“Coliving is like a highway. You enter into the car, put your seatbelt on, and experience life at 400 km/h. It’s fucking nuts.”
Those were the words of my friend AD (anonymized) after experiencing in 48h
- more cuddles and hugs than he had throughout the last month although himself working with a team of 65 people and being one of the most social guys out there
- talking about the depth of sexuality with an emotional healer resident who shared her experiences of group masturbation and how it helped her overcome her child trauma around her father
- building a loving and sensual relationship with another resident, combined with moments of tears when she opened up to him on a deep subject and him helping her (and coaching her) out of it
- experiencing a group letting-go ceremony in which each resident share his biggest fear and let go of one thing that didn’t serve him/her in life
- and hired another resident for his company, who is a true team player and integral worker, while lying with him on a coach looking up to the stars on the rooftop on top of the mountains
Here is the point -
Those experiences would have happened on a way slower scale in normal life, if not at all.
There would be no space to go deep and talk about childhood traumas at a friend’s birthday party.
There would be not enough closeness to build an emotional relationship with this resident if he met her in a bar, probably not exchanging numbers and even if, not prioritizing seeing her again because there are other priorities in life.
There would be no opportunities to work with that resident if he didn’t have seem him work, talk about work during dinner, and understand this person’s drive.
And there would be no cuddles and hugs at all, especially since the culture that his day-to-day friends and colleagues have is one of more physical distancing than the more libertarian community culture that he experienced.
Coliving is like a highway: it puts you through life at 10x speed.
The amount of social interactions occur more often, on a deeper level, with more trust, and in turn more individual learning for each participant.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the case in a coliving in which people don’t even say “hi” to each other (fun story, I’m writing this blogpost from such a place, and I can confirm that these spaces are not the exception).
But it is the case in coliving spaces in which people are curious about each other, learn about each other, and try to overcome their differences. This is when the real magic of serendipity, collectiveness and individual growth happens.
Don’t build coliving for the sake of it. See it as a dishwasher in which you can give a new look to people once they come out of it.
The main question you should ask yourself is: what transformation do I want my residents to go through? And from there, create the right operational processes that will support such a journey and choose the resident who can adopt your desired culture.
Before you go, this whole highway thing reminds me of Casey Neistat’s video “Life explained in 27s” - in this case, the operational coliving space is the functional rollerblade and your residents are the people who embrace a culture of running.
Don’t just settle for putting people into a space.
Make them have their experiences.
The outcome can be truly mind-blowing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm Gui, a coliving operator, facilitator, and industry builder with one mission: to make coliving the best experience one can have.
I founded Art of Co, a global resource platform and consultancy to create transformative coliving spaces, wrote the 📘 Art of Coliving book , and am the director of Co-Liv, the global association of coliving professionals. Come engage with other passionate coliving builders in my 👉 Telegram community or join the 👉 Coliving Cocktail newsletter, where I send out recaps of everything that happens within the coliving world!
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