Well I’m officially the proud owner of Valley View, a small off the grid cabin in an aspiring little hamlet called Trillium. Twelve intrepid collaborators, each bringing a unique skill and united by a shared vision, experienced our first community gathering on the land in late January …and we finally closed escrow on Wednesday after a nine month birthing process! Over the months we developed a lengthy legal contract, covering everything from how decisions get made to outlining exit strategies for all types of situations. As the year goes along we will make all of these documents open source in order to share them with other groups who might find them useful. Also, in the final agreement we created an easement for the former stewards of the land, a beautiful and talented couple in their sixties named Chant and Susanna, so they could keep access to a shaded half acre near the river for when they’re “in town” from their adventures of retirement. By doing so they also take on the honorable position of our village elders, for which we’re truly grateful. Their four decades on the land has given them a deep understanding of the cycles of nature, a voluminous knowledge of the intricacy of running Trillium and a strong reputation and connection within the local community. To be able to continue to water the seeds of love they sowed on this land and to have them remain as part of this wonderful journey is a true blessing for all involved 💓
Wow, amazing how much can happen in a year! After feeling entirely burnt out in 2015 I decided to put everything in storage and attended yoga teacher training last winter in Thailand. It blew open my mind, gave me new tools to heal my body and revealed aspects of my spirit that I didn’t even know existed. What I thought it would just be a quick one month retreat and-then-back-to-business-as-usual turned into a deep 5 month exploration of consciousness. A subsequent journey through Thailand and Bali provided a backdrop for revealing all sorts of old junk and a lingering, unresolved anxiety at the core of my character. The more I observed, the more I realized that this subtle yet persistent feeling had been influencing my behavior since childhood. In fact I’d crafted a complex world of distraction as a way to avoid it. I didn’t feel like I really belonged anywhere. I never really felt at ease. And no matter what I achieved outwardly or how elaborately I distracted myself, the feeling was always there, just under the surface until it bubbled up in outbursts of unresolved emotion.
I just watched an awesome documentary last night called “American Commune” and I can’t believe I’d never heard of “The Farm” before! As we look towards a future where communal land stewardship and regenerative living are becoming increasingly common, it’s crucial that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. How to successfully navigate decision making processes, financial frameworks and healthy social systems will be vital to the long term flourishing of these projects. I’m very grateful for the brave pioneers that paved the way. May we learn from their achievements and their mistakes so that we don’t fall into the same traps 🙂
This would be a great poster to help me to avoid these pitfalls, as sometimes I forget! I’m almost at day 30 of a 30 day Headspace meditation series all about “focus”… and it’s been one of the most powerful exercises yet.
I can’t understate what I’ve put myself through out here and one day I hope to share the full story (much of it in just not appropriate for Facebook without proper context… but suffice to say it’s been a true dance between my shadow and my light. This trip has blown my understanding of myself wide open, and as seems to be the pattern that comes with it, the realization that much of the real work is just getting started. That said, I already feel more patience and compassion with myself than ever before, as well as acceptance for my path and commitment to seeing it through.
I just watched Kumaré and it’s a thought provoking and wraps up with a simple yet compelling take away 🙂 Plus it is pretty hilarious too! More info: “Kumaré is a documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. At the height of his popularity, the Guru Kumaré must reveal his true identity to his disciples and unveil his greatest teaching of all.” You might find a better quality version on Netflix but here’s a free version…
FAST FOOD! Cooking your street food, while your buddy drives to the market!
Sheesh, I’ve felt uncharacteristically sad and lonely recently! As an experiment, I found an apartment down a featureless alley on the edge of Chiang Mai for the last couple of weeks. The intention was to have minimal distractions from other people, touristy adventures and to minimize any time spent on creative or professional projects, just to see how I deal with myself. I can say that during this time, I touched the edges of divine bliss and intense despair.
It’s my 36th birthday and I’m super excited about it! Ever since I was 30, I decided to use my birthday as a time to give rather than to receive. Maybe some of you remember at the project that started it all: http://causeitsmybirthday.com … So to ring in my 36th year I thought I’d ask for YOUR help in creating a love ripple far beyond my immediate circle! If you want to play here’s how it works…
I’m incredibly grateful for all of your birthday wishes! Also I feel fortunate to doing some videography at an amazing event in Palo Alto this weekend called the Transformative Technology Conference. As you might imagine it’s a comprehensive future-facing collection of people, companies & organizations that are thinking about how technology will transform our health, wellness and even are very consciousness for the better.
What you might be more surprised by is that a conference like this would also begin the day with a Kundalini meditation and that one of the recurring themes of the presentations is the importance of continuing deep inner work on ourselves as we explore deep outer work with our projects, research and other creations. A powerful and important piece of advice to heed as we explore the unchartered territory at the intersection of our technology and our own humanity.
After many years of prioritizing heady-pursuits I am turning my focus towards a more body-centric style of living. I’m looking to connect with nutritionists, personal trainers and bodyworkers… especially ones that might like a dedicated and outspoken case study! I would appreciate any tips on what’s worked for you, as well as suggestions for awesome people, places and activities that I should check out. XOs for a beautiful Sunday… (Art credit: Alex Grey)
After an fantastic holiday Mindshare.LA (see pics), I went up to San Francisco for Christmas with the sweet mother! Soon after Christmas I attended my 3rd Vipassana retreat in North Fork, CA. It was yet again a superb experience and very tranquil way to enter the new year.. In fact I was asleep well before midnight 😉 More details notes to follow..