I am writing to you from Mebane where I recently returned from my four-month sabbatical. I was welcomed back by these gorgeous October days and crisp nights, by the welcoming embrace of everyone at The Stone House and the goldenrod and aster growing with abandon in the pasture. It is good to be home.
And it was also good to be away, reconnecting with friends and family, spending a lot of time in silence, and experiencing the fullness of my life without work in it. As I relaxed into unscheduled days, the anxiety I’ve known so well over the past few years began to drain away slowly from both my body and mind. I started to see just how much this anxiety has provided adrenalin for my daily endeavors; it has been the primary current into which I plug myself in an effort to soldier on. That adrenalin is what has kept me going in the face of cash flow challenges, has allowed me to stay up working way past when I should be asleep, has powered my hunger for news of the day’s events. Who would I be without this? Who would any of us be?
With a long stretch of unobligated time, I found my way into a different rhythm. Staring at the ocean for hours each day will do that to a person. In the midst of deep rest and sweet time with loved ones, I started to feel myself being moved by a different current, one I can feel in the space between my gut and my heart. It is a subtle pulsing not unlike the experience of babies when they are sleeping or a very still night.
I come away from all of this with boundless gratitude and an even stronger commitment to liberation – my own and other peoples. More than ever, I want to use my time on the earth as a catalyst for this, in whatever small ways I can.
Some of that will happen directly through the work we are deepening into here at The Stone House. I’m particularly excited about the Transforming Movements work, a series of trainings and programmatic initiatives that will bring more transformative and spiritual practice into social change work. It kicks off with a statewide institute this November – a collaborative endeavor with Beloved Community Center, Blueprint NC, Center for Participatory Change, the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, and OpenSource Leadership Strategies. And we’ll be holding a second Deeper Practices of Transformative Social Change training for trainers February 9-12, 2012.
I look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Mebane.