How do we build momentum in any community? We recognize moments worth celebrating.
Many of you who hold leadership positions know, it is the sad or the bad news that comes into your inbox first. As Chair of TRC, it is usually the financial challenges and staffing problems that are brought to my attention. Yet, when I listen more closely, I learn about the moments of huge benefit that spontaneously occur when people visit this healing centre in the Marico. These are worth celebrating.
After our Envisioning Weekend in July, I published a blog entitled, “Vision – Vast as Space, Action – Fine as Flour” and made a long wish list, seeking collaborators who share our vision for creating a centre that is committed to the cultivation of wisdom and compassion. Checking through that wish list now, I realize with delight how many of these needs have already been met. This happens with the commitment of people wanting to work in partnership with TRC.
Of course, you know what that means? I’ll be letting you know about more opportunities for collaboration, because generosity benefits both the receiver AND the giver 🙂
UNESCO and the Marico
On 25th July, we heard that the Marico had been designated as a UNESCO’s 10th Biosphere Reserve. This is HUGE! It doesn’t stop mining, but certainly makes the application process harder, and gives recognition that this part of South Africa is still environmentally healthy, and worthy of careful stewardship.
In September, we managed to squeeze our largest ever yoga retreat into the Octagon! More than 30 flowing yogis enjoyed the spring long weekend. It was a pleasure for me to collaborate with the joy-filled Steven Heyman from Yoga Works. What is more, when we did a quick space assessment, we concluded that 45 yoga mats would be able to fit into the Octagon, so we are set for a BIG 2019.
We also started our dream of hosting Retreats for Activists and Change Makers who need a place to replenish and refocus before moving back into the hard work of social and environmental transformation. Both environmental and queer activists benefited from the healing space of TRC. We took this as motivation to compile a funding proposal so that we can offer scholarship places to activists and NGO workers in the future. If you are part of an activist community, or a funding body who realises the importance of sustaining the people who do the work, then please get in touch. Together, we can change the world from the inside out!
We often experience how much the Arts help in healing. The Tara Rokpa Therapy process, for example, uses many arts-based techniques. So it is with joy that we are running the first ever Circle Singing Retreat. We also look forward to the return of the Valentine Day Dance Retreats next year. In the past, we have welcomed individuals for Artists and Writers Retreats. We are happy to open our doors, particularly for mid-week retreats, when the centre is quiet. For those of your linked with the University of the Witwatersrand, TRC will soon be on the vendor list. This means you can hold your academic writing retreats and strategic visioning sessions here, in the quiet of the bushveld.
Since highlighting our needs, we have received a steady stream of applicants to volunteer at the centre. Some are even willing to do MAINTENANCE. Thank you, Werner and Chris! And I am sure they have discovered, as so many of us do, that the volunteering our time and skills not only supports the Centre, but also seems to circle back and bring so much happiness to the one who is giving. This is the power of compassion in action. Please keep those applications coming in – we want to work alongside you in improving TRC.
We have been amazed at the generosity of our TRC community. As soon as we expressed the need for funding a limescale-removing system, it was done. TICK – R45,000 arrived. We needed monthly donations to pay an administrator – BAM. Again, we asked for financial support to consult a marketing expert and – KAZAM – the money appeared and the process of getting TRC’s marketing message clearly defined has begun. It has been great to welcome back Kerry Friend to the TRC community and pick her brain for ideas on how to expand our reach, so that more and more communities can benefit from the rare opportunity for a digital detox, in nature.
Telling Our Stories
On our wish list, we also invited writers to work alongside us to tell the stories of TRC. By September, Irene Leung had magically appeared, and published her experiences of the Wilderness Within retreat. She also used her excellent writing skills and experience of the non-profit sector to compile several funding proposals for us. We are also excited that next week we will welcome head of ROKPA, Lea Wyler to the Centre, to look at where we can continue to collaborate in supporting the local community and other worthwhile development projects.
There’s other good news, but the newsletter deadline has come, so I’ll leave it for next time. Watch out for updates on the community moving into their own homes, incredible growth (of plants, products and projects) at the Tikologo Permaculture Site, and toe dipping into the world of AirBnB and experiences.
Let us know if your passion matches our vision, and we can work together for a thriving world.
Lucy Draper-Clarke, TRC Chair