• More Clarity...

    We have just returned from a truly magical immersion and journey into the heart in Bali, Indonesia.  It is such a privilege to guide groups through the rich culture of this land.  This is my third year in Bali and I am continually struck by the tenderness and joy of the Balinese.  I am learning much about simplicity and joy through these wondrous people.

    This was a timely lesson for me as we left town in the heat of the fire of news articles, commentary, scrutiny and intensity focused on what seems to be the very controversial topic of our tipi and sweat lodge.  In the face of city fines to the tune of $100/day, prior to our departure we decided to take the tipi down. This was a very sad day and I was not the only one in the community to shed tears. I was reaching my own threshold of tolerance ….not good or bad…but necessary. It was a good time for a change of scenery.

    Despite my clarity that this is happening “for me” and not “to me”, I have a lot of emotion around dismantling her majesty. The tipi has become an integral part of my life.  I reference her as feminine as she has has revealed herself in feminine form as sister to our Earth Mother.  She has been teaching me a depth of prayer, humility and reverence I have never known before. She is ancient in her wisdom and grace.

    We have been in the local papers pretty consistently since early February. I have remained silent these past few months while observing the publicity brewing around us. I am saddened and surprised by the mostly negative barrage of commentary as well as how inaccurate many of the so called facts are as reported. Perhaps it is time I let my voice be heard along with the others.

    I find it interesting that amongst several articles I have yet to be invited to share my viewpoint by any of the local newspapers. I laughed at the one reference to my name in the local Indy article as it was Washburn, not Woodburn.  Spirit has a good sense of humor!

    I prefer my life not be in the spotlight of public scrutiny.  I believe in “live and let live” as long as no-one does harm to others.  I could easily spew emotional outrage at much of what has occurred over these past months because I feel it.  Yet I understand this to be much bigger than me or any one person who’s got their knickers in a wad.  I am not interested in defending myself, or fueling the fire.

    I am interested in what I and my children can learn from this experience. And I pray anyway.

    My faith in everything I believed has truly been tested throughout these past few months.  Blessedly we have received a tremendous amount of support from the community at large.  Much more than the ones who choose to attack. And as things unfold further, we may be calling on you to show up at city council to show your support.

    We have received several nasty anonymous letters on our cars, our mail has been tampered with, and our privacy has been invaded by those who feel they have a right to snoop into the sanctity of our home. Our sanctuary.  The place our children are supposed to feel safe.

    This is clearly not simply an issue of “neighborhood compatibility”.  There is much more at stake. The heat continues to be turned up and I am paying attention.

    I feel the hem of the edge of life as we know it fraying….and that gives me hope.  There is a tapestry emerging from what we don’t even know we don’t know.  And mine….I am aware of it weaving and unraveling all at the same time.

    Here there is mystery, accountability and potency.  We truly are the creators of our reality and with that comes great responsibility. Meaning blessedly, we have the ability to respond.

    I have remained silent in observation.  I have observed incredibly arrogant assumptions and accusations being made in self-righteous absorption. I am equally fascinated and appalled.

    I host a women’s group that meets at my home. Many of you have attended.  We pray.  We celebrate the richness of life and support one another in being our potential. Perhaps our neighbor who publicly suggests to us we seek a realtor in town to move out of her view making life more palatable for her, may consider joining us.  There is a rich well of goodness here if she is willing to see beyond her property line.

    We are back.  And the heat remains high. I am grateful for my immersion in the simplicity of the Balinese lifestyle.  I’m keeping my heart open and I’ve decided to speak out.  I’ll be submitting my views to the local editors.  Although I’m quite sure I’ll receive a good amount of back-lash in expressing my voice,  I’m ok with that.  What’s really important to me is what we stand for. And what we all model for the children.

    I sit here where the tipi recently stood in her full majesty.   I hear her whispering “don’t worry dear, we’ve just gone underground for awhile….we’ve done this for thousands of years. We’re still here, and from us you will learn”.

    I feel the sweet steps of the ancestry of this land.  The Chumash Indians.  The gentleness in their steps and the reverence they held in their hearts for this sweet land.  I hear the beat of their drum as my own heartbeat.  Alongside them I feel the ancestry of the founders of this town of Laguna Beach. The artists and the expansion they stood for in liberating self-expression as a way of being.  As a lifestyle. I like the feeling of standing in-between these two lineages.  I feel at home here.  I feel honored here.  I know who I am here.  And I see my children in front of me.  This is what I choose to teach them.  I am not an anarchist.  I am not seeking special privilege.  I am simply tilling the soil of my land preparing what I believe to be a rich ground for thriving in.  The tipi is down.  And I still pray as though I were within it’s nurturing embrace.  Who knows, maybe the sight of me praying will be more unbearable to some than the tipi….

    Meanwhile I remain grateful to reside in the classroom of spirit.  And I am humbled to learn.  Thank you God and Goddess.  Blessed are we to have ears to hear and eyes to see.

    In LOVE and Dedication to the process of PEACE on the planet,

    Carrie Rae Woodburn

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