The Becoming Podcast – Season 6; Episode 5: Sarah Wildeman on the radical art of building community + nourishing ecosystems of care

May 27, 2024

I’m thrilled to bring you this conversation with Sarah Wildeman on the Becoming Podcast this month.  This was such a rich and far-reaching dialogue about all things community-building, which is such an important locus of support – and also struggle – as we traverse times of deep change in our lives.

Let me tell you a little bit about Sarah.

Sarah is a leadership & relationship dynamics coach, community-builder, and founder of Our Common – a coaching and consulting practice focused on helping Whole Systems thrive. Nearly a decade of community-living, and years of experience working and coaching in complex organizational dynamics, has equipped her to work with people to navigate nuanced relationships with authenticity and courage, empowering individuals and teams to get creative and create lasting change. Her work includes one-on-one -, relationship -, and team – coaching, and workshops on topics like relational design, conflict navigation, and the enneagram. She also runs a 6-month course on “re-villaging your life”, which she created because she’s experienced first-hand that it is hard work to build community into our lives in this busy modern world, and we can all use a little support and encouragement on the journey. 

Sarah grew up in a home focused on hospitality, and mutual-aid, where shared elements of life with friends and neighbours was considered ‘normal’. With her own young-family, she lived in intentional-community for close to a decade – including living on shared land with other singles and families while sharing meals, work, and chores etc. She’s spent the last 5 years setting down roots in the BC Okanagan, where she and her family seek to live in alignment with their core-values of environmental stewardship, community-care, and local-impact, through small daily choices.

Sarah brings a collaborative whole-system approach to all her work, making space for collective grappling,  encouraging courageous action, and helping us to remember we’re never truly alone.


Here’s some of what Sarah and I talk about in this episode:

> The life-and-death threshold where Sarah learned what it was like to be doing life with people – and where she found the inspiration for a lot of her work now

> What it was like living in an intentional community with her family, and how she experienced “the village” firsthand

> How “the loss of the village” is not a universal experience, and is actually one that often walks hand-in-hand with the hyper-individualism that comes alongside many cultural privileges

> Practical and philosophical wisdom about how to build community, including how asking for help is actually an act of great generosity, how to make your needs known (and identify them in the first place), how to create capacity and room in your life to make community a priority, and how to powerfully invite folks into relationships and gatherings

> How hard it is to build community in a season of need in your life

> Attachment styles and introversion / extroversion and how they relate to re-villaging

> The idea of “tolerating” community and committing to relationship tending even when it’s hard, or even when it’s not what you’d prefer to be doing



Listen to the episode on iTunes



Show notes


Sarah’s Website, Our Common

Sarah’s Instagram

Our Common Re-Villaging Program

Free Workshop June 14 on how to run an effective meeting / have an important conversation

Becoming Podcast episode with our mutual friend, Becca Piastrelli

An article on the concept of “other mothering”

An article on chosen family

Becoming Podcast with Annie Bray about asking community for help

The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

Helping Hands Community Support Website

Meal Train Community Support Website

Relationship Ecosystem Mapping Resource from Sarah

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did, and that you’re able to find some real wisdom and practical support that will help you expand and deepen your community connections.  Enjoy!

Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews.  Thank you so much!