Today we are going on a visual journey together my friends – one that involves a bit of imagination and an open mind. All you have to do is sit back, breathe deep, and allow yourself to be transported to an enchanted wooded paradise, where beauty heals, sovereignty reigns and the sacred dance of creation beckons our soul.
It’s a place where the power and mystery of the natural world can be absorbed in quiet reflection. It is here we ask our internal storms to quiet down so the voice of God can be heard- whispering in the wind, singing to us in birdsong, babbling in the streams. A symphony of sounds and sensations which purify our bodies, hearts and minds.
And so it is with Mother Nature; she brings us the quiet we desperately need to balance out the noise of our modern lives.
And even now, in her raw form, Serenity offers us this.
The clear waters of her creek are always willing to heal, the beauty of her wild flowers reflecting the beauty in each one of us. All she asks is we make an effort to quiet our racing thoughts so we can absorb her eternal lessons. The sacred dance is all around us.
It is up to us to join in.
With That Being Said…
As delightful as all that sounds, and as much as I appreciate the outlet for my poetic impulse, I do want to make it clear we definitely have a vision for Serenity which is a bit more concrete than simply sitting by the creek and meditating her into existence.
From building a 100% off-grid homestead and animal sanctuary to hosting spiritual retreats and wilderness classes, we have a big plans for this beautiful land. So, let’s take a moment to explore future Serenity, shall we?
1. Fully Functional And Sustainable Off-Grid Homestead With Permaculture Garden
It might surprise you to know there is heated debate taking place in homesteading social media circles regarding the exact definition of the term ‘off-grid’ (off-the-grid), and who does or does not qualify for this coveted status.
The reason I know this is because I shamefully got caught up in it once when someone had the audacity to say I wasn’t a true off-gridder due to my cell phone service, if you can believe the nerve! (I mean, total troll right? I poop in a bucket for creek’s sake!)
Anyhoo, to clear up the confusion once and for all, we will look to the super-official and always-right Webster’s dictionary for an authoritative definition of the term off-grid (off-the-grid):
Off-grid: not connected to or served by publicly or privately managed utilities (such as electricity, gas, or water).
So there you have it people (booyah facebook foe!), off-grid means you are independent from electric, gas, and water utilities, cell phone service not-with-standing.
Truth be told, we had no other choice than to go off-grid on Serenity, seeing as how we are a mile back in the woods and installing power lines to reach us would cost a fortune.
Forced or otherwise, our ultimate reason for living off-the-grid is to be fully sovereign and independent of any corporate or government entity for our energy needs. By doing this, we are breaking an important link in the chain of slavery to a system we do not support.
And It Feels Damn Good Even If It’s Damn Hard Somedays!
Our long-term plan is to utilize our natural gas well for a large part of our power needs, with wood and solar playing secondary roles. A water well and composting toilet system round it all out to create a fully functional and convenient off-grid sustainable power system unaffected by the whims of utility companies, free from flouride and government intrusion, and possibly even able to partially withstand EMP events. For more details on our current and future off-grid set-up, as well as tips and tutorials on how you can survive (and thrive!) off-grid click here.
Anyway, our very first goal for Serenity (the one we bust our ass on everyday) is to become a 100% off-grid, functional and sustainable homestead (key word: home) where we grow and forage a large portion of our food and medicine.
While we aren’t totally there yet (I mean is anyone ever really super functional anyway?) we have made some kick ass progress over the past three years and still going. To see a fascinating timeline or our three year off-grid metamorphosis, click here.
2. Community Gathering Space and Silent Retreat Center
The woods of serenity are so magical, and my love of nature and spirituality so strong, they demand to be shared, my friends.
What better way to do this (other than posting every detail of my life online) than to open a spiritual community center and silent retreat service?
Perhaps called Sweet Serenity Silent Retreats, it will be a space where those craving connection to something deeper can get rooted in the rhythms of nature, revitalizing their spirit and reawakening their passions.
From drum circles in the medicine wheel garden to creek-side sweat lodge ceremonies and midnight star gazing parties, Sweet Serenity will be a sacred community space hosting a variety of holistic workshops, spiritual speakers, and maybe even something that resembles a church (gasp!) throughout the week.
Those seeking a more intensive wilderness experience can stay overnight for silent retreats. Encouraged (or forced, hehe) to temporarily put away their phones and other external (and internal) demands, they will give themselves the gift of slowing down and shutting up, which will open the lines of communication to Self. Through silent reflection and nature immersion, they will tune into a new vibration of joy, clarity, and love, stimulating a breakthrough of Inner Peace.
Sounds beautiful, right?
Of course, in order to host people for retreat or community events, the first thing we need is a driveway that doesn’t give them a heart attack (sort of the opposite effect I was going for).
Essentially, we need about $10,000 to gravel the driveway before we can open a spiritual community and retreat center (or even just to have people visit all safe and reliable-like).
We are squirreling away money to make this happen ASAP. In fact, one of the major reasons I am putting so much time and energy into this blog (other than my apparent need for attention) is to help raise money for all of our awesome projects we have planned on Serenity.
And first up is getting that damn driveway graveled.
So if you enjoy our stories, dig our vision, and feel called to make a love donation, please absotively, posilutely do so on our Groveling For Gravel Page. Everyone who makes a donation will even receive a personal thank you note on handmade seed paper! A total win/win, wouldn’t you say?
While you are at it, check out our gorgeous heritage craft store, where you can find luxury handmade soaps, oils, and other all natural body care products as well as handmade paper journals, cutting boards and axes. Even better, all the proceeds go to funding projects on Serenity!
However, while we wait on the gravel, there are still plenty of other projects in the works in various states of completion which will make Sweet Serenity a totally unique and enchanting experience for all who visit. They are listed here in no particular order:
- Yurt/Tree House/Hobbit Hut For Overnight Accommodations
- A Labyrinth Made Of Moss.
- A Star Gazing Tower
- A Sacred Medicine Wheel Garden
- A Zen Garden (More moss? Don’t mind if I do)
- A Fairy/Bird/Flower Garden
- Enchanting Hiking Trails
- Glass Art and Yoga Studio
- Rustic Bath House
- Community Kitchen
- Outdoor Fire Jacuzzi
- Sweat Lodge
- Classes on Yoga, Meditation, etc.
- A half-mile long zip line through the woods (hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?)
3. Farm Animal Sanctuary
Once we are a wee better established here, I would like to turn our attention to operating a small farm animal sanctuary where we would take in factory farmed chickens and other animals in need of a safe haven and happy home.
The problem is, I really know very little about animal husbandry and first aid basics. Also, I’m not that level-headed in emergencies (or really ever).
I mean, when someone around here gets sick or injured I tell them to swallow a spoonful of garlic and think healing thoughts while avoiding close contact lest I fall ill myself (or get an eye-full of something gnarly!). At the risk of losing my homesteading creds, I have to admit I’m actually quite squeamish, even having fainted straight into the arms of Maverick once when I sliced by finger open a bit (swoon… literally)
The point is, as much as I want to help animals and love having them around as friends, I am not of the constitution it takes to care for them in medical emergencies and palliative care situations, vital components of a responsible animal sanctuary.
Therefore, before we really get going with the animal sanctuary idea, I will need to find an animal whisperer magical healer person who can take charge in the face of adversity and ensure proper care is given to all our furry and feathered friends.
Which actually leads us right into our next vision for Serenity, one of my favorite ideas to play with:
4. Small Intentional Community
Five years ago, I came to this area seeking community. I was searching for a place where I could raise my children alongside other like-minded women, sharing in chores, errands, and meal prep while also pursuing our individual passions. An environment where the mundane of every day mom-life becomes exciting and expansive, as women gather together in the garden to encourage and build each other up and the ideals of self-sustainability are more easily accomplished as a team.
It was a grand idea, for sure. Yet, I essentially found what I was looking for. Only it did not happen in a specific place as much as through the connections I made with some amazing women.
Now that I am creating my own sustainable enterprise (rather than being a guest on someone else’s farm), I still deeply desire to be a part of an intentional community experience. To a degree we have that with our landmates, but not on the personal, spiritual, and intimate level I seek.
One of my ultimate goals here on Serenity is to match up with one or two other women (with or without families) who love Serenity as much as I do and will become my intimate neighbors, spiritual sisters and business partners.
This is a lofty goal as it truly takes deep honesty and commitment to each other to be successful at intentional community living. Also, I don’t exactly have women lined up outside my camper door for the position, for some strange reason.
But, I have no doubt this person(s) is out there, just waiting to find us. I know in my Inner Being it is destined to happen, I just don’t know exactly when. Soon, I hope!
There you have it, my friends: Our Vision For Serenity.
Keep in mind this list is not inclusive or set in stone. One of the biggest lessons I am learning in my homesteading and spiritual journey is to always remain flexible.
It is good to have dreams and to set goals, yet if we are rigid and inflexible in how these dreams will manifest, we will quickly find ourselves struggling to swim upstream.
So with this in mind, I hold my dream-version of Serenity in my vortex, while remembering to follow the path of least resistance. We have a long way to go here, but the struggle is part of the story.
Ultimately, I see Serenity as a sanctuary where souls are soothed and where all beings are given respite and purpose. And, even now, in her raw form, she offers exactly that.
As always, thanks for reading! I would love to hear from you, so please share your thoughts or questions in the comments below. And remember, sharing is caring people 🙂 Wholeness!