Life Update: Moving to California, Learning Journeys and the Great Turning

Dear friends,

I have been traveling for much of the past year. I’ve chosen to walk out of college and step onto my own learning journey in a big way. I drove across Canada, visiting different communities and making friends with people I never thought I’d meet, learning and experiencing  things I did not existed.

I took part in shamanic healing circles and sweat lodge ceremony on unceded first nations land in what is called british columbia in our settler language.

I read and wrote a lot, and spent a lot of time alone.

I jumped into the freezing ocean naked in Canada, and watched a lightning strike tough the earth and set off a massive wildfire in Oregon.

I am now beginning to process, harvest and integrate all that I’ve been learning through traveling, and want to share where I am now and some intentions and goals I have for the fall, with family, friends and friends-to-be who will read this.

I have recently been inspired by a book titled, “Walk Out, Walk On, stories of communities daring to life the future now.” In this book, I was introduced to the idea of a learning journey – a self-directed quest or path of learning, growth and discovery outside of formal or institutional school systems. This idea gave me a great framework to understand where I am now. The phrase walk outs who walk on was initially used by Indian youth who were labeled “drop outs” by some, a negative word. They reframed this with language that affirmed their choice to walk out of a system that wasn’t service them, to walk on to their true path.

Last night in Oakland, CA, where I’ve been for the past week,  I was blessed to be see Joanna Macy speak, in conversation with Sulak Sivaraksa, about engaged buddhism, non-violence, revolution and deep ecology/systems theory. Joanna spoke about the great unraveling, or the great turning, from an industrial growth society – based on exploration, greed, disconnection and growth at all costs – turning towards a life affirming, life sustaining society — which is based on values of interdependence, compassion, sustainability, celebration of diverse lands and culture, and all needs being met for all beings. In order for this great turning to happen, we need to make it through the great unraveling, the disintegration of institutions, world views, behaviors and lifestyles which are based on an industrial growth society. Those on the streets in Ferguson these days are watching up close the unraveling of a patriarchal, violent police state, and the light is being shone on the darkness of colonial violence which we have been experiencing for 500 years.

“I am attached to life on earth flourishing. Non-attachment in Buddhism is about detaching from the ego, not from the world.” -Joana Macy

We each have a unique role to play in the great turning. I see my role right now as helping (re)create alternative systems and structures, and re-imagine and vision new possibilities.

4 R’s to social change (from YES!) – framework for different roles in the great turning
Resist – actively stopping the current system’s destruction
Reform – creating change from the inside,
Re-Create – build the new systems and structures which support life
Re-imagine – visionary, re-frames basic assumptions and ideas about life, relationships, everything

 

Coming together in community is vital to making it through these times. In my experience, the grief of these times as well as the massive amount of information to process is simply too much for any one person to handle. We must share grief, share learning, share in the building of alternative systems and life ways if we are to make it forward into a different future.  So a significant intention for myself is being a contributor to my community.

I am feeling called to root down in the Bay Area of California for the next months, possibly years,  for a new chapter of this learning journey. Being rooted in one place is a big shift, including having my own living space and committing to day-to-day life in the same community for a long period of time. I am so grateful for the travel, and will indeed live that way in the future. I have some intentions and goals and requests for input and connections for my time here in the Bay!

new home ...
new home …

 

First, I am totally struck by the dry-ness of this place. The earth is literally parched. California is experiencing the most severe drought in 500 years, and it may be a drought that brings about great change in how we grow food and relate to the earth. I have felt dehydrated here often and encourage myself and others to drink lots of water, and to learn how to creatively and wisely conserve water resources. The change from wet, lush British Columbia to drought-stricken California is intense, and wonderful in that I am now deeply appreciating balanced and healthy eco-systems in a very real way.

——-

I play with setting goals and taking action based on a larger vision and intentions. Some important elements of my vision for my time in the bay are being in community, social and political transformation through dance and music, growing food and cooking, creating gatherings and spaces for healing, learning, and celebration. Slowing down. Time in nature. Reflection. Practicing mindfulness and non-violence in all aspects of life.

Here are my intentions which help guide me as I make choices and take action:

~ to embody my souls light and wisdom in the every day world, to embody and live my beliefs with authenticity
~ to listen to my higher self and discern what is the best choice
~ to contribute to my community, the earth, and myself with joy and peace
~ for balance, integration, rest and reflection along the way
~ to deepen my dance, music and facilitation skills, to regularly practice, to connect with and learn from amazing teachers, mentors and allies who are doing the work I wish to be doing
~To land myself in a home…a base, a retreat, which is peaceful, safe, warm, affordable, near trees and water, which I can always return to to recharge, my own contained space
~to trust and surrender to what is
~to deeply connect, heart-to-heart with others in this community, for friendship, love, belonging, inclusion, adventure, play, touch, learning

I have some requests for friends and community connected to the bay area,

  • I am looking for a home! A place to live with affordable rent, close to nature. Am open to east bay, SF or even around Petaluma/Sebastopol area. I am especially open to creative arrangements of work-trade for a family or on a land-project in exchange for living space. Would love to live with others who share a similar vision, a diverse group, and in a space where we can grow some of our own food. $500-700/mo is roughly the range I’m looking for.
  • I would like to start or join a self-directed study group, which meets regularly and creates curriculum and readings together for collective learning. The topics would be around ecology, social change, spirituality, non-violent conflict transformation, and any other topics which we want to learn about!  If you want to be a part of a learning circle like this, contact me, or if others exist, do let me know about them.
  • I would like to connect with and learn from dancers and artists in the area.
  • I am going to be teaching music lessons to young people, will be sharing a flier and webpage about this soon. Connections to families who would like to hire a music teacher, or who want help with child care, would be great. I also will be teaching raw cacao making and working with super foods for ceremony and health, and further down the road would like to earn income through cooking for families, teaching dance and helping create gardens and permaculture landscaping. In the meantime I am also looking for part-time jobs, my criteria are that whatever the job is, it is serving the community in some way, and that it brings me enjoyment. Could be working for a cafe/restaurant, or something else that comes along. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome 🙂
  • I am looking for spaces which can host multi-media performances and gatherings, including preparing and serving food
  • I am going to participate in a Work that Re-Connects training, as well as attend the Bioneers conference, to which I was given a youth scholarship. I am keeping an eye open for other learning opportunities and spaces, and trainings or workshops which could tangible give me skills to move forward with 🙂 specifically around restorative justice, nonviolence education, permaculture, dance

grateful, grateful, grateful … thank you for keeping up with me and I look forward to connecting, in the bay area or long-distance, if you have anything in response to this you’d like to share

For all our relations, Ometeoyl, knowing that the healing of one is the healing of all, -Daniel

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2 thoughts on “Life Update: Moving to California, Learning Journeys and the Great Turning

  1. Beautiful post. 1538 followers. Excited to hear more from you….

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  2. Daniel,
    Your blog was informative and interesting-filled with ideas and philosophy new to me.Let me know of your progress in “rooting” down in the bay area.
    Grandma

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