Go Local for Community Resources

Over the years I’ve met many people in the community movement who have been my inspiration and education.  I’ve been fortunate to have a few right in my own backyard (so to speak).  Here are profiles of 3 such people who have been instrumental in my quest for Community:

LEADER IN ECOVILLAGES AND INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES

dianeleafchristianDiana Leafe Christian breathes, writes and lives about community, specifically, Ecovillages and Intentional Communities.  “Ecovillages are urban or rural communities of people who strive to integrate a supportive social environment with a low-impact way of life.” (Source).

She doesn’t just write about it, she lives in one in Black Mountain, NC called Earthaven (www.Earthaven.org).  This community was formed in 1995 and is now up to 55 full-time residents with diversity in age and background.

Living in an Ecovillage is not just about being sustainable but also how to get along and make decisions. Diana teaches workshops and writes about “Sociocracy,” a way of consensus building in community.  To get an idea of what it means, you can view a Youtube video here, “Diana Leafe Christian – Decision-making in communities + intro to Sociocracy 1“.

All of those seeking to learn about or who live in community have probably come across Communities Magazine. Diana was the editor from 1993 – 2007.  In addition to editing, Diana also published several books about Ecovillages and Intentional Communities.  Her books are considered the “bible” for community (click on titles to view on Amazon):

creatingCreating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities

Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community

What more can I say? How fortunate am I to have her this close?

 

LEADER IN DEVELOPING COMMUNITY TOOLS FOR COLLABORATION


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Zelle Nelson and Maureen McCarthy
are a dynamic couple I met over 1o years ago while on my search for alternatives to lawyers and litigation in community forming documents. They live in Western Carolina in the small town of  Flat Rock. They are the founders of The Blueprint of WE (initially known as the “State of Grace Document) that later became The Center for Collaborative Awareness. The Blueprint of WE is a collaboration tool that can be used by businesses, in family, in groups  and of course, in community. It starts with you and custom designs a collaboration process for building together and is a guide when conflicts arise. You might think of a relationship as you and another person but with the Blueprint of WE, it’s “You, Me and WE.” blueprint

I encourage anyone who wishes to have better collaboration and communication in any personal, community or business endeavor to explore this fabulous tool.

LEADER IN BEING PASSIONATE
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Gregg Levoy  is an author who writes and speaks about passion and callings – what inspires you, what defeats you, what drives you. Gregg does not work directly in the Community movement but what he writes about is important to anyone interested in living a purposeful life with passion. I met Gregg at a workshop over 12 years ago in California and found out a few years ago that he lives in Asheville, NC!
His latest book, Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion has made him a favorite at the conferences on aging due to the nature of the topic and his workshop leading skills. It examines the endless, yet endlessly fruitful, tug-of-war between passion and security in our lives, asking yourself questions like: How do you lose passion and how do you get it back? His other book, Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, explores how to cultivate passion as a mindset to add vitality to your relationships and work.
Love his website (http://www.gregglevoy.com/) which is full of great stuff.  One of my favorite things on his website is the music and movies he recommends. http://www.gregglevoy.com/vital-signs/music-movies.html but you can also see his workshop schedule. I encourage you to attend one.
As you can see, there are some dynamic  people here in western North Carolina and I only touched upon a few.  We also have great resources which I will write about in a future blog as part of my ongoing desire to serve. In the meantime, please share with me your resources or if you found any of these helpful or inspirational.
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A New Community Tribe: The First NotMom Summit

Months ago I was asked to participate in an event that would be the first of its kind. You never know what to expect in these situations but my participation made sense. This was the first ever conference for women without children. The idea was to bring together women who made the choice to not have children as well as those who did want kids but over time and circumstance find themselves without them.

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The first-ever NotMom Summit took place in Cleveland, Ohio on October 9th and 10th.

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Community or Place: A Look at Our Needs Vs. Our Wants

To build from my last post, which looked at the importance of connection as we age, I wanted to expand more on the key elements of successful “Aging in Place” and how the principles for building a community provide the alternative many are seeking.

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Community vs. Place: Why It Matters

Let’s take a closer look at aging in community and what makes it a different, and in many cases preferred, from aging in place.

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In Spring of 2015 I opened my mailbox to find the newest edition of Communities Magazine. In it was a fantastic article by Margaret Critchlow called “Senior Cohousing in Canada: How Baby Boomers Can Build Social Portfolios for Aging Well.” Since this is right in my own wheelhouse I quickly devoured the article.

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Class at OLLI Asheville: Life Long Learning and Exploring the Option to Age in Community

This year, starting on September 25th, a series of classes will be held for older adults in the Asheville area to explore the various options that are related to aging in community. I have the privilege of kicking off the event by teaching the first class at the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) in Asheville.

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OLLI was created many years ago and originally called The Center for Creative Retirement. It was developed because of the large influx of Boomers moving to the Asheville area to pursue their dreams of retiring in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Each class is presented by volunteer instructors and centered on lifelong learning and the expansion of the community that is already here.

Registration for these series of classes is open and available from now until October 6th.

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How We Live Now: A Review

I usually save my favorite books for the holidays but this one was published just this week and I like to keep readers up with the latest news. Even though there are a plethora of books on my shelf that I could recommend this is the one I think you should add first.

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Like many of you, my life is always on the go so I can’t always find time in my busy schedule to sit down and read an entire book. But if you don’t read anything else, this is the one to pick up from Amazon today.

Here are a few reasons.

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Tiny Homes and Community Living: A Recap

The country, and the world, is currently enamored with the idea of tiny houses. Just look at the popularity of DIY Network’s Tiny House Nation, which documents the building of a tiny house from concept to completion in just one 45 minute episode. Asheville company Wishbone Tiny Homes has even been featured on an episode.

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I have not been immune to this concept. I have written about tiny homes as an option for aging both in community and in place. Several times I asked a local tiny home dweller, Laura M. LaVoie, to share her insights and for other installments I explored the possibilities myself. Let’s take a look at the tiny house resources I’ve shared on this blog.

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Are You Ready to Make a Change? 5 Resources to Get You Started

You’re here because you want to make a change. You may be concerned about your options as you age or about having the right support network in place. It won’t be easy but the rewards are exponential. There is no time like the present to start shaping your future.

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How Do You Know if Aging in Community is Right for You?

Creating community isn’t just about finding people and moving into a house or a neighborhood. This is an important relationship that will influence everything in your future so you need to make sure that you’re right for it as well.

Book Launch

We know you’re here at Women for Living in Community because you are interested in alternatives to our culture’s traditional views of housing as we age. But community is not a magic bullet and it isn’t going to be right for everyone. So, how do you know if this is truly right for you?

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Help: The Corner Stone of Community

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In the March AARP issue (Bulletins) there was a great graphic titled Help When You Need It Most, a resource for caregivers and discusses the top concerns caregivers have and also provides resources to help with those concerns.

This list directly relates to Women for Living in Community because each of these concerns is addressed when women spearhead the change in how we think about aging in community because caregivers in our culture are usually women.

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Women For Living in Community