The Artist Way to dream, and cohousing

In the late 90s, my actor friend, Stephen, gave a free class on acting. I couldn’t resist the price. He is a brilliant writer, actor, and teacher. He used the book The Artist Way by Julia Cameron to teach acting. It was amazing.

The Artist Way is about finding your creativity and going for it. Putting it in your life. Make it your life. No matter what, it’s a beautiful idea and I saw it work. Suddenly I was at a Grease audition. My dream is to be in that play though I didn’t have a chance since I was in LA and up against real actors. Yet,, it was a fun experience and it was at Debbie Reynolds’ studio so I got to see her walk down the hall. That was a treat.  My other favorite movie is Singing in the Rain.

Since that class, I love to encourage others. I NEVER tell people they can’t do it. If it’s their dream, I encourage them to try. Nothing can stop you. If you keep moving, it will happen. I even became a school counselor so I can help students go for their dreams.

I feel the same way about cohousing. I don’t want to discourage anybody. But just like show business, knowing the facts doesn’t hurt.  Stephen reads biographies of actors all the time and it inspires him. So many successful actors were told they have no talent. They took those hits and kept going.

So, reading that one person had one bad experience at one cohousing community that is still forming, shouldn’t hurt anybody. Just something to think about. I love to encourage people but I also hope no one goes through what I did. I want healthy communities. I want people to see the signs of toxic groups so that they know they have choices. See if they can change and not be toxic (totally possible sometimes) or hopeless and it’s time to move on.

Cohousing is about community but it is also an investment in a house. Like any investment, there are financial risks. You may have to move. It could be for life changes or realizing this particular community isn’t for you. Knowing that ahead of time is good.

I’ve been surprised how many people do move out (for various reasons). Even those who super love their communities, they have to move out for one reason or another.

Some may find this surprising, but one person told me I did a better job at promoting my community than the person giving them the door. Enthusiasm goes a long way. I believe people can make their own realities. They have the chance to create an amazing place to live.  I also told the truth that our community is going through the flu (as Diane Leaf Christian puts it) and they appreciated hearing that.

So, go for your dream.  I heard of cohousing and made that my dream.  But I had a baby at the time and in the long wait to move in, he grew into a pre-teen.  I thought it’d be a caring place for my teen with Autism but this particular community had a hard time with anyone under 18 and neurological differences. So, I choose to move on. And in doing that, I ended up with my real life long dreams.

Stephen offered another artist way class and I was with professional actors again. I started dusting off my screenwriting skills and wrote one again.  And, I escaped to the beach thinking it’d be a place to take breaks from cohousing but then realized I didn’t want to try anymore there and it became my full time home which has always been a dream.

So, dream on. The dreams aren’t heaven but they lead you to other better dreams.

Spotlight on Julia Cameron

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
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