Cultivation

4 Feb 1 Comment Tamara Our Land

I can’t stop thinking about the Jordanian pilot who was burned to death as a symbol of the general state of the world that seems so hopeless. It’s hard not to get depressed and discouraged when something that horrendous takes place.

And we’ve had our own setbacks lately, with the dissolution of our partnership with Liz and Stan and the paperwork and extra work that has entailed, not to mention a re-thinking of our future and what it might look like. Not that one ever knows what the future holds, but when you are starting a business it’s important to at least pretend you might know and create a feasible plan. That’s what we’ve been focusing on over the last six weeks and will be for at least several weeks more: paperwork, accounting, financial projections — you know, all the fun stuff.

So with the often terrifying state of the world, and my own personal state lately, it’s been hard to remain optimistic. I can’t help but drift toward thinking what are we doing here at Reverie anyway– are we checking out? Giving up on the world? I’ve always been a person who’s worked for nonprofits, for the common good (or so I hoped), so I’ve been asking myself if I’m just tired of trying to make the world a better place and just want to retract? Is that what we are doing here?

But then I have to remind myself that it’s important, amidst all of the despair and just general stress of everyday living, to remain human. To tap into what inspires our humanity – the good parts, not the aggressive and oppressive parts.

So, what are we trying to do that contributes to the world? We are, after all, secluded on 32 acres in the foothills with several springs bubbling up with drinking and irrigation water, a self-contained septic system, vegetable gardens and fruit trees for nourishment, a forest of wood to heat our house in the winter. With a few additional tweaks such as solar power, chickens, goats (easy enough to do) we would be relatively self-sufficient – at least way more than the average American, and could conceivably “check-out.” Lord knows, there are plenty of people who live up here on the Georgetown Divide who are doing just that.

But honestly, that doesn’t appeal to me. First of all, I’m just way too social to be able to live like a hermit. But more importantly, I’ve always had a desire to try to make the world a better place in some way. I don’t expect to be Gandhi, but I do believe that each of us can move the world in a positive direction in our own spheres of influence, however tiny those spheres may be.

So what are we trying to cultivate at Reverie? This was a good thought exercise for me to go through.

  • mindfulness –tapping into our inner voices through stillness and listening
  • joy – can be as simple as picking a ripe tomato off the vine or being able to do a handstand for the first time (maybe not so simple)
  • curiosity/wonder – not the kind you find through google
  • creativity – an environment where creativity can flourish and where people can break out of their comfort zones
  • empathy – building a habit of empathy by cultivating social connections
  • awareness – of nature, of our bodies, our minds, and other people

Perhaps the common thread here is that we need to be still, to take the time to listen and to fully embrace our experience in the moment, good or bad. While it is possible to do that in our everyday lives in the city, on the train, behind our desks, most of us rarely do, if at all. We need a reminder every once in a while. Nature provides that reminder, being in a place without cell service or internet reminds us, connecting to others in a nurturing, supportive, learning environment reminds us.

This is what I wish for Reverie. To be a place where guests can build – or repair – a foundation that helps them carry back into the “real world” a lighter touch, a softer approach, and a gentler reaction than they might have had before their experience here.