[VIDEO] Marianne & Friends in “When I’m 65” Recording – Aging in Community

I want to share a video that I did with my friends a while back.

I’m passing this along because I think it encapsulates something important that I want you to really see.

Aging in community is beautiful and real, and it’s something that you can really do

Yes, it takes some planning, discernment, and guts. It requires investing some time, money, and hard work.

But when it all comes together, the rewards are worth it.

This is how we as women were meant to live. Together in community, supporting one another as we age in a nourishing and heart-centered environment.

It’s something that you can do to0. And you might be closer to making it a reality than you think

Maybe you already have a group of friends who would be perfect for this sort of thing if you could find the right spot. Or maybe you already have access to a house, condo, or complex and just need to find your tribe.

Speaking as The Grand Nudge for a moment, you’ve got take ownership of where you are going to end up as you age. You can’t keep waiting for someone to build your community for you and track you down to tell you about it.

If you’re ready to get started with or reassess your aging in community journey, I’ve got some questions for you.

These questions form the basis of my Guidebook, “Your Quest for Home”, and help you define how you wish to live in your later years.

I’ve created a free download of these questions that I encourage you to download. If you haven’t already joined the Women Living in Community network, sign up now and I’ll send it right over.

Join the Women Living in Community Network and get my community building questions now!

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If you are already a subscriber, you can access the questions from my book here.

An Update from Marianne

It’s been a while since I have posted here on Women Living in Community.

That’s because I’ve been actively engaged in some community building projects that are close to my part. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I want to take a moment to get you up to speed and share some of my journey with you.

In the past couple of years, I’ve watched as the topic of aging in community has a central narrative in the media as the Boomers grapple with how they want to spend their later years.

Having been a pioneer in this area for over a decade, I’ve appeared in some of the news coverage and had an opportunity to share my perspective. I’ve also had a chance to track the course of some exciting developments that community developers, architects, and designers are creating to solve the problems posed by multi-generational housing.

Along the way, I’ve been hard at work on some projects of my own, which is what I’d like to update you on today. These projects include developing an intentional neighborhood here in Asheville, participating in the Residential Living Academy (RAL), and building a tribe of my own.

So where have I been?

Developing an Intentional Neighborhood in Asheville, NC

At one point, I thought I wanted to be a developer.

I bought a house with an adjacent property and spent years struggling, like Sisyphus, uphill.

I tried everything I could think of, and, while I had a lot of potential interest, no one could help me start the process. I simply couldn’t do it alone.

There was so much to work out. Ranging from infrastructure and zoning to housing design to homeowners agreements, I needed the right people to show up in order for it to come together.

I worked endlessly with the developer, builders, various experts, and officials. I worked closely with several people who were very interested in living here. But the people I needed didn’t show no matter how hard I tried.

And so, one year ago, I sold my property to a developer. The hope was to build several modular homes in the site and expand into a final vision for a pocket neighborhood.

Today, the property is still undeveloped. The project of developing the property may continue, but that is no longer in my hands and unlikely to have community baked into its design.

That’s because it became clear that pocket neighborhood I had envisioned was not meant to be. I realized that I had to let go, and I didn’t have to do it alone.

I held a letting go ceremony with the help of some close friends who had joined or supported me on my journey. This process included the burning of some documents connected with my vision and kind words from friends who had been involved in the project.

Over the next few months, I spent some time in the morning looking out my kitchen window at the larger property, working on letting go. Noticing the wind, rain, snow, and sunshine come and go over those mornings, and something in me eventually shifted.

I was ready to truly let go and had made room in my heart for what comes next. The final step in the process was to build a small fire in the same ashes as the fire of the original ceremony with some time quiet reflection. I was pretty much ready to move on.  

What I learned along the way, yet again, is that I really am a visionary. And being a visionary is great, but sometimes it is just not enough. That’s a valuable lesson and something I’m actively working on applying in my life.

Things change, and that’s okay.

So, I came within fifteen feet of my dream, literally. There are some steps just outside my driveway that lead down to an open lot where the community would have been.

While it’s true that I don’t have the type of community that I had envisioned, I wound up developing deep ties with my neighbors during the process. In fact, I ended up with a pretty awesome intentional neighborhood of my own along the way that I’m grateful to call home.

After I sold the land, I put my intention out to the universe. Living in a community of like-minded people was still what I wanted. Since that time, all of the homes around me have become an organically grown community.

Our intentional neighborhood as it stands today was born out of proximity. We’re all walking distance within one another and through fostering relationships we’ve come together over shared meals, a community garden, and more. The neighborhood is made up of renters, homeowners, and housemates of diverse ages and backgrounds.

A big test of our community came when a guest in my own home needed emergency services. When they saw the red flashing lights outside my house, one neighbor called to make sure I was okay. Although the emergency personnel had the situation under control, it sure felt good to know at that moment that someone in our little place was looking out for me and had my back.

We’re there for one another in good and bad times. We’re one phone call away if there’s an emergency or a celebration.

I’m also renovating the brick ranch house that was going to serve as the community house of my pocket neighborhood, and it came out fantastic. I’ve always thought that this house could serve as a great model for shared senior living, a la Golden Girls. And I’m more excited now than ever about its potential.

It’s got a completely new kitchen that can serve as the heart of the home, remodeled bathrooms, improved storage facilities, and more. I look forward to possibly opening this property up for community living again sometime in 2020.

During my sabbatical, here’s what else I got up to!

Tribe Training

In 2017, I wrote about Tribe Training, and I am pleased to say this experience has been transformative. There are 6 people in our group all local to the Asheville area.

What I didn’t realize before this experience was that a group of people who don’t live together can forge even deeper connections than the typical intentional community. We rely on each other, we have each other’s backs, and we’re all interested in building community.

I love the structure, the commitment, and ritual of our dedicated time together. They have become my chosen family and we have learned to grow and age together in a way that’s different than other relationships.

 

Residential Living Academy

I also attended the Residential Assisted Living Academy in Phoenix Arizona in May of 2018. Started by Gene Guarino, it’s a method of designing residential communities to incorporate an assisted living home within neighborhoods rather than the prisons we’ve designed as the medical model or Continuing Care Residential Communities (CCRC) facilities.

His model targets real estate and business partners for what he calls “doing well and doing good.” Once in place, his concepts can immediately benefit elders living within neighborhood environments. Through my training there, I realized the impact that one person could have in the training of others to embrace this new idea.

I also learned more about why there is so much interest and investment going into viable models for senior housing. As Boomers continue to age, more and more of us are insisting on alternatives to the options that our parents may have had. We want to stay connected as we age, and we want to stay in our homes as long as we age.

And that leads to major investment opportunities for real estate investors and developers who are can stay ahead of the curve. Having learned what I have by going through RAL, I’ve got a better toolbox than ever for aligning my mission with investors and realtors.

Media Exposure and Public Appearances

I’ve also participated in several interviews and feature articles on a variety of media sources, like Parade Magazine and the Washington Post.

Sometimes it’s difficult to see yourself through someone else’s eyes, but both of these articles made me recognize that I was a leader and a pioneer in this movement and I am excited that others are seeing what the future could be.

I’ve been featured quite a bit over the years in the news, television, and radio. That’s because I think that it’s important that we keep having crucial conversations about we live and age together, both with one another and in the public sphere. Moving forward, I’m looking forward to being out there more in the media and continuing to push for the solutions I believe in for living in community.

 

Upcoming Speaking Engagement

What happens next that I’m excited about? I’ll be speaking at the Living Well annual retreat in Asheville this October. The event promotes the creation of community for a happier and healthier lifestyle.

 

Where do I go from here? Join me and find out with me!

I did take some time away on what I referred to as a sabbatical from Women Living in Community itself.

And I know the journey is never complete. I have long talked about the mission of living in community and what that looks like. It takes a lot of forms, from my shared home that was featured on NBC to an intentional neighborhood like my own.

It’s not at all the end of my story. It’s not even the beginning. It’s part of an ever-evolving journey that will take me any number of places. When people ask me “What’s next?” I’ve had to get used to saying, “I don’t know.” I don’t like the answer, but I’m comfortable with what it means for now.

It’s time for me to take something I love, Women for Living in Community, and broaden it to encompass the entire Boomer cohort looking for a new way to pave the road ahead. This isn’t just for women, it’s for everyone.

Women for Living in Community can and will take many forms. I’m here to help others on their own paths as they age in place and in community.

It’s time to let Marianne out of the box. There is a lot we can do around alternative housing choices and to engage with that is the next phase of me.

Until next time, it’s a movement!

So stay connected by signing up below.

I’ll be sharing more of my journey, community building resources, and updates on the Aging in Community movement!




New Tribe Training – Round 2 May 2017 in Asheville NC

Last October we hosted a New Tribe Training at the Center for Art and Spirit in Asheville, North Carolina (click here to read that blog post). The training was a huge hit with a full roster of excited participants from all over, and participants now in the process of starting their own tribes.

todd2 (1)“On a personal level, Bill & Zoe’s New Tribe Training profoundly shifted my perspective on emotional intimacy and how to see the gifts that different people can bring to any relationship or group. When it comes to building tribe, the strong yet tender approach that they have developed could easily save anyone interested in building community, years if not decades of fumbling in the dark.”
Todd McCall, Asheville, North Carolina
“I will be forever grateful that I decided to take the New Tribe Training. The Training has regenerated every aspect of my life. My connections with others are easier and deeper. My personal growth is more robust. Even the trajectory of my life is improved. _Everything_ is better! Sign up! You won’t regret it.” Paula Willis, Asheville, North Carolina

New Tribe Training May 18 – 21, 2017 | Asheville, NC

If you missed the training last year, no worries!  There is a second opportunity May 18 – 21, 2017 in Asheville, NC.  In fact, there are 3 other opportunities with trainings in Portland and Ashland Oregon and Ontario, Canada.

What is it?

A workshop for people deeply longing for a close knit, non-residential, loving community as a safety net for challenging times. Led by Bill Kauth, co-founder of “The ManKind Project, Warrior Monk & Our Tribe” and Zoe Alowan, co-author of We Need Each Other and also co-founder of Our Tribe.

Fee: $175 with registration for hard costs of venue & all meals. At the completion of the workshop Bill & Zoe will formally request a gift based on value you have received over the 3 day workshop ($300 – $1500).

Space is limited to 24 people

Registration: via email to bkindman@mind.net or contact Bill or Zoe at 541-482-2335 / 530-263-4778. To learn more about Tribe, visit www.TimeforTribe.com.

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October 6-9, 2016 – New Tribe Training

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October 6 -9, 2016: New Tribe Training

Location:  Center for Art & Spirit (1 School Road, Asheville, NC 28806)

In May 2016 we attended the New Tribe Training in Oregon. As an advocate for aging in community, I saw this as an important way of creating community without the confines of location or having to share homes and land.  We are co-sponsoring this New Tribe Training in Asheville and hope to see you there!

A workshop for people deeply longing for a close knit, non-residential, loving community as a safety net for challenging times. Led by Bill Kauth, co-founder of “The ManKind Project, Warrior Monk & Our Tribe” and Zoe Alowan, co-author of We Need Each Other and also co-founder of Our Tribe.

Fee: $175 with registration for hard costs of venue & all meals. After the workshop Bill & Zoe will formally request a gift based on value you have received over the 3 day workshop ($300 – $2100).

Space is limited to 24 people

Registration: via email to bkindman@mind.net or contact Bill or Zoe at 541-482-2335 / 530-263-4778. To learn more about Tribe, visit www.TimeforTribe.com.

Women For Living in Community