The very first time I heard about collective living I pictured a Russian kolkhoz. The second time I imagined a dirty student fraternity. The third time, someone took me to K9, Tech Farm.

Since entering the world of co-living about a year ago, I have slowly began to challenge what I had been taught by school and Society all these years: that individualism and competition are the golden tickets for success.
Instead I began to question everything, to find ways to turn competition into inspiration and even re-define what inspiration and success are for me.

I grew up, and started growing old, in a Society where it is so easy to unconsciously build walls around ourselves to protect our truth from coming out instead of bridges to let other people’s truths’ in. We have built a society around the individual. We have been told that it’s a weakness to depend on anyone but yourself.

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But I have learnt through experience that letting people in, and relying on others is not necessarily a weakness. That is is a real strength to care for people and be cared for. We don’t have to be Corbusian machines. We can be human. We can not only learn how to share more, but also inspire others to do the same.

Let’s go back to the authenticity of the human interaction and the simple practise of getting together to share, discuss, debate and re-learn how to listen. Not to respond but to truly understand, to paraphrase Stephen R. Covey. If we do this well, from those conversations will emerge genuine inspiration. It will be messy at first. But it will create a spark. And if people feel inspired and supported and given the emotional tools to take the leap, then there’s nothing stopping them. And there’s hope again. Hope of creating a world where it’s not about running over each other to get higher but building together to get deeper.

Those who survive are not necessarily the strongest, but those who are most cooperative, says social biologist Pablo Sevigne.

Of course you can change and grow on your own. But surrounded by people, nurtured, cheered on and challenged by a Community, the growth is exponential, the possibilities are endless. All this, and so much more, I have learnt at K9, Tech Farm. Our Home is a place full of mirrors where you see yourself from all possible angles. A place where you are teacher and student all at once. Where you set your boundaries and define your values, and learn to question them over and over. There is little space for fake smiles and false identities in the House. Or they don’t last long. Very fast the masks drop and those who prefer to keep them on, eventually move on. It can be demanding at times. And one should be ready for it. What you see is not always pretty. In yourself as well as in others. But the reflection is rarely skewed. And the lessons always valuable.

Peer pressure is often seen as a negative thing. But there is a good side of it we often forget about. In the House you are exposed to people and behaviours you would probably never had encountered otherwise. Routines and values that are new to you but might actually be what you need at this particular time in your life. Personally, I learnt to questions my positions on everything and justify my thoughts. I learnt to tell my story in new ways and love sides of my personality that Society usually regards as a weakness. At home we build bridges and put down fences. We improve wellbeing and open ourselves to richer and more purposeful lives. Not by denying our individualities, but by embracing them.

Today I dream of more places like this one. We create safe heavens for emotions. That’s where the best learning happens. An inspirational lab maybe? I want to bring people together and create a spark. A spark that will help people grow. I want to bring people to the point where they share their dreams and visions without being self conscious. I want to see that Eureka moment. And I want to tell stories about those moments.

I believe that together we grow healthier, stronger and smarter towards a brighter and more sustainable future. Through questioning and redefining the way we teach and are taught, the way we inspire and are inspired, the way we interact, the way we approach the world and others, we co-create endless possibilities.

I believe in the power of the Community. Its healing power.

And I want to create spaces that bring inspiration to our lives. I focus on people. People who choose to live together not solely out of economic necessity but because it brings magic, meaning and momentum to their lives. The experience of ‘collective inspiration’ is my core purpose; to spark a state of being where people are filled with the emotion to connect and the energy to create. In this state we are our best selves, we are filled with passion and love, with wonder and awe, and those moments become even greater when they are shared. I want to inspire and teach people how to best live together. How to transcend intimacy, openness and respect. How to nurture passion, compassion, communication, co-creation and laugher to feel empowered and find a greater sense of connection, belonging and purpose.

This is what I stand for.


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