There are places I visit in my mind, when I am awake and when I dream. There is one in particular that I go to when I have a solution to seek, a question to answer, a puzzle piece to find. I tend to use the word apothecary to describe this place, but there are also aspects that remind me of a laboratory or a rambling old kitchen in a country home.
I usually find myself standing in front of a wooden bench covered with ingredients. Glass and crystal bottles and vials of minerals, elements and herbs. On the other side of the bench, is a large window looking out into a garden with an old oak tree. Sometimes it’s daytime but recently it’s been night and I work and play under the light of a full, bright moon.
The last few times I’ve visited the apothecary, I’ve sat at the bench staring at a crystal vial containing an elixir. It appears to be more gaseous than liquid and while initially it was green and gold, lately it’s been the colour of the aura of the moon. Paradoxically, even though I’ve made it, I’ve been sitting there wondering ‘What is it made of? What is it for? Who is it for?’
For nearly 20 years, I’ve held a vision of a 3 storied building which caters for the whole person, mind body and spirit. A space that integrates food, community, design, creative & collaborative innovation, embodied practices, a spa, a library, an emporium. Essentially it is a place of and for well-being.
My journey towards this place has been long, non-linear and at times, frankly, lonely. And yet now, collaborating with Melissa Billington on the realisation of a vision that combines the evolution of her yoga studio and the 3 storied building, the path is shared and the non-linear nature is making more and more sense.
But a big vision has a shadow side sketched with impossibility, fear and doubt. Most people Melissa and I have shared our vision with draw back, eyes wide and doubtful and say ‘Wow, that’s a REALLY big vision. How are going to make that happen?…’
While we’re working on the answer to that question, developing the structure and the business model which will allow the vision to be realised organically, it can be hard not to maintain a strong purposeful stride when faced by naysayers. But a wise man once told me recently that faith is the magic element in realising visions.
Carl Sagan, the late astronomer, said that “we are all star stuff‘”. By this he meant that nearly every atom inside our bodies was once inside a star, nearly every atom from which we are made was once inside our star, the Sun. And if I stop for a moment and consider the impossibility of each of us being here on this pale blue dot on a spiraling arm of the Milky Way, then my vision of a 3 storied building instantly feels a great deal more possible.
What is this elixir made of? I think the shimmering elixir the colour of moonlight is made of faith and the stuff of stars. What is it for? It’s for doubt and fearful warnings of impossibility. Who is it for? Well yes, this elixir is for me, but an elixir of faith is for us all. For all the dreams and visions you hold, that pave the way forward to a much more sustainable, harmonious and interconnected future.
And so tonight as you go to sleep and find your way to the magical place in which you seek solutions, look out for your crystal vial. Keep hold of your vision, take note of your dreams and remember that you too are made of stardust.