousing Professionals. Interested in being listed? Email Marketing Manager.

Angie's List is featuring cohousing in soon to print edition:

Rocky Corner, Connecticut's first cohousing community, has won funding from two community groups and closed on a former dairy farm. The 33-acre land purchase was completed Sept 23, toward creating a sustainable, multi-generational neighborhood. read more

 more news 

New Resources
Our website offers best practices via our policy database. We're working on improving in THREE ways, take a look...

Cohousing Brochure Use as a recruiting tool for members, and an education tool for the public. 

Connecting cohousers and seekers with housing, and communities.