Last week I visited a special place in Costa Rica that may just represent the manifestation of my long-time vision. An organic farm and eco-lodge, Rancho Margot is not only 100% self-sufficient by producing its own hydro-electric energy and food, but it is actually “carbon-negative.” This means that it actually directly benefits the environment by removing excess carbon dioxide from the air (one step beyond “carbon-neutral”). This is an incredible accomplishment.
While Rancho Margot operates bungalows, yoga classes and farm experiences for eco-friendly tourists to participate in, the founder (Juan Sostheim, a former Burger King executive in Europe) is in the process of creating a co-housing community within the ranch.
When he gave us a tour of the lots and showed us a few of the homes being built (one of which was a “tiny” home), I nodded my head in agreement to everything he said. His plan was literally exactly what I had envisioned, talked about, drawn on my vision board and dreamed of: a community of people living in alignment with the Earth, sharing resources, food and joyfully living soulful lives, healing themselves, others and the planet. I knew that this place could be where my family and I end up living (part-time at least).
While I feel blessed in many ways in my life, I have struggled with living contentedly in the United States. Aside from recent years with my husband and young children, the happiest times in my life were when I lived abroad in Mexico and in Senegal (in houses with other people, nonetheless).
The United States is my home. I am an American, as were many of my ancestors. But this is a strange place to live. In exchange for immense comfort and convenience, we trade inner peace. In exchange for freedom of speech and expression, we allow our minds to be conditioned by the mass media and through our smartphone addictions.
After having spent years diving deep into the depths of my true self, I now share what has helped me shed my layers of Ego with others through my work in Soulful Work Intuitive Consulting. I see my work in supporting people’s reconnection with who they really are and finding peace, freedom and joy as the core part of my mission on Earth (like this free online class, How to Meditate Easily and Joyfully, coming up soon). I want to help Americans like me, as many of us are suffering. However, there is more to the mission.
I believe that we are happiest when we are outside in nature, getting our hands dirty and growing our own food. We are happiest when we understand why animals are here, and work together with them instead of against them. We are happiest when we living in close-knit communities with other like-minded people. We are happiest when we live minimally, with only the possessions that we need.
We have moved away from this in the United States, and in the Western world in general. We are at risk of becoming a technologically-fueled, stressed-out, depressed culture if we do not actively do something about it. As Juan said to me on the tour of Rancho Margot, sometimes we have to make something “artificially” to go back to the roots of what was once organic. By this he meant, I believe, that due to the circumstances of our modern society, those of us who want a better life need to consciously plan out the type of holistic lifestyle that we crave.
Communities like Rancho Margot is creating (and like those that already exist, such as Eco-Village Ithaca in New York) are adopting a model called co-housing. You get to live in your own house (or maybe a duplex of sorts) and can keep your own income, but you share food, land and certain resources with others in your community. Everyone eats together regularly and helps each other out. Sure, you can still have your I-phone and watch movies on your laptop if you want. But the community agrees to live in a certain way and to support one another.
Although if you would rather not worry about money, you can live in an income-generating and true sharing intentional community like Twin Oaks. My uncle, Keenan Dakota, has lived at Twin Oaks for most of his life (stay tuned for my interview with him on what it’s like to live there on my podcast, The Courageous Path).
I intend on moving in this direction in some way, maybe living at Rancho Margot for the winters with my family, offering retreats there and inviting people (like you!) to learn how to create a community like this in your hometown. And then maybe my family and I will join forces with or create another co-housing community here in Maine for the rest of the year.
My Ego voice asks me how all of this will be possible. The only answer I have is in the power of vibration and the law of attraction, and the truth about our abilities as humans to co-create our lives. I create the vision and then put it out into the universe by taking action on it - connecting with other people to explore and doing all I can to release any Ego-based fears or worries (like … where is the money going to come from?). I know that this will be worked out as long as I keep experimenting and sharing my thoughts with other human beings. Spirit often speaks through others. As things unfold, I try out some ideas, notice where there is flow of energy and make adjustments along the way as needed.
Now that I have seen what is possible, I am fully motivated toward creating this lifestyle and the wheels are in motion. Will you join me?