Guiding Principles

Nagdeo Farm Cooperative Living Experiment
Guiding Principles

Our purpose is to co-create a life of beauty and joy, and to experiment with and demonstrate tools for personal growth and cooperative living. Below are the principles we’ve developed to help us fulfill that purpose.

Harmony in the Individual

Intention: To live in balance, or “nagdeo” – aware of one’s own emotional and physical needs and able to address them. As we strengthen this practice, our dreams become more and more instructive and enlightening.

  • Practice “nagdeo”, or balanced living. This includes being aware of your own needs and limits and strengthening your self-care and balanced living practices: dental and physical hygiene, healthy diet and adequate exercise, balancing work and rest, sleeping well, remembering dreams, accepting emotions, balancing talk with quiet, and getting energy from Source.
  • Take responsibility for one’s own actions and emotions. Make a commitment not to take things personally, remembering that we each attract situations that present us with the lessons we need. If you feel upset about something, focus first on what you have to learn from the situation.
  • Work on your inner story. Most of the healing work people go through involves changing their inner thoughts and stories toward an empowering narrative of self-acceptance. Do your very best to speak kindly to yourself, remembering that we are likely to treat others how we treat ourselves.
  • Seek clarification and honest mirroring from others. If something is troubling you or if you need support or guidance, find an appropriate time to request help from others. An appropriate time is when the other person feels good and isn’t in the middle of something requiring their full attention. Also, try to seek help when you’re in a receptive mindset (i.e. you’ve had time to breathe through any anger or hurt and genuinely want a different perspective).
  • Approach life with an attitude of humble inquiry, seeking opportunities to grow and learn from every situation you find yourself in.
  • Challenge yourself to stretch and grow by putting yourself in new and different situations or with people who have more of the qualities and skills you want to develop. Be ready to try out new ideas, perspectives, and experiences.
  • Stay connected with Source by practicing gratitude, personal time, and by co-creating in the world. Source = the energy and life force flowing through the world around us. Co-creation = using one’s hands to re-form existing materials into one’s own design (i.e. shaping metals or bones into tools, turning a lawn into a garden, weaving fabric out of fibers, cooking a meal from scratch, etc).
  • Recognize when you feel depleted, and allow yourself to rest or withdraw from activities when you need to. If someone kindly suggests that you seem tired or may need a rest, take heed and get some quiet time to at least check in with how you’re feeling.


Harmony in the Home

Intention: To facilitate an atmosphere of kindness, joy, honesty, and good humor, in which it is to each person’s benefit to support all the others as we collaborate to create our life together.

  • Deepen awareness of each other’s needs and best interests.
  • Offer and receive well-timed, honest, and kind mirroring. Reflecting to someone about their habits or behaviors can be a gift, as long as it is done out of the desire to support the other person’s best interest rather than the desire to be right.
  • Practice the art of giving to others joyfully. A gift is something the other person values that is offered with no expectation of return. This requires heightened awareness of others’ circumstances and preferences.
  • Support others in living “nagdeo”, through example and kind reminder.
  • Let your actions speak. If you want to show appreciation and gratitude, or demonstrate what is really important to you, find ways to do so through action. Regarding relationships, it is the return of kind and supportive actions which forms a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Contribute to daily chores, such as dishes, sweeping, tidying, and animal care. If you see something that needs tending or cleaning, take care of it without waiting to be asked. In regard to chores, expect to lovingly give more than your share. When everyone does this, harmony flows.
  • Help with collaborative projects and activities (i.e. raising or harvesting food, building and maintaining structures, singing together, etc), recognizing that the experience of working together and supporting each other is more important than accomplishing any given task.
  • Practice exercising a cooperative mindset: “What’s best for the group is best for me“. Be willing to set aside personal agendas with a good attitude in order to support the good of the whole group. (For example: “I don’t necessarily want to cook right now but I’m grateful to do so because everyone else is out getting firewood for us all to use this winter” or “I don’t really want to patch this leaky roof right now but I’m happy to because that way the people who support me will have a dry space.”)
  • Communicate kindly and allow everyone their own opinions. Deep philosophical and emotional conversations are part of living here. Try to notice in talking if you become upset, and take a moment to breathe and re-center yourself rather than lash out at someone else. Be willing to agree to disagree, keeping in mind that no one here wants to hurt you and that the purpose of our conversations is to explore ideas together. If someone’s words trigger something in you and you feel hurt, try to simply name what’s happening (i.e. “I’m feeling upset”) and breathe through it.

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