I’ve been thinking this whole last week about what I’m going to share with you...
Especially after hosting a Feedback Circle last week on my thoughts about how we may be able to co-create a community together to hold this healing and liberation work.
I had this really exciting proposal including:
- Podcast to start showing what else is possible
- Webinars to start teaching one-off concrete practices
- Online courses to share frameworkworks and practices
- Virtual support circles to provide loving accountability and support
- In-person support circles to build local communities
- Ecosystem of healing justice and liberatory trainers and consultants for cross-learning and mutual support
That probably seems like a lot to you. But the wild thing about me is that all of that seems totally doable.
I’ve done each one of those before and know what it takes. I also have a lot of people wanting to access this work and are willing to pay for it.
But through this process of talking it all out with everyone though, I realized...
...I’m exhausted by doing, doing, doing
We live in a society that’s hyper focused on pushing, pushing, pushing. Just get it done - even if we don’t know what should get done.
This survival orientation is simply that - it’s how we’ve been taught to make sure we survive.
But it’s also what keeps us trapped in this cycle of dehumanization and oppression - even when our work is to fight systemic oppression.
So we dehumanize ourselves because we don’t know see any other way out - and still be able to survive.
And that’s totally real.
And there has to be another way.
I’ve been talking about how I want to co-create an intentional community that is materially structured to allow us to focus on spiritual and social liberation and the incredibly wild and often painful ride that journey is.
And I even have multiple people who own land and want to make that dream become true with me! (4 in fact!)
I fully believe that this unique approach to intentional communities is something we need to help sustain our desire for spiritual and social liberation, especially in face of such global crisis.
And I don’t have the energy to move it forward.
I realized that I’m not ready for this work yet - amazing as it is.
I’ve been trying to move forward and I’m just dragging my feet - even though I want to move forward!
I realized that I need to take the time to care for myself and ground myself - in myself.
I have been on an incredible journey of over a decade of healing and these last couple years, I have been doing a lot of intense healing and co-creation around my relationship to work, to family, and to my partner.
And still, I find myself centering other people over myself...
...because what I deeply want is to spend a month in a Buddhist monastery and just be and do nothing “productive
,,,,because I’m afraid of how my absence will impact others
...because it feels like I would be abandoning my relationships and my work
...because I’m afraid of actually embracing my deep longing to organize my life around my spirituality
So I’m giving up on my fears so I can embrace myself.
I need to be able stay grounded in myself and my deep desires for myself.
I also find myself wanting to say that I need to be able to be self-grounded so I can be that grounded space for others.
And that’s true too.
But I can’t be primarily centering myself in service of other people. That’s not centering myself!
But we’ve been primarily (inaccurately) taught that centering ourselves is self-centered - as if to focus on myself means I don’t care about how I impact others and don’t take steps to address that.
That’s not true.
We can be self-grounded - and hold space for what other people deeply want and co-create with them a way forward where can at least try to get all our deeper needs met.
As I’ve been having this conversation with different people in my life, I’ve realized that...
Through how emotionally vulnerable and co-creative I am with them, they’re able to not just be ok with my desire - but also be really excited and nudge me toward it.
And I needed that.
Because I wasn’t strong enough in being centered in myself to leave and take that time for myself.
But my loved ones were supportive and encouraging - and it’s made all the difference in the world!
Even the couple people who were unhappy with my desire (hi family!), I could see how it was coming from their fear of change and uncertainty.
Once they got how much I needed it though and I agreed to call them periodically, they were able to be reluctantly onboard with it - while also acknowledging that it was my decision to make.
With my loved ones holding my hand and nudging me forward, I’ve finally embraced my deep desire to spend significant time at a Buddhist monastery.
I leave this Saturday and will come back in mid-July.
I don’t know what will happen while I’m there. I’ll primarily be in silence with no talking, reading or writing in order to just be in my body.
I don’t even know if I’m going to come back honestly. I think I probably will but am open to really anything happening on this retreat.
And I’m committed to deeply listening to myself and embracing the mystery of what unfolds in front of me.
At one of the farms that I’m talking with about becoming a center for spiritual and social liberation, they were saying farmers tend to think 25 years ahead and next week. Little else is worth planning because of how things go according to plan.
So I’m adopting that approach! In 25 years, I want to have both created these intentional communities for myself and have scaled this model for anyone who wants to do them.
Next week, I’m going to a Buddhist monastery to learn how to listen to myself - without any distractions and build up that muscle for when I am back in the world.
And that’s about all I know right now.
So here’s to embracing...nothing.
In that, I think I may just find everything.
Thanks for reading through this long email! I just wanted to let you know where I was and how I’m moving forward since it impacts you too.
I’ll be back in mid-July and we shall see what unfolds from there!
Remember that another way is possible - even if you don’t know what that is. Just keep talking about it with those who champion you following what makes your spirit sing.
Much love to you,
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Sandra’s the Founder of Re-Becoming Human and Everyday Feminism. She’s committed to living into spiritual and social liberation in each and every moment. Sandra shares her (often painfully earned) learnings from her ongoing journey of healing and co-creation so that your journey may move faster and have less pain and more joy!