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.
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.