All posts by fafe

The greater Reset 2

the greater reset - video panel to amplify positive thoughts for a better future
the greater reset – video panel to amplify positive thoughts for a better future

Alternative living communities are currently receiving many inquiries from people who have voluntarily or involuntarily broken away from old relationships in their local sociaties. They are looking for inspiration and functional approaches to organize human coexistence in a new, different and more social way. As a community, we started Sunday Conversations and gather people online who want to join communities, who intend to start communities, and people who have had community experience and those who are currently in living in community. The focus is international, an important aspect is the necessary cooperation among the communities.

Familiafeliz – The greater Reset Panel #2 – Part 1 (external link!)

Familiafeliz – The greater Reset Panel #2 – Part 2 (external link!)

Community networking II – Wales, Galicia, Castellon

community networking II. – a connection between Wales, Galicia and Castellon

Now is the time to show solidarity. Now is the time to realistically assess your own resources and conditions. Now is the time to build strong bonds between intentional communities and their members. This European dialogue – as a simple sample of backstage activities – is an indication of the challenges and opportunities in working together over a distance.

And it also has special symbolic power thanks to protagonists from three continents. Global, regional and local conditions form the basis of the very personal decisions people make to migrate and to bind themselves to new places. Those who do not lose contact with their tribe, wherever their paths lead, have a clear advantage.

Community networking II – published on rumble

Community networking – the way of the heart

networking between FamiliaFeliz (Germany/Spain) and Sekier (Slovakia)

We are sure that the current crisis in 2020-2022 is a crisis of humanity. The question of how people organize themselves, which instruments they invent and use to dominate and control others, what kind of foresight they have in the process, was raised. Now we are at a turning point again, and many are not aware that it was and is always a single, eternal turning point. Networking as a social act to explore the future together in open dialogue is a good deed. It is not in the interests of those who want to rule. But it helps to endure their actions. The networking of people is one thing, the networking of tribes and clans is another. We need both. And we invite everyone to discover and enjoy this WE.

When people discover beautiful places, they often think about the times when these places were created. The visitors imagine how nice it must have been, to have been there in the phase of establishment and development. The people would have liked to be contemporary witnesses. They enjoy the results, but they assume, the brave beginning was certainly even better. It is very human to think that way. It is still a fallacy.

We are always there when something new is created, we are always the impetus, protagonist, witness or co-founder of what we call the future. Just as the flap of the butterfly’s wings today may cause tomorrow’s storm, so we are constantly sowing what others will harvest in the future.

Grace is not what allows us to be there. The grace is to realize that we are there. Most people motivate themselves for the present with their vision of the future. There inner gaze precedes their hands. And they don’t pay attention to the NOW.

When people look back, their actions often seem sensible or pointless. It is because of whether they can easily lay a thread through the times, looking back. Those who have a positive attitude emphasize the positive things that happened along the way. That is a good thing, but it remains arbitrary. History is written by the winner, in this case by the protagonist himself.
At the same time, many regret not having been there. People today look at the artifacts of the making of their fellow human beings. They balance themselve (one) against the others (many).

In large projects, people then speak of the founding fathers and degrade themselves to children or grandchildren. It will perhaps be a sign of the times – in retrospect, that people are reorganizing into tribes. The modern world of work and its sequencing and specialization have brought people together in teams. In quarantine at home it now becomes clear that these communities of purpose do not have any common values ​​and that these teams dissolve immediately when the purpose disappears. The colleagues were mistaken for their own tribe.
Now most of them are retreating into isolation, but some are also opening up and looking for connections or they are founding new tribes.

It remains important to avoid the echo chambers along the way. The cancel culture lets us fall back into our own bubble and it is up to us to leave it again and again. Communicate with those who think differently. It helps.

And again we are in the middle of the present. When we become aware, we can recognize: we are involved in the restructuring and new building of society and we can enjoy it, as actors, as contemporary witnesses, as participants. Networking the tribes consolidates the sustainability of their survival.

Some thoughts about networking between communities – more on rumble.com

Today is the birthday of one of the co-founders of FamiliaFeliz. She was and is a pillar of our community and we look to her, when we want to know, where roughly the middle is! Happy birthday, Antje.

Color garden memories

FamiliaFeliz - color garden memories
FamiliaFeliz – color garden memories

In a magical place magical things happen. The garden of colors, the campus for informal education of FamiliaFeliz, is a place to enjoy. Again and again this space releases the creative potential of the visitors and transforms them into the actors, the protagonists, the designers, the facilitaters of happiness. The garden becomes a stage, a canvas, a building site, an exhibition space and a memory of an idea: in the garden of Epicurus, all people are equal. Unintentionally they give themselves joy in looking at, using and building. They often pick up the thread that others have laid before them, they continue to spin it for the next to come. They meet in their deeds, across time and space. And they take something with them in their hearts, to have experienced themselves in an all-encompassing WE.

We proudly present: Mosaicologists of CASAdelDRAGON

Happy birthday Corinna !

HORA – Danish NGO – a change for youth in Castellon and many other regions in Europe

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON - Castellon 2017 - welcome!
FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – welcome!

This is a story of youth from Romania. This is a story of a social entrepreneur in the house of the dragon. This is the story of a beautiful and brave village in Castellon. This is the story of a founder of a summer school in the little village Ciocănești close to Bucharest. And this is a story of success.

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – Sorina (left)

FamiliaFeliz was visited in 2016 from Sorina. She decided to make a travel through different communities in Europe for her master thesis in social entrepreneurship in Copenhagen. She visited with a collegue CASAdelDRAGON to study the special arrangements of our decentralized living community. At the end of her visit she was very well connected to our ideas and principles and she said: “It would be a dream for my kids from the summerschool in Romania, if they could come to this place. Its magic, the village, the people, the kindness, the peace, and the opportunities for youth in the artist color garden of CASAdelDRAGON.”

Our answer was short: “Lets make it happen…!”

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON - Castellon 2017 - Serban
FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – Serban

Less than 10 month later Serban, the president of a little NGO in Ciocănești (a village close to Bucharest) was sitting on the terrasse in the house of the dragon and said: “I can not belive, its true.”

Sorina took the risk to pay out of her private budget the flights for a group of youth, FamiliaFeliz organised travels inside of Spain and accomodation and food.

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON - Castellon 2017 - Font de Salut
FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – Font de Salut

For nearly all of the youth it was the first time out of their country, it was the first flight, the first bath in the mediterranean sea, the first trip without parents, the first immersion in a new language, a different culture and a life in an open house with lots of art and music.

The irrepressible will to take in as much as possible, to enjoy as much as possible and to share the joy with everyone in the village was evident every minute.

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON - Castellon 2017 - team meeting
FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – team meeting

The youth prepared an activity for the local school, a social art project in the color garden of CASAdelDRAGON.

FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON - Castellon 2017 -  local school
FamiliaFeliz romanian guests in CASAdelDRAGON – Castellon 2017 – local school

Sorina co-organised before and after many youth activities in Romania and Juan form FamiliaFeliz joined the team in Bucharest to realise some workshops for trainers, teachers and the management (game of life) of the summer school, also workshops (trencadis, catering) for youth of the region in the following years.

Sorina finshed her studies and started an NGO in Copenhagen, called HORA, related to a traditional Romanian folk dance in which the dancers hold each other’s hands and the circle usually rotates counterclockwise as each participant follows a sequence of three steps forward and one step back. The greek routs of the word are related to circle, singing an celebrating.

Four years later Sorina knocked on the door of CASAdelDRAGON again, and explored in a video panel the possibilities to invite, FamiliaFeliz, the village of Cervera del Maestre and the youth of the region, to participate in international youth projects in the future.

The panel is published on rumble here.

FamiliaFeliz as an open think tank for new social art movements and CASAdelDRAGON as a cultural spot in the region of El Maestrat in Castellon confirmed support to the new NGO in Copenhagen, founded by Sorina on Christmas 2020.

You can follow HORA on social media (1,2).

As menioned before, this is a story of youth from Romania. This is a story of a social entrepreneur in the house of the dragon. This is the story of a beautiful and brave village in Castellon. This is the story of a founder of a summer school in the little village Ciocănești close to Bucharest. And the best… the story is true.

Familiafeliz – how to find the right community

how to find the right community – podcast on rumble.com

In early 2021 FamiliaFeliz received a message from Eric, a belgium father of a daugther, interested in community life. He explained that the original project was to set up a ecovillage project in eastern Spain. Surprisingly he was working on this project in the neighbour village since 3 years and we never met.

In his request he pointed out, that there was a second family from the netherlands and they also like the idea to put roots in the soul of “El Maestrazgo”, the region around us.

We confirmed a chat all together and you can listen the audio record. We added some photos of spring 2020 to underline the reality of a living community in these times. All photos are taken between march and june 2020 in Cervera del Maestre in the CASAdelDRAGON and the color garden.

How to find the right community – podcast 2 – 2021 – on rumble

How to find the right community – podcast 3 – 2021 – on rumble – Part II.

FamiliaFeliz – first podcast in 2021

FamiliaFeliz – first podcast on rumble.com in 2021

Based on government restrictions for many people social media becomes more and more important. To flaten the curve of requests we decided to offer more video- and audio-content online for people interested in our community life.

Actually people are moving from cities to the countryside, from flats with balkonies to garden areas with tiny houses and from industrial areas to rural remote places. A lot of people ar working now in home office and even digital workers don’t see a return to the office in a short time.

We hope these podcast might help to navigate a little bit on the way to approach FamiliaFeliz.

deframing living comunity myths on rumble.com

Living in an unintentional living community

unintentional-living-community
unintentional-living-community

FamiliaFeliz is a decentralized community with a common economy. We share the idea of creating a social place for individual freedom and individual happiness. Analogous to Epicurus, we run a garden as the campus of a free university for informal education. It is our concern to give the visitors a peaceful space in which they can first find peace and then the strength to pursue their own ideas and projects. Social togetherness as the result of an individual decision, without a specific goal, without foresight, without benchmarks, it sounds like an invitation to paradise that is too good and many people doubt that it is possible to realize the coexistence of people in this world in this way.

unintentional-living-community - visitors from all over the world
unintentional-living-community – visitors from all over the world

Even if it is rather unrealistic for most, people from all over the world have found their way to a small village in Castellon, a mountainous province in eastern Spain, for the last seven years.
They come for very different reasons. Some want to get to know the country and people in an alternative way, others are looking for community and want to experience themselves as part of a community. Most of them just want to test what it would be like to live in a community, some have a firm resolution.

unintentional-living-community - connected to the nature
unintentional-living-community – connected to the nature

Some come to the garden of colors, the artists’ laboratory, to find peace and quiet, to leave stress and work and perhaps worries behind. They are looking for closeness to nature, they want to slow down.

Still others come to be inspired by the special conditions in our community. We are very different from most existing communities, especially in the way we make decisions in the group and how we organize ourselves as members of the community. Our relationship with those who do not belong to the narrow core of our community also differs from that of most of the designs role out.

unintentional-living-community - be at peace with yourself
unintentional-living-community – be at peace with yourself

Most visitors have no experience of community life. They project all desires and hopes onto the places they visit. Often they are disappointed or unsure and move on in the hope of finding better places, better people, better surroundings and better help and support for themselves. Some have been on the road for 20 years and still haven’t found the place to build roots, to make peace with what is realistic.
Most visitors have high expectations and at the same time assume that one will also have high expectations of them. This is how they want to prove themselves at the beginning, clearly show their value for the community, they just want to be good.

unintentional-living-community - a personal challenge
unintentional-living-community – a personal challenge

They are very surprised that we define very, very few conditions for how they should behave in our community. They don’t understand that we have no expectations about their way of working, their leadership or support, their contribution to the social life of our community. They ask about fixed working and leisure times, about rules (washing, cleaning, cooking) and they ask for clear instructions on what to do, when, where, and how. When we tell them to calm down first, they don’t have to do anything, they could just be there for now, that would be enough, then they become insecure and doubt about us, about our success, and about themselves . We know how society has shaped us all, how it conditions us. We have to show performance, be useful, be successful. We strive for recognition, attention and respect. Nothing can be got for free. Only the hard-working fellow man gets happiness. The performance must be above average, and it must be permanent. But that’s not how nature works, and that’s not how FamiliaFeliz works either. Weaning out of the rat race of the neoliberal performance society is a process. It takes time to really slow down. For most visitors, it is a bottomless fall into the unknown, the creation of (apparent) values. Those who survive this time will be rewarded. The visitor finds his individual ground under his feet, lives on and is happy. He sees himself. And then he sees FamiliaFeliz with completely different eyes, and falls again, without support, without hope, much lower than before.

unintentional-living-community - on the edge of reason
unintentional-living-community – on the edge of reason

Many visitors ask us, why we don’t sell anything. You can see how unfinished the projects are, how amateurish we often start, how slowly things develop. Then they want to improve, optimize, accelerate. And again, they look into our mild faces and suspect that it will go much further downhill. They remember our words: everything important in life cannot be bought, so why money? Yes but… It is and remains a long way, like that of a pilgrim. And we cannot accompany our visitors, but we welcome them with joy at their destination.

unintentional-living-community - life in the here and now
unintentional-living-community – life in the here and now

It is easier for children, who find their way to us with their parents. They are living in the moment, they are still connected, with nature, the world, and themselfs. In this way, they show us the way into the we, into the community, that accepts them as they are. Many adults also find their way back there, to such a view and perception of their environment. Then the real journey begins, a journey with themselves in this new world.

unintentional-living-community - lunch time for our romanian friends
unintentional-living-community – lunch time for our romanian friends

Only then is the view free for the community that does not stage itself, that surrenders to making and pursuing one’s own wishes. Then community becomes the stage for your own play, your own staging. Then the other’s piece becomes a pleasant backdrop for your own piece. Then the togetherness arises without compulsion from the dynamic, and not as an intention, pressure or necessity.

unintentional-living-community - the dream of self-sufficiency
unintentional-living-community – the dream of self-sufficiency

Many visitors are dreaming of having the chance to produce their own food in communities. They also often believe that we are naturally – in a very natural way – self-sufficient in our community. These are myths, and they are also part of the learning curve of recognizing that this is only possible to a limited extent in today’s society. On the one hand it is a question of resources (seeds, know-how, land, climate), on the other hand it is also a project of individual people. It is not automatically the case that everyone who is interested in community life also wants to work in agriculture.

unintentional-living-community - the pleasure of taste
unintentional-living-community – the pleasure of taste

In recent years there have always been individual roommates or visitors who wanted to implement exactly this project. Mariella, Clara and Franscesca were outstanding. These three will always be remembered as the true heroes of the garden of colors, with their irrepressible will to obtain food, for their brood, for all of us. In seven years we have seen three attempts to cultivate the garden more intensively. All three have moved on, now the garden is at rest. Nature remains. And the infrastructure invites the next visitor to carry on. But it remains his individual decision. FamiliaFeliz can have the place ready to create and use a garden, but it is not looking for employees for a self-catering farm.

unintentional-living-community - courageously leave the cage
unintentional-living-community – courageously leave the cage

There is no recipe how to do it right, neither for the individual in search of community nor for the community in search of the individual new fellow human being. We do not offer any integration courses or workshops, nor do we stage rituals. We see the step into a community more than the step of the individual and it has its very own direction and speed. And the closer he gets to our community, the sooner he will recognize that with his appearance, this community changes, helps to shape and thus also redefines the center. We distinguish ourselves with reference to a non-intentional community. What confuses some, for us it is the key to sustainability. We do not consider community as a demarcation and united in the goal to be sustainable.

unintentional-living-community – failing successfully – and failing better afterwards

So FamiliaFeliz is not about integration, not about adaptation. We see every person as an opportunity to change, to reinvent ourselves, to enjoy new impulses in our diversity and to share this pleasure with those who find their way to us. Some ask us what FamiliaFeliz stands for, what it embodies. They ask us whether we want to change the world, whether we want to participate in the new and better shaping of society. They ask about goals. But what is the goal of nature? What is the goal of a tree?

Viane rightly said that people live in belief systems and they invent them in order to navigate their lifes. The agreement with the environment creates security, the common ritual calms and socializes. The human being is a social animal, it searches for the opposite in order to perceive himself. The child seeks in the stranger’s face the indication of willingness to play together, that is enough for him. It does not ask about values and beliefs and political attitudes. As people socialized in society, we are asked to look for roles, to defend these roles because of their privileges, and to derive rights from ownership and to remind others of their responsibilities in their other roles.

unintentional-living-community – time…

If you don’t have to reach a daily goal, you have time. So there are also in society those who have the time, i.e. who give the time and those who want or have to work their way out of time.
Now it is not that one of us does not set tasks and challenges for ourselves, but we do not transfer these to the others around us. Above all, we do not ask for their help in achieving our own goals. So we usually meet in peace, at mealtimes together. Then we have time. We can listen.

Veith, father of three children, asked us questions at the beginning of 2021. We recorded the conversation and published it on rumble.com. Maybe that answers some of your questions too.

unintentional-living-community - overcome the division - feel the social closeness
unintentional-living-community – overcome the division – feel the social closeness

Whatever art means – be creative

On his trip to Germany, our member Juan met the activist, journalist and text artist Andreas in Bad Münstereifel, a small town with a beautiful historic city center. After a long night and many conversations with interested citizens about a better future, they both agreed to meet for an interview in the German home unit of FamiliaFeliz.

The interview was conducted and recorded in German.

A written version and translation into English is planned, but requires the involvement of third parties ( Please get in touch if this topic addresses you and you could do this work! ).

whatever art means - be creative
whatever art means – be creative

Recorded in Windeck, Germany 2020 | Copyright (c) Andreas

The bread of the artist – reloaded

Bread – a work of art – by the artist Marianna – CASAdelDRAGON – January 2021

FamiliaFeliz is a place to develop personal happiness. It is not a place to apply for solving problems by others. It is a space to relax, to recover, to restart. It is a place where you can fail, fail again, fail better and be successful in the end.

It was three years ago that Clara and Juan made a wholemeal bread from organic grain as part of a joint venture with the local bakery. It was about giving new impulses for nutrition, also in view of the fact, that more and more people from other countries have found their new home in our Spanish village. The art project was limited in time and has contributed to the fact, that wholemeal bread is now regularly offered by the only remaining bakery that is so important for village life.

In the last summer Marianna entered the space of FamiliaFeliz and asked herself how and by which she could participate in these special times. She started making our bread. She tried out many recipes with yeast and sourdough. She studied the extraction of natural yeast, she refined recipes and she also worked on the design of the loaves of bread.

In the history of art there are periods when bread seems so beautiful that it nearly gets into museums.

Janet Flanner, Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939
Marianna Hessova – making bread in the CASAdelDRAGON

The free initiative of Marianna is a good sample how it works in an open living community of individuals.

Nobody told Marianna to make bread. Nobody asked for quantity or quality. We see every bread that Marianna gives us as a gift. We are always happy that it just won’t stop and we have an inkling of what will come when it starts to smell in the house in the evening.

Again and again she surprises us with fine spices that she has incorporated, with new grain mixes and with new shapes. Again and again it gives the eye a feast and increases the anticipation. Bread becomes art. Art becomes food for the senses, the body and the soul.

With bread and wine you can walk your road.

Spanish quote, unonymous

After a while, friends of the CASAdelDRAGON also appreciate Marianna’s bread. She willingly trains others in manufacturing and passes on her knowledge. But we know. There is no right to be given gifts. So we can only be happy when it happens and be grateful.