Friday, February 12, 2010

A word on Fundraising ~

My final weeks in the US were spent between Ojai, Oregon, Marin County, and the Owen's Valley: Ojai to complete my time at the Foundation in as good a way as I could given all that was happening there (and the fact that I became quite sick). Oregon for Thanksgiving with my father's side of the family, which was a wonderful chance to touch-in with yet another home-base, to continue delving into my family lineage, to be in gratitude, and to continue weaving the event of Beyond Boundaries into my life. Marin was dedicated to fundraising, weaving the "midway reports," and holiday time. And the Owen's Valley was a stop-in at 'base-camp' to visit Gigi and Win, take a breath, and touch back in with the land where we set of from in June and the intentions we set at that time.

Owen's Valley
Netarts, Oregon, Thanksgiving

The topic of fundraising has been an enormous learning, beginning long before, and extending long-after the actual movements of this pilgrimage. I take a moment to mention it now because during my time in California I was able to meet and exceed my personal fundraising goal! The place to begin -- always it seems -- is with gratitude. We are not simply raising funds -- dollars. We are raising support, sharing a dream and a story, looking for allies, witnessing each other and asking to be witnessed -- in short -- building community. "Support" has come in so many ways, from dollars to people offering their good sense. The outpouring has been generous and I want to offer my sincere thank you and a deep bow to all of you out there who have given your hands and hearts to help lift this prayer into being.

Without taking too much time to do it, I want to mention a couple things about the process of fundraising that I have been through. The first is that I learned just how deep and delicate our collective wounds around money are. Money is a sensitive and difficult topic to talk about with most people. There is shame and wounding around having money, and there is shame and wounding around being without it. I want to thank Gigi Coyle and Lynne Twist for their dedication and willingness to take a deeper look at our relationships with money; which can turn something like a fundraising drive into a valuable self-inquiry, and a real opportunity to make strong relationships that are much richer than the money they may raise. If you have any interest in this, I highly recommend Lynne Twist's book "The Soul of Money."

I am experiencing the great gift of fundraising in this way. I feel personally supported by so many, both because of what I am doing, and because of who I am. The latter has been hard to take-in, but I realize it's true. People support people, and I am able to do this pilgrimage because people supported me, my vision, my prayer, and my offering. Though my attempts at this more holistic fundraising were awkward and clumsy at best, I do feel that in some places they were very successful. My genuine sense is that all who have supported Beyond Boundaries (regardless of the form of that support) are a part of this unfolding story -- with us in ways seen and unseen.

And the story unfolds. We are still very much on our way, and very much carrying the lessons and dreams of a global community with us. Again, I want to say thank you to you all for your support, it is a great gift to be a scout on this pilgrimage -- one that I do not take lightly.