Posts Tagged ‘Goshen’

Goshen is the Second Happiest City in Indiana

Wow, I know some people really love it here and that we’ve got some great people here dreaming and doing all sorts of creative, regenerative, compassionate, and tasty things. I know I keep saying, “Give it five years, and this place will be so great we won’t ever want to move away,” but when David sent me this link, I really wasn’t expecting to find Goshen on the list of happiest cities in Indiana, let alone number 2. Go, Goshen!

Pity or Respect?

More Fukushima article fall-out, but thank you, “Nine,” for opening this line of discussion:

Nine says:
January 9, 2014 at 3:48 am

Dearest Jean and dearest Laura….

Is not fear maybe the best “gieger counter”……as it were….

I would think that one would explore what dear Goldwing had to say…..

All I can say is that where I live….and so shh…it is a secret and all I can say is that where I live and all of that land around me is a spiritual place and I will not leave it… matter….

The thought of not going outside to commune with such power and beauty is well….not an option for me….

This is the feminine side of things….

The masculine side is saying…..we need to take up arms….to fight… protect……..

And so it is a war of the unseen….

Dearest Laura….

Might I quote you?

“I do, however, also occasionally interact with people who don’t even know what Fukushima is, who have no idea why we’d want to avoid GMO’s or even what they are, who think “energy work” involves an electrician, and who live paycheck to paycheck from jobs that don’t require them to think beyond the immediately pressing details of their lives.”

Can I move to where you live? Please tell me where that place is?

Umm…..that is the American condition… it were….what you described in that comment…..

And so I totally understand what you are saying….and it is quite true you know…..

I am not calling you on this I am just saying that since this is how things are with many folks could you have pity? I mean upon us for our ignorance…..

I simply have decided to look within for guidance since when I look out I get so confused…..

Oh….and yes great healing comes from within….I have experienced some of this stuff…..

I have few answers….


laurabruno says:

January 9, 2014 at 9:53 pm

I do not pity people, but I do believe in empowering them to help themselves. I live in Goshen, IN where we are actively working to connect schools, soup kitchens, funding for entrepreneurial enterprises for the unemployed and underemployed, churches, homeless shelters, community gardens, community organizations, food banks and Seed to Feed gardens for food banks, co-housing opportunities, and local government together so that we can all share and brainstorm resources to help lift Elkhart County out of the severe (most severe crash in 2008 of anywhere in the US–was on Obama’s campaign trail for that reason alone) poverty that occurred nearly six years ago.

I only moved here in November 2012 to care for my boyfriend’s aging parents, but I am proud to be a part of this community. People care about each other enough to spend their free time learning Spanish so we can communicate better with people who have expressed a need for us to learn their language. People care about each other enough to donate massive amounts of homegrown produce to food banks and the local soup kitchen. Unlike most soup kitchens, this one serves anyone who wants to eat there. Some people pay and some people don’t. It is not considered a stigma to eat there, unlike most soup kitchens.

We are surrounded by Amish people, and most of the people in our town, even if considered way below the poverty line, find time to volunteer and to make music together. A benefit concert this holiday sent over $1,100 directly to Phillipines relief, as well as money to help a local family whose house burned down that same weekend. These were donations from people who don’t have much if any money to spare.

Some know about Fukushima. Others just know about their neighbors and their family. They don’t know what a GMO is. I don’t pity them, because they are some of the purist, most loving people I have ever encountered in 40+ locations all over the US –from Lake Tahoe and Monterey, to New Mexico, Sedona, Chicago, Madison… Oftentimes people here apologize for how their town isn’t fancy or as progressive as California. I tell them what they have here–what we have here– is priceless. So no, I don’t pity people. I do look forward to gardening with them and continuing to help some of the local high school kids whose parents are in jail or other circumstances–to continue helping these amazing kids interact with caring adults in our community. They are great kids who deserve respect, not pity, and they appreciate people who see them as fellow humans despite their differences.

Blessings to you in your sacred land. All land is sacred, as is the delicate realm between human hearts.

Upgrades Everywhere!

David and I have spent the past two months packing and moving, packing and moving, and now unpacking in our gradually finalized relocation from Madison, Wisconsin to Goshen, Indiana. Our new house looks superficially similar to our old house, with only about 20 square feet difference in actual living space. It continues to strike me, though, that our moving process exactly mirrors the late 2012 evolutionary energies.

I feel alternating relief, joy, gratitude and overwhelm, depending on the day and tasks at hand. We carry the vision of not only our new home, but also a transformation of the land into productive gardens and a permaculture haven. Sometimes the difference between the vision and the “reality” makes me feel a little crazy, and we are both physically exhausted from furniture building, and hauling boxes, recycling and trash. But that vision continues to shine, and every day, we see a little more of it made manifest.

Since this moving experience has so paralleled the overall energies of the times, I thought I’d share some details, which work as metaphors regarding the transition:

1 ) Get rid of that which no longer serves! Even though our new living space is similarly sized to our old space, we lack the ginormous basement and various storage spots of our Madison home. We gain functional closets and a dedicated office, but we’ve lost the ability to “stack and forget about it.” When we finish clearing out the excess, we will find ourselves surrounded by only that which we dearly love and/or need.

2) Efficiency rules. As we’ve moved into this totally renovated 1910 house, we realize just how many little inconveniences we used to live with in our other partially renovated 1910 house. We retain the charm, but instead of little annoyances we worked around, we find that everything works smoothly and the layout makes sense.

Instead of having my clothes spread out in two different closets in two different rooms, separated by a small flight of steps, I’ll now have everything in one closet and one dresser. Instead of having to run to the basement to use a single dehydrator, we’ll now have access to both dehydrators stacked conveniently in the pantry/laundry room, thereby making it that much easier to preserve food and make raw yummies. Instead of a very basic toilet-only setup in the basement, we’ve gained a fully functional and beautiful downstairs powder room, plus a completely private upstairs bathroom. No more scouring the main bathroom every time we have guests! We can also fill the bathtub without running out of hot water, and it only takes 5 minutes instead of half an hour. We have a kitchen island to double our workable food prep space.

We have so many little time savers. None of these upgrades in and of themselves would make such a huge difference, but we constantly marvel at their cumulative impact.

3) Better communication. With brand new cable installed, we’ve got superfast internet and crystal clear phone service. Our Madison setup would partially kick me offline after five minutes of inactivity. Rather than simply reconnecting me, the system required I run through a several step process of disconnecting from our “local access only” network, select that very same network again, and then wait for it to reconnect. In our new place, we have the modem in the same room as the computers, but everywhere in the house gets excellent wifi signals. No more kicking me offline, either. My laptop speeds along regardless of idle time or location. It’s another relatively small thing, but multiplied by 10-50 times per day, it sure makes a world of difference!

4) More for less. As the world economy continues to reveal its manipulated, sorry state, we continue to find ways to minimize our interaction with the Un-Mighty Dollar. For all our upgrades, we’ve significantly dropped our rent and gained much more usable garden space. We’ve also joined a community that emphasizes local, organic foods, farmers markets, reusing, repurposing and upgrading what’s already there. The strong Amish and Mennonite influence in surrounding areas and in town has resulted in lots of downtown local character, high quality local food, and handcrafted furniture. Goshen recycles all the numbers, including that persnickety #5. Everywhere we turn, we see more emphasis on “making the most of whatcha got.”

5) Stronger community. Although Goshen, like all of America right now, draws sharp lines between Tea Partiers and Died in the Wool Democrats, we can see some movement towards working together for the greater good of all. Elkhart County supposedly got hit the hardest by the 2008 recession, and this area has made a huge comeback, largely through local and sustainable efforts. We see similar trends happening in other areas like Oakland, California and the Bronx, New York, where impoverished communities have taken solutions into their own hands rather than waiting for government handouts, red tape, and draconian regulations.

Instead of just having a soup kitchen that separates the haves from the have-nots, Goshen offers a restaurant called, “The Window,” where anyone can come to eat, whether they pay or not. Large tables encourage people who come in for a free meal to sit right next to those who’ve paid. On First Fridays, you can see tons of people from all walks of life, enjoying the food and community. No one knows who paid or didn’t.

6) A Renaissance of music, architecture and the arts On Saturday evening, David and I took a break from unpacking to attend a concert featuring Nashville artists Bonnie Bishop and Anne McCue. Both offered phenomenal performances in the intimate setting of Ignition, a music store and sometimes concert hall. The packed house enjoyed personal stories from the artists, as well as ongoing comments about how they’ve “never met so many nice people all in one town.” Anne McCue sang in the first Lilith tour and traveled and jammed with Heart. Originally from Australia, she peppered her performance with the quirkiest tales and anecdotes from Down Under. “I’m an Aquarian,” she said, to which I said, “Ah…that explains a lot.” 😉

On a Summer visit to Goshen, we spoke with the owner of Ignition, who told us, “The Cultural Creatives have finally reached critical mass.” Goshen actively courts artists and entrepreneurs.

7) Excited people pursuing their passions, regardless of objections or habitual limitations. Regardless of the “economy,” national trends, or fears, people here seem to embrace the Joseph Campbell promise: “Follow your bliss, and the Universe will open doors where there were only walls.” Sure, some areas of town still look rundown, but everywhere you turn, you begin to see someone’s vision peeking through. Another store gets a gut rehab and new paint; a boutique offers funky, original clothes; the Farmer’s Market Film Series and ongoing Goshen Green Drinks at Constant Springs draw community to discuss larger ecological challenges and ways to foster sustainability and surthrival. All this expands even as the old structures and illusions of government, BigAg, BigBanks, and BigPharma continue to crumble. “As the new arises, the old shall fall away.” ~a David-ism. 🙂

I’ve shared a lot here about Goshen and our own living space; however, I see glimmers of this happening everywhere. Anyone with eyes to see can seek and find such trends, even if you simply hold the vision of possibilities.

As humanity shifts from all the synthetic limitations imposed by corrupted medical, financial and governmental systems, we will begin to make manifest a return to easier living. Life will suddenly flow where before we met resistance. Bodies will heal as chemtrails, GMO’s and toxic drugs become a thing of the past. Clean air and water, organic food, and natural remedies and healing will become the norm. People will get to know their neighbors and learn to value each person’s gifts. We will once again care for our planet and fellow creatures.

These changes need not happen overnight. Just as our move has dragged over multiple months and states, the human and planetary evolution will happen as it happens. You can’t force it, but the trend continues. I encourage everyone to look in your own life and ask some questions:

1) What can I release that no longer serves? This can include physical “stuff” as well as relationships, habits and emotional baggage. Anything and everything that no longer serves or fills you with love.

2) In which areas can I streamline my efforts, release resistance and go with the flow?

3) How can I improve communication? Internet, phone, telepathy, journaling, prayer, expressing feelings?

4) How can I maintain what I love for less money and/or less effort? Consider strategic relocation, energy efficient steps like sealing windows, bartering, clipping coupons, or doing what I call “intentional shopping.” (Visualize what you want or need prior to shopping, with the intention of receiving discounts or freebies. Then follow intuitive nudges of where and when to shop. Watch the savings accumulate. I almost never pay full price for new purchases. David calls it “Laura Bruno-ing” when we receive back-to-back 40-60%-off’s on a day’s outing. You’ll find yourself more engaged with the Universe and filled with gratitude as things you need just appear “out of nowhere.” We live in an infinitely abundant Universe. Receive!)

5) How can I increase my feelings of community?

6) How can I honor my own and others’ creativity? Even small steps count. 🙂

7) What passions continue to call me, even after years/decades/lifetimes of ignoring them?

The Universe has begun to open long-closed doors. Imagine and receive the possibilities!