This is my first full check-in since arriving in Mexico 6 months ago.
As always, there is so much going on it’s hard for me to even begin. To get a flavor of my crazy life, read the related article A trip to Albuquerque; Living by the grace of God. It’s some pretty good writing (if I dare say so myself), in which I tell the story of my trip to Albuquerque to close out my storage there and officially move to Mexico. Also in that article, I write about the phenomenon I call “karma acceleration” that occurs inevitably in all intentional communities (IC’s). What this means is that more “good shit” happens (life is just more fun, or transformational) but also more “bad shit” happens (life is just more crazy). Given that I am officially now living in an IC, I am both the victim and beneficiary of “karma acceleration”.
In any case, here below is the short story of the founding of Authentic Relating Village, the IC which I have started here
I use the words “Intentional Community” and “commune” interchangeably, by the way. Although technically, co-housing is also a kind of IC. Co-housing is like IC for the timid, I like to say (while fully acknowledging my snobbishness). My history with Morehouse, of course, feeds this judgment. What we have going on here is a commune.
Currently, Authentic Relating Village is just the two of us, me and Uwe who arrived late December. Uwe is unquestionably a “consciousness geek” like me. A bit too much like me, truth be told. We make it work.
The story of how this came about goes back to my landing at Namaste Village in July, an ACIM (Course in Miracles) inspired IC run by well-known author and spiritual teacher James Twyman. I started running groups as soon as I arrived, which were very successful. Shockingly successful, actually (that story told here). The quality of the accommodations at Namaste, however, were not great (at least the budget accommodations which I could afford), and also I am not overly fond of Ajijic, which is a bit crowded and trafficky and claustrophobic by my tastes. And so I moved three times. The third time was to a residential hotel (monthly units with no lease) in the hills above Chapala, the neighboring village. It’s close to everything and feels more spacious and also super-affordable. I have now a lovely two-bedroom apartment for $600/mth.
Shortly after I arrived here — and this was not in my mind in any way before I got here — I quickly realized I could rent out additional units and run a commune
Which is actually a fabulous way of creating an IC, because there is no financial risk, no mortgages, no construction costs or delays or contracts, and easily scalable. It’s actually a near-ideal business model for starting a commune. We have immediate potential occupancy of 3 people (my double and Uwe’s place), with a short-term target of 5-6. That all I want for now. Beyond that, we’ll see. I am currently looking for quality above quantity. The quality of the people who are drawn to this (mostly people from my global network, although there are also a few locals) is extraordinary.
It’s hard to over-state the impact of this new situation on me. It’s something I have wanted very badly for the last 10 years, when the bank took back the house that Rebekah and I purchased and ran quite successfully as a commune for 3 years (before the zoning board told us we were illegal). It’s kind of a dream come true for me. I have been on a 10-year “journey through the wilderness” to create precisely the situation that has now manifested.
Furthermore, I know 5 times more than I did before (or, to put it another way, I am 20% of the relational idiot that I was back then)
I discovered Authentic Relating in 2016, and have been on a very steep journey of discovery and leadership there. It’s interesting as well, that my global Authentic Relating career launched this year, at exactly the same time that I started the commune. I have sold-out groups in January of my online program called Practical Relational Leadership, and I have a strong local network as well through programs I have run at Namaste and an adjoining community called Villa Del Angel. Out of my time at Namaste, a very powerful developmental group has emerged. This group continues to blow me away, and challenges my story that nobody understands me and nobody really cares what I do. It has been life-changing.
“J’ai mon voyage“, as they say in good Quebecois (“what a trip”).
Let me put it this way: I have my in-house tribe (residents of the commune, albeit only 2 of us currently); my local tribe; and my global tribe. When your name is Marco, life doesn’t get much better than that.
Plus I am settled here now, after 10 years of wandering that include my 2 years in India and Thailand. “J’ai mon voyage”.
The “local tribe” is quite interesting. It’s an odd mix of vanilla-retirees (what I call “muggles”), spiritual seekers, “consciousness geeks”, saints and weirdos. It’s not what I would immediately or naturally call “my people”, but a lot of them are. Plus, it’s good training for me as my natural impulse is to find something wrong with the way things are. The truth is that I have made a brilliant beginning in building a local tribe, and I am very grateful to that. Especially to the Namaste group.
So there you have it. The scent of success is sweet. Especially as it’s not a scent that I am very familiar with.
I am looking forward to further “karma acceleration”. And also scared.