Celebrating My Friendship With Sky (Scott) Masters

I am writing a series of articles celebrating my friends for these reasons:

  1. I want to let them know how much I love them!
  2. I want people who are interested in co-founding the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage to get a sense of the kind of people I like to work with.
  3. I want to introduce my friends to other friends so we can start creating an online cooperative community

The chances that I would meet Sky were about 1 in a million! But we met–and I think God wanted us to do so!

The sense of gratitude I feel towards Sky for being my friend over the past 4 years. We have a foundation of trust and love which gives me hope that no matter what we go through we will always be friends and be supportive of each other.

After I wrote this article, I realized that I talked a lot about how many conflicts Sky and I worked through. You might wonder, “Why did you want to be friends with someone with whom you had so many conflicts?”

The answer is that we share so many values and goals. We wanted to learn how to love each other even though in many ways we were shining lights on each other’s shadows and sometimes bringing out the worst in each other!

Our values and goals that we shared were so essential l, and so rare to find in one person:

  • Living in intentional community and cultivating healthy community relationships. Being community builders.
  • Working out conflicts in ways that lead to win-win solutions and growth
  • Using tools like Nonviolent Communication to increase our connect to people
  • Wanting to help people through coaching
  • Wanting to have a friendship that was therapeutic as well as fun
  • Having a connection to Jesus and the common desire to pray together each time we spoke on the phone (our friendship has mostly been long distance
  • Making and keeping agreements is essential for building trust

Let me start by sharing how we met.

Almost 4 years ago, my 17-year-old daughter had the opportunity to live with her aunt and niece for the summer. I felt guided to come with her to San Diego because she had never lived on her own before.

Maybe I wanted some adventure, too!

Miraculously, I found a place to stay in an intentional community called The Enchanted Garden. I even made enough money during my last days in Fayetteville to pay for the rent. Leslie Goldman, who is the founder of the community, invited me to go to a potluck at a farm.

Out of all the people in the gathering, (and there were lots), I was mainly guided to talk to Sky for some reason. (Maybe he will remind me.)

I was a bit put off by him because he immediately started sharing all kinds of vulnerable things about his life.  This is sad because in the past  I would do the same thing with people and wonder why they might tend to reject me!

However, we discovered we had some common friends, and we decided to connect and explore how we could cooperate.  One of my roommates at the Enchanted Garden was good friends with Sky, and we started working on creating a coaching business together right away.

I loved our calls because Sky had always embraced the idea of having structures that facilitated everyone being able to participate equally. My motto, “Structure is like the banks of a river so that our energies can flow freely” resonated with him. I loved our calls with our other friend, who I will call Jim.

Sky shared my passion for community and thus we had so much in common already. He loved having gatherings at his home in National City, a former museum which was located only 2 blocks from where I lived during a very intense part of my life from age 15-19.

When I returned to Fayetteville after a few months in San Diego, we stayed in touch. I will be forever grateful to him for giving me some coaching when I was struggling with a relationship challenge. We continued pursuing our coaching practice with Jim on 3-way calls and I loved Sky’s steadiness and how I could depend on him to follow through.

We were really disappointed when Jim gradually withdrew from our endeavors without giving any reason. Sky and I share the common experience of getting close to people and then having them reject us or disappear. So we were able to comfort each other and move on.

Sky and I had a commitment to work things out no matter what, and we had some rough spots for sure! I went back to San Diego soon after I returned to Fayetteville because Sky offered me a free place to stay and I wanted to continue to see how we could work together.

Living together was intense because he worked during the day, and at that time of my life (but no more!), I would get lonely and sad if I was alone a lot.  But I think I was also deeply affected by the fact that I was living only 2 blocks from the place where I experienced so much pain.

I walked around National City a few times, attempting to heal the memories that specific places brought up, but in some ways, the pain increased,

I see now that instead of trying to work on projects, Sky and I would have been better off working on our inner child healing and use tools that would help us to stop re-creating situations that kept coming up for both of us.

Although we have since resolved this, I still feel sad that I left his house suddenly after a week and moved in with another friend who made her place available. This was one of the many ways that I hurt my friend. I took him for granted way too many times.

Yet as long as I would take responsibility and look at my part in contributing to conflicts and pain, Sky always forgave me. I feel so grateful for that because he really did have some good reasons to give up on me!

Even though I didn’t live at Sky’s home, we still worked together. I got to facilitate a Community: Connect! event that was super successful. I loved that Sky was willing to promote and host this event even though he wasn’t totally clear on what it would look like.

I still remember how we danced at the end, and I facilitated people doing silly motions that really gave us so much joy. This is the song we danced to. Sometimes we recall this time with great enthusiasm. I love Sky’s abiity to be playful and fun.

Another thing I really appreciated about Sky was that he felt connected to Jesus. He had been part of the organization, Teaching of the Inner Christ for a while, although he was no longer attending there. I was really glad that he was accepting of my relationship with Jesus even though back then it was a bit more fundamentalist.

We did the Immanuel Approach healing work together, and have since done it several times, and this is a great thing to have in common.

Twice, we found people that we were sure would be the perfect people to work with. Sky is such a great networker. He is similar to me in that way. He can talk to anyone and make friends quickly. He is passionately committed to doing personal growth through 12 step programs, mainly CODA, and other methods. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who is so committed to growth as he is!

Living in a big city like San Diego expanded my possibilities to connect with people even when I lived in Fayetteville.

Each time we met someone, we had such high hopes for creating a coaching practice.  Sky continued to be his dependable self, showing up for calls and following through with what he said he would do. He was creative, supportive and insightful.

Yet both times, our 3rd partner withdrew and did not really communicate in ways that left us feeling complete. I know I had my part in this because my commitment to integrity would not allow our partners to hide out. Sky and I really wanted business partners to be close friends as well as pursuing a business. So in some ways, it was better that the people we worked with decided to withdraw.

After all, Sky and I were willing to be vulnerable and we wanted others to do the same. Our commitment to being honest and looking at our shadow even in the midst of trying to create a coaching business was a bit intense for others, I think.

I admire Sky because even though he has had such a challenging childhood and multitude of losses throughout his adult life, he has always kept this child-like spirit of trusting people and God.

He hasn’t become cynical or discouraged. His ability to bounce back after severe disappointments that he experiences  is inspiring to me. And like me, he is making better choices as to where he puts his energy so disappointments come less and less.

Sky worked with Cliff (my former husband and neighbor to the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage site) and I when the ecovillage project was getting off the ground.

I so appreciated his loyal support to this project because he wasn’t sure he would be living at the ecovillage. I really depended on Sky and Cliff during these trying times as we sorted out the vision and values. Sky brings a business sense to the table that I often do not have. He asks good questions.

He is wonderful to work with when it comes to making decisions because he truly believes in making decisions that fit everyone’s needs.

When I think about all that we have gone through during the past four years both together and in our separate lives, I see that we have grown tremendously. Our relationship has continued to deepen, and it was only recently that our friendship has come to a point where we can be more appreciative of each other.

Any time I come to Sky with a concern about some behavior that he exhibited that I did not enjoy, he is totally willing to talk about the isssue take responsibility for his part in the matter. He is so humble in that way. But he also helps me to see what my part is so that I can learn and grow, too.

We also realized that we needed to stay up to the minute in terms of any incompletions we had with each other.  Even though we were good at working out the big conflicts, the little things would build up and create walls between us.

Since both of us have been traumatized by rejection so many times, I think we needed to have these years of going through trials together and sticking it out. We created a strong foundation upon which we now can go forward with supporting each other. Throughout our relationship, we have been so vulnerable to each other and worked out so many conflicts which helped us to see our shadows and release behaviors that did not serve us.

And of course, each time a conflict was resolved, we grew closer because our faith in our ability to work things out got stronger. Sky and I are very different in many ways. What is beautiful is that as our friendship expands to agape love, we find that our strengths can complement each other, and we can really help the other overcome our weaknesses through gentle transparency.

I discovered in my relationship with Kim Broniman that it was really helpful to start our meetings with a prayer, sharing appreciation, and then seeing if there were any incompletions. I suggested this format to Sky and he embraced this idea.

After our first use of this structure, we realized that we had a number of incompletions that stretched back as far as a year ago. In a short period of time, we cleared these up and got into a more harmonious and loving flow than we ever have. Now, we use this format each time we connect on the phone, and we are discovering that this is helping us to have so much joy and positive energy and we get so much more done!

Sky and I have not worked on a project in about 9 months. I think that was because we really needed to focus on our friendship. But now, just when I really need his help, Sky is working on helping me to sell the Retreat Center/Farm Animal Sanctuary site 

I appreciate how he helps keep me focused and on track as well as doing his part and giving constructive feedback. This has always been a strength in our friendship.

I decided to sell this house land in order to raise funds to complete the building projects on the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage site. In addition, trying to do both projects is way too much to do at this point.

We also are ready to pursue our dream of coaching, and we are discovering our niche. We also think we have a third person to work with–that is going to be revealed soon!

I value Sky in my life, and I truly don’t know what I would have without his steady connection during the past 4 years when I have gone through so many changes that needed to happen in order for me to get to a place where I could be creating the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage. Without his support and friendship, I wonder if I would have been able to weather the many storms I have gone through.

I realize that one of the highest values I have is integrity, and that includes the quality of being willing to work out differences in ways that don’t blame and shame. Sky has demonstrated his integrity and commitment to working things out over and over again.

We usually think of marriage as a lifetime commitment where partners stay with each other through thick and thin.  I need this kind of commitment in friends, and I have found it in Sky.

We have always been platonic friends and I think that has simplified our male/female connection in many ways. I may be, for the rest of my life, leading a celibate life. It is possible this is the life I am best suited for in my later years, although I am not sure what might unfold. Having a male friend like Sky with whom I can be so close is invaluable for I want both female and male friends.

Recently, Sky has been inspired to connect with Jesus on a deeper level. And I have been inspired to connect in a different way. No longer calling him Lord and Savior, I cherish Jesus as my friend and guide.  I celebrate that Sky and I can connect with Jesus in ways that are nurturing for us, but not limiting or judgemental.  We have always honored each others’ spirituality, but now are closer than ever in how we see Jesus and relate to him.

I feel so grateful to call Sky my friend. He is the kind of person I would love to live in community with. Maybe some day he will move here. We will see!

He would like to help the person who buys this place get a retreat center and farm animal sanctuary up and running. He considers living here half of the year (in the warm months.)

Whatever unfolds, I am just glad to have him in my life as friend and business partner. I celebrate Sky and all he brings to my life, and in service to all of life.




Day 6: Getting Out Of My Way Challenge: Day 6

Wow! We are almost done with the Challenge which holistic coaches Sara Oakley and Christopher August have facilitated on the Soul In Wonder Vegan Warrior Facebook Group.

This is a really hard exercise to do because all this week I perceive that for the most part, I have been doing things that really support me in my goals. I have been working on changing my habits.

I am merely going to put a solution for most of the things I want to change, because I think it will be fairly easy to change these things.

Here are the questions for today.

Make a list of common behaviors you act out through the week and ask yourself the following questions about each behavior:

  1. When I am eating cooked food (and I haven’t during this challenge) I overeat and then get sleepy and even a little down. (Keep going on this raw food diet–I feel SO good.)
  2. Lay down and meditate in the morning and thus I sometimes fall asleep. (when my alarm goes off, I will have water ready to drink right by my bed, and then get my pillows adjusted so I can meditate sitting up on my bed.)
  3. Work so much that I don’t get outside in the sunshine (I’m going to work on the deck more)
  4. I don’t do yoga as much as I would like.
  5. I don’t exercise as much as I would like (I am coming out of a place of being injured, so the above two things are related to that)

I’m going to just work on the last two. I think the other ones are going to be pretty easy to deal with.

I am not being super thorough with this one–I’m sorry! I need to get on with my day!

However, I will be looking at any behavior that holds me back–and examine it with this worksheet, in the future.


Here are the worksheet questions.

Does this help me with my goal, or does it hold me back?

Not exercising or doing yoga as much as I would like. Holds me back, because it is important to take care of my body as well as have some recreation.

If it does not help me reach my goal, what is it helping me with?

Well, I love being on the computer working on my goals so much–not taking the time to do those things is giving me more time to move forward.

What is the fear that might be causing each behavior?

If I take the time to do this, I will not get my goals accomplished.

What limiting beliefs do these fears come from?

I will never have enough time to achieve my goal.

I am already doing so many personal transformation things (meditating, holistic restarts throughout the day, reflecting at the end of the day) how will I ever get anything done?

What approaches would help me reach my goal?

I really think that I am going to keep focusing on the idea “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

This relates to the idea that when we work on changing our inner selves, our outer life will change. Even though my actions don’t seem to be directly producing the results I want, I am changing my vibration so that I can be more in tune with guidance as well as become like  a magnet to draw to me what I need to achieve my goals.

The idea that as I transform my inner life, I will attract the perfect compatible co-founder of Vegan Utopia Ecovillage and a compatible buyer for the Retreat Center and potential animal sanctuary with minimal work.

And, the work I do will flow, be fun, and I will be able to co-create with God and Jesus the work I need to do–in a very short amount of time.

How can I modify my current behaviors to match the more productive approaches? Choose one modified behavior to start implementing today!

I need to set a time for my yoga practice and exercise time just like I do for my holistic restarts.

I can exercise on the trampoline while listening to educational podcasts or fun music.

I can find a yoga practice that really appeals to me so I look forward to it.

Oops, that is more than one. Is that okay?

Getting Out of My Own Way Challenge: Day 5

 It is day 5 of the Challenge that I am participating in with Soul of Wonder holistic coaches Sara Oakley and Christopher August.

We learned about how we can get addicted to toxic emotions because they give us a kind of drug-like experience that our bodies get accustomed to. So we need to break the cycles of suffering.

Of course, we need to feel our feelings because they are signals that we either are not getting what we want or we are getting what we want. And the seemingly negative emotions alert us to what we need to do in order to return to a state of joy and peace.

Here is a list of some toxic emotions:

Hurt: (victimization, sadness), shame (humiliation) hopelessness, fear, anger, (resentment bitterness hate) vengefulness, jealousy (envy) pride (self-righteousness) greed (insatiable hunger) guilt

Which if the emotion/s mentioned in the video do you feel robs you of your self-confidence or self-esteem?

Resentment and victimization

Which emotion/s do you feel always keeps you in the pursuit of happiness, never truly finding sustainable fulfillment?

Resentment and victimization

When did you begin this emotional pattern, and what do you think you can learn from it?

The first time I can remember feeling resentful was when the president of the student body demanded that I put the coke cups on the table a certain way, and since I was on the refreshment committee, I thought that this was a decision I could make.

I spent a lot of time feeling hurt as the victim, and angry because I got kicked off the refreshment committee. However, I did make a decision not to be victimized again and thus ran for class officer. I won the election 4 years in a row!

In what way do these emotional patterns keep you from reaching your dream/goal?

I get tied up in my resentment, which draws my energy away from what I am focusing on. I try too hard to resolve conflicts where people do not want to resolve, and then I get hurt. This takes time–once again, keeping me from focusing.

This can also creep into my relationships with people who I don’t resent, but who I think should stand up for me because I have been treated unfairly.  When they don’t stand up for me, I resent them as well.

After you feel you’ve explored these patterns and learned from them, what is one thing you can do today to begin breaking one of your emotional addictions?

I want to really focus on forgiveness and have zero tolerance for thinking resentful thoughts about people. I am going to bring this practice into my morning meditation and my “holistic jumpstarts” throughout the day.


Day 4 Of The Getting Out of Your Own Way Challenge

Wow! I am blown away by the depth and power of the 7-day challenge I am participating in. I feel so grateful to Christopher August and Sara Oakley who host the Soul in Wonder: Vegan Warriors Facebook group. Please join this group and you can do this challenge on your own!
I am so appreciative of this loving couple’s amazing facilitation of this process including providing the downloadable worksheets that I am working on.
This worksheet was set up in quadrants, but I adapted it for this blog post.
I will be answering these questions about various aspects of my life. This was SO helpful
Does this area of my life already support me in reaching my goal? 

How can I better use that support?

Suggestion: Make action steps to strengthen my support system.


PRIMARY FOCUS: My goal is to find the ideal, compatible person who passionately wants to co-create the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage with me. 


I actually feel pretty relaxed most of the time because of my retreat-like environment. But I need more fun and recreation

How can I better use that support

  • When I go to Fayetteville, I can contact a vegan friend and see if he or she wants to go for a walk.
  • I can put on dance music and dance.
  • I can have a fun community gathering for vegans at my home and do dancing, cooperative games, and other fun stuff.
  • Diet/Health

    My diet and health is going better than ever because I am doing all raw while I am on this challenge.

    How can I better use that support

    Get an exercise program so I can build strength. Get some recommendations for ones that are fun, easy and don’t take a lot of time.

    Practice things that help with decreasing need for food by studying breatharianism. http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/03/28/breatharianism-science-examines-people-who-claim-not-to-eat-heres-what-they-found/


    Fast at least once a week.

    Learn more about herbs.

    Make teas out of the wonderful herbs I grow

    Focus on getting the gardens started–

    Plan garden, buy some more seeds, get on a schedule

    Make a stronger intention to eat as much as I can out of garden and wild edibles

    Take cold showers which are supposed to be so immune system strengthening. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/surprising-benefits-cold-showers.html

    Walk barefoot even more than I have–don’t be afraid of the cold ground!

    Do dry brushing http://www.theflamingvegan.com/view-post/Brushing-Your-Body

    Find things to do when I am talking on the phone that is healthy for my body

    All these things will continue to help me have more energy and be more positive, and be able to create an amazing environment for the future person who will be the co-founder

    Physical Environment

    I have an ideal physical environment for which I am grateful.

    How can I better use that support

    Declutter the house especially my bedroom.

    Get things a bit more organized. Make a list.

    Clean the fans.

    Get Robert to clean out his room so it will be available when my partner comes


    I have community on the various groups that I facilitate on Facebook

    I have a growing number of vegan/animal rights friends in Fayetteville area

    I feel connected to the Direct Action Everywhere folks in Berkeley

    How can I better use that support

    • Think about how I can connect with DxE when I go to the Animal Liberation Conference–ie., come early and help with the conference. Stay late, participate in activities.
    • Plan a community connect way ahead of time in Berkeley
    • Have that gathering for vegans here at my home.
    • Ask Dxe and NWA vegan network  to look for a person who can be my co-founder of the ecovillage


    I have great communication with a growing number of friends. They are supportive of my goals.

    How can I better use that support

    • Somehow bring these people together on a conference call so that we can all share a sense of community and brainstorm about each of our goals. Do a team works kind of thing.
    • Create a secret facebook group or texting group just for really close friends.
    • make a list of all the people I know who I can contact about my goal and then contact them.


    Right now I am able to work full time on what I love to do. My main job is selling the Event Center here to a buyer who wants to build a farm animal sanctuary. Having the flexibility to do a variety of things and having high-speed internet and cell phone service a great computer and phone–all help me to stay connected to my support systems.

    How can I better use that support

    • Make google docs for people who are helping me, or use some other project management system so we can be on the same page and moving forward on selling the Event Center.
    • Get more clear in all my agreements.
    • My computer has some problems–get some help
    • learn how to do things like graphics and such so I don’t have to pay others


    I am doing pretty well for the moment. Since I don’t have to work at a regular job, I have time to look for a co-founder

    How can I better use that support

    • Make a budget
    • Be more frugal
    • Learn how to eat even less
    • Make a plan of things I could sell if I had to do so.


    I am doing a longer meditation by myself first thing in the morning and then do a daily reflection and spiritual practices with my friend Kim every night.

    I do holistic breaks at least 5 times a day, usually on Facebook live. These are helping me stay centered and focused.

    When I talk on the phone with my son and my friends, we pray together encourage each other on our spiritual journey.

    By “seeking first the kingdom of God” I am noticing that I am so much more in tune and have more energy to move forward instead of eat.

    How can I better use that support

    • Be even more intentional and creative with the Holistic Breaks. Incorporate my goal into them every time.
    • Be even more focused on coaching each other and being accountable with Kim on our nightly call. Always put on my prayer list with her–find the co-founder.
    • Always put out my need for a co-founder when praying with people, like my son.
    • Start praying with my daughter, and also Cliff.