GSN‘s insanely wonderful 10th Anniversary Congress conference up in Monterey was attended by a bunch of ecologists, deers, mystics, friends, awardees, wild turkeys, healers,
wellness professionals, early morning hikers, and talking stick makers. Yes, we all made beautiful talking sticks like the ones you make in 6th grade camp!
Since my first year with GSN, nearly 4 years ago, I’ve wanted to attend Congress but my schedule never allowed. I’m so glad it did this time!
I think this intimate conference means different things for different people: it’s a spa and wellness community builder and celebrator, it’s an information highway, it’s a spiritual education and practice platform, it’s networking, it’s reconnecting with friends, it’s great food and music, it’s awesome brands, and it’s excursions bonding with the awesome location. For me Congress was all of this in addition to the reinforcement that what each of us doing matters and support is in abundance.
The line up of speakers from Bill Reed, to Josiah Cain and Rev Michael Beckwith, to name few, were nothing short of phenomenal. They are all leaders in environmental, ecological and spiritual practices & education. Their mission is to do nothing short of merge our potential into action.
Reverend Michael Beckwith is a dear family friend and I am a part of the Agape Community in Los Angeles. It was pure joy to be a part of the GSN tribe merging with the Agape vibe. We all loved the visioning group practice that the Reverend put us through where we could see our potential and actually articulate it to ourselves and the people at our table. There is so much power in group activities!
Bill Reed showed us how working with what we’ve got right in front of us is the first step in sustainability. Loved his story about a local market in Vermont trying to expand and compete with Wholefoods by importing product and building out a big “eco” grocery store to try and up them, versus realizing that their roots in their town was their strength. Bill encouraged them to embrace the buildings current infrastructure and spend the capital to empower their surroundings vs. importing and doing a total rebuild. How many of us leap into over compensating and searching outside ourselves and our environment when feeling desperate, verses going deeper within and getting more innovative? It took Bill several months, maybe even years, but eventually this little market turned into a landmark celebrating all things grown locally. The grocery store ended up funding some local farms and showed food markets how buying locally and working with the buildings current infrastructure could be the very thing that sets them apart. They made a cannery in their side building (a strong regional talent) and they did something with making a kids space where the children could play while parents shopped. He ended up turning the market into a super successful story where their new pride was all things nearest and dearest. Once completed I think everybody was like,”well of course!” Bill says this resistance is what he sees in almost every job he takes. He quoted as saying his ecological scientific work pretty much speaks for itself on every job assignment with a new client. His real “work” usually rests needing to prove how much abundance is possible with just a change of perception sprinkled with creativity and innovation.
Josiah Cain was also very awesome. We sat at the same talking stick creative table and I got to learn about his “off the grid” upbringing. His childhood was very similar to mine in many ways. We both grew up with tipi’s on an organic farm with parents who operated way off the mainstream. We definitely shared the non-conventional upbringing platform that is sometimes difficult in real time but years later is nothing short of truly awesome. His ecological background and work aligned with Bill’s, but Josiah’s presentation focused more on the intricate ways of natures micro-biome and how to manage and interact harmoniously with the world around us.
Josiah has a sustainable design firm rooted in principles of ecology so you can only imagine his divine creations. In short, Josiah made me want to live in the mountains again, drink water from the spring, have an all wood house with solar panels, and make sure my desk is facing a bay window that looks deep into the horizon of lush land or sea. His insights and wonderfully scientific facts really made me honor and embrace my relationship with the earth and continue to be excited about the great things we all have to do together.
The exercises and teamwork in the breakout sessions from all the speakers were great and I know I will be writing more about them in blogs to come!
The lovely Shel Pink was there in full form with her new book Slow Beauty, and of course all of the best skin care lines in the world were in attendance from Eminence, Laurel, Kerstin Florian Skincare, Organic Male and many more. There is so much to say about all these skin care lines who are dedicated to using the best ingredients in their products. They are shining examples of sustainable and innovative business practices.
I’m clearly on a spring conference roll. So many great seminars with literally the best teachers and brands in the world. I love it! Moving forward I’d have to be in a serious schedule conflict to ever miss Congress again…!!