Saturday, April 12, 2008

3 Weeks in the Great Smoky Mountains...and My New Life!

It's been three weeks since I arrived in North Carolina to be with my Beloved, Anyaa, and four since I last posted. it's been an incredibly busy four weeks!

Leaving Seattle

First, I spent the last week in Seattle, getting what I was taking packed into a Pod, getting my car transported back here, and cleaning up the house I'd been living in for the last 8 months. Ah, that house served Anyaa and I well, what with her running a circle of women doing the Shamanic Priestess Process over those months, and I kicking off my men's groups. And while that house blessed us, we also blessed the house, creating sacred space that will linger far after we're gone.

The house will be occupied by the new renters in May, and I wonder if they will feel the indelible presence we left behind? The house deserves no less.

The Arrival

I arrived in Atlanta on Friday night, March 21st, Spring Equinox, and Anyaa picked me, and another friend of hers, up at the airport. On our journey of 2-1/2 hours from Atlanta to Western North Carolina, I watched the full moon racing behind passing trees, still bare from winter, as if in the opening scenes of a movie, keeping pace with us as we traveled north toward our destination, and my new home.

Since Anyaa lives in a 600 square foot cabin, with a 600 square foot deck, looking southwest, there was no room for an office for me. Hell, there's barely enough room for me! Anticipating this, we bought a 16'x10' barn and had it delivered to the lower pad on her property a couple of days before. I'd also ordered some tools and materials I'd need to to insulate it, build a closet and a loft for storage, and paneling and trim to finish it out for my office. That took over week! We also had satellite internet installed as the only other available internet option was dial-up,a situation Anyaa had been living with for the past three years. Not great, but better than dial-up.

I don't recommend satellite unless it's your only option. A far cry from the 100mbps speeds I was used to in Seattle. Paradise ain't perfect.

Every morning we walk to the top of the mountain, say our prayers to the universe, come back and do an hour of yoga and weights. it's the perfect ITP practice.

Wise Wolf Men's Council

My labor was interrupted on the second weekend, as there was an event here at Isis Cove, the community we live in. This was the third year that Venus Rising, the organization that developed Isis Cove, sponsored a free event called "Wise Wolf Women's Council," and about 108 women attended this conscious and spiritual event this year. New this year, Venus Rising added a men's council, and 25 men attended the fist annual 3-day weekend event.

In addition to attending, I got to present, and facilitated a 45-minute long Big Mind meditation, which offers a state (temporary) experience of non-dual realization.

During the weekend, men got a taste of stepping into conscious men's work, and many had not done any transformative work on themselves before, but came at the urge of their feminine partners who were attending the WWWC event.

Some highlights of the weekend were a firewalk (yes, I walked over the 15' long burning coals in my barefeet about a dozen times with no ill effects....what power our minds and intentions hold!), breaking a metal-tipped arrow with the soft spot of my neck by pushing on it (very scary!), and a 3-hour sweat lodge that we, the 25 men, built from scratch using native saplings and heating local rocks with fire we built.

One of the biggest highlights of the weekend for me was knowing that there were 25 men who were coming together, consciously, putting their egos aside, and connecting with one another in a way that some of them had never experienced before. These are men that I'm proud to call brother. The other was being welcomed by the Divine Feminine at the end of the weekend in a ceremony that represented the Sacred Union of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine.....beautiful, and included a short 30-minute Shamanic Breathwork, where I clearly saw my path laid out before me.

The Asheville Integral Warriors Group

Anyaa leads a group of 7-8 women in Asheville every other Thursday night, and we thought that me leading a men's group, like the ones I've facilitated in Seattle based on the work of David Deida, on the the same night, would be a natural. To make this happen, I marketed the local Ken Wilber Meetup group, consisting of 19 members, and men in relationship with local women who have done Anyaa's work who want their partners to step into conscious work, as well.

To do a men's group, I need a minimum of 5 men to get the juices flowing in the group process. I only had four men show up for the intr0ductory evening, two of whom were already in Mankind Project (MKP) groups, one who spent 30 years in the marines and who won't really interested in developing deeper bonds with other men, and one who wanted to do the work, but in group setting. No men's group just yet.

I later found out that the local MKP group consists of about 100 men, a remarkable number considering Asheville only has a population of 60,000, and that there's already a David Deida group here, consisting of about 12-15 men: a wealth of existing men's groups.

The Local Ken Wilber Meetup

Not to be discouraged, I decided to further market the local Ken Wilber Meetup group of 19 people, contacted the local leadership to offer a presentation at the next meetup. It meets the last Sunday of the month on Sunday morning from 9am to 1pm....4 hours! Meditation, Integral Life Practice, a DVD of Wilber, and discussion....but only 2-3 people show up.

A new plan is needed.

So I'm working on that, hoping to eventually have enough men to do the Integral Warriors group. Meanwhile, I'm going to offer a series of different offerings every other Thursday night and see what happens.

A Personal Note

I am absolutely loving it here! I am in a life-partner relationship with a woman I love and admire deeply, and feel that my life purpose is unfolding before my eyes. Anyaa and I are developing a deeper relationship than was possible in our long-distance stage, no matter how much time we spent together. As I build my soul work and my freelance graphic and illustration business, I'm able to contribute around this beautiful property and Anyaa's life that allows her to relax into doing what she does best. A beautiful partnership that serves us and the people we come in contact with.

The Future

Anyaa and I, in partnership with Brad and Star Wolf, principals of Venus Rising, are in the process of developing a couples workshop where we'll take 10-20 couples to Costa Rica early in 2009 to do a week on intimate relationship and transformation. I'll be writing more about that in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, I know I've made the right decision to move from Seattle to North Carolina, in spite of leaving so many great friends and a great community that I helped found and build.

1 comment:

Kari said...

Gary,
I think it just hit me that you are not living here any more...tears, smiles, and mostly from deep joy arise while reading your report of your life and your mission. Wonderful stuff you are creating and being!

I just returned from the first GTC session, and I have you and many others to thank for preparing the space for me to be there.

Still figuring out what blog or what form I should communicate from, hence the silence on my end. It is a beautiful place I am/we are/it is in.

I love you and we are always connected...