Trust the Rope

Written by SeanRitchey on April 6, 2011

Oakland, CA

Coming off of a week-long retreat with the rest of Common Fire’s*** Board of Directors, can feel like waking up from a really good dream.  I feel both deeply inspired, and a little let down.  Inspiring, because the way we work and the way we are in relationship with each other as board members feels like such an authentic extension of what we are working to create in the world.  A little bit of a let down, because it can also feel hard to leave such a radical and visionary work space, and go back to daily routine that does not feel as aligned.

These retreats always trigger deep thinking for me, but this one felt different.  I’m not leaving with overflowing feelings of excitement (like I sometimes have), but I am going home with clear connection to a powerfully simple lesson, that sunk home in a deep way for me this week.

I need support.

Just because I am highly capable, brilliant, clear, focused, privileged, and grounded, does not mean I can do it all myself.  I have friends and colleagues that are deeply visionary, radical people, who are unbelievably brilliant, astute, and spiritual beings.  And these people love me, and want to see me live a full and joyous life. But I still sometimes choose let myself float in the middle of my mental ocean for weeks, feeling alone and without clear direction.

I need support.

It’s such a simple realization, but I am amazed by how freed I feel now that I’ve clearly named it for myself.  It’s not a new idea.  Not at all.  It’s one I’ve know and deeply believed in for years…but knowing something, and fully embracing it are two different things.

I hold myself to devastatingly high standards…which means that I often hard on myself.  So it feels like a huge weigh off my shoulders to connect with the fact that I’m not going to have to figure it out by myself.

What a relief!

In rock climbing, we have to trust the rope.  It is the support that will catch our [inevitable] falls.  But trust in the rope is a big thing that usually takes climbers a while to develop.  Turns out life is the same way.

So thank you Adrienne, Mary Rose, Esther, Kavitha, Jeff, Autumn, NeEddra, and Erika (my fellow board members) for holding me so gently…and so firmly.

And Dear Sean: Thank you for being patient.  Trust the Rope  Love, Sean



***For those of you who are not familiar with Common Fire and the work we do, the best introduction is to watch our video, which you can do here.  But the short version is that we support people creating multi-cultural intentional communities, which empower radical levels of justice and sustainability.

[Most of] Common Fire’s Amazing Board

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