I have been in Boulder about 10 days, hanging out at the Integral Center and about to go into the Relational Leadership Summit later today. To cut to the chase: my arrival here is some kind of personal miracle. I feel like I am walking a road paved with grace. Basically it is everything I have ever wanted in a developmental community, an expansion and evolution of what Rebekah and I tried to create at Trellis in 2007-2009 (and with some success).
As such this mail might be a bit longer than my usual, if you will forgive me.
First let me discuss logistics. Boulder is much smaller than I imagined (100,000 — I really knew nothing going in). It has a typical Western town feel although with a hippy-village overlay (street performers, marijuana to be bought legally in unmarked stores etc), perfect climate for me, bike paths everywhere, and almost everything in town within a 15 minute bike ride. My friend Olivia (who is an integral heavy-hitter in her own right, besides a very fun, kind and generous person) has put me up for the first two weeks. Yesterday I got a room in a co-housing called Wild Sage, with an older Quaker woman (!), which is again some kind of miracle. First month’s rent cleaned me out ($850 — that’s market rate here); but having finally landed I am getting inspired to take the WordPress business out of hibernation. It’s been paying my bills for the last 2 years from the hosting income (passive income), but this won’t cut it in Boulder obviously. Anyway, there is no problem, really. I have 30 days to get my shit together and a client list of 30,000. “We have met the enemy, and he is us” [Walt Kelly] 🙂 .
Second let me talk about the Integral Center. It’s been keeping me pretty busy. There is a ton of yoga, all of it fantastic, included in the $75/mth membership. There is Circling, which I will talk about below. There is a co-working space and entrepreneurial support events. I am networking up a storm and all my contact have been excellent. There are significant opportunities for business collaboration at the center as one of the founders of the center, Decker Cunov, is a famous authentic relationship / seduction guy and still runs programs (he is not very visible at the center as he has taken his skills into business coaching). If I ever get time-off from my work, fun, networking and dating — and God knows when that is going to happen — I am planning a third book which is going to be called something like Honest Seduction: Getting to Yes in Relationship. This is very exciting, obviously.
Let me talk a bit about the Circling practice. Simplistically speaking, it’s a kind of peer-led group therapy. They would argue with the word “therapy” as its a model of perfection, “finding people right”. It’s also not exactly peer-led because they have enough leaders (people who have gone through their training) to lead most of the groups. But regardless of terminology, my point is that, as therapy goes, it is 5 times more effective than any individual therapy I have ever had, and a perfect response to my existential condition. Partly because it’s a type of what I call community-based healing (as in Shalom Mountain), i.e. the other people participate in your process which triples the power of course; partly because it connects you to community; and partly because, coming from an Integral perspective, it includes a social agenda. Meaning: there is a reason we are all fucked-up, we live in a fucked-up world (in my writing I call this internalized oppression). As such, personal healing and global healing are closely inter-related:
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman
You might say that this is the definition of “integral”. Or at least one of them. It is certainly key to my ideas and to my developing platform.
And fourth: it’s Boulder. The Integral Center is merely the tip of the iceberg of what’s going on here. There is another very active co-working / business incubator called Impact Hub. There is Naropa University which runs many program of deep interest to me including Authentic Leadership. There is very active Mankind Project (men’s movement). And God what knows else. I am just getting started.
So what can I say. Marc heaven.
Of course every community (indeed every relationship) has challenges, shadows, blind spots. Of course so-called Integral people can be famous “heads-on-sticks” (a bit like me? lol. Although I do like to think that I have a pretty active feeling function). They do have a winter here (I really don’t think that I will mind, although it might require a car). And finally the place is not cheap and getting more expensive all the time. However, so far so good.
All for today! Come visit!