Consider for a moment that the entire universe has conspired to awaken you into existence. Every plant, animal, and human ancestor contributed to the energetic force that set into motion the series of events that brought you here.
When I think about it for too long, I start to feel a bit swallowed by the concept, the great web of it all is too vast for me to comprehend with the limitations of my human container. Even still, I’ve come to accept this as a fundamental truth, that we as a species and as individuals are not an accident. More and more of us are awakening to the responsibility we have to the place we inhabit.
I remember wondering when I was young, as I learned the truth of the violence between European settlers and the Native people of this land I call home, what might my life look like now if there had been cooperation instead of war? If bravery in the pursuit of freedom had meant swallowing pride and learning from people who had an entirely different view of the world? What if somehow these opposing cultures became interwoven, sparking a collaborative spirit that carried forward ancient truths onward for generations?
I remember feeling very sad that this wasn’t what happened at all, and I realize now that I was mourning the loss of what could have been, the wasted potential, and missing a connection and intimacy with the natural world that I craved even as a white kid in rural Connecticut in the 80s. I felt robbed and cheated of that potential way of life, but I couldn’t understand why because I realized that nothing had really “happened” to me, the victims during this period of history were the Native Americans. I understand better now that I was attracted to a life more in tune with the cycles of nature, that as a kid with less of the programming of society than I have now, I knew already the value of understanding how to live in harmony with the Earth. I think I must have realized that the way I would grow up was so far off from that harmony that I was bound to feel inherently out of place for a very long time.
Skip ahead a few decades, through many phases, rites of passage, and mistakes in the search for one’s identity, I find myself having just turned 34 and starting to feel a little less lost.
When adulthood and its privilege of leaving your parents’ home to choose one of your own came calling, I chose to head for the polar opposite of where I had grown up: Brooklyn, New York. It’s a long and boring story, but eventually I ended up working for a yoga studio and met an amazing teacher. I studied with Guta for many years and ended up becoming a yoga teacher myself. Yoga practice is one of the most transformative things that has ever come into my life, and I am so grateful. It started me back on the path of what I had envisioned for myself when I was a kid.
When I was 29, one of my oldest and dearest friends passed away unexpectedly. That loss shattered me in every possible way. Years later, I am still processing the grief and I don’t know that I will ever be fully healed. One piece of solace I have found is that her death woke me up from a state of burnt out complacency. It hit me like a slap in the face that I had this set of beliefs, these practices and principles that I held so strongly to in my mind and in my actions, but the place I was living was somewhere I would never be able to truly embody them. I could no longer convince myself that the stress of making my living was acceptable and expected, the price you pay for living in the greatest city out there. Nope. Not for me, not any more. I wanted to grow my own food, live at a slow and connected pace, and craft a home that was truly my sanctuary. I wanted to be a sanctuary for myself so that I could be one for others. The lie that I told myself and the performance I put on for others had been stripped away, and though it was painful for me to leave behind my teacher and the people I loved in New York, it was what I had to do.
I am supremely lucky to share my life with a partner who values my happiness as highly as his own. We moved together into what was once my family vacation home in rural New Hampshire. The house itself is over 180 years old and had fallen into a nearly condemnable state, and a lot of resources have been put into saving it from deteriorating. The journey is on to make this home the place of peace and productivity that we have envisioned for years, and I am inviting you to join in on that journey. I hope to share all the aspects of crafting an embodied home, which to me includes my actual dwelling, but also the home inside my mind in my human container, and the collective home planet we all share the responsibility of stewardship for.
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