Growing a Village

Michelle Stransky
May 10 · 4 min read
Photo by Hudson Hintze

I am looking for my people.
I am looking to grow a village.

As we face ecological crisis leading towards mass extinction
AND
the potential of this being our initiation into a more beautiful world — I am looking for people who hold these two seemingly opposite realities and accept that the future is in the hands of the Mystery. People who know that the only possible way to live into a New Story is by allowing the Mystery to guide us.

Several years ago I started a community called WisdomWomen. It was intended to bring women together so that we could take part in birthing societal and systemic models that honor all of life. In trying to create something new, all we had to start with was our prior knowledge and experience. The process gradually became about collective emergence: allowing the group wisdom and the Unknown to guide our time together. In this messy process, we experienced many moments of pure magic that revealed possibilities beyond what any one of us could have created or conceived of on our own.

I originally had a lot of hopes and expectations for WisdomWomen, many of which stemmed from my desires to be recognized and to have a prosperous lifestyle doing meaningful work. At multiple crossroads, I was given the option to make WisdomWomen serve my perceived needs, or to surrender to a mysterious process that would change me and my ways of life.

Along the way, I gave up coveted career positions. I declined lucrative job offers. I severed ties from ‘powerful’ people and organizations. I gave up my home and most of my possessions. I went through my savings. I lost many relationships. I put my marriage on the line. I went from feeling at the top of my career game to an extended feeling of not knowing what I was doing. I stopped using marketing tactics and business models to grow my audience. I let my community become smaller instead of bigger. I entered purely into the gift economy — relying on synchronicity and the support of others who believed in me to continue my path.

Over the past few years, I have been liberated from many of my worst fears as well as what were my greatest desires. I am still unlearning and still becoming. But, after having developed a deeper trust in myself and in Life itself, I have ultimately gained so much more than I lost.

Last year it became clear that it was time to go into a process of metamorphoses and close WisdomWomen. We held a final gathering in February called ‘Creating True Community’.

This gathering, which included men, reinforced what previous experiences taught me- we need to heal our culturally distorted relationships with money and sexuality. We need to allow the life-affirming energy of Eros to be an essential guide in the process of birthing new possibilities. And, we need to embody a new economic model that fosters interdependence. These are foundations for practicing deep, sacred listening, for building true partnership, and for expanding our capacities to embody creative life force.

After the gathering I entered into the cocoon. Instead of making anything happen, I allowed myself to be re-made. Now I am ready to leave the chrysalis, and it seems that a new reality awaits.

I have held a dream in my heart for a long time of growing a land-based village that is part of a global network, where we live in deep connection with the Earth and one another by practicing regenerative living and true partnership in a sharing economy.

I have let go of my attachment to how this happens, when it happens, and if it is meant to happen at all. But I stay committed to collaborating with other willing pioneers who are called to create spaces and offerings of refuge and possibility that could be of service in our collective initiation. I will continue to explore how each of us, our relationships, communities, and organizations can partner with Life in order to meet the call of our times.

We all want to live well on this beautiful planet, but at this point in time we are being called upon to create a reality where all beings live well, or potentially none will. In doing so, I believe we will discover that our current ideas of living well are immensely limited and that perhaps the ways of life we try so desperately to protect are worth letting go.

I know there are others who are on a similar path, and those who are called to something of its essence. If what I share speaks to you, I invite you to reach out to me and join me in this next phase of collective emergence. Perhaps this invitation sparks an intuition, a longing, a curiosity, or a desire for allies.

For those who may not be up for the ride, but want to support it or hear about what happens, I am starting a new mailing list. Please share this message with anyone who you think may be interested.

In whatever forms it takes, here is to growing the village.

Michelle Stransky

Written by

Convener of GrowingVillage. Community Weaver. Explorer of Collective Emergence, Gift Economy & True Partnership. ✨

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