I’m writing you tonight from the recently reopened community room at Wilbur Hot Springs. I hear some guests cooking their meals in the nearby kitchen and others chatting over their dinner by the fireplace. In the library, folks are reading and napping on overstuffed sofas. The atmosphere is warm and nurturing and familiar, which is quite poignant for me.
You may remember that there was a devastating fire in the historic Wilbur lodge this past March. For seventeen years, Wilbur had served as my reliable, unwavering spiritual home (and sometimes actual home), and my place of greatest nurturing, inspiration, rejuvenation, and solace. So to have my most sacred place in ashes and rubble left me without a longstanding safety net.
Once I couldn’t rely on Wilbur to restore my heart when I was world-weary, I was invited to find new sources of support to sustain me in staying present to life’s continuous flow of joys and sorrows.
In September, I attended a training with two of my life’s dearest mentors, Kit Miller and Dominic Barter, both of whom offer loving, powerful social justice work in the world. The primary message I took away from my time with them was that if you want to live nonviolence, you need warm, nurturing, regular emotional support. Everything they contribute to the world, they insisted, is in direct relation to how much support they receive. More support equals more love, more contribution, more alignment with your values.
Whenever I hear resonant truth, I align and I act. So over the next month I did the vulnerable work of establishing a daily support system for myself, with a combination of professional supporters, peers in nonviolence and healing work, and close friends with shared values.
Two weeks in, I found myself joyfully beginning to write a book I’ve been thinking through for almost two years on the Culture of Domination. The first fifty pages, a rough outline, and a document full of notes have all flowed through me with perhaps the most joy and ease I’ve ever experienced while writing. The support—almost none of which directly related to my writing—has provided the fuel for easeful creativity.
I’m also noticing more capacity in my relationships, even less reactivity in moments of high tension, and just an overall sense of hope, even amidst one of the most violent years I’ve witnessed in our culture during my lifetime. All of this, I attribute to increasing my levels of support. More support equals more capacity.
What would you do in your life if you had more support?
To whom would you be able to offer more love?
What vision would you bring into reality?
What tone would you use when speaking to yourself?
How would your life have more meaning and purpose, contribution and connection, love and warmth?
Starting in February, I am opening two new spaces for clients who want to do depth-healing work (either in my Oakland office or over Skype). With weekly 90-minute sessions, we will warmly explore what’s alive for you and your body each week and bring deep empathic healing to any underlying past pain or trauma that’s encumbering your present efforts. Contact me this week to set up your free 30-minute phone consultation for the last week of January.
I can see now that Wilbur left me on my own just long enough to build new, beautiful channels of support. Now Wilbur has returned to me, changed and yet eternal, and I am filled with gratitude, trust, and rejoicing.
With love and empathy,