Sunrise Ranch

By Roshana Ariel

Have I fully emerged? Nope, not even close.

Hi, I’m Roshana, a Full Self Emergence intern at Sunrise Ranch. I’m beginning my third month here at the Ranch, having arrived in mid-April.

The days are getting hot, the grass is growing high, the birds are singing and the flowers blooming. The pool and hot tub are open, the food is always incredibly delicious, and life is good here at Sunrise.

Last month I promised to tell you about what I’m learning in the Full Self Emergence (FSE) program with my other classmates. (The class has dwindled a little, a natural occurrence. We started with 17 and are down to 14 now, if my fingers are calculating correctly.) We range in age from 19 to about … ahem … 61 (that would be me).

Each week, we have a full morning of classes on Mondays and an hour-long class on Fridays. We have weekly assignments—nothing too onerous. We attend Wednesday night and Sunday morning services and Expansion, a time when we’re free to offer our thoughts on the topics expressed during the service. We also go to Attunements twice a week and meet with a coach to discuss any challenges.

And there have been challenges.

In late May, we attended an eight-day intensive called The Art of Living. It included many lectures and a few trust exercises and other group-bonding activities. We had times of silence, did a lot of journaling and managed a few public speaking assignments.

Our first task as part of the FSE class was to write about our experiences related to this beautiful poem, called “She Let Go,” by the Rev. Safire Rose. Here’s an excerpt from that poem.

She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the “right” reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go. …

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore …


So, what about those challenges? Well, letting go hasn’t been easy. Unlike the poem above, I can’t say, “There was no effort. There was no struggle.” And I certainly did ask friends and family for advice about this move to Sunrise Ranch. But every week, I’m finding things to let go of while I grapple with the attitudes and long-held beliefs accumulated over my life.

But this isn’t about acquiring new beliefs and principles willy-nilly. Over and over again, we’ve been invited to take what makes sense to us, what serves us well, and leave the rest.

If you read my last column in this space, you’ll remember that I’ve had a rocky relationship with religion and spirituality, so I’m easily triggered by new spiritual ideas that I can’t immediately research or confirm.

And I’m not the first, nor will I be the last, to think that some of the ideas presented here sound strange. But I’ve been encouraged by many here to keep an open mind and an open heart—that was certainly my intention before I arrived—and avail myself of new ideas that might benefit me.

As it turns out, I’ve got a fair amount of work to do in my own inner realm. And this seems to be a fine place to do it. After all, I’m totally on board with the idea that a creative spark resides in me by virtue of the fact that I’m alive—my heart beats, my lungs breathe, my food turns into energy, all without me doing a thing. That’s what I want to learn more about, what I want to nurture and experience regularly in my life. And that’s what this community supports in a lovely, safe container.

Next time, I’ll get more into the nitty-gritty of our FSE classes. Until then, I wish you well.

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