Winter Solstice, year 1

Journal — December 21, 2017 — language, learning, lucidity, organization

Today is the 29th winter solstice of my life, and it’s been one year since I started this blog.

That day, I made four resolutions, to develop my weaknesses into strengths:

It seems to me that I received everything I asked for, along these lines, and more.

I became part of a team. To my team, I gave most of what I had held in private ownership: as a first step, I committed my weekends, and something like a tenth of my money. A month later I gave a bit more than a third of what money remained.200 bitcoins, to be exact. You can see it in the Veda credit system. A month after that, I gave the same amount again.

Last year I set an intention: by the next winter solstice, I will no longer have time or money that is only mine. I knew then that I was setting myself an impossible goal. As expected, I didn’t meet it – and, as expected, I came further than I was able to imagine.

Although, since the year isn’t quite over yet, I have one last chance: I can commit all of my time and money, right now.

It’s tempting. It’s a romantic thought. It wouldn’t be honest.

What I can do, being truthful with my own willingness to commit, is to make another step: in writing this, I commit to be available from sunrise on Friday until sunset on Sunday, every week, from now until the next December solstice, and I commit to give 166.3045234 BTC, 2434680.65432 XRP, and 10 EUR for whatever my team in Veda decides.

That’s everything in my pockets, essentially.Technically, none of this is in my pockets. Not even the ten euros; my wallet’s in my computer bag. I still have more private money, but nearly all of it is in the form of debts people owe me. I intend to settle or forgive all these debts, before February.

As for my time: well, that’s a bigger step than money. Right now I’m committed for every week from Saturday morning to Sunday evening, and I want to change that in two ways: I want to increase my commitment, and to make it more precise.

From now until the beginning of next winter,Let’s call it November 7th. each week from Friday to Sunday, each day from sunrise to sunset, I commit to use my time for whatever my team in Veda decides.This is all relative to my latitude and longitude on Earth at the time, and it assumes I stay in the northern hemisphere. Okay: now it’s quite precise.

As I write, I notice how much my language has changed in the last year.For example, I use the word “notice” more. I notice, as well, how far it still is from what feels natural, and how much closer it is now than it was then.

My work in Veda has centered around language, pattern, culture, method and organization. I’ve been privileged to work with people who are as dedicated to learning and improving as I am, and who are willing to change themselves, deeply, on that path. Because of that, I am now routinely struck by the commonality in how my team communicates, despite the diversity of our voices. We speak about the same values, in the same terms, from different perspectives.

Feeling understood was once a rare and precious experience, for me. Now, it’s a normal part of my life, every week.

It isn’t only in my team that I’ve had this experience. During the year, I practiced, ever more, speaking from my heart – which, it turns out, is a language everyone understands. This, much more than simplifying and clarifying the words that I use, accounts for my sense that my resolution to find common language with people was a success.

I developed the will to arrive at outcomes like this. Through the course of the year, I came back again and again to these resolutions. I’ve developed a habit of asking myself, in every moment that I have the consciousness for it: what can I do now? What step can I make now? What is now?

My life has become centered on the present, instead of the future, as it was a year ago. I no longer put off until tomorrow what I can do today. I speak my thoughts when I have them, and I let them go afterward. My way of being in the world has become more direct, without becoming less sensitive.

I have gained the willingness to make mistakes. I’m even beginning to enjoy my foolishness. In my team, we celebrate our mistakes, as moments of learning. Over time, this is doing something with me, physiologically: through the repeated experience of pleasure following a mistake, I begin to feel happy when things go wrong. I have a moment of shame or guilt, and then I look forward to telling my team, “Look at what an idiot I was! Look at how much I learned!”

What made the difference for me, more than anything else, was to practice flirting: just simply saying stuff and doing stuff to play with the attention of the people I want to engage with, without particularly caring about the logical truth or relevance of what I communicate.

The biggest improvement to my ability to arrive somewhere has come from letting go of the attachment to arriving anywhere in particular.

I received more and greater gifts this year than I am able to recount.

I practiced concentrating on an unfamiliar image of myself: to see myself as a host, holding a space where a great many things can enter. I received all sorts this way, and welcomed them all more or lessMore or less. I still notice myself getting annoyed or disturbed by the behavior of some guests. It tends to pass quickly. equally.

I found that I enjoyed saying yes as much as I enjoyed saying no.Some say yes too often. I’ve said no too often. I found, as well, the unexpected importance of saying nothing and continuing to listen, until the time is right – and I enjoy that, too. All three of these are challenging and rewarding, in different ways.

To stand at an open doorway, greeting visitors, listening to their stories, and, at last, either welcoming them inside or sending them to another place. It’s an interesting position to be in. Every visitor is a gift, and every visitor is a risk. I always find both these realities easy to see. It’s never a question of if I say yes; it’s a question of when, and for how long. My house cannot hold everyone who wants to visit at the same time. Timing becomes important.

This is how it felt to me, becoming part of a team. I often felt myself in the role of the host, providing the context where something can happen, caring for everything going on in the space that I hold.

The greatest gift I received was my team.

I’m grateful for Diogo. His transformation into adulthood, over the last three months, has deepened my faith in the potential of humanity as a whole to heal. I know now for a fact that the knot of fear around money, which nearly all of us are trapped in, can be loosened and finally undone.

I’m grateful for Arne. I have seen more of the future through him than I have through any dream or fantasy, and it’s more beautiful than I can bear to look at for long. All I can say is that I have now felt at peace in the presence of unspeakable truth.

I’m grateful for Shirley. I am endlessly amazed that a human being who has gained so much knowledge remains so absolutely, and seemingly effortlessly, dedicated to learning more. I am still coming to terms with the humbling shock of knowing who was waiting to come inside, when I open my door.

I’m grateful for who I became.

Winter Solstice, year 1 - December 21, 2017 - Veda Cooperative