What’s next? That has been the question I’ve been asked over and over since my opening. Enthusiastically, people have contacted me wishing to rent the barn for all kinds of events from graduations to weddings. But I have to say, inside I was feeling conflicted. It was tempting just to say “yes.” Afterall, my intention has always been to share the farm. I also welcome the funds so that I may continue to rejuvenate this tiny piece of the planet which has been entrusted to me. So, I had to ask myself, why am I feeling conflicted?
As I began delving deeper into that question… “why am I feeling conflicted,” I was reminded of a story my Spiritual mentor had shared, a parable in which a monk was journeying to another land and at the border he was stopped by a soldier with a sword. The soldier asked, “who are you?” and “where are you going?” The monk replied, I will give you all my worldly possessions if you journey with me and ask me those questions every day.
Those of you who asked, “what’s next?” I thank you for being my teachers. Such an important question. For me, on par with “who am I? and where am I going?” I took some time off to get back in touch with my Spirit, my heart, my soul. To get back in touch with “who I am” and “where I’m going.” It’s not that I had been out of touch with those. They have been driving this whole project and are with me every day I am working on the farm and every evening sitting at my computer, working on things for the farm. But in the day to day doing, which was important to get the tasks done, I didn’t make time for remembering who I am and where I am going.
When I was considering moving back from Los Angeles, I was sad. I was sad to be leaving my spiritual community. A community that had led me back to my heart, taught me how to re-member who I was, and gave me the courage to live a more authentic life, one driven from my soul’s sense of purpose.
I was also sad to be leaving my artistic family. I had moved to Los Angeles to feed my creative spirit and I was surrounded by creative people and ideas. I had worked years to learn a craft and earn the respect of fellow artists who had also beaten the pavement and been sculpted by the grit of life. We had a common experience which we shared, like warriors fighting shoulder to shoulder sharing this precious and precarious thing we call life. As I mulled over the possibility of moving back, I had a thought, “If I couldn’t be where the music was, maybe I could bring the music to me.” And so the seed was planted.
So, who am I? I am someone striving to expand more fully into my divinely given potential, to add to the positive sum each and every day, to contribute to people’s lives in meaningful ways, and to live joyfully through my creative expression.
Where am I going? Winterberry Farm is the canvas on which I chose to create my vision – the vision to feed people. Farms feed people by planting seeds, nurturing crops, watering, weeding, and enhancing the soil, and harvesting. While part of the vision for the farm is to transition to fully sustainable, biodiverse, organic growing, we are also growing much more. My hope is that everyone who comes to Winterberry Farm will leave somehow expanded, that their body, mind, or spirit will be fed. Since I feed Winterberry Farm with my spirit, there are five things that are heartfelt and important to me…
1. Nurturing creativity. I believe each and every one of us is born with and from a divine spark and it is our birthright to create. Whether it’s through our work, our family, our hobbies, or our way of being, we all have gifts to share with one another. One of the missions of the farm is to encourage, nurture, and support creativity. In a time with much tension and unhappiness, I feel I can add to the positive sum by feeding what I Love. This is one of the mottos of Winterberry Farm – “Feed What You Love!”
2. Building Community - While we all are given a birth family, we can choose our earth family. I am grateful for the families I have become a part of and created. Positive support systems are vital in a world with so much strife and negativity. I envision Winterberry Farm being a haven starting with tranquil beauty without, filled with kind, generosity of spirt from within. A community in which we can all share the best of who we are.
3. Feeding the Soul – the most vital thing I did for myself on my life’s journey has been to take time to reconnect with my soul purpose, my heart’s desires, my spirit. It is not something that this day and age readily supports or deeply values, and it has saved me from a life of despair and depression. As much as I love the community that raised me, I wish I had had access to the teachings and people who led me back to my heart, back to my spirit. With a master’s degree in spiritual psychology, a certificate in soul-centered leadership, and life coaching experience, I intend to offer broader perspectives on life, coming from a soul’s perspective. Winterberry Farm will offer a wide array of classes coming from a heart-centered or soul-centered approach. Classes will help students explore the subject from their own soul’s perspective. My intention is to bring in leaders who live from that place.
4. Conscious Living – we live in a day and age where, because of technology, the world has become much smaller and more complex. With the number of people on the planet, it may seem like the choices we make and the actions we take are inconsequential; but I believe just the opposite. With so many people, every choice and action has much greater impact. It adds to the collective conscience on the planet. More than ever, the only chance we have at making a difference is by consciously making choices and modeling our way of being to our children, our neighbors, and strangers.
5. Our Home – our planet is our home. Since we have been given the gift of reason and choice, I believe it is our responsibility to make choices to care for it. Activities at the farm will deepen awareness of the gifts of our beautiful planet and our connection to this amazingly precious and complex system that we are a part of.
These are the pillars on which activities at the farm will be based. I realize this is a vast vision. It excites and it scares me because of its scope. That is part of the reason I have been hesitant to share it completely. But I have found that the things worth striving for in life are rarely the easy ones. The growth on the journey is often more valuable than the end destination.
The other thing that is scary is the unknown. I am just one. I can not do it alone. I am willing to serve this vision because I feel that it has been given to me to bring forth; however, I can not do it alone. So, I take this step by sharing it and asking, does anything I share resonate with anyone? Is anyone interested in taking classes with a soul-centered approach? Are there people interested in conscious living? Are people too busy to want to build a community of positivity and kindness? Are there those who would like to participate in this vision by coming to classes, volunteering, or contributing funds?
I welcome your thoughts. Sign up for the newsletter on the "Home" page if you would like to receive the e-mail asking for input on upcoming events at the farm. Or leave a comment on our facebook page or send me an e-mail through our "Contact" page.