This mail will serve as a check-in first, and second an invitation to 3 developmental groups I will be running starting in October. The groups will use a modality called “topic circling”, we will work on: Functional Medicine (physical and mental health and vitality), Entrepreneurial support and accountability, and Men’s dating and sexuality. The invitation letter is here.
I ended my summer travel adventures last Monday after a Chicago circling event. I drove there, about 2 days drive each way, saw some friends on the way and also stayed at some beautiful places (see my facebook). Immediately on returning to Whitefield NH, I completed a major update of the Circling Guide. I think of it as the first stable version of the book, and (arguably) the most comprehensive book on Circling and Authentic Relating on the web, particularly in terms of the history, complementary modalities, resources section, and the implications for personal and social change, which I feel are vast. Having that out of the way is huge for me. I have been writing something-or-other for 3 1/2 years now, and that’s over. I have nothing left to say, for now. I am spent.
And so, it’s time for me to move out into the world again, and also handle my bread-and-butter business that I have been neglecting for 3 years. I have found a Quaker intentional community in Boston that appears to be a bull’s eye to my existential condition, and hope to move there early next year (its called Beacon Hill Friends House. It’s iffy because admissions are competitive and I would need to come up with another $1100/mth, but that’s my plan at the moment). I am internet dating in Boston, with considerable initial success (maybe beginner’s luck, only time will tell).
You would think I would be happy with all this, wouldn’t you? But No, not me…
In fact, I have quite mixed emotions, which are too complex to relate here, but I can give you a small and imperfect view into them.
My strongest feeling is one of “completion”. It’s a completion of an exhilarating year-long ride through the Circling and Authentic Relating movement (as told in the Circling book). Completion of about 3 years of writing, traveling, of wild and crazy adventures on the road, some of which were in the nature of “meetings on the dark side”. I hesitate to say this lest it sound too grandiose, but it is finally, in a sense, a “completion” of 30+ years of research and explorations into human consciousness, the structure of community, emotional communication and the psychology of love. I am left with stronger confidence, clarity, resources and network than I have ever had before. I know what I want and I know what to do, more-or-less (at least to the extent that any of us can really know what we want and what to do).
And yet I can’t quite shake a sense of loneliness, boredom, futility. It is nearly constant and very painful and impacts everything I do. It is really a kind of neurosis, which is what is leading me into an exploration of Kelly Brogan and functional medicine, as told in the follow-up mail (wish me luck with that, by the way). It’s in part a “skin hunger” (or “belly-to-belly”, as my mentor Mike Jay says). Online community is wonderful, but I would like to start the process of transitioning my community to on-the-ground at least 50%, hence the possible move to Boston. But it’s more than that, and I don’t yet have full visibility into the problem exactly. At some level it’s a complaint about the human condition, my resentment about being incarnated into a human body. It is the problem that the Buddha addressed (and solved), but I can’t get any satisfaction out of meditation. Hence i am stuck.
And it’s also the fact that I won’t, can’t, refuse to live my life any more as a “performance machine”
I want to live a life that is consistently inspired, and if I can’t have that, I would rather do nothing. With the result that I spend a lot of time doing nothing. This also is a neurosis, indeed it’s a Jungian personality type called Puer Aeternus, which is aggravated by my Enneagram 4 “individualist” type. Enneagram 4’s are over-invested in emotion and in their own uniqueness. We are constantly seeking out and validating the things that make us different from other people. It’s a terrible curse but it also can be useful. A lot of artists and “creatives” are 4’s.
The immediate solution I am looking at with regards to this all-pervasive loneliness is to gather people around me, a “tribe of winners”. I just don’t want to do anything alone any more. It’s not a full solution, because sooner or later I am going to have to fully accept and embrace my humanity. But it is a good place to start, or at least to investigate. What I want is for people around me to rise as I rise, and for me to be pulled up by others as well. If this would work, it would mean that we don’t always have to be on top of our game, because we ought to be able to find somebody to lean on in most situations. It seems to me a much more fun and more powerful way to live, because having that security we could take more risks, push our edges, knowing that if we fall we can only fall so far.
This is the idea of the “Tribe of Winners”. Read the invitation, and pray for me please.