The concept of a State of Grace has a history going back several years. Like many people of "middle age," I found myself facing some health challenges, and as I approached my doctor for help, I was offered what many would consider the "standard of care" options. Use of a prescription medication resulted in adverse side-effects, threatening to health and life. My confusion, in this situation, led to a search for health and well-being based on the remediation of causes: lifestyle, dietary, and social. I discovered a new world of options and opportunity, of changes and challenges. Fortunately, fifteen years later, I have met my goals for better indicators of progress and my ability to thrive.
At first, I envisioned a spa-like collection of the contributors to and encouragers of a healthy lifestyle: all of those integrative and collaborative practitioners who would help us remodel our lives. It became obvious, as I pursued this interest, that there were many who had seen the same vision, and there was no lack of occasion to find them. What seemed to be missing was personal motivation—the understanding that “one only has sovereignty of oneself.” Authority, like control, is for the most part an illusion. As mortal creatures, we are "reduced" to mutual influence, which seems to me, as the flow of consciousness intends. We are all in this human condition together, though the power of personal responsibility does make a difference.
Through the blessed influence of friends, and some considerable contemplative exploration, I have seen that it would be valuable to build the “total package,” if only to prove that it can be done. My ancestors gathered what they could pile into handcarts and covered wagons, and traveled more than a thousand miles to create communities out of the wilderness. And, they had the skills to do it. In our time, we have technological advances which can assist us, but the need for mindfulness of the consequences of our action is more necessary than ever. It is for this reason that I am motivated to find a manner of living in which the systems respond to, and refresh each other—where the feedback loops are complete, minimizing waste and maximizing effectiveness. I suspect that I am not alone in this desire. If this message resonates with you, please, come join me in the effort.
My gratitude goes especially to my family, without whose support; I would be unlikely to venture forth. My husband, Richard, always game for new adventures, and filled with optimism, is the “wind beneath my wings.” Thank you to my daughters, son’s-in-law and grandchildren, whose untiring efforts inspire and sustain my motivations to assist in bringing forth a healthier, happier place to live. Special thanks go to Mary Wagner, with whom I shared an office for more than twenty years, for sharing her enthusiasm for environmental and social causes, and lighting a fire within me. Thanks, also, to those who have come into my life, and then passed through, as well as those of you who have come to stay—each adding their own color and flavor to this project.