Where We Dwell

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by Jill Barrett, Evolve CEO

I dwell in possibility.
— Emily Dickinson

This summer, I spent a few peaceful weeks in Owosso, Michigan, a city of 15,000 that is 30 miles west of Flint. Each day, I watched a vast field of grain and grass come alive in the morning sun. Yellow finches, blue jays, red cardinals and speckled woodpeckers took turns at the feeder. Families of deer snuck into the yard to grab newly fallen apples—dropped from the left-leaning tree that has been shaped over the years by wind whipping across the field from the north.

I filled my days with long runs beside tree-lined streets and historic houses and through a still-alive downtown and across the Shiawassee River that flows by Curwood Castle and Comstock Cabin and the Shiawassee Museum. And, in between, I cooked three good vegan meals and made fail-proof snacks besides. At night, I settled down to books and documentaries and the splish splash of a mossy pond beside my window.

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I arrived in Michigan a few days after I heard the news: my dad had experienced a heart attack and was preparing for surgery. My fast-moving world came to a halt as I tied up my immediate affairs in Washington and drove to be with him during his surgery in Lansing. It was quadruple bypass. In the weeks that followed, I stayed at his home in Owosso to hold a loving, attentive space for him to heal.

During this time, new possibilities for health and well-being emerged. Most significantly, we transitioned to a plant-based diet to support recovery and maybe even reversal of his heart disease. I engaged in deep somatic work to process and integrate my overwhelming thoughts, feelings and sensations. I spent time exploring the outdoors—which reminded me of the inner resources I had accessed more easily as a child.

All of this inspired me to update my Life Vision and Mission, which I’d like to share with you.

My Life Vision:

A world where people can call themselves beloved, and actively extend their love to each other, the animals, the earth and all living things.

My Life Mission:

To be a safe person who advocates for and creates safe spaces for people to experience themselves as beloved, connected, abundant and whole.

I look forward to dwelling in the possibilities of my Vision and Mission in the second half of the year.

Where are you dwelling these days?

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