I'm back on the farm, where wifi varies with cloud cover, birds are abundant, and the work is unending. This is a place of eating, planting, sleeping. It strips you down to the basics: power from sunlight, captured water, food from the land, rising and sleeping on the schedule of the Earth. It is an essential place.
Which brings me to the question of the week, asked by one of my teachers: "What is essential?” I don't mean that just in terms of "essential workers" or "essential businesses,” but rather, what is at the heart of life? What is its essence?
I sometimes think of refugees, especially from war or violence, who leave their lives and gardens behind with nothing but the things they can carry, and begin again. In traumatic situations like this, "essentiality" is often forced on a person. I'm certain many of you have your own stories of beginning again; building from the ground up in your lives (I know I do!).
Rather than refugees, forced by circumstance, let us be voluntary emigrants from where we are now—pilgrims to a new land of our own making. Both as individuals, and as cultures. Let us be the designers of the future we want to live in. Because I think we know, in our deepest hearts what that is. We only have to give ourselves permission to name it, to say it aloud.
So, if you're into journaling—or just want something creative and constructive to think about—here are two questions to consider. Both are related to YOU, the designer of tomorrowland:
- If you had to make a list of things to keep or release in your own life, what would you leave behind? What would you bring forward into your best possible future? Consider habits, relationships, material goods, ways of thinking.
- If you were the boss of the world (or hey, let's go with "servant leader" of the world), what aspects of our current culture would you keep, and what aspects would you prefer to leave behind? Consider gender and race biases, political systems, social conventions. From what remnants would you reweave the world?
We're now in a “Rite of Passage.” As storyteller Michael Meade relays, all rites of passage begin in separation, with the heroine singled out. She moves through a crisis, challenge, or ordeal; and at the end, she emerges a different person. If the rite has worked, the heroine will emerge a greater soul: with more wisdom, kindness, stability, generosity, bravery, and clarity.
To the creative power that you are.