Its easy to cope with life when everything is going right. When the bills are paid, our health is good, relationships are nourishing and the sun is shining, its easy to call that “good,” even “magic,” and celebrate that we are on the right track. But how do we cope when circumstances aren’t so rosy and life looks “bad?” How do we deal with challenging times? And for us, Sand and Jon, those times came recently.
Readers that have followed our journey over the last 12 months will know that we took a leap of faith to move from great friendships, community and employment living in the Bay Area of California, following a call that said move to Peru. And from there we heard what seemed to be an equally important call from friends to get involved in business, based now in Ecuador, working to support indigenous and rural communities.
In each of these huge shifts we were saying yes to life, trusting this was right for us, in each case it took courage to say yes, but as soon as the word was spoken we were unafraid, seeking solely to make it work. In each case events immediately seemed to conspire to support our decisions, magic appeared, at least for a while . . .
Then life took another turn. Setting up a business here in Ecuador, with partners to fund the venture, we committed heart and soul, and quickly began to see the opportunities to work with wonderful communities in the jungle, on the coast, in the mountains, with coffee, panela, kapok. And at first the money flowed, to us, through us and out to touch lots of people's lives. Then there were some temporary delays getting funds, we kept trusting, and continued to invest in the project, the vision, the people. Just like in the apocryphal tale about frogs and boiling water, we wouldn’t leap into boiling water, but we did get into a nice warm bath and we didn’t notice the heat being turned up; pretty soon we were in very hot water. One day it dawned on us; the bulk of our savings had been sunk in this business and now none of the promises of money were being honored. Here we were in Ecuador, feeling very isolated, completely dependent on a business with no funds, for visas to stay here, for the rent on a home/office: our reserves were near depleted, our partners not returning phone calls and we're running out of cash. WTF!
So if you've been waiting on blogs and updates with cheery photos, we're sorry, there haven't been too many of them. We've been through a very dark time here, trying to confront and cope with what's happened.
After many dark nights of the soul, prayers and deep inquiry . . . something started to shift . . . which had us slowly, but surely start to claim our lives back . . . and we could see some immediate actions. Sand has returned to her massage and healing work, her amazing gift to the world. I’ve just printed the first run of a small book of my poems, Songs of Uprising, to sell. Longer term we are in the deepest enquiry of our lives, what’s our next step going to be? where will we live? how will we make a living? how, amidst all of this, how are we going to serve?
And to get there we found we needed to figure answers to a bunch of big question, what does all this mean? After all, we thought we were being guided, shouldn’t this be working? Were we wrong to say yes to what life seemed to be bringing us? Were we wrong, or naive, to trust?
At first our meaning was - its a disaster! We’ve been let down, it was easy to see it that way. But that response kept us very, very stuck, dependent on other people, victims of the situation and paralyzed in inactivity. How empowering is that!
Digging deeper, with heart-searching and truth-telling, we found something profoundly more important - its time to stop hitching our wagon to some one else’s star. Which means of course, finding our own star. All of a sudden we can feel our own agency again - its up to us. And, not just us, we both believe there is a larger force in the world, call it God, call it Spirit or just call it life - there is a greater intelligence than ours at work - and we have faith it will continue to lead us, even through these challenging times to a better place.
What all of this means, because we want to share this with family, friends and readers who aren’t yet friends, is that we will be offering our gifts to the world now in a more direct way.
Sand is a a fabulous massage therapist, bodyworker, gifted healer, coach, mentor and more.
I have a gift for speaking, writing, poetry, for coaching and facilitating transformation.
Together we are a loving space in which other people often find inspiration, healing and nourishment.
We're grateful to the countless people who have helped us know this.
So here in this blog post, on this website (and soon in other ways too, forgive us if the details aren’t all worked out) we announce and offer these gifts into a world that needs them.
We'll be publishing some questions that can redirect your life (questions we're asking ourselves right now).
We offer my book, Your Planet Needs You, and the poetry, Songs of Uprising; both available to inspire you or a loved one.
If we can serve you, or your dreams, with coaching, facilitation, healing or speaking, we'll we'd be delighted to be of service.
And if you want to raise a prayer that we find our next steps with ease and grace, we will welcome that, we are learning about the power of prayer.
We appreciate and thank you for your support. Here's to the road ahead, for all of us, that we can find and live . . . fully . . . lives that matter.