By Roshana Ariel
Forgive me, dear Reader. It’s been five months since my last confession.
The last time I wrote was in November 2016, right after graduating from the Full Self Emergence program here at Sunrise Ranch. I pondered what I had learned during the seven-month internship—about the Emissaries of Divine Light perspective of life here on Earth, about consciousness and about the roles we play in our individual relationships and the world at large.
Thankfully, I passed the class and am now duly sanctified.
While I neglected my writing during the winter months, Ranch life continued on—quite happily, too. Thanksgiving was full of grace and gratitude. Christmas overflowed with celebration, music and the unfolding of gifts—material and spiritual. And the new year brought fascinating new people, grand possibilities and, for me and many others, greater responsibilities on the Ranch.
This week marks one year of my residence at Sunrise Ranch. And now, just as I did a year ago, a new batch of eager Full Self Emergence interns have arrived to begin their adventures. Their smiles and enthusiasm are lighting up the valley, and we’re so glad to welcome them and to learn all about these individuals from around the country and the globe—to find out why they were drawn to this little refuge in northern Colorado and to uncover their gifts and talents. We’re also renewing our commitments to community life, to conscious living and to our individual spiritual adventures and quests.
Now that I’m a regular resident and full-time worker here, I’m feeling more at home with my neighbors and co-workers. I’m part of the team that makes this place run; I’m adding my little light to the radiance of this sweet community in this beautiful valley.
So now what? Can I let the rest of my life play out in serenity, each day more lovely than the one before, doves cooing upon my shoulders and angels guiding my way toward glory?
Uhhh, no, that’s not what’s happening.
Lest we get comfortable in our happy lives, the people who run things (the PWRTs) around here persuaded some of us to sign up for the six-month Leadership Program, during which we attend two weeklong workshops … one at the beginning and one at the end; get coached every other week by one of the PWRTs; meet with our small group every other week; do homework; read a stack of books; write blog posts (hence my penance in this space); practice public speaking; attend webinars every other week; take tests; and coach the new Full Self Emergence interns.
Holy Mother of God! What have I gotten myself into?
Or more to the point, what is this all about? Why do they think I’m leadership material? And, by the way, wasn’t I already plenty busy with my work and community responsibilities?
Needless to say, their efforts to convert me have proven successful, and I am indeed on the holy path of leadership training. And here, dear Reader, let me be perfectly transparent: The topic of this writing assignment is “Why Your Message to the World is Important.”
Let’s see if I can make sense of this: Like it or not, there are people who listen to me—possibly even people who look up to me—and I hope that what comes out of my mouth or flows out of my pen is edifying, or at least useful. As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be on the good side of life, to be a help and not a hindrance; a role model, not a bad influence.
And in this community, where relationships are multi-faceted—our Human Resources head is also our Facilities Services manager; our postmaster is also part of our singing group; our boss might be a hiking buddy; our gardener might also be our teacher; and we all eat meals together, wherever there’s an empty spot at a table—in this community, we put our relationship chops to the test every day. We learn to let go of grievances quickly, to resolve our differences creatively, to live together harmoniously.
This is a crucible, a testing ground for what works and what doesn’t work among people and the myriad situations we find ourselves in, on this farm, ranch, intentional community, event and retreat center, publications business and spiritual haven.
And by many measures, we’re thriving in this busy valley. We’re happy, healthy and productive. The kids are feisty and the animals content.
The beauty of this place certainly plays a role, I think, and our interaction with nature in respectful and sustainable ways helps us to live well on this patch of Earth. The topics of discussion that fill our time together—about creativity, consciousness, responsibility, love, and honoring Universal Being—nurture us just as much as the food that’s plucked out of our gardens.
This is the message we can share with our friends and family around the world. Not that we’re so righteous, but that these ideas about taking responsibility for our own experience, nurturing our relationships with each other, expanding our understanding of Truth and Reality, and being the change we’d like to see—these ideas and actions work to make life with our neighbors pleasant and constructive.
And isn’t this what the world needs, what its people crave, what peace calls for, and what the future requires?
That’s why this message, spoken and demonstrated, is important and why I’m writing this story today.
And that’s why I’ll continue in the Leadership Program. The truth is, I’ve become a believer.