Exploring Community & Sustainability — City Girl’s Course Correction


This is me about 15 months ago … freshly arrived at my current; (back then new) destination. My 3rd community. Still feeling dreamy eyed about possibilities, growing microgreens, exploring and living in community and what that means to me/we. Having taken a pause, few months retreat for myself to allow everything to land and integrate from the previous 10 months in community #2. Where do I belong? What is life all about? How do I live more simply? Great questions that still haunt me and do not seem to have a simple answer. At least not yet.

Let us throw back a few years to May 2016 when I knew that the time was right to sell my condo on the lake of 13 years and sell, donate/ give away most of my belongings that I had managed to accumulate over my life. My family were a bit shocked what I was proposing and rightly so since they had no clue really about my inner process. I was determined to take with me only what I could fit into my VW Beetle named George. This began my adventure into simplicity and community living from a car. Giving up my home base/address having everything I own travelling with me. Stepping into the unknown and following what I deem my “heart call” as my guide. George, my car represented “freedom” and stepping into the unknown represented a constant inner conflict of heart (soul) and mind (ego). Trust and Doubt. Going with the flow vs. expectation and control.


The realization to downsize and live simply did not happen overnight. It came about over a few years of self discovery of what life was about and what was important. Over time I found a voice that loved to express through writing, inspired, albeit at times reluctant & add to that my love of travel imagined myself being a travel writer being flown off to exotic destinations, decadent food and accommodations, a life of leisure one could only dream about. Write stories and get paid. My path seemed so clear to me. This was it! … so I thought … so what happened?

Buzz words appeared in my awareness. “Living More Simply”. “Sustainability” … and then “Permaculture” baby !!! … lead to the world of: earthships; strawbale homes; off grid living; self sufficiency; living simple; back to the land…. These concepts landed in my world when least expected. Rocked my world awake or perhaps aware. What does a city girl do when presented with concepts that boggle one’s mind yet feel unexplainably making total sense to ones inner being? I took a 180 degree turn … course correction … dropping everything I thought I knew about living life as conditioned/programmed from my parents and upbringing. Exploring something foreign to the mind yet resonating deeply with my being. Okay, so now what? Where does one start?

Google; researching online. Endless hours of plugging into the matrix. My biggest “ah ha” moment was watching “Greening the Desert – Desert To Oasis in 4 Years” by Geoff Lawton. The concept of “building soil”– I had no idea this was possible. Taking Lawrence of Arabia desert conditions; 10 acres of flat barren land in Wadi Rum, Jordan and applying permaculture techniques to create an oasis of self sustaining food production, shade, water retention over 4 years. The process which also desalted the soil. Seemingly impossible, made possible.

“You can fix all world’s problems in a garden” — Geoff Lawton

Imagine? …. I spent many a day imagining. Enrolled in Geoff’s online Permaculture Design Course to get what I thought was the basics. Oh man, I just scratched the surface. Then realized the time had come to step out and get some hands on training. Serving, learning, volunteering, on a team with like minded ones. Ecovillages/Community living seemed like a great start.

Fast forward to now … here I am 15 months later from my arrival here at Chuckleberry Community Farm contemplating my next move. My home away from home now feeling complete. Where to go next? I am not quite sure. A great lesson in allowance and radical acceptance. Being okay with not knowing. The “heart call” whispers softly and does not always make sense to the mind. I sometimes struggle with the puzzle of my life and find myself at odds with trying to force the puzzle pieces into place. Even though that does not work. I still try. __________________

Muktaali Ananda; Lover of life and its many mysteries — catalyst for change. Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland — I invite you to jump into the rabbit hole a great metaphor for an adventure into the unknown .. the hidden and unseen. Just like Alice whose curiosity took her into a new realm beyond her understanding. Stepping out of our comfort zone and taking that leap.