From The Innkeepers

May 2024


May 2024 Blog
Change is What We were Built To Do

It seems like in the last month we have had several synchronistic talks with some of our longstanding individuals and groups of guests who come here for various types of retreats, and the topic of change has been swirling about in our conversations. We of course have been letting folks know that our retirement from the Inn is about 14 months away. This inevitably brings up their many examples to us about major changes they have faced in their lives and how they coped with them-sometimes more successfully than others. My difficulty with the passage of change that we are living in, stems from what will end up being about a 28 year commitment to not only building out a physical space for people to gather, but also to building a life of meaning and substance. As many of you know it all began with a seed planted in an intuitive moment sparked by the work of Angeles Arrien about the second half of life. Since then it has been a gradual unfolding to where we find ourselves in this moment. Here are a few of the things that we’ve learned about change along our path.

From the day we were born to the moment in which we draw our last breath, our lives are a continuous process of change. Nothing stays the same. The only given in our lives is the continuity that comes to us through the process of change. It is paradoxical for sure. To resist change is futile. To resist change does not guarantee that all the things we care about will stay the same. We are evolutionary beings in an evolutionary world. Our determined efforts to keep the things we want to hold onto just the way they always were, eventually fails. Adaptation insures our survival as human beings both individually and collectively. Ironically it is true that those things we want to set in stone today most likely came from a new idea or new way of doing things whenever it was they were first established. But just because change is our only way forward does not necessarily mean we dishonor the past. Gratitude is the precursor to positive change. All that came before us is what brings us into the present moment, and for having arrived here we should be thankful for everything and everyone that made the now possible.

We look back on the sequence of events that brought us here and allowed us to thrive here, and say a prayer of gratitude for that intuitive moment which turned out to be a visitation of grace itself. Early on in the process it was a matter of having the courage to explore what would happen if we swung open this gate to the portal of the next part of our lives. It was a process of spilling out onto the heart of this land, the purest of our hearts’ intentions. It was a process of learning to live in a world where the only constant is that everything changes. It was challenging to be sure, but all along the way as people showed up and made an imprint on our lives, we cannot help but be grateful for how things unfolded.

Early on as we opened ourselves to engage with the process that this path would take to unfold, we found that certain synergies happened to open the way for us. Real estate agents, builders, zoning lawyers, appeared just as we needed all of these types of professional advice. Karmic decks cleared for us at every turn, such that any excuse we might have had for turning around and aborting this mission no longer became an excuse. We were patient with change and allowed it to open our lives to new possibilities.

Most recently in the last year a new synergetic event that lay open our new path happened. Our nephew Ryan moved here from New York about two years earlier than we had anticipated. His presence has been a marvelous transition force. For those of you who have already met him, you know whereof we speak. His being here has allowed us to more freely begin to plan the next phase of our lives. We know in more ways than one, that the spirit of what we have built is appreciated, and will live on. This gives us a great sense of peace.

To learn to live in a world where the only constant is that everything changes is challenging. Before closing this blog, I’d like to share with you one other teaching from Angeles Arrien that has stood out in helping us navigate change. One of her guiding principles is this: “Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome.” Whether we are planning our day or working on a long-term project, we want things to turn out a certain way. We form an idea about exactly how things should unfold. Being open to outcome not attached to outcome, opens us up to a multitude of possibilities that we may never have otherwise imagined. It also saves us from the disappointment of not having our own way. We can come to understand that even though it may not be exactly the way we planned, that the results are as they should be and everything will work out in the end.

In the movie the “Best Marigold Hotel” a group of British retirees go to India on the promise of staying in a luxurious hotel where they had intended to live out the rest of their days. But not surprisingly, things were not exactly as the brochures had promised. One of the most poignant lines in the film is when Dev Patel who plays the proprietor of the hotel, is explaining to Dame Judy Dench about how their judgements and disappointments should be set aside for the time being.
“In India we have a saying, ‘Everything will be alright in the end’. So if it’s not alright, it is not the end’.”

We hope the last chapter of our lives here is not the end. In our hearts we know that wherever we land, everything will be alright. We are grateful for all that has been and look forward to whatever changes lie ahead. We pray for the grace to continue to be open to outcome, not attached to outcome. We hope that it is the same for you in your lives.

With Gratitude,
Marcia, Pat, Sharon, and Ryan
Keepers of the Rustic Gate