Hello there all,
"Transformation requires us to actively seek to liberate ourselves from the thinking that surrounds us and from the habitats of action we have internalized, both as individuals and in groups. Simply put, we are likely to persist in thinking and acting on unconscious assumptions of separation, scarcity, powerlessness, and the importance of controlling the natural even when we no longer consciously believe in doing so.
Intellectual understanding of the devastating consequences wreaked by the legacy of separation from nature and from each other and the mistrust of both is not sufficient to create transformation. We could still re-create the old ways in our own actions because the inherited stories continue to live inside us. This is no surprise, because every social order reproduces itself through instilling such stories and habits in us through the process of socialization, the fundamental way in which the social enters the personal and persists. It is the very nature of this process - so personal, so deep, and so pervasive - that is one of the core obstacles to social change."
-From "Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness," by Miki Kashtan.
The book I quoted above is one of many sources I've been plumbing lately to help bring words to the sadness I've been feeling and the anger that's been building about the inadequacies of the systems which I have inherited.
How am I, as a small business owner, bound by the assumptions and paradigms in which I've been raised? How have those paradigms been upended in the recent generations of my family? (In many ways, over and over...) Spending time with older relatives, and gathering the stories & trying to name their assumptions, is a great way to look backward and take stock of those changes as they've happened.
I'd like the farm to grow more as a mechanism of togetherness. I'd like the flowers to grow more as a mechanism of consciousness to the earth & our interdependent web of life. I'd like farm visits to grow more as intergenerational connectivity spaces that light people from within and build safety & resilience. I'd also like the business to earn enough to offer significant compensation to the people who labor for it.
This is where I'm stuck lately - within our capitalist system, finding & exploiting the potential profits to enough extent to pay even 1 person enough that they can, or we can afford together, health insurance, car payments, rent or mortgage, and then some... it seems prohibited by scale, and by loss of pleasure. It seems prohibited by a lack of models of farmers and farm workers being paid, outside of government subsidies, through the so-called 'free market,' enough to live as well as they should.
This agricultural endeavor whose living memory & truth is so based on uneven & violent exploitation, and complicated trade subsidies which are themselves traded around to bolster or suppress political agendas.
When I ground myself in the practice of growing and designing flowers for local people to celebrate & mourn with, it makes sense. When I ground myself in the joy of providing a venue for local people to interact with an explicitly beautiful version of the natural world, it makes sense. When I place myself in the position of manager trying to use the economic system of our time to generate livelihoods for myself & others, it starts to stretch the limits of my comfort. But I still retain hope that a few more infrastructure investments will get us closer to that sustainable balance.
From ancient longing to current reality, in love,