Dear Springhouse community,
Blessings to you this new year. We are just coming back from winter break. It was a lovely time for me and I am looking forward to being back in the daily rhythm with the Springhouse community again.
Springhouse is unique for many reasons, one of the most important being that we are a long-term consistent place to practice a way of life that takes better care of Life. Not just in a person, but in a community and place. We are now an example that inspires others to learn along with us and create places of vitality where they are. We are deeply humbled and honored to walk with others as we learn together what it means to build a beloved community where all life thrives.
When we stick with something, devote our time and energy to it over and over again, it grows. For me that is riding my Peloton bike, being married for nearly 25 years, staying with my work at Springhouse for almost ten years now, or tending to the relationship I have with myself one day at a time. Staying consistent with these things has allowed me to experience the different cycles of each of these things in a way that I just could not if I hadn’t stuck around. Rather than go from thing to thing, sticking with something really lets us know its seasons; we get to know it more fully.
When I woke up to the gift of my life at a young age, I had to change the way I lived. I never could have stayed awake to the gift of my life, and lived from it over the years, without four things that kept me consistently with it. Those are a regular place to practice, a community to practice with, new practices that took better care of my life, and mentorship to guide me on my way. These four things took care of the vulnerability of a new way of living and have been a part of my life for 32 years. The place, the people, the practice, and mentorship were like a constant light for me as I found my way through the ambiguity and awkwardness that comes with a new way of being. Living in a new way that takes better care of life has little chance of surviving our survival strategies, or the world we live in, without the consistency of those four things. We make the choice to live more fully on our own, but we can’t sustain the change on our own, no matter how hard we try. We need not only these four things, but we also need the support of Life itself; the very thing we are learning how to take care of. I won’t try to explain that here, but as we take care of Life, we feel more a part of it.
If we are to live in a world where all life thrives, most of us, if not all of us, will need to change the way we live somehow. This is vulnerable. When we let go of old habits, we have no idea what is in store for us. As exciting as this sounds, it is also very scary. Without the consistency of a place, a people, practices, and a mentor, it is very unlikely we will change at all, let alone stick with it. When I was on winter break, I went up to Mystic, CT with my Mom. It is such a special place. As we sat on the coast of Enders Island, there was a lighthouse standing strong in the middle of an endless sea. Every time I head up to this area, I am enamored with this lighthouse. I visited back in March and sat out on the rocks and watched that little light blink in the sheer blackness of night. I was so inspired by the light I took a video of it.
A lighthouse is sturdy and also consistent. Without those two things, the ship would likely never find its way home. It has to see that consistent, strong light to find its way to shore. Lighthouses inspire me, as does Springhouse. Springhouse is committed to a bright vision of living in a world where all life thrives. We are also committed to be consistent and sturdy amidst the storms and distractions. Springhouse has been around almost ten years. We are deeply committed to our vision, mission, our community, and to the place we live. Each year our community grows across the globe. We continue to refine and clarify our message and the structures we need to practice and share the message that life is a gift and it is up to us to take care of it.
Last month we held our month-long winter fundraising campaign. We were grateful to highlight the important work of the Christiansburg Institute at our winter celebration event and we were grateful for the contributions we both received for our work in the world. We spent every morning through the Winter Solstice in morning meditation with people around the globe. And we had a fundraising campaign to support our generative economic model that allows anyone interested in practicing the Sourced Design principles to join us without cost being a barrier. We came up roughly $20,000 short on this campaign. You can still contribute! We trust that if we do our best, and this work is needed, we will have what we need to carry on.
Ultimately, Springhouse is about culture change. We know that this takes consistent practice, and we are committed to being a consistent, long-term place to practice principles that bring us alive. One day at a time, this is how we walk toward our bright vision. Thank you for being a part of it, and for sticking with it along the way.
Gratefully, and with love,