Mental Health and Community

by Raven Glomus

Mental health is a somewhat controversial issue in the communes, where mental health challenges sometimes flare up but it’s also claimed that communal living improves your mental health. I decided to put the issue out on Facebook.

As you might note, I only got four comments, but they were all detailed and thoughtful:

As they say, it’s complicated. Still, these are issues that need to be addressed in many communities. At what point is the community helpful and at what point does the individuals mental health threaten the community? There aren’t any easy answers but at some point many communities will need to deal with these issues.

Mental Health and Community

Social Media: News or Control?

by Raven Glomus

I was thinking about Living Energy Farm’s rejection of Facebook and thought that I would begin the topic on our actual Facebook page with a question. Here’s what I wrote:

Yes, it’s a provocative, forced choice, but that’s what does well on Facebook. I was hoping for comments and I got a few. The first one was from me–I took the opportunity to explain my dilemma.

And several people did wrestle with the question. (Incidentally, for those not used to internet acronyms, YMMV stands for “Your Mileage May Vary”–meaning that this may affect different people in different ways.)

These are pictures from the Facebook feed, so don’t try to click on the links that Boone Wheeler sent.

Here are working links for these videos:

The War on Sensemaking V

The Social Dilemma

Social Media: News or Control?

Consensus–Pro and Con

by Raven Glomus

I am always trying to think of provocative questions to write on our Facebook page. (It’s the nature of the beast–provocative questions generate more comments.) I started thinking about consensus. While I, personally, am a fan, I also know there are people who don’t think that it works. This is the question that I wrote on Facebook:

I got nine comments, which wasn’t bad–and over three hundred folks looked at it, so I would say that it did fairly well.

Here are the comments that we received. As you can see, people had feelings.

I will add that I have seen consensus work and suspect that when it doesn’t, it’s usually because it isn’t being done right–or folks are trying to use it to get advantage–or both.


Thanks for reading! This post was made possible by our patrons on Patreon. The Commune Life team works hard to bring you these stories about our lives in community, and that work couldn’t happen without support from our audience. So if you liked this article, and want to help us make more like it, head on over to to join us! 

Deep gratitude to all of our patron communards:

 Aaron Michels

Brenda Thompson

Cathy Loyd

Colby Baez


Janey Amend-Bombara

Jenn Morgan

Joseph A Klatt

Kai Koru

Kate McGuire

Kathleen Brooks

Lynette Shaw

Magda schonfeld

Michael Hobson

Montana Goodman

Nance & Jack Williford

NorthernSoul Truelove

Oesten Nelson

Peter Chinman

Raines Cohen

Sasha Daucus

Suzi Tortora

Tobin Moore

Twin Oaks

Warren Kunce

William Croft

William Kadish

William Scarborough


Consensus–Pro and Con

Closeness vs Space

by Raven Glomus

Every so often, for a Facebook post (because we are still on Facebook, every day), I ask a question. Sometimes, the question gets lots of views and lots of comments; sometimes there are very few views and very few comments. Of course, I try for the former and often try to figure out what went wrong when I get the latter.

And sometimes we get a decent number of views but few comments. I honestly don’t know why. Maybe it seemed intriguing at first glance, but not worth putting comments on. I really don’t know.

Here’s one that reached 252 people and got two comments–one of which was from us. I thought that it was a good question but apparently it didn’t provoke folks enough to comment–other than Dan Parelius. Here’s what I put on Facebook:

Is that such a confusing question? Here is the only real comment, plus Theresa’s response.

It’s true. We do want to understand better what people are looking for in community. I guess that sometimes they don’t want to tell us.

Closeness vs Space

When do you dissolve a commune?

I asked this somewhat provocative question on Facebook, but with a real purpose. Unfortunately, many and perhaps most communities that are formed don’t make it. When is is time to pull the plug?

We got a bunch of comments–here’s most of them, including mine (Raven’s) and the reply that I made to someone who I chose to see as not understanding why I wrote this.

When do you dissolve a commune?

If it’s about relationships…

by Raven Glomus

In early September, I had just reprinted on Facebook the piece I wrote here about the importance of relationships. I was looking for something to write the next day and decided to ask it as a question:

I got several comments and here are some of them. I particularly like the last one.

“You build relationships by showing up, even when it’s hard.” Yes, indeed.

If it’s about relationships…

Another Question of Size

Sometimes, size doesn’t matter.

I realize that I have asked questions about commune size twice now. In the first one I asked about the optimal size for a community. I only got four comments.

I suspect that I forgot about that. This time I asked whether someone would rather live in a large or small community. I got exactly two comments.

Here’s the post:

And here are both of the comments. At least it is interesting that one voted for large and one voted for small.

Feel free to comment, if you have an opinion but, based on my Facebook feedback, I don’t expect much (or maybe anything) in the way of comments.

Another Question of Size

A Question of Cleanliness

So here is the next in my series of Facebook questions. Having lived in several types of communities (communes, co-ops, ecovillages, and at least one hybrid community) I noticed a re-occurring problem in all of them was caused by the fact that different people have different standards of cleanliness. Given that, how does a community set a standard. Here is what I wrote at the end of February:

While there weren’t a lot of responses to the question, I thought that what there was displayed the spectrum of where different people in the communes fall.

I realized that I never added my own comment–I will just say that at this point, I have decided that I am willing to clean up after people.

One of the differences between co-ops and communes that I often point out to folks is that co-ops have chores and communes have work. I believe that in a co-op living situation, everyone puts in a fee which they take from whatever they get from working outside the home. Since most people (and everyone in many co-ops) have outside work, the only way to get things like cleaning done is to make them chores.

In a commune, since all money is equal, the currency is the work you do, and all work is valued, money earning or not. So cleaning is just another type of work. I happily clean up after people because I view this as my job, just as other people are working hard doing other things to keep the commune going. If I start feeling resentful, I simply think of all the things that they are doing that benefit me, and I see all that I am doing as just another piece of that work. And I happily take on cleaning up the messes as the work that I have chosen to do.

A Question of Cleanliness

A Question of Couples

For the last Facebook question that I posted on the regular Friday posts, I chose to skip ahead and do the one on communes as family. I decided to skip the one that I wrote for Valentine’s Day about couples in community. (Wow. Doesn’t February seem so long ago now? It really was a different world back then.)

So, as I return to reposting things from Facebook on this blog, I thought that I would start with that question, romantic roses and all:

I didn’t get a lot of responses, but here are a four of them:

I did wonder why I got so few responses, whether people were burning out on the questions (a format that I recently abandoned) or this was a subject that folks weren’t interested in, or maybe just didn’t want to touch. I think that it’s interesting that there were two positive responses, one that I would see as neutral, and then, only the last one, looked at how coupling can fracture a community.

You are also invited to respond. I am still curious about the pros and cons of couples in communes.

A Question of Couples