choose your own adventure: an affirmation

i learn experientially.

i often feel slow, behind the clarity, behind the certainty that others have. my questions focus on things i feel, things happening under the surface. sometimes that’s all i can feel, and the more overt reality has to be pointed out to me.

i also often feel clear, out ahead in a mysterious fog or body of water, afloat, gently feeling my way forward and then calling back, ‘this way, this way is new’…not safe, but not what we’ve already done.

sometimes i feel immense belonging, an interconnectedness so profound that i know everything, i just know.

other times i feel overwhelmingly alone – lonely, or, more and more often, at peace in the solitude and mystery; a star that cannot feel the constellation i’ve been clustered into, just the darkness.

joy is possible in each place, and in the transitions.

i’m learning that because i learn experientially, i have to be so intentional. i have to move towards experiences that keep growing me up, that challenge me and demand my authentic self. and can meet my authentic self when i show up.

there’s so much of the storyline of my life and grief that i don’t get to choose. i do get to make decisions along the way. i get to think for myself…it’s important that i keep doing so, keep feeling for myself.

i get to determine how much i will let others see and feel me in real time. i know now that i see good in people, and in moments, brighter than anything else. i am learning to listen and feel beyond what i can see, to believe the shadows as much as the light. i am learning that i don’t get to determine what others think about themselves, or about me.

i take the actions, build the relationships, hold the boundaries and shape the life that keeps me in right relationship with myself.

lately things keep happening in my life that are so deep, so true and so good that i can’t believe it. not perfect. not tidy. but absolutely mine, my lessons, my good news, my adventure.

i am accepting responsibility for what i’ve been given. i am accepting the blessing of the time i have left. i know this life is precious.

community supported activism: the new CSA

this brilliant invitation just in from my sister Autumn Brown, so inspiring that i just have to repost it here and encourage you all to support her (she’s the one holding my niece, below):

“Want to support health justice and get a gorgeous handmade journal? Here is your golden opportunity:

This year, I am trying something new, different, and unprecedented in my own work! You have heard of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) – where families pay a monthly fee to a farmer, who then provides them with fresh food for the duration of the growing season – but have you heard of Community Supported Activism?

This year, I have the privilege of serving as the Rock Dove Collective’s representative on the National Coordination Team for the Health and Healing Justice Track at the Allied Media Conference, which takes place in Detroit on June 23-26, 2011. This means that I will be working with two other incredible organizers, Adele Nieves and Anjali Taneja, to create and facilitate a process at the conference where healers, health workers, and health justice organizers can gather, share strategies, and learn from each other. We will also be organizing a healing practice space at the conference, so that attendees in need of care can have access to what they need.

As you can imagine, this is a big job and it will take a lot of time and careful planning. Most of you know that the Rock Dove Collective is a no-budget organization, meaning that we do not raise money for our work unless absolutely necessary. In order to engage in this national process, we have determined as a collective that raising funds for my position is a necessity. But we want to raise this money in a way that represents our values and our firm belief that the resources we need to heal each other and to heal ourselves can be found within ourselves and within our communities.

So I am asking you to become a part of a new kind of CSA, where you donate money to make it possible for me to do this critical work. Read on for details of how this works, and why it works!

How do you donate and how much can you give?

My goal is to raise enough money to pay myself a monthly stipend of $600 for the work of national organizing from February-June. How much you donate is up to you, and any amount is appreciated. You can donate a small amount monthly ($5-10), or you can make a one-time donation of any size.

* You can send money to me online using Paypal by clicking here
* You can send a check to me directly. Ask me for my mailing address!
* You can make a tax deductible donation – ask me how!

What will I do with the money?

My work as a national coordinator involves organizing the national health and healing justice community to propose sessions that fit with the vision of the track, reviewing and selecting session proposals for the conference, managing the logistics of the healing practice space, and coordinating fundraising efforts across the country to get presenters and organizers to the conference, with a strong emphasis on making it possible for people of color, young people, elders, queer and genderqueer people, and low-income people to attend.

What do you get in return?

Everyone who makes a donation will be added to my donor-list, and you will receive monthly updates on the progress the National Coordination Team is making in our work on the track. You will also be the recipient of a video blog at the end of June, made by yours truly, that gives you a taste of what people experienced in the Health and Healing Justice Track.

For people who make a donation of $50 or more, you will receive a unique, hand-made book, which I make using paper that is locally constructed from sustainably-harvested Minnesota grass as well as other locally sourced materials! Or I can bake you some cookies.

What is the Allied Media Conference?

The Allied Media Conference, held every summer in Detroit, unites the worlds of media and communications, technology, education and social justice. From this unique intersection, some of the most innovative community organizing models emerge each year. The AMC cultivates strategies for a more just and creative world. We come together to share tools and tactics for transforming our communities through media-based organizing.

The Allied Media Conference is the only conference I have ever attended where I felt that we were truly building the world we wished to see in that space. It is a visionary gathering, and it is organized in a truly participatory way!

What is the Health and Healing Justice Track?

The theme of the track is Health is Dignity, Dignity is Resistance. Our vision is to build a national movement for healing justice by answering two important questions: 1) How do we utilize and decentralize all forms of media so as to build a post-capitalist health care system here and now? 2) How do we imbue our social justice movements with a healing framework that frontlines conversations about race and racism, bodies and connectedness, and alternative resourcing?

Who are you and Why should you donate?

You are community organizers and community developers, artists and media makers, faith leaders and community leaders, healers and health workers, educators and mediators, facilitators and union workers, anarchists, libertarians, democrats, and green-workers – you are people who have touched me and who have in some way been a part of my work. You are someone who shares my vision for a better, more just world, and shares my hope that we can and are creating it NOW. You should donate because participating in alternative models for resourcing the work of changing the world is EXACTLY what it takes to change the world!!

Thank you so much for always supporting my work. And thank you in advance for any financial contribution you can make to this project, which is so dear to my heart, and which is so critical to the movement.”