“Everything according to its nature.”
But you can change your nature.
And you need to, and know how to,
if you’re on ship Liberation Ho.
I cannot write a complete post as fast as life comes at me.
I still do not have a working camera on my phone–or, any digital camera for that matter, save my clunky old iPad (which is presently buried in a backpack, buried in the back of my truck). I do not have this blog fully set up to my desires, much less have a fresh-branded website redesign in place, much less have a support/patronage structure in place, much less any means to activate a community around my offerings.
All goals–all squeezed in the circumstances of this lifestyle transition choice of the last month. And in the persistent lifestyle facet: of my being, and doing, alone, alone, alone.
Watch the non-essential (no matter how urgently desired) shear away in the bottleneck of responding out of necessity.
Every day I am trying. Trying to make my writing the top priority. Trying to turn the tides of my life–to veer this whole ship in a new bold direction. Trying to suddenly break old suboptimal habits and install multiple new better ones. Trying to align the big choices–like moving into a truck full time–with the emotional and inner adjustments needed to really embrace a vision of what I am here to do. Trying to integrate the difficulties of this lifestyle with its promises and pleasures. Trying to tie it all together as it threatens to fall into pieces.
As usual, I’m striding forward on just faith and fumes. Which, has gotten me this far.
I don’t know what the end game is. I don’t know how to justify my recent choices by any conventional logic.
All I can say is, humbly, almost dumbly: I’m responding to what I believe is being asked of me.
I need to let my truth have the power it is going to have. I cannot fix or perfect or even understand this mess of circumstances I am in. I can move towards a future where the raw, whole truth that I have given my life to distill is a sense-making glue bonding new structures of beings together, is prominent, is influential, is known, is felt, is holy.
It is so to me. My primary relationship is to my Intuition.
Nothing else matters, in the face of the potential to bring that future to bear: the future of a prevailing culture founded in truth-fidelity, truth-taste/preference. However slim the gap of opportunity for a future like that to blossom may, in reality, be. No matter how many and much forces are positioned to counter such a trend. Regardless of the chances of winning (though I do hope our strategies and tactics should prove sufficient.)
My life is a conductor for one thread, tying the future to the past, in a viable, bountiful, and highly intelligent web. I don’t dare betray it now.
Although… I do wonder sometimes how I will be cared for, in every regard, to the extent I will need to be, to proceed, unfettered, on this path. Let this be what I pray for every day, every hour… and may the world be listening!
I am all too willing to make the sacrifice to, for lack of more apt words, “Gaia’s will-be-done.” But to continue on, to level up the integrity of my offerings, and remain alone in the doing and being process, is no longer tenable (it never was sustainable, and the excess of these high-autonomy habits are coming to a head, indeed.) I recognize the stain of my own ignorance here: that, for all my personal accomplishments, I have not yet learned how to request and receive, how to exercise skillful reciprocal boundaries, in my relationships. I’m overdeveloped in how to give–I’ve afforded tremendous thought to the praxis of offering what I am compelled to offer, and to purifying the integrity of my truth-saturated gifts… yet my gifts have often been rejected, ignored or misperceived by others. And I’m underdeveloped in how to ask for others to share their gifts with me–though I am often overcome with gratitude for the simplest and subtlest things.
It’s a strange paradox. One I presently inhabit. Possibly the realest “home” I can claim right now.
Whose cup do my offerings fill?
And who will fill my cup in return?
Today I woke up on the pullout couch at Marco & Kayla’s (and Carmen and Beatrice’s) home. (The sleeping in truck or random conditions and the driving/computer sitting is really starting to wear on my body… it sucks not having a reliable space and time in which to do yoga!)
Had 2 cups of coffee. The daughters wanted to talk to me about their menagerie of Littlest Pet Shop figurines almost as soon as they departed their beds. I marveled at where these little sprites summoned the energy to launch into an extensive explanation about this handful of small plastic objects at that hour. I am glad I don’t have kids, so I can stay in unperturbed contemplation at will, especially at that hour. Even though these kids are warm, bright and wonderful. I worked on my ideas in prep for the day’s first meeting, while Marco went for a walk.
From 8am to 5pm (for me), there was a consistent theme, broken up by workloads, work styles, meetings and conversational occasions. That theme, or thread of emergent evolving synthesis, was all about the next phase in Cosmos’ growth: making tangible some of our dreamed prospects by raising seed funding allowing us to test critical assumptions and operationalize a “good enough” platform/community set of “games,” by which we’d effectively test our praxis and prepare to open the doors to a worldwide membership of creatives, sustainers, and workers, in mutual-actualization entanglement with Cosmos. By the end of the day, in addition to gleaning major inspiration from the work and dialogues (leading to an indirect but critical insight in the book I’m writing), I also had produced a preliminary budget and prospectus outline for activating the next stage–for review this coming week by the core worker-collaborator team members (and whoever else from our community would like to opt in to providing feedback on it.)
I feel the need to clarify: this describes a typical day for me. I’ve been working (for no pay) on Cosmos for two and half years. Because it needs to be done. (Almost every thing I’ve done professionally since age 20 has been because I felt it needed to be done. That may seem weird, but it is my entire reality.)
I am working hard on Cosmos. I am working hard on hanging on to the rapid development arc of the new collaborative consulting & strategy firm I helped start, Coevolve. I am working hard to be faithful to that voice in my head–the right one–that is imploring me to seize the day and write a body (perhaps a book) that I refer to handily as EPIST. I am working hard all the time, and I’ve been working hard for many years, only intermittently being paid for it, and almost never adequately at that. Lately, I’ve been working hard on surviving the creative challenges compelled of me daily, as a result of my big lifestyle transition: on May 1 I moved from a 2-bedroom apartment into a topper-topped truck, which road-warrior I’ve dubbed the “Arc of Imperfection.”
…In which, I have been parking at friends’ and family’s houses overnight, and utilizing a coworking space during the weekdays. So, one must add to the mix the bodily stress of new circumstances each day, and walking to the truck 3-6 times a day to load or unload stuff, plus new routines around the care for my dog Duffy… many more little decisions and inefficiencies that, I’m noticing, effect a degradation of my productivity on the vital projects.
I adore my work, and always have, because I’ve structured my work around serving my highest purpose–with minimal compromises. But my hard work has not paid back in support of my life quite yet. …The circumstance of me living in my truck is partly a function of me having no income and no viable roommate at this time. But I am in contact with a rich–and hopefully, to grow richer–social, creative and spiritual network. Nate, Marco & Kayla, Brandice & Wendi, Deacon, I am calling you out specifically as the core supportive “team” who I can find connected support through on the regular. And from a distance, Kelly Savery and Paige Adams. You know to let me have my adventures, but also to care for my wellbeing–which sometimes goes by the wayside to the former. You know that if I didn’t push the edge of what is aesthetically possible, who would I be?
My condition of economic insufficiency–like almost everyone’s–is not due to my not contributing. (It is due to broken feedback loops in our anti-social economy.) I believe I am contributing the best of what I have to offer in the best possible direction. I am, in this way, extremely high in autonomy, high in spiritual, emotional and intellectual capital, etc. and only MORE SO since finding a sense of a “creative home” in my collaborative and “creative evolutionary” comrades in Cosmos. Deep excess and deep deficit is indicative of extreme imbalance and required change… I am attempting to address these imbalances!
My latest biggest offering, Cosmos, long incubating, is on the brink of overflowing into promoting itself and being in big conversations with the communities it touches. Oh the joy of being witnessed, recognized and embraced! No wonder so many today are addicted to self-promotion and the hormone “hits” of apparent social approval.
And as for EPIST, the gross sum of 10+ years of carefully considered evolving psychospiritual and activist praxis in the world… I’m lately recognizing–in true permaculture consciousness, where the problem is the solution–that: this truck-living circumstance and its current stresses point to an incredible opportunity for me to expand my adventure out of the city and into the open-ended wilds and woods that surround me in Colorado. That is: why am I not boondocking, aka dry camping (truck-camping for extended periods without running water or electricity)? Though requiring some logistical considerations and constraints of its own, it looks to be much more liberating to my spirit’s calling to write EPIST urgently: better time, better setting, better mindset, than hopping around a spectrum of urban spots (where truck camping is considerably more precarious). And I have reason to believe the main content would flow swiftly and lushly, if only let to.
Today–which, I will admit, not without a little embarrassment, is in fact five days after I drafted about half of what you see here–
Today–which is a time to recognize my embrace of challenges as an embrace of my integrative capacities, and to name each challenge for the opportunities it conceals–
Today I am working with acceptance of my own gifts. Today I am asking for your witnessing. Today I am practicing with acknowledging my offerings as offerings, and acknowledging my deficits as deficits. None of this is perfect, nor is any of this complete. But I am processing and practicing, always.
Everybody falls short sometimes: me, and you. I am forever trying to apply experience to refine myself. I require meaningful relationship with those who are committed to the same mode, the same basic orientation for our being. I have recently come to terms with this unpretty fact: to those people who do not use experiential and interpersonal feedback for the same purpose (reflexive refinement of their inner and outer systems), and instead are only concerned with how they appear to others–my presence will generally be judged as a threat, not a gift. Because I am a devout truth-sensor, truth-teller, and truth-prier. A truth prior! Although it is self-initiated and sans exterior religious trappings, this profound commitment on my part is perhaps similar in shape to the inner journey of a monk choosing to give up the trappings of ordinary life and entering into a fierce commitment to a monastic lifestyle. And in this way, in the monastic (though open-ended) spirit of brotherhood and sangha, I genuinely wish you WOULD challenge me, and would love me, too.
Since I am not in a monastery, this invitation is blessedly open ended for your responding. However, since I am not in a monastery, I will risk not getting the gratification of transformative relationship from just anyone, and from just any where. So, I have evolved to devote a considerable amount of energy to providing genuine, intimate care to myself. I am stewarding myself so I can best show up for the entire context. Don’t worry–this is devotional work, and willingly submitted to! Because of the “spiral of abundance” feedback loop of my path-walking thus far, I am authentically autonomous in such a choice.
Still. It is not sustainable nor appropriate to forever be alone while serving the world. Even that statement just doesn’t make sense. I require devotional community and feedback–like the “working on excellence” or “w.o.e.” communities adrienne maree brown discusses in Emergent Strategy–to do even more, achieve even more, and even more marvelously, for the whole.
It is said in the Master of the Hidden Storehouse, though I am paraphrasing: “when he society’s leadership is inadequate, sages should go into hiding.”
Yet times of inadequate leadership cannot prevail forever. I see inklings that our present situation will fall to a resurgence of authentic, place-based, distributed, creative leadership.
I cannot have no hope, when I know things rebalance themselves. And that I can contribute to the optimizing of whole systems by aligning myself with the truth-force of the rebalancing called for. We cannot control the results (products of complex systems), but we do get to choose what we stand for, and what we live for.
There is a sea change that’s been brewing, and the first wave is beginning to crash.
May every being unfold according to their nature.