I’m Collaborating With Feed Communities in Fayetteville!

I feel so exhilarated and uplifted after having a 90 minute meeting with Alex French and Nina Evans, who are the coordinators of the amazing organization, Feed Communities. 

We started our cooperative effort when I reached out to them to see if they would be willing to host a Community: Connect! event in their spacious, centrally located, with good parking–space. They said “yes!”

I realized after looking at their website and speaking with them that they are in alignment with my goals and vision for creating an alliance of businesses, non-profits, churches, schools and other organizations to achieve well-being for our region.

I am very excited to be partnering with them for the upcoming Community: Connect! which is a networking event which helps people cooperate to create a NW Arkansas where everyone thrives. We don’t have the event page up yet, but you can check out this link to learn about the general format.

During our meeting I was overjoyed to learn that time-tested resources that I have been using might be able to support Feeds Communities. I want to list them here in case other organizations might want to access them.

All of these resources empower volunteers, paid workers, and potential volunteers to get involved more easily without the load of work being on the paid or volunteer staff. I believe that each of these resources will help us to create a world where everyone can thrive.

Open Space Technology: An effective way of organizing gatherings for networking and joyfully creating strategic plans

Sociocracy:  A governing structure where everyone’s voice can be heard. An increasing number of intentional communities, co-ops, businesses, and non-profits are adopting

Nationbuilder Websites: A website platform which not only is easy for anyone to edit and add to, but also has extensive possibilities for creating a database so volunteers and interested people can connect and support each other.

Community: Connect!: This blog describes every aspect of the Community: Connect! event so that anyone can produce this event.

Nonviolent Communication: When people, especially those in leadership, can practice the skills of communicating with empathy and connection, the whole organization will be more likely to flourish.

Co-Working Space: Ideally, a community organization which is promoting collaboration can provide a space for people who do not have offices and who share the organizations values– to work.  Impact Hub is a great example of such a place.  I visited their center in San Francisco and I found the environment to be inspiring and motivating.

What are key resources you have that you think are important to help organizations be the best they can be?

 

Community: Connect! Description

I am constantly revising the description and schedule of Community: Connect! so that it can be ever more effective. I deeply appreciate that I could host five events at Omni Center for Peace,  Justice and Ecology recently. I learned so much, also, from the 5 events I facilitated in the Bay Area over the past 2 years as well as the ones I facilitated in Walker Park over a decade ago.

Community: Connect! is a unique, vibrant networking event which helps people cooperate to create a NW Arkansas where everyone thrives.

And…

A vegan potluck which fulfills our need for healthy food.

Join us for interactive activities and breakout sessions which help build trust and a sense of healthy community.

Bring a plant-based dish to share. Ingredients for a salad bar, or simply fruit–are very welcome! (No dairy, eggs, meat, or animal products. Keep in mind our gluten-free and diabetic friends)

Everyone who wants to can host a break-out session and whoever is interested can join you.

Bring: flyers, business cards, notices, and books for people to look at. We’ll have a table.

Schedule:

6-6:15 PM: Arrive and start eating. Set out networking material and food, post notices (including needs and offerings) and make a creative name tag.

6:15-6:45 Introductions and creating a schedule for break out sessions

6:45–7:05 Facilitate or join a break out session (Allow 15 or 30 minutes for each break out session)

7:10-7:30 Reflection and sharing needs/announcements

8:45-9 Closing circle–Reflection and celebration

9-9:30 Hang out and enjoy deepening the connections

Sometimes just knowing what other people are interested in and getting to know them better can make all the difference in how you work together.

In small groups, introverts and people who are not comfortable in large groups can have a better environment where they can shine.

We use the principles of Open Space Technology to make an event where everyone’s voices can be heard and people’s needs can be met.

Thanks to Feed Communities for hosting, promoting, and providing the space for this event.

Feed Communities was founded in 2011 with the sole mission of ensuring everyone has access to high quality, nutrient-dense food. Today, they work with individuals, organizations, schools, universities, businesses, government agencies and foundations to create sustainable partnerships to increase access to healthy produce and improve healthy food choices for Northwest Arkansas communities.

Organizing, Cleaning, Gardening, and Problem Solving Coaching–Only $10/hr through January 8th, 2019

I am offering my skills at this low rate only in the Fayetteville area because I want to be more accessible to people who can’t afford my usual $20 rate, as well as to give my regular clients a break so that they can use my services even more. If people live further away we can negotiate a mileage fee.

Our Vegan Utopia Ecovillage will have a team of people working to offer these skills once we have people living there. So I am getting the ball rolling!

Organizing, cleaning, and gardening are my specialties.

Often I work with elderly or disabled people who aren’t able to do the physical work that these tasks entail. I work closely with people in order to be their hands and feet, so to speak, in a way that satisfies their need for beauty, order, and comfort.

Some people are physically able to help, but don’t have the time. Or, they need someone to work with in order to motivate them and give emotional support to do the tasks they have been avoiding.

Finally, some people don’t have a clue as to how to declutter and downsize. Often, when I work them, they learn the skills and can go on to finish the job by themselves.

I feel so satisfied when I can support people in the following work:

Organizing

  • Downsizing
  • Helping prepare for a move
  • Decluttering

Cleaning

  • Natural ingredients: vinegar and baking soda clean almost everything!
  • I am thorough and conscientious
  • I have cleaned up the biggest messes you can imagine!

Gardening

  • Leaf raking
  • Hugelkultur beds: I use permaculture principles to make drought-resistant, fertile places for herbs, flowers and vegetables to thrive.
  • Edible Landscaping: I love to transform lawns into fertile gardens and plant herbs, flowers and veggies wherever there is space.
  • Cleaning up beds and planting: I have a green thumb, and I enjoy following my clients’ instructions in doing just what they want.

You can contact me by calling or texting me: 479-313-0414 or

Email: livablefutureproject@gmail.com or message me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/patricia.mikkelson.hughes

For more information, you can visit my website at http://www.simplifiedlivingcoach.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simplifiedlivingnow/

$5000 Raised In Few Days To Feed Cows On A Farm Transitioning to Vegan Agriculture!

The happiness that Jennifer Barrett is expressing in the writing below is resonating within me as well. When I saw their story about how they needed $5000 to buy hay for their cows because they refused to send the cows to be slaughtered a few days ago, I immediately reached out to Jennifer and she was so grateful for my encouragement and ideas.

Jennifer and her husband, Rodney, have been raising chickens and cows for a living. Two years ago they went vegan and now they are transitioning, with the help of the Rancher Advocate Program sponsored by Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, into a veganic agriculture farm operation! 

I especially appreciate that since they live four hours from the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage site, in Southwest Arkansas, we can be more able to support each other. If you want to learn more about their endeavor, this article tells the whole dramatic story. 

Here are the words Jennifer shared in her Facebook post today: 

You may have seen our story break yesterday about the new endeavor we are pursuing on our beloved farm. We needed funding to keep our cattle fed while we transition and, when we woke up this morning, we were over 100% funded. ❤️🙏🏼😭

There are no words to express the deep gratitude for the kindness of people who see the vision and want to support us along the way. We have had to face so many scary challenges but have been loved and supported with every shaky step we’ve taken. The most amazing people just keep flooding into our lives.

Rodney and I believe with all of our hearts that this is the right thing to do. I’ve never been more sure of anything, ever. I’ve also never been more terrified. It has been a literal leap of faith.

Our strength is in love and we have lots of that..more than we know what to do with. Despite any obstacles, even being shut off from family, we are not swayed in our goal, our mission, to help create a peaceful, healthy, joyful world. I never used to think about what kind of world I would leave behind until my grandkids showed up.

Now, it’s pretty freaking important. When I surrendered my own will and stepped into truth, no matter how difficult that was to do, nothing but good has come to me. I can’t stop it from coming. It is a constant barrage of miracle after miracle. Yesterday was a huge one. Our cows will now be fed because of the kindness and love of humanity. Someone donated $1 … I wept over this.

There is so much good in the world. People keep calling us pioneers and heroes. I don’t know about all of that because I’ve done nothing but stand in my truth. If that is what it takes to blaze new frontiers, we should really all be doing that. I’ve been a vegan all along, I just didn’t know it.


Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it. Every cell in my body is dripping with gratitude. I can’t wait to share pictures of hay showing up.

Merry Christmas to these beautiful beings. Merry Christmas to all who donated or sent words of love and support. You’ll never know what it has meant to the very heartbeat of this farm.

God bless us, every one

Patricia says: Thank you, Jennifer, for your courage, commitment, and trust. You are an inspiration to all of us! 

Cattle Ranchers in Southwest Arkansas Are Transitioning to Veganic Agriculture

I feel thrilled to know that only 4 hours away from the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage site that there is a couple who are in the process of making history–in SW Arkansas, of all places! Jennifer and Rodney Barrett, who have raised cattle and chickens for the past 18 years, went vegan in 2016. Now they are taking the beautiful and astonishing risk of giving up their livelihood in order to live in alignment with their values.

The decision to grow mushrooms and hemp instead of animals was not easy. Jennifer says, “I thought for a while that I could live with the hypocrisy of it. I thought I could be a vegan that just so happened to raise chickens for a living. But it got dark for me. Last December, I was at the bottom. It was so horrible to know that all of this suffering and death and decay, this holocaust situation, was so unnecessary.”

“The Barretts are a third generation farmer in Wickes, Arkansas. At one time they farmed 100,000 chickens every 52 days, and had a cow/calf operation. Today, they are vegan—have ceased chicken production, and are determined to care for the cows and their babies that they previously sent to the sale barn. They will be out of hay on or near December 15th.” An excerpt from an article in the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary website.

Feeling very excited that this amazing, history-in-the-making, first of its kind operation is happening in my own state of Arkansas, I reached out to Jennifer to see if I could help in some way. We had a wonderful correspondence.

I deeply appreciate and believe in her vision. “I really believe that this farm is and will continue to be a place of healing and restoration not just for the animals but for people. I would love for every human to feel the way it feels to live in a body that isn’t crippled with western disease. So many people suffering needlessly and at the cost of suffering animals. I know now that we are all connected and that when one of us suffers, we all do. To be a light to shine on the truth is my main goal in life,” wrote Jennifer.

I am so happy that Renee King-Sonnen, wife of a former rancher who started the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, is in a position to help people like the Barretts.

“Renee seemed to be the perfect person to reach out to since she has been a cattle rancher’s wife. And, she gets it. I’m absolutely certain that, with her help, we will be able to find the right solutions for not only the cattle but for the future of our farm and community. ” says Jennifer. 

I highly recommend that you read the whole story in this very inspiring article where you can also donate so that the Barretts can feed their cows.  The video below is also informative and helpful.

I envision that this wonderful couple with the help of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary’s Rancher Advocacy Program and the many people who are already supporting this project, will be showing farmers all over the world that they can make the switch from animal agriculture to veganic agriculture. This training program in the making is a huge milestone in our quest to help create a vegan world ASAP! A huge thank you to all who are helping to make this happen!

 

 

     

Appreciating Kim Broniman

One of the essential things about any healthy community I belong to is that people are extravagant in their appreciation for each other.  And even though I don’t have a physical community, I do have a growing number of friends who help me satisfy the needs I will eventually fulfill when I live in a physical community. But I will always be friends with these people and will see them as my support group without which I could have never had the strength to keep going.

I want to write about some of those people, starting with Kim Broniman. This will help you get to know me better as well as the kind of people I would like to live with. This is also going to serve as a recommendation for her because she is working on being a professional life coach. I am so excited for her and anyone who is blessed to receive her coaching!

Kim and I met on line after Doreen Virtue’s Facebook group, Support for New Agers transitioning to Christianity broke up. We went through some difficult conflicts which tested both of us and helped each of us see issues we needed to work on. I am grateful that Kim could be honest with me, receive my honesty, and then stick with the process of conflict resolution so we can be the close, trusting, loving, supportive friends that we are today.

We eventually co-created the group Free Thinking Friends of Jesus. Although at the time, Kim did not realize she was going to be taking courses to be a life coach, I found her to have natural coaching abilities. Excellent listening skills, an accepting attitude, and an intuitive ability to ask good questions were some of the abilities she demonstrated.

Perhaps the most important attribute that she has, when mixed with natural coaching skills, is the genuine love and compassion she demonstrated for me and others in our widening circle of friends.

After about three months of exchanging informal coaching sessions with each other, I emerged with the confidence, direction, focus, and hope that I desperately needed in order to go to my next level. We used spiritual techniques as well as more traditional coaching techniques such as mutual accountability to develop good habits as a foundation of wellness.

Kim has an inspiring story of recovery from addiction that provides here with experiences that will help people who are dealing with addiction. Her dramatic story of hitting rock bottom and not giving up sounds like a story one would read in Guideposts that serves to help us have confidence that with God, all is possible.

I believe that anyone who is ready to grow and blossom into his or her fullest potential will benefit greatly from Kim’s loving and skilled coaching.