Hello inspired daily actors!
With fall quickly approaching, harvest is on. And what better way to relish the season’s gleanings than to celebrate everything, always, regardless? Like many things this goes better with friends, so join us tomorrow for a short Open House and Tour or this Saturday to take part in a Sebastopol City Hall planting party, which is part of the crazily inspiring Sebastopol Village Building Convergence.
Since seeing these five words “Until Further Notice…Celebrate Everything” painted on a sign shared by a friend, they’ve been stuck to my insides, inducing much joy, even amidst life’s challenge, change and many unknowns.
Last month I wrote about the loss of a good friend and daily actor Roger Gadow, someone who (true to the mark of a Servant Leader) left many of us better than he found us. While death can create a big hole in our lives, it’s a chance to grow more whole by celebrating life and our loved ones and consciously choosing to keep those we’ve lost alive in our hearts. Roger will be alive in my heart and mind this week as we juice apples on his cider press and I refill his old wine and cider bottles this fall. Fall is both time of the harvest and when nature begins to pull in and die back. In the long line of people who have come and gone, that enriched your life, whom do you wish to keep alive in this moment? What ritualized seasonal activities help you celebrate these folks and the cycles of life and death that renew our world?
As with death, the other often-cited constant in life is change. Right now I’m feeling the loss, joy and change that comes with stepping to our potential and this big planetary moment. We change through our beliefs, our values and our actions. This changes our homes, gardens, neighborhoods and relationships. For Daily Acts, three years ago, we had three staff inspiring and catalyzing action. Now, thanks to your support and engagement, we have ten full and part-time staff and many more helping hands, which amounts to a lot of change. I see the same is true for nearly every organization, business and network partner, and the incredible people who sustain them, each adapting to the times to make their best contribution.
From saying goodbye to our co-founder Marty Falkenstein eight years ago, to the significant staff growth and change since then, I’ve long believed that everyone needs the courage to go after what’s in their heart, to follow their purpose and path and that we all need the strength and adaptability to support each other in this. The best we can do is to love, appreciate and grow folks while we have them.
Three years ago Amber Faur stepped in as our Operations Manager filling Susan Price’s big shoes. She has tirelessly, tenaciously and joyfully played a huge role in getting Daily Acts to where we are today. As Amber transitions into a part-time Development role to follow more of her passions, we are feeling immense gratitude for all that she has contributed to our success and community. Not long after Amber joined us, Ryan Johnston volunteered at the Cavanagh Center Food Forest. He quickly became an intern, then staff and then Senior Programs Coordinator, flourishing each step of the way. Now we will get to reinvent our relationship with Ryan as partners as he steps more into his potential and path as Program Director for the Permaculture Skills Center (PSC), joining one of our most treasured and long-time allies Erik Ohlsen.
Stepping into Amber’s role as Director of Operations is dedicated daily actor Brad Mills, who will be leaving his position as HR Director at Community Action Partnership (CAP), an incredible local non-profit organization.
Being a permaculturist who believes in long-term relations in garden, organization and life, it’s tough to say goodbye. There’s a part of us that dies when we do. Though it also creates opportunities for new growth, new relationships and the reinventing of existing connections. In conversations with Ryan and Brad, we are each deeply inspired and scheming about how we can take our long-time partnership with Erik and PSC and our new relationship with CAP to the next level. Each one of us has to do the important work of growing our selves and our organizations, but to truly transform our communities; we need to invest in and sometimes reinvent our relationships with the wider community, with our diversity of partners. We need to seize the ENORMOUS opportunities we are being presented to upcycle our relationships, our impact and the richness and resilience of our lives, our organizations and communities.
While death is inescapable and change is constant, until our last breath it all comes down to choice. How we choose to live, accepting what is, but choosing our response, is the true power in our daily actions. As renowned leadership author Jim Collins writes “most change is just noise and requires no fundamental change in ourselves”. Each challenge or difficulty, each major transition or modest choice is an opportunity to deepen into our purpose, to recommit to who and what we value and to respond with compassion, creativity and joy.
What fills me with joy is all of the hearts and hands that have shaped and sustained Daily Acts and me, each of you, each volunteer, donor, partner, Board and staff member. My life, our work and community are forever imbued with you, with your courageous, compassionate and heartfelt daily actions, with the fierce grace with which you show up day after day to celebrate life and to renew our work and world.