Raines invited me to talk to the Conscious Elders Network at its annual gathering held in nearby Burlingame.
This young organization of older people is planning to focus on Sustainable Community Living in the next year.
My cohousing neighbor Raines, a founder of the group, thought it wise that they hear from a community-founder Elder who is living in community and Aging in Community.
I joined the group’s meeting on a Regenerative Living field trip to San Mateo Ecovillage, and shared how my Berkeley Cohousing community supports me.
Preparing to give this talk challenged me to see that my community provides me with safety to:
- know and show my feelings
- stretch my thinking
- ask for help
Also, this deeper examination helped me take my core values more seriously, looking at how they apply to the big challenges in front of humanity, such as Climate Change. Simple Living is a great building block, one that needs to scale up to be a viable option for more people, to make the difference that will be needed.
As I brought the pieces together with a fresh look, I saw how I have blocked progress toward my own dreams! My modesty and isolation in this practice (not wanting to get into competitive comparisons of simplicity or greenness) did not serve me well in communicating it effectively to inspire others to take steps in their own positive directions.
This self-reflection and transformation turned out to be an example of the best support community can provide.
I once pictured my community as a bunch of smiling alligators (conflict avoiders) and now agree with a neighbor that we are learning to love each other more.