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“We are most proud of our perseverance”, the joy is on the faces of all Amitoyens and contagiously clears up all in the room. A group of participants in a SALT weekend in the east of France is absorbing their story with eagerness. Ears wide open.
They’d better be proud!
The dream that started in them as individuals and in their families years ago is a big step further to reality today – thanks to their perseverance!
'Amitoyens’ dream is to live in co-housing with a diverse group of families and individuals. Careful: this is much more then bricks and a roof. Being Amitoyen is an art of living where actions of daily life are consciously in respect of people and nature around you. This is about growing your vegetables, cooking together. This is about singing and about sharing. Materials and emotions. Living together, really. But you may also shut your door.
Rita warns that reaching a dream as a community is not a given at all, even though seemingly you have same interest. Lorenzo confirms: “It took us 12 semesters, six years. To get to where we are now is not an easy way". Xavier adds: "You have to accept conflicts. You have to accept that people come and go on your path. And you have to work very hard, as individuals also, to educate yourself, to grow and to learn in order to function in your community and really contribute to its success”. And so they did, over the years.
And what did SALT do to you?
“SALT came as butter to us,” shares Lorenzo with a clear voice. “When a Constellation facilitator came in our story, five months ago, we were like a dromedary –going steady on and on in our desert. We did not let go of our idea, but we were also desperate as our goal did not seem to appear and we were not sure where we were going. The facilitator told us: ‘you are on the right way’. That’s all we needed”.
“It was the first time that we expressed our individual dreams in the group. Since that conversation where we jointly built our common dream I really feel involved, whereas before I was just following my husband from distance. I now fully own our common dream ”, says Stephanie. Her friend with the same name adds: ‘Once we drew up our common dream, this all became real. It gave us the words, the image to express what we are about. We started sharing with others with confidence. Our dream became a living reality”.
When the Amitoyens made their action plan end December 2014 they made a plan for 3 months, as they considered their action now urgent. ‘We live in a house where….’ was pre-eminently priority practice. Without success on this practice all others would make little sense, they thought. They decided to intensively focus on that practice and built on work from the previous years. And they did! The group mobilized all forces and brought several visits to optional ground to build the co-habitation. Today, exactly three months after the action planning, they proudly announce that they have identified the place where their house will be. That’s worth a song to celebrate!
The youngest Amitoyens join the circle. Lorenzo takes his guitar and all friends lustily sing along: Les copains d’abord!
For pictures see: https://aidscompetence.ning.com/photo/albums/amitoyens (thanks Stéphanie!)
Also visit Les Amitoyens blogpost