Sunflowervillager's Blog

Growing into community

Back to Big Big Dreams February 27, 2012

Filed under: existing communities,redetermination — Saera @ 7:45 pm

So it’s my fourth month at my new job. I’m getting better at the job, which is good. I really am grateful to have it during these tough economic times, but I also long to do things which are more fulfilling and make a bigger difference in the world. Fortunately, I’ve started to have more energy after work and on my days off, so I am trying to get going on projects again, namely the Sunflower Village Initiative. This is the most important thing to me, it continues to be what I want to do with my life. I still feel like I spin around in some of the same circles with it. Increasingly I recognize this as my own need to change and grow. I have to deepen my commitment and persistence. I need to take action much more consistently. I need to nurture relationships with people who are doing what I want to do. I want to develop humility but also make sure that I am finding opportunities to incorporate myself into the movers and shakers of this movement. Recently I’ve been encouraged by some news about how solar, wind, and other energy endeavors are making substantial progress. I guess I feel like there are a lot of people in the world doing and working on what I want to be doing and working on, but I’m not really in that realm. I’m not going to quit my job for now. Daniel really does need to go back to school and have that opportunity to get his own education. But I want to work more on my days off on making this happen. Right now the main thing I’ve decided is that I need to take some advice I’ve recieved from a lot of people over the years: go check out existing and forming intentional communities. I’m finally not limited by school work or not having a car. All that’s standing between this and me is my own laziness and lack of focus. I’m aiming to change that. Started working on a database today, prioritizing intentional communities nearby. Once I have a list, I’m going to start making plans to visit, and invite others to join me. I’m hoping for a multiplicity of effects: 1) Get ethnographic observations that will serve as examples 2) Increase my involvement in the community of W. Mass in the realms of intentional communities, sustainable agriculture and economy, and hopefully solidarity with lessĀ privilegedĀ groups/communities, 3) Increase the bond between myself and people I might potentially create a community with, and let them see other intentional communities first hand. I’m hoping that this last one in particular might lend itself to encouraging us to find out how we want to follow up on this dream, individually and collectively.


Refresher June 28, 2011

Filed under: redetermination — Saera @ 9:48 pm
Tags: ,

I just returned from four days in Maine with Katie G. and her mother. Being away from my house and Western Mass allowed me to unwind a bit from the pressures of job hunting and being too hard on myself about a lot of things. I had fat chunks of time for daydreaming and thinking. I wrote some SVI notes and I have more thoughts. I’m feeling inspired and ready to dive into SVI as well as my job hunt. I hope to post those notes here soon, after I get the house straightened back out. As always, thanks for reading and for your support


Dialogue, Writing, India, Gardening July 12, 2010

Chris and Marcia came over to chant this evening, and it was wonderful to hear from them about their dreams and ideas, particularly from Chris. They listened to me too. Although the phrase “make the impossible possible” didn’t come up so directly, much of the discussion was about how we actually go about doing that, about dividing huge dreams into smaller, connected goals that make the dream seem more possible, and therefore more exciting and tangible.

I’ve been doing some of this already. Through a book on How to Start a Nonprofit, I’ve been working through some important details and motivations. I’ve typed up a bunch of it, and perhaps I’ll post some of it too, with a little more editing.

I don’t know how much I’ve written about it here, but I’m working towards spending next semester studying in India. The program I’m in is called Sustainable Development and Social Change, through SIT, (The School for International Training, located in Vermont). The connection between this and the Sunflower Village Initiative is that I believe that my thinking and actions about SVI will be clarified through this program. By making a connection to Sustainable Development and Social Change in India, I will strengthen, from experience, the ability for intentional communities to positively impact interactions with impoverished countries, as well as making the village inclusive of multiple cultural experiences and non-white perspectives. So in my application for the program, I wrote a good deal about how I think that the program will do this. Something else I can add here.

My friend Mamta is gone for a few weeks, and she has offered me a great opportunity. I get to water and harvest her vegetables while she’s gone! I go the first time tomorrow. I’m going to bring home some basil, and hopefully a tomato or two will be ready! I’m sure some zucchini will be set, since they were coming ripe last week. It will be good to get out and do some garden work. I haven’t done much gardening in a long time, so this will feel wonderful, and save us some money too!


Honest July 2, 2010

Filed under: redetermination,slavery — Saera @ 6:41 am

I spent most of yesterday playing a videogame. Doesn’t matter which one. I took a walk with Daniel and made dinner, and other than a few phone calls, that was the extent of my productivity. Late in the evening, I felt utterly dissatisfied with myself. I have been slipping into this all summer, and enough is enough. I know I’ve said it before. But this has got to be it. For once I have the time available to me, even if other resources are short. I really need to take full advantage of the opportunity I have to work on the research and projects I think are vital. So today I am doing some reorganizing, some rethinking about how I manage myself, and I am determined to get a lot done. I’m going to check in later and tell what I’ve accomplished.

I woke up this morning thinking how my teenage self used to love nothing more than playing outside, and how I had a big problem with all the time my brothers spent inside watching t.v. Now I’m the one spending way too much time inside, with a mountain in my backyard…


A badly needed update June 15, 2010

Filed under: redetermination,school — Saera @ 7:11 am

It’s summer. so much comes with summer, for everyone I think. In my case, it means a lot of transition. This summer there have already been a lot of changes for me. There is always a strange void after classes end, and I struggle with self-discipline and focus, particularly at that time. But it really is no surprise – after all, during 3/4 of the year I spend most of my time doing what other people think I should be doing, on the time-line they think I should be doing it on. There is also a karmic aspect to this. Most of my summers, even when I had a job, were not particularly focused on particular kinds of productivity. These observations by no means that I shouldn’t ever relax or enjoy the summer, or that it’s any kind of absolute bad that I do the things required of me by school. But it is very tricky to break out of that and transition to self directed productivity. I take a lot of false starts, but eventually some of them get somewhere, and that is good. But I think if I am going to accomplish my goals, particularly the Sunflower Village Initiative, I need to learn to be more effective than that.

So I’m back to this blog and attempting to use it as a tool to keep myself moving, by reporting to myself and to whomever reads this. I hope you haven’t given up on me.

I moved recently, and discovered, among other things, piles and piles of notes and references that I have made or gathered that have plenty of potential. But first, I am working on some more organization. I decided, towards the end of the school year, that the Sunflower Village Initiative needs to become an official non-profit, and that I want this to happen by May of next year. One of the things that I started to do before I moved was to consolidate my contacts into one place so that I better reach out to interested people. What better way to begin organizing people? I anticipate that this will save me time and frustration. Once that project is complete, I will be following steps from a book about starting a non-profit. I am going to try to set myself a timeline to help my effectiveness. A few weeks ago I determined to spend at least three hours per day on the Sunflower Village Initiative. I am going to redetermine and say that it would be good if I could do one hour a day. For now, that can include updating this blog. It’s a good way to get my creative juices going, and to try to hold myself accountable.

Thank you for reading.


Answers February 25, 2010

Filed under: anthropology,geography,Ikeda,redetermination,risk — Saera @ 1:14 am

Wow, this makes me feel like I’m getting in rhythm, especially given yesterdays’ events.

“Let’s continue to meet,
converse and establish
heart-to-heart bonds with
as many people as possible.
Our efforts to expand dialogue
is a struggle to spread trust and
friendship in society.”
– Daisaku Ikeda.

Similarly, I opened up the March-April Living Buddhism this morning and Sensei’s writing heard my soul’s cry!


Vanishing Fog October 26, 2009

Filed under: land,landlessness.,redetermination — Saera @ 7:13 am
Tags: , ,

It’s 2:30 am. Since I went to bed on time for once, this means that I slept about 2 hours and have been fooling around on the computer for half an hour. I’ve been struggling with existential anxiety a lot this semester. I have been chanting a lot more and I feel like my vision is clearing. I’ve said before that this blog isn’t so much about the details of my personal life. So why am I writing about this here? Because I am seeing my path clearer, I am working on multiple ends

I wrote a bit recently about the conundrum of whether to become landed first or to break dependency on employ. I am starting to think that it makes sense to work on it from both ends simultaneously, however I can. There is no reason not to go for a land trust and a village and a worker/producer co-op. These things all go hand in hand as part of the diverse economy. There is an opportunity that I have been informed about to make a leap from my current job into an existing co-op. I will be hoping and chanting for it. But I am also able to take a step back and realize that even if I do not obtain this particular transition, a cooperative work environment is not out of reach. I can apply for others in the area, and I can start one more… as long as jobs the current system continue to exist, there will be a place for worker co-ops to develop.

I am not a victim. I do not have to see myself as trapped or overwhelmed or having odds stacked against me. I only need to act and to believe and to persevere.