Short Form: Love. Dance. Share. Grow.
In 2020, I live in a small intentional community where my self-expression is accepted and encouraged. We support each other to live as authentically as we can. My partner and I form the nucleus of the community – resting in the hammock of our love. Our partnership is based on a deep respect for each other that stems from our shared values.
The small community contains about six core people. Together we have created a safe container for our ideas, for our connections, for our healing, for our selves. We live together, have lots of intellectual discussions and explorations and give tons of hugs. Other forms of touch are also abundant. There’s always lots of fun and play and music and dance, especially the spontaneous kind until we laughingly collapse onto a couch or wash each other off outside since it is warm enough and the sun dries us off quickly, clothes and all. Then we rest in the hammock that hangs between the apple and walnut trees. We regularly practice yoga and meditate together.
The living community is also our work tribe, including people who help me spread my ideas, so I can just show up to share. The other people in the tribe are like family and we all connect at least over the long communal breakfasts each morning. We’ve all come together through our desire to heal the wounds of the old culture and to live in a new way supporting each other as we pursue our happiness, flourishing in a life that reflects our authentic selves. Most of us have multiple roles building on our diverse skill-sets, like the publicist and gardener, the healer and dancer, which help us integrate ourselves, allowing us to express multiple aspects of our personality.
While our days flow more than they are planned, our community is designed as a healing community – for ourselves and the people who come to visit, for a day, a week, a month, or longer. We heal by living in full integrity: We live cooperatively in ways that help each other flourish. We are living the change we want to see in the world while healing from our wounds inflicted by the mainstream way of living. We grow our own food based on permaculture principles in gorgeously abundant food forests that I help maintain (though didn’t design).
I am often seen tending to a food forest wearing a straw hat to protect myself from the sun and a no-sleeve blouse and shorts because it is so nice and warm. A lot of my healing work happens in this garden, the lusciously abundant food forest. As I teach and work with a person, we harvest and trim plants. This work is grounding and an important part of the healing process. To share my ideas beyond the individual healing work I offer, I write and teach about transforming the things that can get in the way of our flourishing, especially cultural trauma and shame left over from the old culture. Often I teach in an old, filled lecture hall that is now part of an alternative educational system, which is designed to teach kids how to live objectively and flourish. As I teach and share, I continue to refine current and develop new healing processes, integrating my own healing experience and work with secondary research.
People also come to me for healing from all over the world. As they heal, staying with my community, they become healers, too, who go back to their communities and heal people there. As this happens increasingly, the seeds of the new culture we are building are spreading, a culture centered around relationships and designed to help everyone flourish.
I dance to heal, to integrate. I developed ways to help myself be in the body as I dance, which I now teach, starting with “Feel your feet on the floor.” Despite – or maybe because – of my age and becoming a dancer so late in life, I am a sought after dancer of mindful tribal fusion belly dance, which I developed to undo people’s inhibitions around dance integrating mind and body, so we can all express our deep longing to move our bodies. Everything I teach creates paths to emotional freedom and happiness so that we can fully express who we are by how we relate to ourselves and others.
Inspired by John Dewey’s idea of ends-in-view, this vision is not in the distant future but contains elements already in my life. As I add to them, the vision changes and can be adjusted also based on observations, new interests, etc. It is not static – unlike a utopian vision. (More on this in my thesis…)