Through all the years of my blessed life, I’ve been plagued with the questions of life’s purpose and meaning. In parallel, I’ve been interested in conscious growth ever since running into the concept.
In childhood I only knew the fundamental religion of my family. It was all-encompassing in a small rural farming town. The main narrative thrust I absorbed was that I was somehow evil and deserved nothing more than an eternity of suffering. Today I see this worldview as abusive, but at the time it fed an existential anxiety about the fragility of life. While I was supposed to rely on god as the source of all things (including the need for eternal punishment!), in practice I learned the need for security from this world.
Through grace and the gift of a determined soul within me, I outgrew this initial rendering of life. What replaced it was a desire to be with what truly IS in the world. And thus began the long process of growing into my life and into my biological niche in the cosmology of the world.
I believe strongly in the goodness and potential of all people. Dogmas and creeds that say otherwise are based in older views of suspicion and guilt. To quote the Dalai Lama:
There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
I learn from the stories of people around me. I sit in circle with men every week, and have been shaped by this experience. Nature’s voice is strong in solitude, and so the annual practice of participating in wilderness solo fasts are an ongoing practice.
I currently live and play in Steinbach, apprenticed with my partner in marriage. We have three teenage children who are expanding rapidly into their worlds. Our future selves live on some acreage, growing more of our food, and living more closely with the cycles of the natural world.
This year, I’m honing my focus in three areas:
1) Physical activity – I’m an avid runner – road and trail – and look forward to running the Grand Canyon rim to rim this year
2) Spiritual growth (aka talking to god) – mostly making a deliberate effort to maintain a meditation practice and going into the wilderness solo this year
3) Life skills – practicing growing our food, both indoors via grow light and sprouting and with friends in a community garden space.