By Heartward member David Crean
I’m really excited about how things are developing for Heartward. We have been doing our due diligence by having a number of conversations with other cohousing ventures, in particular those that have a completed project. These conversations and explorations are ongoing. We wanted to hear from people who are currently living in the communities that were at one stage only a dream. It was fascinating to hear about individual journeys from planning, building and ultimately living in the community. I’m grateful for the time and very helpful perspectives that were shared.
My most important take-away was the importance for open and clear communication not only between community members but also with all those who we work with in bringing our village into existence. The other takeaway is to recognise and voice the emotions that are likely to arise during the process. Making a decision can be a painful process; making a decision that’s going to cost you money can make that process more challenging. Being willing to look at and share my emotional response to risk (what happens when talk gives way to action which means putting money on the table) seems helpful not only for me personally but also how a group can work together in an optimal way. Having a space to be able to share in such a way going forward has the benefit of further developing trust and mitigates against the possibility of a ‘surprise’ down the line.
One thing was clear from everyone we talked to: you can’t predict everything, there are going to be things that come up that cannot be foreseen. In order to meet any obstacle, it’s important to be emotionally grounded and informed. If you can’t be informed… it’s best to be grounded! There is stability and strength to be gained from those we choose to be with in community.