On Rocks and Islands, Connection and Community…

part of a collaborative art project at camp.

part of a collaborative art project at camp.

"and a rock feels no pain. and an island never cries."

These are the wise words of Simon and Garfunkel. Part of the soundtrack of my life. Words I listened to, words at times I have lived by.

"If I never loved, I never would have cried."

more words. more wisdom.

As I have grown I’ve been lucky enough to meet people who have found the cracks in my armor and wriggled their way in loosening it’s grip.

The rock is breaking down becoming fertile soil from which new life can grow.

The island has been explored first walking upon its shores then going deep into the surrounding waters only to discover it is actually connected on all sides. 

a sampling of works in one of the camp classes I led exploring the creative connection and collaborating with one another.

a sampling of works in one of the camp classes I led exploring the creative connection and collaborating with one another.

I recently participated in Camp Good Life Project for the third year in a row. I’ve been home now for just over two weeks. A very full two weeks; back to school and author reviews, commutes in and out of the city and scheduling the next few months of teaching. A return to a deeper, more meaningful art practice. 

I was at camp and then I returned. The weekend was over and on with life. It’s not so cut and dry, as with everything I’ve played a part in with Jonathan and Stephanie Fields I’m only starting to notice the benefits.

When I first came upon Jonathan Fields I signed up to participate in his Good Life immersion project. I signed up almost four years ago in an attempt to recover my business, it became quickly obvious that what was going to happen was to begin to recover myself.

One of the first things we did in our immersion group was identify our core values. Mine were clearly love, authenticity and family. It was from this starting point that we embarked on a year long journey of moving more and more in to alignment with that which was important to us.

Here I am almost four years later. The full year immersion completed. Three camps attended. Endless podcasts listened to. I am clearly a fan but more so I am a grateful recipient of the gifts the Fields’ put out in to the world again and again. 

This year was the first year I really showed up at camp. There were remnants of my rock and island mentality in place. I was still leary of color wars and knew from years past I had the cover of my cabin or the arts and crafts studio in which to hide. I’m happy to say, for the first time, I donned my yellow gear in good spirit and I didn’t hide in my classroom, not even once. I spent the weekend playing and connecting, conversing and creating.

I’ve been home now for just over two weeks knowing something had shifted. Unable to pinpoint it I’ve quietly tended to my days. I’ve loved my family. I’ve shown up here as well. Yesterday it dawned on me. I’ve had a radical shift in values (probably not radical at all but a slow march over the past four years until finally arriving at camp). Family, Love, Authenticity are still a clear yes. Now Community earns a place in these ranks as well. “Community” is now important to me. “Community” for a girl who went to the three elementary schools, lost many loved ones, has moved more times than she wants to count.

I always like to wrap up my with some nice and tidy point. Something that ties it all together, brings it to a close. This time I can’t because I’m not sure what to say, just that I need to share this.

I am not a rock. I am not an island. I am part of a community, part of many actually. I feel so much love. I am so elated to finally be able to allow that to be so.  

Jonathan has an exciting new book coming out. You can go here to read the first chapter and find out how he is planting a forest while guiding readers to live a good life!