It's All Timing & Letting Go

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Last year when I promised that this site would be up by the end of August at the latest, I really believed it. Soon after that announcement, however, the third web designer I hired apparently went on vacation. I hired additional help. Problem was, he didn’t know the software platform being used at the time.…

A few weeks and several hundred dollars later, all the page links were inoperable, thanks to my hired help, who took no responsibility for it and quit. The designer announced that he had no back-up copy, that he too assumed no responsibility for the problems I had created by bringing someone else in, and that he wanted all the fees paid again to redo the site.

At that point, it was clear to me that this was quite a workshop I’d created for myself, and that my next step had nothing to do with repaying this web designer or finding a new one. I suspected that while the Content Management System (CMS) being used was complex, it wasn’t robust enough for what I envisioned. But what? Letting go seemed to be the only course.

The Humor of Letting Go

In November, I hired an online-marketing coach who specializes in helping make writer’s books bestsellers. I wasn’t even sure what my first book was about when I hired him for this 6-month, weekly coaching call, but I felt strongly guided to sign up. I felt called to start a book.

A couple of months into the class, I could tell he was a little exasperated with me for not emailing everyone on my list “at least weekly … so they will remember you … keep your list active!” What was I to say to you all?

“Ah, I don’t know when the site is coming. I’m not even working on it right now, but I’m getting great clarity on writing a book. And life here at Lotus Lodge, my cohousing-like community of 10, is really sweet. I’m learning so much and am so grateful!”

Truth was, I was focusing on learning to LIVE the new paradigm of oneness, even more than before. I thought the extra focus on this was simply because I had more time. I didn’t quite realize that I was in a major time of transformation, one that would affect everything I do, including the website.

Love is Space

Then one day, two people in the community had a huge argument. I was determined to remain neutral and supportive of both, rather than taking sides (there are no ‘sides’ in oneness). One of the participants, however, kept soliciting my support in ways that really challenged me—virtually pleading with me to agree that the other was wrong and bad.

Then it came to me. I stood there with this person literally holding my shoulders making demands and suddenly felt a calm wash over me. With absolute clarity, I backed away and said, “There is nothing [s/he] has to do or be to make me happy. I am happy. My happiness is MY job.”

S/he stopped for a moment and then made one more plea: “Come on, admit you’ve had conflict with him/her, too!”

In deep calm that seemed to be expanding, I said, “Yes. Who hasn’t had some conflict with everyone at some point or another? But that’s MY process, MY business, MY life to deal with, not yours—and not even his/hers!”

As I stood, looking at the bewildered face of this resident, I felt what could be described only as spaciousness—HUGE spaciousness that included everyone. It was a sense of connectedness without any attachment. I felt wonderful! The person turned as if rejected and walked out.

That was in late February, at a time when I started making other big breakthroughs. Clarity on the book became crystal clear, as did clarity about the site. Amazing, magical connections were happening—with people, a sense of new purpose, freedom.

Doors Open

Then one day in March, I had an insight to call a friend, a web designer who several months before told me that the best CMS software to use was Drupal (a very complex system that she was attempting to learn). She answered the phone, which was amazing given her schedule, and soon excitedly referred me to a Drupal programmer—who happened to have moved right next door to her about three weeks before.

It is now just a few meetings and four weeks later, and we are launching the first phase of this new site! I now realize that during all the preceding months, much had been clearing and evolving inside me. And certain things just weren’t available. It was about right timing, and more.

For me, this website launch represents a rite of passage to a new level of being in the world—openness to change and nonaction, even when faced with the potential judgment and disappointment of others—a whole community of others. Offering a site that focuses on personal transforming requires my own continuing personal transformation!

I deeply appreciate your patience, for all of you who loved Spirit in the Smokies print magazine and have waited many months for this launch. I believe we all are at a different level from where we were last summer, and this is right timing for us all. Within oneness, that is surely true.

My promises today are much more about the process of collaborating, rather than to any particular outcome. In other words, I promise to do my best to hold true to my own personal truth and evolution while stewarding this site, allowing it to evolve as guided. From this, I can promise to do my best to support you in your process. After all, we are One!

Gayatri Erlandson, PhD, managing editor of this site, co-founded Spirit in the Smokies, Magazine of New Paradigm Living, which was distributed to six different states, from 1995 to 2007. A psychologist, humorist and celebrant of life, she is particularly interested in learning to live the new paradigm of oneness within collaborative living communities. She lives at Lotus Lodge Spiritual Retreat and Learning Center, a cohousing-like community of 10, in a semi-rural area just 12-15 minutes from downtown Asheville. Contact her via this site for short- or long-term room rentals at Lotus Lodge and for referral to a great real estate agent.

Love is Space

And Love AS Space
When I hear you talk about Love is (or as) Space, I envision the great allowing of Spirit to let us learn. I respect you for giving yourself the time and space to do your learning even with others clamoring for you to do their bidding.

I have a personal analogy. I'm a great reader. I have authors that I avidly follow. I find myself getting disappointed when they don't issue a new book in what I consider a timely fashion. Then I remind myself that they have a right to a life that doesn't include my demands or my intrusion into their space.

Authors of popular magazines also have a right to the space they need to learn. That may even lead them to create new and interesting works that we can both enjoy and cooperate in. Thanks for your honesty and integrity in your work.

Delighted to See You Back...


I am thrilled to see you back, in whatever flow or timing.

This past week, I began wondering about the website... so I googled. You must have sent out the call for people to begin to attend. *laughing* It is always fun to watch, isn't it?

Congratulations on the launch of the new site, the fresh beginning, and the personal growth.

This past year seems to have been eventful for all! :) I finally finished the book I intended to write, and it is due out sometime later this year through Light Sword Publishing. Astoundingly, it is not about rocks or crystals, even with years of "whispering" them. It took quite a bit of space to figure out what I was supposed to say and to figure out it was a wee different in scope than what I expected.

I would agree that not only is love ~space~, but it is one little baby-step... or one little spoon of expanded perspective at a time. It feels like everything requires digestion and integration before it is activated into practical wisdom.

Divine Timing, even when it seems slow, has such amazing ~efficiency~. Every tiny little breath of the journey seems to be pregnant with something that leads to something else. I have found that the real party is unfolding in the ambiguity of NOW-- and rewards those who can laugh when confused. It is something so wonderful to see, isn't it? When the pieces finally fall into place and things finally make perfect sense. Epiphany rocks.

I'm looking forward to all the new possibilities here, as you have always been a beacon for the community to gather and grow. Thank you for all you do and all you have contributed to the highest outcome to unfold for us all.

Take Good Care!


Thank you!

Thank you so much Sarah for your spacious, loving comments! Reading this touched me to tears.
And thank you sooooo much too Stacie. This site has been up for just a couple of days and I actually haven't even announced its launch yet - so your intuitive connection was right on target, as usual. Yes, baby steps that expand across canyons.

Many blessings to you both!

From the desk of
Gayatri Erlandson, PhD
managing editor of this site
Asheville, North Carolina

Cohesive Community

Hi Gayatri :)

I tell you... that I'm really pleased that you are back. I know it is not fair for the community to "need" you, so to speak... but you have a God-given talent and skill at ~organizing~ community and we are lucky to have you.

My community has been mostly on-line and non-local (welcome to the neighborhood!), but I was always comforted by the fact that the local community was present. Spirit in the Smokies was more than a publication, it was the glue that gave us all the sense of structured, solid presence and foundation. I think that it provided tangible proof that we were not alone, that indeed, scores and scores of people were scattered all about the area. Maybe we didn't always go seeking those people, but just knowing they were around ~somewhere~ was fortifying.

In addition to the personal benefit of your much earned sabbatical, it likely reminded people (certainly me) of the authentic importance of having a cohesive community, even if you enjoy it passively. It shouldn't be something you take for granted and just miss when it is gone. We all need to cultivate it, nurture it, and tend it.

That being said... you cultivate community like a Master Gardener tends a high-maintenance, thorny, but beautiful acre of roses. It's probably not always easy to walk the path, maybe even a bit treacherous at times, but I bet it smells soooo sweet. ;) Is that the book you are writing? About cultivating cohesive community?

If you need volunteers for anything, please let me know. :) I'll do my best to spread the word.


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