By Angela Reed
When knowledge becomes an experience, one must write about it.
I heard a story recently with a good piece of advice; write only if you must. If you must not write, go and do other things. But if you must write then write. So here I am following the calling.
I went to a permaculture course in September of this year, 2015. Permaculture in its most simplest terms is the practice of getting our human needs met in a regenerative way. If you are interested in learning more about it you can search on the web (there is a ton of information available!) or one of my first books has been Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway.
Before I even began preparing to leave for my course, I had an idea of what the course was about. More importantly, though, I had a feeling—an intuitive feeling— that I was about to experience something quite amazing and it could be exactly what I had been yearning for since 2010. My intuition was correct, of course, and the experience left me with a deep sense of reverence and a strong desire to share my story.
Each day of the course had a schedule but also had flexibility. So, as the needs of the group would shift and change, the schedule would as well.
There were about 30 people attending for the two week course. Many people had visited the Peace and Permaculture Center before, which is also part of and connected to another community called the Possibility Alliance. Most of us came from somewhere around the Midwest—Kansas, Iowa, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, etc. One person I met came all the way from Canada.
Many of us started our days with meditation, yoga or some form of spiritual practice and then moved on to breakfast and our morning meeting. We were graciously honored to have volunteers throughout the course supporting us, including two amazing people who cooked for us every meal. We sang songs together in a circle before each meal and often a passage from a text or a poem was shared.
We had four sessions every day of learning and discussion. These were interspersed with breaks for hugs, massages, spontaneous creativity and laughter. Many days I found myself jumping into the pond. One of my favorite experiences was a contact improvisation class where we danced and connected in a way most of us hadn’t before.
The freedom, support, and contentment I experienced while I was there was unlike anything I had ever felt before.
I didn’t really want to come back, but I had a family commitment that called me to return. I hope to take my girls for a visitor day soon.
Some might say it was a dream come true. It was in so many ways, in all the ways that matter. I’ve always known that some things aren’t as important as they seem, and when they are stripped away we get to see the truth.
That is what I was able to experience. We can rely on each other instead of material things for our needs and happiness. It is one of the biggest, longest kept secret from most people. It is time to bring it back into the light. It’s time, for me, to live the dream that love wants to live through me—the dream I have been dreaming a long time.
This is the beginning of a series, and I not only plan on writing about my experience there, but also incorporating what I learned into my daily life.
At the top of my list: Release cosmetics completely from my life! After 10 days of being back to “normal life,” I’m happy to report it’s going great! I wore a little make up one day but other than that, no desire or need for it which is a big step for me. I was wearing make up every work day and on some outings.
It feels good to be free of it and to be moving closer to a simple life-style.
Angela Reed is a massage therapist, energy healing practitioner and full time mom. Angela began her healing journey many years ago (around 2002). Throughout the journey she has learned and used many tools such as inner child healing, writing, counseling, meditation and many others to help heal her past. Having come from a challenging, traumatic childhood had made it difficult to be the person she knew in her heart was possible. Searching for those tools has brought much joy and of course there have been many tears and frustrations as well. Awakening again and again to this moment is the simple mantra of her life. Writing was first a healing modality and now has become a passion. Without passion and love where would we be?
Editor: Dana Gornall