December 13, 2015
You remember when you were an apprentice at Windward, August 20-November 20, 2015. You were a 22-year-old fresh out of college, barely back from explorations of Cuba and Miami, riding on the waves of enthusiasm that flung you care-free into a love-based culture you'd always craved but not yet found until Windward.
You found much of what you knew you were looking for there, even more than you ever knew you'd been searching for. You should know that I (your future self) appreciates your courageous choice to embark on that journey more than you could know.
For example: consistency and responsibility became valuable qualities that you've learned to choose as needed. Who knew?! Certainly not my younger self, who thought those words sounded oppositional to fun. But it turns out we can embody a dependable, reliable adult, while still being adaptable, having fun, and just being! All it takes is intention and attention, endurance and resilience, all of which we now choose to at least make our best effort at.
I've been realizing that my brain is always developing and that what I do affects not only my own life, but others as well, and so now I've come to know this system, my brain's innate organization, even more deeply.
I give a huge amount of credit to Windward, as a well-established foundation, as well as the community members who are thriving in their example to live with the land.
So I wanted to congratulate you on your efforts to challenge yourself, and to accomplish what you set out to do. I want to remind you of some things about that 22-year-old you that we hold dear, even if some may have learned to reshape for the better:
You made a helpful and informative webpage about Public Service Loan Forgiveness that can help some people find Windward when they will.
Your meditations in the forest really helped connect you to the Earth in ways that continue even when you are in the city. Life is always all around you! Not just when you're "out in nature". It's all nature! Just in different forms.
Now some words of wisdom and advice:
- You are beautiful, in spirit and body, by belief and action.
- Follow your bliss, but regard your future as much as your present, and learn from your past.
- Each moment is worth living and listening to, even when you know there's always something else you can be doing, you're only doing what you're doing right now, and thinking counts!
- Do what you want and act intentionally from there. And have fun too!
- An awareness of time is beneficial, but so is being conscious of each present moment and thought.
- Utilize your body to grow in awareness.
- Recount thoughts that tell you to do something, ask yourself the question: what is making me feel like doing this? And is it really following my deepest values and intentions? If not, you can always create a vision and take actions to reach it, while adapting to hiccups along the way.
- Recall: I am not willing to compromise my future for immediate gratification. The gratification that comes with time and commitment will be more worthwhile.
- Love fully and trust freely, but acknowledge the costs of giving too much too quickly. Set boundaries to enable your growth and the growth of others.
- Endeavor to explain your intentions in a way that those you are speaking to can hear. This may be challenging at times. That's life!
- Ask others if they have anything they would like to talk about that may be on their mind, and also have points you would like to bring up, share, or explain about yourself and your thoughts and feelings.
- Remember to take into account other people's desires and emotions, but also remember your own. You are allowed and encouraged to have and express those. Ask others to share theirs, too, it shows your genuine compassion.
- Be as direct and specific as you can so that others don't have to guess at what you mean, even if you think you're conveying some meaning. This leaves as little room as possible for misunderstandings or misrepresentation, and that's always helpful.
- Life is a performance, a dance for yourself and everyone else.
- Earth is happy watching, feeling, and wants us to just keep in mind present, past, future.
- This is LIFE. Live each day fully and have fun with it!
With love always,