So, … I have a background and have been so fortunate to have had gotten an intimate exposure to teaching (secondary and university); public speaking and workshop facilitation, both (award winning) on-air and radio production; local and state level politics (I was a political party state chair at one time in Alaska); I have a particular specialty academically with my work in “Interdisciplinary Studies” and how to create & support programs of Interdisciplinary Learning; I have had practice in ceramics, some painting, carving, some metal work, printmaking and a few different performance pieces. I studied for a bit at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada in a Master’s of Landscape Architecture and I was so lucky to find myself as a kind of personal secretary/manager/media contact/etc. for a global expedition from 2004-2008 (The Goliath Expedition and Karl Bushby). I have an athletic field named in my honour in Colorado for the efforts both my mother and I supporting a Kiwanis youth camp, I have driven the ALCAN highway 45 times, I have had and survived now 3 significant “mystery” dis-eases – the primary being the kick to my left temple in 1987.
For whatever reason, I have strong genes from ancestors who’ve had a practice at being “pioneers” and though not raised in any church or religion, what spiritual exposure I had as a young child supported what I felt I knew to be true already,…that “choice” and “paying attention” were important aspects to living a kind of selfish “taking” of care…and in that practice, one would have a good relationship with Spirit. And Body.
I did luck out having a single-mother who after years of having a frustrating relationship with any organised spirituality, she found the work of Ernest Holmes. There was a center in Denver, “Mile Hi Church”, founded on his work – basically that of “new thought”, “positivity”, “taking responsibility for your Whole life”, etc.. I was exposed to this at the age of 6-7 years old. Again,…I simply got lucky to have that key reinforcement of what I already “knew” to be true.
So I’ve never had to “unlearn” anything, if you will. That makes sense, eh?
Oh yeah! When I did my Master’s here in Fairbanks, I did so primarily because I found this treasure here – an absolutely true Philosopher and knight for a genuine approach to Science (of course with heart, potential, etc.!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEajCg3Suts
My life has been a funny kind of unfolding; unscripted to such a degree that the fortune of the Universe just simply cannot be denied – not unless one chooses to subscribe to a kind of insanity… And I know better. Many Scientists, Philosophers and passionately caring real people have been able to articulate and pass on their learnings – and I have always tried to listen, and to not be so disrespectful to efficiency.
Long story short, perhaps, then,… in some respect to the larger movement to respond to their own unsettling times, the “Chautauqua Movement” of the late 19thCentury (my home town of Boulder adopted one of the “sister” sites in the 1890’s), my 15-acre property here (“Squirrelwood North” or “Squirrelwood”) will be hosting a gathering for those who identify that they could use some support for the world in which they want to live. So many are so flooded in their “real lives” – jobs, kids, neighbours, a divorce, a friend’s cancer, a mom needs to move for a different level of care, etc. – they can’t seem to carve the time and space to give what they know in their heart-of-hearts is the Real life happening,…and they don’t want to “miss” – or be missed by – any more of it.
I’ve been able to learn how to do a lot of that carving, if you will, and it’s high time as many of us as can, get together and begin to create better ways to support the passion, the caring, the creativity and inspiration, the art, the music, the care-giving! In the US, we have 10,000 people turning 65 years old each day, right? And we will now for the next 18 years? Yeah. The First World has not planned well for the demographic shifts of this Boomer population – and considering the environmental uncertainties, the economic uncertainties, the political uncertainties,…It’s time some of us grabbed what reins we can and stimulate some curiosity, find ways to better support a caring creation of problem solving, etc.
That’s what I do over-all,…via all the work and every conversation I have,…my life is my “work”,… I don’t do things like http://legacylabyrinth.wordpress.com because it’s a cool thing I saw in a book. No. I feel it’s up to me to figure out my health,…I don’t have insurance, I do not take pharmaceuticals, and I have now had some 16 months dealing with Trigeminal neuralgia (nicknamed “the suicide disease”, eh?)….I figure I have to find legitimate ways to LIVE, whatever loss or pain or actual events any given life might face,…and I back it up the only way I know how – my whole life and be-ing is on the line and I walk my talk.
I have found relief with working with the pattern…the labyrinth,…so why wouldn’t I want to share that with others, if it might offer some relief for themselves? Right? It’s not about “liking the labyrinth” or the gathering this Summer – which will include the design and construction “camp” for a more permanent labyrinth in that same site – … it’s not about the gathering “being successful”, per se; It’s about using what we can to support as efficiently as possible, all the things we find important and good.
Three years ago last September, my mother and I – with a combined 40 years of experience in the “Aging field” (She is a project away from her 5th degree – a second Master’s in Community Psych. – and got her Gerontology MA in 2000) started, with nigh zero seed-funding and from our bootstraps, an “aging advocacy” business. “Nine One Ten” is the name of that venture. It’s a “new” model for this work. But, more so, it’s a model which can allow, facilitate, channel and hopefully encourage the flow by tapping into the majestic diversity of the passion, skills, wisdom, knowledge and energy of people 80+, 50+ 30+ 10+…Thus, it’s been an expected slog and celebration of proving this works.
It works. It has supported our health (my mother also had both knees replaced in 2011) and has been enough to continue to grow – yet, we’ve not had the original start-up investment to be properly tooled to really grow.
I’m not so skilled at capturing the full scope & spectrum of how this all flows, how we and I have designed and built/structured this model – of working, of business, yes, but of living, really – and I know it works. I know our culture will be needing many (new) things which work.
I commit my life to that.