Raising Children in Community with Amy Saloner
Inside Community Podcast — Ep. 017
For many looking for community, a primary goal is to be a part of a multigenerational reality where they can raise their own children or be in that special relationship of co-parent or auntie/ uncle. Whether folks are looking for support or to be supportive in the care of the young, it is important to create a safe container, clear agreements, and attune to the highest needs of each individual child.
In this episode
- The kids are talking (0:0)
- What is the Emerald Village? (5:21)
- The power of having a safe place to turn (11:21)
- Understanding the needs and boundaries (16:56)
- The importance of respect (22:05)
- The creation of the agreements and agreements (26:54)
- Explain your values to others (32:31)
- Helping each other as parents (43:13)
- The divergent needs of the children (49:10)
- The divergent needs of teens and adolescents (58:17)
- The role of teens in the community (1:04:43)
- Importance of initiations and how to use them (1:10:55)
- The importance of keeping it simple (1:16:45)
- Where to learn more about Amy? (1:21:46)
About Amy Saloner
Amy Saloner, LCSW FNTP has worked with children and families for the last 30 years as a therapist, educator, speaker event producer and coach. Her work has spanned the developmental spectrum from birth through young adulthood and specializes in raising resilient teens and young adults. Twelve years ago she and her husband co-founded the intentional community The Emerald Village in north county San Diego with four other families. They have raised their three children (23,16 and 13) there and have co-parented 9 other children during that time. Amy is currently in private practice as a parent and teen coach and nutritional therapist. She teaches courses and runs support groups on parenting adolescents and sees private clients online and in-person for nutritional, relational and emotional support.
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You can find Amy at amysaloner.com
Instagram: @resilientfamily_resilientteen Facebook: @amysalonerprofessional
For those who a) follow her on Instagram, b) sign up for her newsletter and c) send her a message with the word COMMUNITY, she will send you her worksheets and video for Creating a meaningful Rites of Passage Ceremony for your child.
She currently co-runs a monthly support group for parents of 11th and 12th graders called The Fireside Chats with Carolyn and Amy. Learn more and register here.
FIC Course Raising Children in Community 5 weeks starting June 20th at 8am PT
Use Code INSIDE30 for 30% off
Super Awesome Inside Community Jingle by FIC board member Dave Booda davebooda.com
ICP theme by Rebecca Mesritz
Thanks from Rebecca, your podcast host
Rebecca Mesritz 0:00
For more than 50 years communitarians community seekers and cooperative culture activists have been sharing their stories and helpful community resources in communities magazine. Communities has published countless articles on child raising and growing up in community including seven entire issues devoted to the topic. The upcoming summer 2023 issue includes an article by Dana Gaskin Winnick, entitled The kids are talking pay attention, remembering a communal childhood, you can receive current print or digital issues plus gain access to all back issues in digital form by subscribing at Jen hyphen us.net/subscribe. koho us is the hub of the cohousing movement, convening individuals and organizations with a shared vision for intentional community living. expert led courses and forums on the cohousing Institute, provide the skills and expertise to build and sustain your community available both live and on demand. Join coho us for the commons a monthly gathering space for the cohousing curious the 10th of every month at 10am Mountain learn email@example.com.
Rebecca Mesritz 1:31
Welcome to the inside community podcast. I’m your host Rebecca Mezrich. As I was planning out this season, I really spent some time thinking about all the places where things just get really tricky and values and beliefs can get pushed up against. And I have to say that I think today’s topic was probably one of the first things that came to my mind. I have noticed that a lot of people who are interested in community are really looking for a better way to raise children and be with family. We all share some sort of ancient futuristic vision of a village reality, where the responsibility and the joy the challenge and the blessings of raising children can be shared. And even for people who do not necessarily have children themselves, the great gift that it is to be around young people. And the reminder of ourselves as children and the beauty of their and our own untainted spirits is so powerful and can be so healing. As someone that lived in community for many years before having children myself, I got to learn a lot by watching other parents and seeing how they did things, getting to be a part of the co parenting experience with them. I got to watch how other aunties and uncles showed up for children that were not their own. And then when I did have my daughter, I got to experience the holding and the care and the tenderness of the family that I had created around me to be there in support of this beautiful new being, and also in support of me in support of my journey as a mother and supportive my husband’s journey as a father. And I also got to see all the ways that people showed up for me that it never would have even occurred to me to show up for them, because I just hadn’t been through it yet. So today we’re gonna dive into all that it is to raise children in community. And I could not be more thrilled to have this guest on my show. Amy salona is a licensed clinical social worker and functional nutritional therapy practitioner. She’s worked with children and families for the last 30 years as a therapist, educator, speaker, event producer and coach. Her work has spanned the developmental spectrum from birth through young adulthood, and she specializes in raising resilient teens and young adults. She and her husband are cofounders of the Emerald village, a community in North County San Diego, where they raised their three children and have also co parented nine other children during their time there. Amy is currently in private practice as a parent and teen coach, a nutritional therapist. She teaches courses and runs support groups on parenting adolescents and sees private clients online and in person for nutritional, relational and emotional support. But beyond all of that, Amy salona is a dear personal friend and sister to me. And one of those parents that I spoke about earlier when I said I got to learn about parenting and how to be with children from the people around me. I hope you’ll forgive the very familiar tone that I have with her it would be impossible for me to hide the love that I have in my heart for this woman. And I hope that you all enjoy this interview. And all that we talk about as we dive deep into raising children and rites of passage. And the beauty of doing all of This community Amy salona welcome to the Inside community Podcast. I’m so so excited to have this conversation with you and record it and just have this time with you to talk about something that I know we both care about so much. Yeah,
Amy Saloner 5:21
it is such an honor to be here. Thank you, Rebecca, for inviting me.
Rebecca Mesritz 5:25
Absolutely, absolutely. You know, most of the people that listen to this show know a little bit about the Emerald village because they hear me talk about it all the time. But I usually start my interviews by asking for people to tell me about their community and what their community experiences and give us sort of a snapshot of of what life is like there. So why don’t you tell me about the Emerald village?
Amy Saloner 5:55
Perhaps Absolutely. So the Emerald village as a nine acre property in North County, San Diego. I’m one of the original co founders 12 years ago with four other couples, my husband and I came together with them in a very magical experience of visioning and sort of finding this really special, unique place in San Diego. Some of us were parents, and some of us weren’t quite yet parents. But we wanted to be in community together. So we all moved, well, I didn’t my husband, I didn’t move on quite right away. But the most most of us moved on and started caring for this beautiful land. And I think our focus of our community really has been making it a home for our members as much as possible. And I think, you know, and underpinning so much of who we are, is sort of this idea of creating a spiritual space, not necessarily, you know, one practice but really this unified understanding of spirit being part of our life. And really finding a way to steward this land and right relation with our bio region with the people living on and and in its and just creating a place for events and connection and celebration. And over the years, we’ve become a place of learning. Other people come here to visit to learn about what community is. We have celebrations here, you know, life is full here. But it’s really about raising our families and about creating a safe space and community for all of us to grow and to thrive.
Rebecca Mesritz 7:55
Well, obviously, I have a deep love in my heart for the Emerald village. As another of those said, co founders. One of the reasons that I was so excited to talk to you today, obviously, is that you’ve done so much work. I mean, since even before I met you, you’ve had a deep commitment to children and families and babies. And I think when we met you were still doing the natural baby pros and organizing these fairs for for new mamas. So this has been a part of your offering to the world for such a long time. And I think between that and Mama Leila Leila McCree said and her being a teacher, there’s always just been this really deep desire to support the children and make things about the children. And I’m wondering if you can tell us a little bit about the life of children at the Emerald village and what kind of environment and what kind of space is really created for them there?
Amy Saloner 9:00
Yeah, you know, we, we joke with other people or just talk about it that, you know, the our kids live a life that most dream of, you know, they have this beautiful big property. They have their friends, right next door, and a safe place to play. We have a kid zone which was dedicated to them with jungle gyms and, you know, the idea of a of a tree house but you know, the growing of a tree house, the, you know, just places all over the land, there’s animals to care for there’s and there’s so many more people than just their parents, which I think is something in my work and in my life is a really important theme that you know, and we call this a village and it really is that Children need more than just, you know, one or two people, they will thrive with one loving and caring human. But the parents will also thrive more when they have the support of a village around them, when they have people who are as committed as they are to creating a safe and beautiful place for their families, who love, you know, each of the children as their own, you know, all the Mamas and Papas and aunties and uncles who are there for our kids, you know, my oldest who’s 23 will say how important it was to have other adults in his life, who he could turn to, to talk to about, you know, what was happening for him and to play in ways that, you know, maybe his parents didn’t play the same way. But other parents or other aunties and uncles did. And so these kids have a life of support and of safety and connection and learning other families. Practices for holidays, and, you know, other ways to celebrate, they’re all learning from each other and growing together. And it’s really quite magical.
Rebecca Mesritz 11:27
And I’m just recalling so many moments of, of exactly what you’re talking about, you know, whether it’s your oldest sort of his, you know, closeness, like I have a close friendship with him. And I would say Yona does, too, and thinking about when he, you know, when he was traveling abroad, and is mean, he’s only 23. Now, I think 23. Right, yeah. So when he was traveling abroad, out of high school, and was having some serious crisis, and just I remember him, calling us to talk to us about what was going on for him emotionally and mentally and spiritually, and just feeling like, wow, we’ve really built such a strong relationship with this young man that he’s literally on the other side of the planet, and he thinks to call us to ask us for advice, and how, how incredible that is to have, over those years built that relationship.
Amy Saloner 12:28
Exactly. And, and it’s true. And with adolescents in particular, who, you know, they’re meant to be individuating from their parents, but having other trusted adults in their life that they can turn to is, is so important during that time. And this is what we built here was a place for as our kids grew to need to know that they had trust in other people to be there for them.
Rebecca Mesritz 13:02
Yeah, I was also thinking this morning about as, as I was getting ready to talk to you. Yona was kind of joking about his his role is like, are you going to are you going to ask about about me beating up on the kids? And and sort of Yeah, I think it’s kind of funny that there is this he he played this role is like this big uncle character that would like the kids could come and have somebody to really like roughhouse and kind of workout some Yeah. Yeah. As with in a big way. And I think a lot of times, especially moms just don’t say like, No, I’m not that like, go go find Papa Yona. Let him do that with.
Amy Saloner 13:51
Exactly. Exactly. To exactly to have to have somebody to taunt and play with. Yeah, and to also learn boundaries. Because this, you know, not only for the kids to learn boundaries, but for us as parents to understand our own boundaries. And sometimes we don’t know them until we’re faced head on with them, and have to stand and say, Whoa, wait a second. That doesn’t feel okay. And I think that was one of the great things that we created here was this capacity to be able to, to have conversations, difficult conversations around how we parent, what boundaries we have what we wanted our kids to learn. And even if they were not always exactly the same, it would give us the opportunity to say okay, wait a second. This is important to me, which if we lived in a single family home, you know, we’d only be doing working that out with just one other partner and if we’re, you know, rough We’re the same, but we may not know, we don’t know what we don’t know. And so in this safe container, we were faced with different opportunities to stand up and say, Oh, that’s amazing. That’s really good. Keep going with that. Or, you know what? That I’m not okay with that let’s stop, and being able to have ruptures and repairs on regular basis that allowed us to get closer, and also clarify what was important to us.
Rebecca Mesritz 15:30
Yeah, well, let’s, I mean, let’s get into some of that. Because I feel like when I talk about the great successes of the Emerald Village, I would put the children at the top of that list for sure. You know, I think that the way that co parenting evolved, and the agreements evolved, was really exemplary. And I would love to walk people through that a little bit, you know, what the process was of creating those agreements, and sort of what the end product of those agreements were, and what was included in those agreements?
Amy Saloner 16:10
Absolutely. And it’s so good, because, you know, I do so much work with parents now. And agreements, particularly with adolescents is a is a big thing. And I really drew from my experience here at EVO, in this process of co parenting together, why agreements were so important. And really what it was because it’s not creating agreements is not necessarily an intuitive process. It’s not something that we necessarily grew up with our parents sitting down and saying, Okay, here’s all the things we need to think about. And here’s how we’re going to operate. There may have been families like that, but I don’t know that any of us who were here together, had that kind of parenting. And that was sort of like you do what you’re told, or, you know, and otherwise there was there were fighting, and it was just this understanding that, you know, teens and adults, we’re just going to be at odds and that and I think we really turned that on his head. Because we we really made the implicit, explicit. So we really took these ideas and and had to explore number one, we had to understand our own values. And we had to understand our shared values, and that they weren’t always exactly the same. And so I think values is the first place that you start. What what’s important to you how, how do you see raising your children? How do you see living every day, and so just that process of clarity of values is important. And then understanding sort of the needs and boundaries of each both individual and the collective. So each of us have different needs or experiences or desires based on on who we are. And our children are also the same. They’re all unique. They have different capacities, they’re at different ages. And I think that was something we did regularly was have conversations about, you know, our needs and our boundaries and where they were being pushed and where we needed to be held. And what was ours and what was somebody else’s. So that was, you know, those were regular conversations. And, you know, third, I think, and this is something I do with families all the time is we have to look at the full scope of responsibility, like what are all the things that have to get done that need to get done that need to be held. And sometimes unless we know, all of what the scope is that we’re, you know, when we’re teaching and raising children, we need to understand all of what’s possible, and what children are capable of. And then together, what we did was actually create agreements, spoken, and written agreements about how we would handle things. And it was something we all had to at least, you know, in the words in, in the ways of sociocracy, you know, good enough for now safe enough to try, we would never, we had to move away from an idea of perfect parenting because that wasn’t what it was. It was this idea like Okay, can we all try this these things? Can we all? For example, can we all try, you know, allowing other parents to parent the way they they want to parent as long as it was within the realm of being kind and being, you know, direct and not undermining each other? And we had to try that. And in many ways it worked in in other ways, we ran into some challenges. And so in the same way as sociocracy works, you know, when you try something, you come back to it, you revisit it, you check in, how’s it going? And we would revisit those things on a regular basis. Sometimes not as frequently as we needed to, and always something, you know, if something happened, it was like, Okay, it’s time, let’s have this conversation again, we need to revisit, our children are growing, they’re evolving, they need different things. Now, let’s all share and we would have, you know, at least quarterly, we would have conversations and still do about, you know, where’s our kids at developmentally? What’s happening for them? What are we seeing in them? And what is the what are other parents seeing in our children that maybe we’re missing? And so having that safety of being able to have this dialogue of what was happening, and so together, and it really came out of a, we wanted to have some common ground, when we did have some different parenting styles. But then it also grew into? How do we inform others who are not necessarily parents who are living here, who also interact with our children? And so how do we want to show them explain to them, how we want them to respond to our children, especially when maybe for some of them being around children is not typical for them? So it really became this, how do we create agreements, this agreement field around our children that allows that’s not rigid? That’s not, you know, focused on perfection, but really focused on how we each take responsibility for ourselves as the adults in their lives?
Rebecca Mesritz 22:05
Yeah, yeah, I mean, I think there’s an aspect. And that’s sort of underneath of what you’re saying, that really comes down to the fact that we have and had, and will probably always have deep respect for each other as people like the other adults. And yeah, I mean, obviously, a deep respect for each other’s children as well. But we respected each other as adults, we admired each other as parents, we trusted each other, too, even if our parenting styles or disciplinary styles might be a little bit different. We trusted each other to respect our personal boundaries for things like we all had an implicit understanding. But we made it explicit, as you said that we don’t hit our kids. We don’t We never hit her. I mean, except for Jana. He might beat up like Kim. But not, but never, but not, not out of anger, not out of like anger, discipline, right. Like they might be like roughhouse. But we don’t, we don’t hit our children. We don’t fit court, we don’t believe in corporal punishment. And, and right, we want to treat each other with respect. And we want to treat our children with respect. And so from that place, we could encourage others to be the type of parent and the type of person that they are, because we trusted and actually beyond trusted, thought that there would be benefit to our children from receiving different types of influence and different types of parenting strategies and different types of disciplinary strategies, which I think is, you know, you have to have that core piece of trust, really, if you’re going to be co parenting with people, that you you share those values enough to be able to make those agreements. Yeah. And that when things do like, okay, maybe, maybe that roughhousing has gone too far. And maybe we need to, like take it back a notch and rethink like this aspect, or I remember one that came up a lot was having three good positive interactions anytime for every correction or disciplinary action that you took, which I mean, I still think about that all the time. Like, am I balanced here? Am I coming down hard, repeatedly on a niece or nephew, you know, that I’m caring for in the proximity of frequently without having those good interactions as well? Because that’s, that’s not supportive. Ultimately, if you’re not building that trust and connection with the kid, then they’re not really going to be able to receive your your guidance. That’s when they need havior modification or behavior, you know, adjustment. Moving forward
Amy Saloner 25:09
intervention. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, I think it really came down to there were there were some core agreements, core values, core things that we agreed to as sort of like a baseline. And from there, you’re right, it was really like, we each brought something unique to the table in the way that we interacted with these interact with each of the kids, and allowing that to unfold, allowing that to be present. And it can be frustrating sometimes, because you as a parent may, you know, not the way that somebody else would address them may not feel as good to you, but you had to allow it to unfold, and then it creates a really beautiful process and opportunity to check in with the kids and, you know, bring it full circle, and they would like some of the kids would have ruptures with some of the other parents, you know, challenges with another parent, and it was really beautiful, it has been really beautiful to watch. The kids actually feel and have support to be empowered to have conversations and work through those challenges, too. So it’s not just the dynamic that the children are in with their own parents, which we all have, we all can get into grooves and ways of interacting, you know, with people who were around all the time and who co regulate together and who have, you know, our nervous systems so closely aligned, we’re gonna have ways of, of interacting, but it, it kind of takes them out of that to have many, many adults to interact with. And I see this in our kids in, in the outer community that they’re very comfortable communicating their needs and wants with adults, because they’ve had to practice that with other people besides their parents all the time, and take input and feedback. But aside from their parents, or their teachers, from other people in it, I think it grows a particular muscle and capacity that is really important for kids.
Rebecca Mesritz 27:28
Yeah, I want to talk more about the actual creation of the agreements, and and what is in that plan? I think that that feels like some good meat.
Amy Saloner 27:44
Yeah. I think it was Leila, who actually took all the input that we had, I think we had a meeting and kind of talked about a number of different kind of areas of focus that we needed to be mindful of. And she kind of took that and wrote it. So we have the document, it’s, it’s a little older, it needs to be revised, I think, because our kids were a little younger at the time. But the idea was really to, to find ways to honor our children’s nature, and the capacity that the adults have each to hold them, and focus on areas that, you know, came up pretty regularly. So really, where you end up having questions or conversations, and for some people, it’s having special needs for things. So for instance, some of the agreements we have around, you know, nutrition and food, right, so some of our kids had some special needs around food. So we would make requests, you know, can we make sure that at every meal, there’s at least one option or a few options for our kids or adults, even who have special dietary needs, so that when we do have community meals, they don’t feel like they’re showing up and don’t have, you know, that they have to still go and make their own food, we want to make sure everybody felt held and cared for in that way. And also, when foods are, you know, dangerous for people, if somebody has a has a severe allergy, that we just need to be mindful about that. We also had agreements around, you know, meals and meeting times in terms of what sort of the etiquette was right. We wash our hands before we and and what was so beautiful about all of this is that a lot of what we would ask with regards to the children, we would ask of everybody, so it never felt like or as little as possible. It felt like we were doing that the kids had to do something different than what we would expect of the adult. So we would wash our hands we would say grace at our meal, we would line up and allow for, for parents with young children to be able to go first or elders to be able to go first and get what they needed. So that they’re not waiting in line. So they can feed their small children who don’t have as much capacity to be patient, right. So we would have these conversations about how best to, to support, particularly the parents and the kids, we made sure that there was, you know, we started setting aside money to pay for childcare for meetings and activities, so that parents could actually fully show up. And it became just expected, if we have a retreat, everybody pays some money, so that all the adults can be present. And we would make sure we had childcare or we took it out of a budget. We would talk about things like language and and how we would speak about people or not, how we, you know, speak about, you know, whether adult language would be used, or how we would have conversations around quote, unquote, adult language, you know, cursing or things like that, like, we had to come to agreements about that, because everybody had different comfort levels. We talked a lot about sexual expression and touch. And you know, how we didn’t want this to be a sterile environment, we want there to be connection, but what is safe touch what is what happens when a child is expressing sexually in some way, especially a small child, you know, what are the things we say to them, so as not to shame them, we had to have lots of conversations around media, and what was okay for our kids to be exposed to and not exposed to. A lot about rhythms and routines, and then developmentally appropriate expectations for participation. So, at what age do kids start participating in our workplaces? At what age? Do they start helping with dishes at what age and and I will say that, you know, a lot of what we came to to is it’s not always about age, it’s about capacity. And so developmentally, is it appropriate, because there’s a difference between equitable and equal, that we need to look to where kids are have capacity, as opposed to whether they’re at a particular age that they should be able to do something. And then we talked about discipline and boundaries, and you know, how we would respond to things. So these were a lot of the the things that were included in our, in our explicit agreements.
Rebecca Mesritz 32:31
I would love if you don’t mind to be able to share that. I don’t know if it would be possible to link that for people. But I would love to be able to put a link in the show notes share that document, even if it is dated, just so people can have an understanding of like, oh, well, this was this is a starting point, take it where you want to take a look. You know, yeah, make it make it your own, in whatever way feels right for your community and your values. But it’s so it really, to me, that document really does spell out so many things. And the beauty of it is that again, sort of as you were saying in the beginning, a lot of times, we don’t have to make those values explicit to anyone and we don’t might not even make it explicit with our co parenting partner, or even within ourselves. We’re just kind of like, flying by the seat of our pants, because life is so busy. And we don’t necessarily set aside time to sit down and think about, well, how do I feel about this? And what do I want to do, it’s, we’re sort of just operating out of reaction to that’s too much, or that’s not enough, or whatever the thing is, and so having this incredible opportunity to sit down with other people and really spell out our values and have our values in the places that they need to be pushed up against, you know, I’m thinking specifically around like, I don’t know, it could be around, you know, nudity, I think is a really great example. You know, different people have different levels of comfort around the human body, and what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate. And I mean, I personally like to be naked. Me I want to be I want to be able to have my shirt off I want to have my shirt off and not feel uncomfortable. And and it’s like okay, well how do we make that work for all the different people and all the different levels of comfort? Not that I want to be you know, naked at a community dinner, anything like that. Right? Out bums out
Amy Saloner 34:38
naked gardening, right, exactly. And so this is why Yeah, you would be surprised even in even in just, you know, in a in a family itself, that a lot of times values aren’t actually explicitly spoken. So if you can imagine putting together five families plus other people, you know that, wow, okay, there’s going to be a diversity of need and the spectrum and where on the spectrum can we all land and feel some of us our boundaries are going to feel a little pushed, but maybe in a good way and others are going to feel like it’s not enough. But again, it’s this way that we, it’s a dance really, that we have to engage in to continually find that place and I have families now just you know, even if you’re not living in community, this is an exercise that’s really important for every family regardless to understand our own personal values to help our kids figure out what their values are, which may actually be different than ours. That we have to understand them and, and have respect and find ways to hold an honor and and find a place on that spectrum that we can all land and feel good about in our everyday
Rebecca Mesritz 36:10
I hope you’re enjoying my conversation with Amy cilona. The inside community podcast is possible because of people just like you who are passionate about community passionate about raising children, and are just curious about finding better ways to live more sustainable, resilient lives. And people just like you who are generous with their resources and can donate to the inside community podcast to help us keep this show going. If you’re one of those people who has a little extra to give, please visit ic.org/podcast and make a donation so that we can continue to have these beautiful conversations and share them with you. And now some words from our sponsors. The inside community podcast is sponsored by the Foundation for intentional community. fic has over 35 years of partnership with hundreds of intentional communities around the world. Our mission is to champion social, ecological and economic justice and resiliency, through the support and growth of cooperative culture, and intentional communities. We do this through our free directory of intentional communities, online events and courses, a free forum space for discussion and connection, and many other tools and resources for creating starting and living in community. As a thank you to our podcast listeners, go to the show notes to find a coupon code for 20% off fic books and workshops. This is a time when people need community. When most of the world is isolated, you can find connection through the firstname.lastname@example.org Catus is not your everyday architecture firm. Their interest and regenerative and community supportive design has cultivated an expertise in intentional and cohousing communities, with the focus on rich and healthy human experiences. Design Excellence and pragmatism are at the core of their work, as is an ethic of service to the client and natural or urban environments. Cactus is a leader in sustainable design, Zero Energy homes, passive house and delightful neighborhoods. They are experts in grassroots community engagement, and apply attention sophisticated design and creative solutions to every project. If it’s worth building, it’s worth building it well find caddis on Facebook and Instagram. And it Catus pc.com. That’s CADDIS pc.com.
Rebecca Mesritz 39:02
I want to come back a little bit to this idea of the kind of couple times a year check in and the parenting circle. I mean, I think that what I one of the things I really appreciate about what what you were saying earlier is it now you’ve established your your boundaries, you’ve established your values, you’ve made some agreements, and you have this opportunity to kind of do the evaluation and check in and see okay, is this working what’s not working? But also on on the deeper level when you’re co parenting with people that you really trust? You know, there’s these reflections that we might get that are really uncomfortable. You know, no one ever wants to be told that they’re doing it wrong and I don’t think that really ever happened. I don’t think it was cuz like, you’re, you’re not a good parent or something like that. I think that’s kind of, maybe it’s just me personally, but I feel like for almost all, at least all the moms I know, and probably some of the dads too. If you ever told told them they were a bad mom, it they would be like, simultaneously crushed and completely pissed off. You know? Like, what are you talking about? Yeah, or something. I mean, not. But even that not even just bad mom, but but even just like, oh, there’s this thing that maybe you could be doing better. And it’s like, I think for most parents, we feel like God, I’m just, I’m doing the best I can like, I’m really trying, I’m really trying. And so in order for us to receive any kind of feedback, good, good room for improvement, or somewhere in between, we really have to be in a trusted counsel with other people that can speak to us and say, like, Hey, I’m seeing this thing at you know that I love your child, you know that. I care deeply for your child. And I’m seeing this thing that’s happening. And I don’t know if you’re aware of it. But I need to know from you. How do you want me to respond? When, for example, your child who I absolutely adore, does this thing? That is not okay, for me? And how would you want me to respond? And or are you aware that your child has this behavior? And like to be in that trusted counsel with other parents that have those very, you know, could be super intense discussions, who I mean, it’s a such a blessing, and also talk about that growth? Growth edge.
Amy Saloner 41:44
Exactly, exactly. Right. Right, asking permission, May I share something right? And you, you often did a really good job of saying, hey, you know, just like you said, I’m, you know, I’m noticing this thing, how can I support you in this? Right? So, for most parents, you’re right, we often feel like, oh, my gosh, what more could I possibly do? I’m at my wit’s end, like, This is exhausting. Even having children who don’t have developmental challenges or other things, you know, it’s still, it can be a very exhausting process. And you can get into these grooves about how your parents seeing, and sometimes we can have miss things right OR, or NOT see a pattern because we’re so deeply in it. And that is the beauty of living in community and having a trusted counsel who, you know, with people who we trust, and using communication strategies that really offer support more than criticism, right? You know, just like you said, how, how do you want me to respond to this, you know, as a parent, and it really gives that empowerment to the parent to be like, you know, I don’t even know, right? And it gives space to be able to say, I don’t know, how are you handling it, right? Or somebody else can say, well, listen, when I see it happen, and this is what I do is this, okay? This seems to work. And then you’re also helping each other. Right, we’re helping each other as parents to grow, to get more clear about our own stuff to take our own personal responsibility. And I think that’s what really worked in this community in particular, was that pretty much everybody was willing to take personal responsibility. And that that is part of what makes it successful. And when you do have adults or parents in a, in a conversation, who are not able to take personal responsibility, it does get harder to do that thing. We happen to be really blessed that all of us had the capacity or learned in this process, we learned a lot in our first few years about how to communicate in in constructive ways. You know, each community, I think it’s helpful to have whether it’s nonviolent communication or a council structure have a way to communicate, that when we do talk about these tricky things, having those structures can help guide the conversation in a good way. One of the important things about having these conversations is the container that we create when we do it. Mama Leila brought in this idea of bringing in objects, whether that was a flower or a stone or just any sort of trinket that represented the child. And we set those in the center of the room when we would have these conversations about our children, really to create some reverence and awe Honor that they were, you know, as if they were there. And, you know, as someone who really appreciates ritual and ceremony, creating a sacred container when we talk about our children, is really important. And I think parents can do this themselves, even when they want to have a conversation about their child is to, you know, to set a space that is really reverent, you know, it’s not a place for you know, just venting, like we do have, there’s time and space for venting, but it’s really about honoring, and creating space that honors the child that allows us each as the parents to, to share what’s happening for them, what’s happening for us, as we’re, as we’re parenting them, and it creates a space that allows for our own needs to come up. And I think as parents, we I mean, as, as humans, it’s often a hard time to even identify for some people what our actual deep need is, right? Sometimes our needs feel like they’re coming from a place of fear, or a place of worry, or a place of what if, but really, when we dig deep into the needs that we have they come from, they come from a place of knowing. And that’s a different place. And that sometimes it’s hard for us to access that. And what I found in these conversations that we would have is that it was a little easier to tap into that deeper knowing of what we needed, what our children needed. And just by creating that sacred space, and really allowing us to ask each other what do you need. And to be able to have that, to know what it is that another parent needs to be able to parent better to be able to feel more whole and human themselves in this process.
Rebecca Mesritz 47:09
We’ve talked about some of the different topics that could be included in there. And I just want to make sure we’ve really covered everything, you know, what does it look like? And what is the goal with this document?
Amy Saloner 47:25
I think the goal with the document, you know, we all have our own understanding and memory of things. But unless it’s written down, you putting something in writing really makes it concrete and makes us something that we can all refer back to and go oh, yeah, yeah, that’s that is what we said. And so often agreements, it’s really important, I don’t care whether you live in community or or not, having written agreements with and for your children is really important. But I think, you know, it was really for us to recall what it is that we said. But it was also a way for us to share with, like I said earlier with non parents in the community, to know what our values are, to know when they’re walking in to living here that because the truth is in our community, the founders of the community were the ones who were all the parents. And really, this community is very family centric. So if you’re coming in here, you’re coming into a culture that is family focused. And because it’s not just one family, it’s five families, we needed to be really clear about what our collective vision collective agreements were. So that somebody who is not necessarily a parent, but wants to still and will engage with these kids know how to move forward, know what we expect. And so that they were clear.
Rebecca Mesritz 49:10
And we did have families, there were other families that came from time to time, you know, people with kids would come and be there for, you know, three to six months of, of CO living and I think that those documents did help them to navigate, like, these are how we this is how we are around food, this is how we are around media, please, you know, if this doesn’t work for you,
Amy Saloner 49:40
then it’s not the place for you. And that I think that’s that was something that actually created some cohesion for us. You know, and I think that’s important in a community too is what is the culture of the community and it can’t, you know, it will ebb and flow with people but there has to be sort of this foundational understanding of what’s important and because As our families were so, you know, fam, it is a kid centric place, that this had to be part of the agreements. And it I think it grounded us in many ways to be clear about this one thing, even if other things would kind of transition or change over time.
Rebecca Mesritz 50:23
Yeah, yeah, I want to, I want to take this path into one of the things that has come up several times, which is about the divergent needs of the children. And, obviously, in any in any situation, different children, they could be the same age or not the same age will have very different emotional, spiritual, intellectual needs. You know, I think about we had the blessing of having three boys very close in age who are like brothers, and have a lot in common, and by most accounts, but also have extremely different personalities and very different needs. And one of the, I think, great blessings that EVO has been able to experience as we, we do have there, we, I still include myself with you guys, just so you know, we do have a child with with special needs in in our community. With a we have a young man with a seizure disorder, and some developmental delays because of that. And, you know, I would love for you to just speak a little bit to how both the the the impact of that what what was learned, and has been continued to be learned from that experience for the community.
Amy Saloner 51:57
Yeah. So when we’re caring for a group of people, you it’s important to care with the person in some degree, with the highest needs in mind. Because when other people have general, you know, general capacities to be able to problem solver make decisions or handle situations, they have more flexibility to be able to handle or accommodate. But for someone, you know, like our child here, who does have special needs, we have to be very mindful, we have to be very thoughtful and kind of ahead of the curve, so as to keep him safe. And it does require a little more effort, we have to put locks on things, we have to keep things put away, we have to know how to respond to him specifically, right, I can’t have the same conversation with him about cleaning up after himself that I would with a child, even of the same age, but not the same, but a different level of development. So this is something that it has the opportunity to create a lot of compassion, a lot of real mindfulness, because you have to continually be thinking about how to either a keep the environment as safe and enjoyable as possible for everybody, while also still allowing for, you know, play and joy and, and all the things so and giving freedom. So I think, you know, like I said earlier, equity is really more of what we’re talking about making sure that everybody has the supports that they need to still be able to show up in a good way. That’s not this. Equitable is not always the same. It’s what’s appropriate. And that’s something that we’ve had to learn. And we’ve had to develop patience and understanding and in various capacities that we, you know, wouldn’t typically have to and that’s been a gift really.
Rebecca Mesritz 54:39
Yeah, what do you I mean, I’m sure people can imagine that there would be challenge and, and that I mean, I think the interesting thing is that there’s challenges with all with all children. Oh, yeah. And all adults That’s if we’re being real honest. And real honest, sometimes the adults are much more challenging than the children.
Amy Saloner 55:09
We’ve had, we’ve had a lot more experience to, to create some habits and patterns that are not always as easy to adjust.
Rebecca Mesritz 55:19
Yeah, yeah. And that said, I mean, I’m wondering, like, just from your perspective, what the what the great lesson has been from this brilliant, beautiful boy who has just, I mean, my eyes are like tearing up, my daughter has such a, I mean, she’s just, you know, he’s her best friend she loves. Yeah, we all love him. I mean, it’s just such such a love, and challenging, you know, challenging behaviorally and challenging for his his own safety sometimes. And I’m wondering, from your perspective, like, what’s the lesson or the the deepest blessing from him?
Amy Saloner 56:06
I think the deepest blessing from him is really presence. Right? This is the, like really having to stop and as parents to balance this idea of, you know, how do I hold and contain in the right, with the right amount of pressure, while still really listening deeply to what’s going on for this particular child? Because that is the truth of parenting is, it’s way more listening than telling, way more listening than telling that we have to listen to all the cues, you know, what are they eating? Have they had enough water? Are they sleeping? Are they too stimulated? Are they moving their body enough? These are all sensory understandings of what’s going on and impact our ability to cope with what’s going on in front of us. And when you have a child who these particular processes can be very easily dysregulated, then you have to listen even more closely. And you have to be, like I said, one, one step ahead of the game, and really anticipating what might happen and being prepared. But that takes real presence, you cannot be focused on multiple things. And so that’s the beauty of having him here is that when we each take a turn being with him, it really flexes that muscle of presence. And it just helps us not take for granted the things that are around us. Whether it’s the land or whether it’s each other. That you know, we’re all precious. And when we really listen, we can be in good relation with each other.
Rebecca Mesritz 58:17
Or love that kid? No.
Amy Saloner 58:22
Any army forces us to keep our, you know, our stuff organized and put away. Thanks so
Rebecca Mesritz 58:37
much. So, you know, again, on this topic of the divergent needs. As EVO was formed, there were already some, all the kids were basically either newborn to see Jacob must have been like 10
Amy Saloner 59:00
Jacob was about 1010 or 11.
Rebecca Mesritz 59:03
Yeah, so so little. So it would say we started with a lot of little kids. And now the little kids are entering adolescence. Yes. And are getting ready for, you know, the next chapter of moving into more maturity responsibility, access. And I’m wondering you know, there’s something so beautiful and perfect about the kind of, I don’t want to say seclusion, because it’s not like we were walled off from the outside world by any stretch of the imagination. But the bubble that was able to be created during those formative years and really creating that like safe haven for the littles that feels like something I think most parents would love to create, just to preserve the The naivete and the innocence as long as possible. And then when you have 12 year olds and 13 year olds, and they’re starting to, you know, they don’t want that anymore. And the needs are changing. And I’m wondering, what is EVO doing? And how is EVO supporting the teens and the adolescents to still feel that connection to safety and their route and their family, while allowing them to branch out into their their own personal expression, whatever that might be?
Amy Saloner 1:00:38
Yes, exactly. I wish I could remember who it is, it’s in one of my slides from a training, but there’s a beautiful training or a beautiful quote, that says something to the effect of, you know, the most important thing we can do as parents is give our children, the roots so that they can grow their wings to fly. And I do think that is exactly what we are striving for here. And that is creating these, these rooted understandings of who and what is important in life, right, that connection to nature and connection to each other, and listening and ritual, and, and routine and rhythm, you know, rhythm with the seasons, and rhythm with our own bodies, are all really important. And those roots really establish that sense of safety and trust that, that these young individuals feel safe enough to fly and figure out who they are. And that is the importance of initiations. And we’ve held a few of those here, not necessarily all on the land. But, you know, in this time, as our young kids are growing, you know, my kids have all had their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs is, you know, we, we are Jewish by our faith. But we brought in a lot of other things to that process to really ground in this sense of stepping into young adulthood. You know, there have been ceremonies for young women, you know, having their menstruation for the first time, and what that means to embody that next stage of their development. There will continue to be initiations and supports for these kids. Because we all see the value in understanding that. A, this is something lacking in our general culture, that we all go through these various stages of development. But we need these anchors, these moments in time to recognize and a village and community is, is one of the most important key elements, whether or not you live in an intentional community, but having community of some kind is what’s important to hold that container to have, as the child goes through these different phases in this transition, having that community to provide the reflection to provide the container to provide the support to allow for that expansion to happen. There’s this idea of Dr. Daniel Siegel talks about the me within the Wii or the muy is, you know, for short, and this is a this is a learning in adolescents in particular, as they’re individuating. This idea and we see it in them, right, there’s so internally focused, so about what’s going on for themselves. So, and many of us adults get stuck in that, in that idea, in our culture, to that it’s all about me, you know, like whatever I need, whatever. And this is the balance that we find in community that there is a me, but there is also we and that we operate, not only to make sure that our needs are met, but that the collective need is met as well. And we are each a part of that we are each, we each bring a gift in a piece to that puzzle. And our young teens are figuring out who they are as a piece in that puzzle. I was a part of the week and that includes contribution. You know, it’s this dance between me, you know, finding my wings and flying but also coming back to the nest and caring for that nest, which includes the land In the relationships and the people and the animals and just the culture itself. And this is what makes it really beautiful. And it’s hard, but it’s really beautiful.
Rebecca Mesritz 1:05:20
I’m wondering what the support for the kids looks like, as they are Shinsei to adolescence looks like as they start to talk about the different roles and responsibilities and just sort of how you see that timeline shifting. And obviously, it’s not necessarily something that happens, okay, when you’re 12, you do this? And when you’re 13, you you do this? So what is the conversation with them? Like in regards to at this point? You’ve demonstrated the capacity? How does that change? Because I know when we had, you know, early on, we’d have these blitz days or work parties, and they there wasn’t really a whole lot of expectation that the kids be working. But that changes with time, obviously, it’s like, no, you’re actually a member of this community, we all contribute here. This is not just we’re doing this, and you get to go play video games or whatever, you know, play in the creek, while we’re all working in the sun. So how does that held? Yeah, well, that
Amy Saloner 1:06:23
has really shifted lately. Because we did have an agreement, we had a conversation as parents like, okay, what are we expecting of them? Now? What is what does it mean to be a part of this community, you may not make all the decisions, but your voice gets heard at retreats about certain things. You know, your voice is important to us. So we ask more questions. But we also have greater expectations. So the boys are required now or invited strongly to be present at blitz for a certain amount of time, and learning the skills and participating. My son takes a shift with husbandry every week for the family, it’s his job to do that. My daughter now cooks community meals once a month, just like everybody else. So as they’ve gotten older we do we look at capacity, we look at what’s appropriate. Now, my daughter also dances all day on Saturdays, and it’s too much for her to do Blitz, but we’re looking at other ways for her to contribute to still have a sum. Again, this is that equity piece, what’s appropriate for, for each person so that they’re contributing the what makes sense. And so that’s where we’ve shifted the you see the boys now all participating in work activities, taking care of the animals, taking the trash cans out, doing various things around here that, you know, typically the adults did. So it’s, it’s really awesome to watch them just like there’s chores in a home, there’s chores on the property, and everybody participates to the level that makes sense for them.
Rebecca Mesritz 1:08:19
So good. It’s so good. I, I mean, I just think, you know, for Serena to be cooking community meals, for example, you know, that skill of being able to cook for a large group of people, that’s, there’s never going to be in a time in her life when that is not a useful skill to have. So it is it is great that she’s contributing, but probably even more great, what she’s learning through that and same with the animals are the responsibility of taking the trash out, you know, just teaching them that. Yeah. This is how we live, we have to take responsibility for things in our life. No one’s gonna come and do it for you.
Amy Saloner 1:09:06
Exactly, exactly. Yeah, so more and more, they’re integrated.
Rebecca Mesritz 1:09:13
I really want to move into some of the ideas around rites of passage. And, you know, I know it’s something that we’ve talked about multiple times in the past. Very passionate about, and I know your work in the world is really supporting the resilience of children and the resilience of teens. And how do you see rites of passage as as supporting this idea of resilience? Oh,
Amy Saloner 1:09:57
yeah, it’s pretty integral Um, yeah. So when I work with families, I’m working in a very holistic way, you know, we’re looking at their bodies and their nervous systems, we’re looking at how they’re processing and their minds, we’re looking at their relationships and communication. And this fourth quadrant that I’ve often come back to is their purpose and direction and linked their community and where they come from. And rites of passage are, as I said, before, it’s this initiations, we’ve, we’ve lost in this culture, there’s, there’s, unless you’re a part of a religious organization, or you know, or, or the community, even some cultures have particular rites of passage. But I feel like they’ve been diluted a lot. And they’re oftentimes because they’re not a regular part of our, our lives, that the meaning and the, the reasoning behind them sort of gets muted. And these initiations are, like I said, these important anchor points for our kids to know who they are, where they’ve come from, and where they’re going. Without that. It is my it’s my observation, and my understanding that so many kids these days are feeling lost. You know, rates of depression, anxiety, suicide are higher than they’ve ever been. There’s so many reasons for that. But what I will say is that initiations, I believe, are a way to begin to anchor and bring back some level of connection that can establish more of that understanding of who they are and why they’re here. And I teach parents how to do this themselves. Because, you know, yes, if you’re, if you’re a part of different cultures, you there are kinson, yeras, there’s Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, there’s these different moments. But if that’s not who you are, what’s important to you? Like, what do you anchor into? So I teach families that there’s a way to do this. And one is, is the first step is to really get to the heart of the matter is to understand what’s the transition or crossroad that any teenager is facing, this could be that they’re trying to get their driver’s license so that they can have some more freedom, maybe it’s, you know, they’re getting ready to graduate high school and go to college. There may be something else happening internally, there’s a lot of families whose children are transitioning, they’re transgender. And there’s, there’s no initiation specific for that. That’s a huge transition that somebody faces. And there is possibility when we go through any of these kinds of transitions for there to be challenge, and difficulty. But through that challenge and difficulty we are formed and can step forward into a more formed part of who we are. So understanding first what this transition is that our teens are going through, whether it’s puberty, whether it’s you know, any one of these stages, whatever is meaningful to you and your family and for that particular child. Second, is just keeping it really simple and symbolic much like we do for the parent meetings and having you know, symbols that are present. honoring these moments, simply because quite frankly, teens, you know, can feel embarrassed and like not want to do, you know, have a big ceremony for things. But it doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can it can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be. But you want it to be symbolic. You want to with them help understand and craft an understanding of what this actually means to them and to you as their parent while you’re letting go. And then establishing the roots and wings. Like we talked about creating agreements moving forward. Again, we’re going to come all the way back to this important idea of agreements of like, who am I where what responsibilities and roles Am I holding now as I’m stepping into this new sense of who I am, you know, when my son turned 13, and he had his bar mitzvah. That was when the conversation started happening of like, well actually before it so that we when he turned, it was like, Okay, you’re a young man. Now, here’s what you have capability of doing, here’s what you have capacity for, we’re going to ask you to start taking on these roles and responsibilities. I teach parents about this idea of the hourglass of responsibility, you know, in the beginning, all the pebbles of sand are in the top that we’re holding, as parents, we’re holding all the responsibility to care for them to, to feed them, to clothe them, to help them know what to do. And as they get older, the pebbles begin to fall into the bottom. And eventually, all the responsibility is theirs, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not a like, turn like this. We take steps and stages through development to help them understand who they are, and help us let go and hand over responsibility. And so having these moments periodically through their childhood to honor and recognize these things, and can be as simple as just their birthdays, is important, because making the implicit explicit is as important in these moments as it is when we’re co parenting. And, you know, having community around during these moments of transition, to honor to recognize to reflect, to hold, to celebrate, and encourage, these are all a part of how we’re wired as humans to, you know, to step into these different levels of ownership for ourselves.
Rebecca Mesritz 1:16:45
I love what you’re saying, particularly around just the idea of keeping it simple. I know for myself, as I look forward to my, my daughter growing up and these ways as someone who loves ritual and rites of passage, but doesn’t necessarily, because we’re not inside of a tradition, like the benefit of being inside of a tradition is that your child sees other people going through that thing. And so they know that there’s a pathway that’s coming up for them. So that you know, for your kiddos, they saw the oldest go through the Bar Mitzvah and then the Bat Mitzvah. And then by the time you know the youngest has his bar mitzvah. He’s like, Oh, yeah, this is what this is, I’m going to have to learn these things, read these things do this thing, then this is going to happen. And there’s it’s all laid out. Exactly. I think for a lot of people operating outside of any kind of context like that. It’s like, we feel like it’s a lot of pressure, because we’re grasping at straws, and then you’re sort of up against the because the kids individuating and differentiating and kind of like, mom like eye rolling all the time. You know, it’s like, how do you recommend for us? Who are wanting to create these rites of passage? You know, when do we say when do we start talking about it with them? How do we get them to be bought in on these ideas and their importance? If we don’t have someone ahead of us saying, This is what it looks like, you know, and how do we get our community also to buy in? And yes,
Amy Saloner 1:18:28
yeah, I think, you know, we’ve talked about this here, because some of the other families really want something for their young boys to in this transition. And it’s true. I think it’s having these conversations with other parents of our children’s friends, and what they’re open to and saying, hey, what if we either did this together? Or, you know, I’ll take the lead and do it first. And then our kids can, you know, be there and be present and see it happening? And then, you know, we’ll each take turns doing this thing. Again, it comes back to your values, and what’s important to you, because, and what’s important to the child. Because these all come back to what’s in what what are we trying to distill and instill for our children, to have the tools and resources and internal capacities to be able to really thrive in this world. And that’s what we have to allude to there’s the kids go to school, they learn certain facts or things to do, but they’re not necessarily all gaining the life, skill and experience and internal processing of what it means to problem solve in the world. And having these moments in time and having a group of people because doing it alone, like you said, it’s like that’s a lot of pressure. And we do need community by our side to witness to hold to be present to participate in these things and to call on people who’ve done it before, right to call on those who have experience so that you’re not doing it alone. It’s it can be, it can be supportive. But yeah, keeping it simple. inviting other people who have the same enthusiasm and desire and doing it together so that our kids can see that it’s normalized, and that this is a good thing. I’m excited to I don’t know that I’ll be talking as much about rites of passage, but I’m really excited to be talking about raising children in community through the fic in June, collaborating with some other really awesome moms, and, you know, continuing this dialogue about what it means to create spaces, whether that’s in a village, or whether that’s, you know, with our friends who all have children the same age or in any other space, where it really is community, how do we understand our values and create containers and spaces for our children to really thrive?
Rebecca Mesritz 1:21:46
Well, Amy salona, thank you so much for talking with me today. It has been an absolute pleasure to dive into this with you. So thank you.
Amy Saloner 1:21:56
Thanks so much, Rebecca. I really appreciate it.
Rebecca Mesritz 1:21:59
Yeah, I love you. I love you do
Rebecca Mesritz 1:22:09
I hope you’ve gotten some incredible takeaways from this conversation with Amy cilona. If you just can’t get enough and you’re looking for more, Amy will be co teaching a course through the fic. on exploring raising children in community. It’s a five week course it starts June 20. And I will have links and coupon codes in the show notes. You can also find her online at Amy cilona.com. Amy co runs a monthly support group for parents of 11th and 12th graders that I highly recommend. It’s called the fireside chats with Carolyn and Amy. And if you would like more information about rites of passage, Amy is willing to send you her worksheets and a video on creating a meaningful rites of passage ceremony for your child. I’m gonna have links to all that as well as her socials in the shownotes. So check it out. Thank you so much for being on this journey of the inside community podcast. You can learn more about the show and access email@example.com slash podcast while you were there. I hope you will be so kind as to make a donation to the show so that we can keep this thing going. You can find me on Instagram and on Facebook at inside community podcast. Please reach out to me there with any questions you have or thoughts about guests or topics you’d like me to cover. I would really love to hear how I can support you on your journey to live inside community
Dave Booda 1:23:46
who left the dishes in the shared kitchen sink? Who helps Johnny when is too much to drink? How do we find a way for everyone to agree that since Can you it’s a podcast y’all
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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About the Show
The Inside Community Podcast brings folks along for an inside look at all of the beautiful and messy realities of creating and sustaining a community. We provide useful and inspiring content to support people on their quest for resilience, sustainability, and connection.
Meet Your Host
Inside Community Podcast host Rebecca Mesritz is a community builder living in Williams, Oregon. In 2011, Rebecca co-founded the Emerald Village (EVO) in North County San Diego, California. During her ten years with EVO, she supported and led numerous programs and initiatives including implementation and training of the community in Sociocracy, establishment of the Animal Husbandry program, leadership of the Land Circle, hosting numerous internal and external community events, and participation in the Human Relations Circle which holds the relational, spiritual and emotional container for their work.
In June of 2021, with the blessing of EVO, Rebecca and 3 other co-founders relocated to begin a new, mission- driven community and learning center housed on 160 acres of forest and farmland. Rebecca is passionate about communal living and sees intentional community as a tool for both personal and cultural transformation. In addition to her work in this field, she also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from San Diego State University and creates functional, public, and interactive art in metal, wood, and pretty much any other material she can get her hands on. She is a mother, a wife, an educator, a nurturer of gardens, an epicurean lover of sustainable wholesome food, and a cultivator of compassion and beauty.
The Inside Community Podcast is sponsored by the Foundation for Intentional Community (FIC). Reach out if you are interested in sponsorship or advertisement opportunities on the podcast.