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I believe we all have a higher purpose...

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I believe we all have a higher purpose in this life, one that stems from our Divine Origins, and it is greater than any career, any material thing, or anyone for that matter. Over the last few years, a veil has been lifted before my eyes, and I, along with my husband and son, have realized what that purpose is for our family. Over the last two years, we have traveled across the world in search of the Source of all Life, yet ended up finding it only within ourselves. And now, we feel “a fire in our bellies” to embody, to manifest, our dream into our reality.

This comes at a time when our world is increasingly being destroyed on many levels. We have been taught to believe that competition is our nature and we must struggle to survive. Because of this, our planet, our home, is being ravaged in the name of capitalism. All the while, humans are becoming more and more disconnected from each other, from Spirit, and from nature. Yet, there is hope. I know that things can change for the better. More people are waking up to what is happening on our planet. Humans are waking up to their true potential. We are realizing that we are all connected and we are all interdependent. When our planet suffers, so do we. When the animals suffer, so do we. And most of all, when we allow the suffering of other human beings, so do we. So what does this mean for me and for you? I have woken up and am ready to put into action what my purpose is. We are all connected, and I need your help.

To begin, I’d like to introduce myself and my family. My name is Jessica Parks. My husband is Tracy and my son is Elijah. About two years ago, we were your average American family. We had a nice house, two cars, and great jobs. But there was something missing. Our life lacked meaning. Then after the birth of our son, Elijah, in 2012, we came to the conclusion that we couldn’t raise him this way. Something had to change. We had to change. So we decided to sell or give away everything we owned down to one backpack and travel in search for the Source of Life. We traveled to Peru and back, and then across the entire United States. We weren’t quite sure what we were looking for; nothing seemed to satisfy us completely. Don’t get me wrong, we saw a lot of amazing people and communities changing the way they were living to be more sustainable and more in line with their values and with the Earth. And it inspired us, but it wasn’t until we were holed up in an apartment in the winter that we began to find what we were looking for. We begin to look within ourselves. And that’s when we discovered true happiness and the Source of Life! We learned that we could be happy anywhere, and we could create the reality that we dreamed of!

So with that, we are now living in northeast Missouri. This area of the country attracted us, as there are a number of sustainable intentional communities here, like the Possibility Alliance and Dancing Rabbit. My husband, Tracy, is a licensed counselor and currently providing therapy to individuals and families in Kirksville, MO, while I am staying at home with Elijah and growing an abundance of vegetables and fruits at our rental place. All the while we are patiently waiting for Source to provide us with the perfect piece of land and resources for us to begin creating our vision. My family and I are dedicated to creating a sustainable, modern homestead, a model of what life can be like, if we work together and if we work with the Creation all around us. Our vision is threefold. The first component is the homestead itself. We will create a modern homestead incorporating plants, animals, renewable energy, and the synergy of ancient wisdom with new permaculture concepts. We want to be a model of what is possible and how regular families can live more in line with their values and with all of Creation.

The second component is community outreach and education. To do this, we will offer organic, nutritious food to our local community with prices that are less than or equal to conventional food. This would be done with farm to table dinners at the homestead or with a stand or food truck at local markets. Our goal is not to make money; our goal is use good food as a way to invite our community to learn about sustainable farming, “beyond organic” food, and ethical business models.

The final and third component of our vision is a healing or retreat center. This is the most critical piece. Just as my husband and I began healing when we dug our hands in the Earth for the first time, we want others to experience that too. There will be no TV, no internet, and no distractions, just the quiet whisper of nature and Spirit. And a whole lot of farming and fun too. I believe that when we take away all the distractions and devices of mainstream life, most people are left with an emptiness that desires to be filled. That is where Spirit comes in and really fulfills that longing. Our healing center would offer individuals or families a stay on our homestead, so that they could experience what they really need. Maybe that includes milking a cow each day or digging in the dirt. Maybe it includes quiet meditation. Maybe it includes doing some therapy or tapping (EFT) to release past trauma. Maybe it just includes being with others and really connecting to one another over a meal. Whatever the case may be, I know that the experience will heal the individual because that’s what Spirit does. Spirit, God, Source, whatever you call it, it is pure love; it’s where we came from and where we can go back to. Pure love only knows how to restore and heal.

As I come to an end, I want to ask you if this vision resonates with your higher Self, your Spirit? My family and I have an abundance of love, creativity and passion to put this vision into action. And we are looking for someone who feels a similar calling to use their resources to move our world towards a better future. Maybe you can’t come live on the homestead with us, but rather have an abundance of financial resources that could help fund this vision. It takes all kinds and all people to bring our world into a new way of being. We are all connected and we all desperately need each other, if we want to see humanity flourish to its highest potential. So if this rings true to you, please connect with us. We are ready now, and we’d be more than happy to go into many more details about our vision and about ourselves. I am actually writing an entire book about it, detailing our physical journey and my spiritual journey that brought us to this vision. Whether it’s buying land, funding just one piece of the vision, or just offering advice, we are open to accepting any resources that you have in abundance and want to funnel towards creating a new, Spirit-filled, world.

In Gratitude,

Jessica, Tracy and Elijah Parks

Posted by jessp2386 12:51 Archived in USA Tagged food change god community faith farming search vision spirit missouri source homestead sustainable organic abundance connected Comments (0)

What is Sustainable?

When you really start thinking about it....

Wow, so a lot has happened since the last blog entry. To bring you all up to date, we traveled from Atlanta, GA to The Farm in TN. We stayed there two nights, knowing we weren’t actually interested in living there; it was more of just a stopping point and sight to see since they’re one of the most famous intentional communities. From TN, we drove into Missouri. After many rainy days and nights spent in state parks and a stay at Tracy’s parents, we made it to the Possibility Alliance (PA) on May 6th. They are an electricity-free and fossil fuel-free community with many high aspirations of saving the world through sustainability, love and nonviolence. After a wonderful stay at the PA, we headed to tri-communities area in the far northeastern corner of MO. The small town of Rutledge (population 109 in the last census) is home to three different intentional communities (Sandhill Farm, Dancing Rabbit, and Red Earth Farms), two of which we were staying at. First we were to visit Sandhill Farm on May 13th, a small income-sharing community that was founded in the 70s and is still going strong. They have a large emphasis on growing and preserving their own food, about 90%, which was deliciously amazing, by the way. Then it was off the Dancing Rabbit (DR) on May 20th, a very different style of community, an dense ecovillage, with goals of reaching 500-1000 residents. That’s where we are now.

So we’ve literally come full circle; we’re back in Missouri. And we can’t say that we’ve come any closer to finding that perfect place that aligns exactly with our values, but that place probably doesn’t exist, even in our heads anymore. Since visiting the last three communities, our ideas of sustainability have really been challenged. We’ve seen everything from the PA’s version of radical (and we mean radical) simplicity to iPods running off solar and wind power at DR. We’ve also seen 40 year old no-till organic gardens and we’ve seen people using tractors to fill 2 by 8 foot garden beds. Everything comes into question when you start pondering “what is sustainable?” What does it really mean to live with the Earth? One example, what is the embodied energy that went into this computer I’m on right now? If you don’t know, Wiki’s definition of Embodied Energy is this: “Embodied Energy is the sum of all the energy required to produce goods or services, considered as if that energy was incorporated or 'embodied' in the product itself.” How many parts and people’s lives went into making it? According to a nifty graph made at the PA, we learned that one computer takes thousands of parts, lives, and fuel to make. If one person decided to just make a computer from scratch (and we mean from scratch, like mining for your own metals, scratch), it would take 100,000 years to make it!! That’s kind of ridiculous, we know, but it puts a lot of things in perspective when you really start to think about what sustainability means to you.
For more information about energy usage, check out this site: http://theenergycollective.com/cdemorsella/48566/embodied-energy-measure-sustainability

Another quandary comes up when different individuals in a community have different goals of sustainability. Like us personally, we first think of food, growing and preserving it, as a way of being sustainable, while someone else thinks of solar panels and energy usage, and someone else thinks of biking instead of driving, and someone else thinks education of the masses is best, and so on. It’s endless! What we’ve learned after talking with folks at DR is that it’s extremely hard for people to agree on when “to use” or “not to use” a weed-eater. Everyone has a different level of comfort for what makes them feel like they’re moving towards sustainability and other areas that they are more “lax” on. For example, for Jessica here, she’s realized that she really likes hot showers. She’s not willing to forgo that right now in the name of being sustainable. For someone else, they’re just fine with jumping in a pond and calling it clean. So basically, it comes down to what can we do now? And how can we go to sleep at night without feeling guilty that we’re not doing all that we can to help our planet out?

The only answer we can come up with now is this: yes, to it all. Any level of sustainability is a movement towards being more sustainable as a species and for our planet. We only have one Earth to live on and at our current rate of consumption, resources are running out fast. I know, I know, it doesn’t seem like it. We’ve all heard people talking about the end of oil for decades now. Is it ever going to actually end?? The answer is yes, by the way. Here’s a new fact we just learned from The Humanure Handbook (an awesome book that everyone should read!). If everyone on the planet consumed as much as Americans did, we would need 3 more Earths to sustain us all. We are only 1/20 of the population, but consume like we’re 1/3 of it! So our suggestion for you and our plan (since it can get downright overwhelming at times) is this. Do what you feel comfortable with now, whatever that is. It’s one small step in the right direction, and then when that becomes the norm, take one more step, and one more…..and eventually we’ll all be living more sustainably. We can’t go live like humans did thousands of years ago right now, but we can all start being more conscious of our actions and how they affect others and the planet that we call home.

With that said, we really like it here in the tri-communities area of Missouri, and most likely we’ll end up applying for membership at one of these communities. We’re still in the decision-making process, but we’ll let you all know soon what we decide! Stay tuned!

The Possibility Alliance

Sandhill Farm

Dancing Rabbit

Posted by jessp2386 09:31 Archived in USA Tagged missouri sustainability community_living intentional_communities Comments (1)

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