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Intentional Communities Research Project for Regenerative Living

Article by Mayra McCullough & Photos by Dr. Janice Kalec and Mayra McCullough

Were to begin telling you about C2E’s evolution and how my heart has been drawn since day one to a very BIG PICTURE vision of Conscious Evolution?

Let’s begin with a list of C2E Vocab for this article…I have stopped assuming that most people know the meaning of a lot of words, and even if they know the words, we have such a Rainbow of meanings we personally attach to each word, that I think in order to establish clear communication, I’ll set up the stage by laying out what is my favorite meaning I attach to a specific word. These are NOT from the Dictionary, but from my collective gathering of years studying this concepts. The familiarity or lack there of with this words has nothing to do with intelligence or higher education, but with how each individual has been drawn to a specific planet of idioms that describe their interests and passions.

Intentional Community: A group of individuals living in proximity with a common purpose who believe that with INTENTION is how we create the world around us.

Intention: The new FOCUS, the new GOAL. A purpose we individually attach to an action in order to drive it forward with energy so that it can suddenly appear in your life when you least expect it!

Regenerative Living: Is the new SUSTAINABLE, which taps to our ability as living organisms to regrow, and bring itself into a renewed existence. Here is where we can start to expand beyond our capacities.

Sustainable Community: A group of individuals aware of how much they have been wasting resources for years and decide that is time to be wise stewards of what has been given to them to take care of. It is about having just enough of what you need without wasting or lacking in any way, shape or form.

Conscious: Being 100% aware of who you are in all the components within yourself.

Conscious Evolution: The natural process of growth, development, and maturity of a species. The next step forward if the genus is not extinct. The point in time we find ourselves in today based on the HISTORY, DATA, and PATTERNS collected through time which clearly state that crisis preceds transformation. As a species we have developed our capacities and powers to have the ability to be 100% Conscious of who we are, in other words, we are capable today to reach wholeness, the next step is Expansion, which is exactly what Evolution is all about, that is, IF the species doesn’t go into the extinct path.

Now with all that said and established, let me share with you one of the most transformational experiences I’ve had this year. Last May a mini-intentional community of four students of Conscious Evolution and Regenerative Living took a 7 day Field Trip, searching for answers and playing the mantra, ‘We Must Go and SEE for OURSELVES’ by Jacques Cousteau. Our common bond, finding our Heaven on Planet Earth (H.O.P.E.).

Our intention was to visit 3 intentional communities in Arizona and New Mexico to clarify the picture of our own vision as we take in what others are doing, what they have learned and what are their key challenges and blessings.

It all starts in Joshua Tree, base camp to our field trip with the sweet hospitality of Jill Giegerich in her soon-to-be-Oasis in the desert, where her and her business partner Tim DeLorey have developed their techniques on Water Harvesting in the desert through their company Eden Regenerative Design. Experts in water harvesting, the word Oasis is not metaphorical in this context. They literally know how to make an arid land yield TONS of water and life!

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Our approximately 8 hour ride from Joshua Tree to Tucson was filled with education from Tim & Jill who know the desert fauna like the back of their hands and instead of stopping at 7/11 for road snacks, we would stop on areas filled with Palo Verdes and Mulberry Trees that yield to delicious snacks along the way. Tim had a delicious batch of Mulberry Chips that he had prepared in the desert.

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Earth lover Barbara Rose, founder and Mother of Bean Tree Farm, a 20 acre saguaro/ ironwood forest farm & learning center, supplying local desert foods to the community in and around Tucson, Arizona, welcomed us to my first intentional community ever! Rammed earth architecture, home made tinctures, recycled bottle walls, cob thrones, and a fearless permaculture goddess welcomed us to a tangible version of what I’ve been seeing for years. I didn’t imagine desert lands, but I did imagine the joy, health, vibrancy, and connection to the earth my heart was pulling me towards since I left Equinox fitness 5 years ago (my corporate job as a Personal trainer). I remember feeling this knowing that, for my growth, I needed to connect more with nature (I’ve always been a City girl! Even in Puerto Rico!! I was the one who seldom left San Juan!!). At that point ventured to a discovery process that lead me to include Nature Connection as part of C2E’s Well-Being Wheel. I figured going to monthly Yoga Sunset Hikes and the occasional hike would suffice….but the more I sat with Barbara Rose and sensed her intriguing fully liberated energy, the more I understood that the closer you LIVE to the earth, the more ALIVE you feel. Even though she had me at “Hello!,” the confirmation of our kindred spirit was when I saw her enthusiastically preparing for her three awesome young interns, and sealed it when she said that she enjoys and maintains classes, intern programs, with small groups of people. Her literal Oasis (notice that I call C2E an Oasis of Transformational Fitness!) was a magical experience for me. I’ve been collecting vision boards of this reality for years…now I’m here…closer than ever! Bean Tree Farm in Tucson has desert permaculture down!!

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Desert treasures, swales and berms marking the genius of early permaculturists in the 30′s who dug huge trenches with horses and buckets in order to harvest water and create a desert forest. (And it worked!) The pictures above show the vast green in the Desert Fauna Jungle in the middle of the Desert of Tucson, Arizona. Oasis, again, is not a metaphor.

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The rooms we stayed at in Bean Tree Farm were comfy, earthy, clean, creative, aesthetically gorgeous. I seem to be missing a bunch of pictures from this interior decoration POV, which I love, and is kind of bumming me out. I’m also missing pictures of a short and sweet interlude with my cousin Molly & her husband Ryan, who so happened to live 15 minutes from Bean Tree Farm and came for a quick visit. Barbara Rose happened to meet someone in Ryan who was eager to know how to work with earth architecture. Go figure!

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Close to 500 acres of Heaven on Planet Earth, Hummingbird Community and Living School hosts a work weekend quarterly for those interested in exploring their co-creative model of living in community. We stayed at their beautiful Ease house right across from their community home Grace, close to a geodesic dome greenhouse, as well as Dancing Colors yurt-like studio, a biodynamic garden, and next to a lovely and serene creek that lullabies the land constantly. After driving 12 hours from Tucson, landing HOME felt like the perfect reward. We arrived right on time for their Pot Luck Feast where we were deeply WELCOMED. Janice and I were both tickled to see the co-creative practices we have been learning and using for our bi-weekly POD meetings (POD is our Co-Creative Practices Lab inspired by Barbara Marx Hubbard and the book she recommends in her Sacred Journey of the Conscious Evolutionary Class both Mayra and Janice have taken. The Co-Creator’s Handbook by Carolyne Anderson and Katharine Roske  has been our guide to put some of this concepts in action, and meeting and working with Katharine (right there below on the left, digging away!) was like I enjoy saying, Vision Accomplished!! Carolyn and Katharine where two of 20 founders of Hummingbird Community more than 20 years ago.

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Labyrinth, fairy circle, and a collection of perfect campground sites, were all part of the lovely meadow city, home to a medicine wheel I had the honor to revive through weeding and tending after a dormant season. I was thrilled to see this kind of operation so thoroughly organized . There was a lovely balance of scheduling and order combined with flow, improvisation and a pretty 90% consistent ‘All is well’ vibe that was palpable in every interaction. Bridging the gap between heart centered guidance and planning ahead is one of the challenges in any intentional community. Seeing the graceful hybrid of structure and intuition among those who play with the concept that time does not exist, was great inspiration to our POD at C2E.

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Hummingbird Community has a collection of different type of ‘sustainable’ kind of shelters, such as the Dome below. This one is a wood frame structure but they use the same material I use for mine for covering, polycarbonate. Being inside a Green Living Dome was spectacular!

DomeatHummingbird

Homesteaders  (people who build a living space from scratch using earth materials ONLY!) Sunny & Sequoia are the permaculture arm of Hummingbird Community. True mastery at living harmoniously with the land is evident through their cob houses, goats, food crops, indoor/outdoor bedrooms & kitchens, ingenious creations & innovative solutions. Their highly advanced skill set in living with the land make them in our book one of the most prepared people to live in this planet in the times we’re in. Here below is the cutting edge of permaculture, these are the people who are not messing around with 100% OFF THE GRID. Hummingbird Community has the whole spectrum of sustainable and regenerative lifestyles, and it was fun to see all of us be drawn to various colors within the spectrum.

LeatherHomstead

Honestead2 After 3 lovely days at Hummingbird Community and Living School, it was time to leave what did feel like a very like-minded group of people that really have their center within themselves as well as with the world around them. Helping them through Work Weekend was absolutely delightful! We liked it so much, Janice & I are planning to go again in September 8-11 for a Deep Immersion in  Living  Co-Creation We were inspired to launch a Fundraising Campaign to to help us bring this valuable information and the co-creative process to our Community here in Woodland Hills as well as globally.

Our next stop was Taos, 1 hour, Yeayyy!! Taos gave us a warm welcome with its amazing local coffee World Cup, beautiful Rio Grande river as well as its love locks and messages of hope.

Taos

Taos is the world headquarters for our third and last intentional community, the cutting edge Earthship Biotecture education, design, rentals and community center. A self-guided tour takes you through an innovative form of architecture using recycled materials and survival technology for water, power & plumbing systems. Their motto “we will always survive” sings the song of this army of terra firma-nauts eager to transform shelter to Gaudi meets Mad Max regenerative style!! I would love to stay in their Earthships for a few days some day. Even though we missed seeing some trees in the surreal landscape of miles and miles of this highly sculpted, creative and functional homes, the barren land, solicited the question…maybe we are on Mad Max and is not that bad after all.

Earthshipsiotecture

The picturesque and quaint town of Flagstaff, Arizona offered a lovely closure to our field trip. Homey coffee shops, steampunk thrift stores, a zombie store and a bakery that looked like grandma’s kitchen continued to paint for us the great spectrum of community that connects people heart to heart and makes us feel like one big happy family!

Flagstaff

As we drove back home we couldn’t help but understand how a mini-intentional community in the context of a road trip to uncover our future could experience that heart to heart connection that allowed us to walk harmoniously every day with amazing wonder, ease, and a sense of flow that was even a bit hard to describe. The best way I can describe it is that we were behaving like a living organism in itself. Where Natural Intelligence moved us without anybody having to lead. What we were inspired to do is what benefitted the whole. It was almost thelepathic in the most non-invasive way. It was a natural magnetism of goodness that took us to back to Joshua Tree feeling like we could do it all over again right there and then!!

I would like to thank Tim, Janice, Jill, Barbara Rose, Katharine Roske, Masha Roske, Amanda, Sean, Sunny, Sequioa, DaBo, and all the Hummingbird Family we can’t wait to see in September for a weekend of Deep Immersion in Living Co-Creation.

May every step we take in understanding and implementing how to live regeneratively, bring the magic of resonance, and heart to heart connection to all who have the ears to hear the calling of what is the potential of our species. May our ability to be a loving, creative, witty, and emotionally intelligent species make us every day more and more capable of infusing love to our powers.

I so agree with a scripture in the Bible that says ‘We were created for times as such as these.” Regardless of the paradox of the times, the light will always overtake the darkness.

TheCrew

 

 

 


C2E Launches Dream Maker Project with a Field Trip to Cal-Earth Institute

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Screen shot 2015-01-04 at 10.11.07 AM C2E’s Dream Maker Project (DMP) is an initiative to inspire, and engage people in the act of actually taking leaps of faith to carry out their dreams. We believe that it is in our dreams and visions for ourselves that we hold the solutions for a sustainable planet. We kicked off our first DMP with a wonderful field trip to Cal-Earth Institute yesterday and I must say that we filled our inspiration tanks to start Dr. Kalec’s Dream: The Peace Dome with fantastic momentum!!

Dr. Kalec and her amazing enthusiasm gathered a group of architects and sustainability enthusiasts to go check out what was once Nader Khalili’s dream, to build and test earth architecture prototypes that will educate people globally on how to empower themselves to be able to build with their own hands sustainable housing. I was drawn to this kind of architecture at first because it has the same look and feel as C2E’s Villa, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to build a little cottage for my Mom in our property, but the more I learn about the amazing benefits of building with earth, the more understanding I get about why I’ve been so drawn to it. It comes down to the three principles of Cal-Earth’s Mission:

1. shelter is a basic human right

2. every human being should be able to build a house for themselves and their family

3. the best way to provide shelter for the exponentially increasing human population is by building with earth

How is health and fitness related to all this?

Physiological needs are the physical requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. Physiological needs are thought to be the most important; they should be met first. Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for survival in all animals, including humans. Clothing and shelter provide necessary protection from the elements. It is almost impossible to reach self-optimization and actualization without these basic needs met, and in the economic state that we have been in during the last few years, is very obvious that housing has become a critical concern for ALL, regardless of socio-economic backgrounds.

It is empowering to KNOW that there are other options that are not only safer and way more durable than traditional architecture, but also completely affordable. These options also bring a lot of peace of mind, and we intend to continue exploring this path.

We will be doing another field trip to Cal-Earth soon, so if you feel drawn, please e-mail mayra@coach2edify.org in order to keep you posted!

In so much gratitude,

Mayra

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Dr. Kalec, fearless leader of the Peace Dome project!

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My 2014 Vision Quest with Laura Hollick’s Nü Icon Movie

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NuIconEntry2014BulletinThis Post is dedicated to a lovely journey I took with one of my favorite transformational leaders of our times, Laura Hollick, who has dedicated her life to be a visionary guide to help us find what she calls our Iconic Essence. This is my second year participating in Laura’s Nü Icon Movie event, a free global event guiding transformational leaders on the rise to connect and clarify what our essence, our highest selves yearn to express in this world. The idea is that when we connect with this core, this essence, we tap not only into realizing our potential, but also expanding our potential. The event draws young, creative, and conscious entrepreneurs who support each other with love and encouragement, creating a Facebook Private group that vibrates with resonance! The event finishes with a contest I love participating in and my entry is the piece here above, which is a summary of my journey in this Nü Icon Movie vision quest. The contest winner gets a scholarship to work with Laura in the 12 Month Nü Icon Program. Working with Laura has been one of my heart’s desires for a while. Laura Hollick’s amazing guided rituals, shining example, and captivating inspiration brings our beauty, our gifts, our passion, and intuition to the forefront of one of the most practical aspects of our lives: financial freedom. As creative, spiritual, and elegantly wild as she is, Laura is not shy about the word money, and with great skill she brings her 5 Star operation, Soul Art Studio, to infuse excellence and success in very tangible ways that produce results.

Below is a little tour of my NuIcon Movie experience this year….

Here is me all set up for my Vision Quest weekend in C2E’s Dome. Laura taught us about Portals which creates  an opening in space and time to our new reality and vision. I was able to use all the tie-dyed coffee  filters from our Scrolls that we did for the Gentle Barn this month. A lot of love and care went to creating those and it was a wonderful way to carry that energy in this crucial space.

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Through a series of rituals that Laura took us through we explored various facets of our essence and how to apply the qualities expressed in the process.

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For 9 days I dedicated myself to spend time in solitude, reflecting, meditating, allowing more to come through me. I had a big sheet of watercolor paper for each of the areas I was seeking guidance on. One side I would let the right brain express with art and then on the other side I did all my left brain lists, outlines, and more lists! It is amazing how much our brain can hold in when you see it all laid out in front of you! It’s a very intuitive process where many times I just sat blank, hitting those walls, but I’ve learned to patiently wait for the download. I call the download that moment where you feel wisdom and truth flow through you like sweet honey. That moment where you feel LOVE so deep and profound that there is no doubt that I’m communing with God at that very moment. It was a truly glorious journey.

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Last Sunday I was ready to bring the whole journey to it’s final expression for the Nü Icon Movie contest entry. I did a little selfie photo shoot in the Dome again, allowing what needed to be expressed to come forth fearlessly and authentically. The Montage I did for the Nü Icon Movie Contest was an expression of my sense of re-birth, clarity, and deep connection with an abundance, guided by the Quetzal, that is secured for my life. I have clarity, confidence, and the liberty to be me because it is simply the smartest thing to do, for ALL of us!;)

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The Co-Creative Culture

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c2a6619424bee00bcd43f301f1dc3413As you may all know, I’m addicted to being inspired! I seek inspiration daily and in the past year, one of my greatest sources of inspiration has been the topic of Conscious Evolution. What does that have to do with FITNESS??? EVERYTHING!!!! The smartest way I have experienced getting fit is by addressing our personal evolution as a whole. Our personal evolution depends highly on integration, not balance. Personal integration of body, mind, spirit first, then integration with our families and communities. We have been learning about balance to achieve wholeness for the past decade or so…and now is time to bring it all together to create the heaven on earth we have been promised! I’m evolving to become a social architect whose passion is highly driven by finding JOY in everything. As I troubleshoot C2E’s models of collaboration to find the most joyful, productive, effortless, and stress free working environments, I’ve come across the concept of Co-Creative Cultures. During my recent class with Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Sacred Journey of the Conscious Evolutionary, she introduced the concept of the Co-Creative Culture after 6 intensive months of personal evolution processes. Now I’m diving into her Co-Creators Rising class which started yesterday!! For any of you interested in the subject, I have created a little 5 page handout with all I learned during my introduction to the subject. If you feel drawn to this subject and find yourself wanting to do more with this idea, PLEASE EMAIL ME (mayra@coach2edify.org) or leave a comment here below! I’ve included a list of Co-Creators’ Agreement which can come very handy to anybody managing groups of people.

The Co-Creative Community