Toward Community founder, Dave, discusses traveling, tribe and learning to move with the current of life
“With these options in mind, I decided to return to the UK, get a dead-end job for six months, save and go. Remaining “out of context” seemed by far the best option, until I got to Bristol…”
This year has been pretty adventurous, as my years go… I’ve moved abroad, lived on a farm and traveled. I’ve been a labourer, website developer and festival organiser. I also ate and drank far more than my guts should be able to handle… I reached the other side of the world, only to realise that my place was back in the UK with my community. With a fresh perspective, I am now finding new and exciting opportunities that I didn’t expect.
Travelling the world
After spending eight months in Portugal, I took the opportunity to travel. Over two months I visited Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates. Almost everyone I met was extremely accommodating. A good welcome was to be expected from friends in Australia, Philippines and UAE. But as a total newcomer to New Zealand and Malaysia, the welcome was just as warm. Other traveling Brits were equally impressed with the ease at which people approached one another and struck up conversations. There’s the British reserve for you… After buying a pint for a performing guitarist in a pub, I was given the full tour of Wellington, NZ. In Sarawak, Borneo I was plied with free food and drink, attended free feasts and was welcomed into the rain-forest home of a Bidayuh family. I spent most of my “down time” thinking about my next steps. I’d had various offers of work along the way. I could help set-up a business in Melbourne. Work in an ex-pat (immigrant) bar in Kuching. Work in a hostel in Rotorua. With these options in mind, I decided to return to the UK, get a dead-end job for six months, save and go. Remaining “out of context” seemed by far the best option, until I got to Bristol…
Returning to Tribe
Bristol is a city that has been on my radar for close to a decade. Most of my core group of friends live there. I’d forgotten the impact their presence has on my state of mind. On top of that, Bristol is diverse, with a rich history of creative, independent thought. I immediately fell in love with the place. With a desire to stay in mind, I started to look for more “appropriate” work. I applied to charities and social enterprises, looking for work in marketing, office management and events. Failing that, I would join a call centre and follow my original travel plan. The job hunt involved the usual self-evaluation. What can I sell (without selling my soul)? How should I sell it (without being inauthentic)? I found a few great (on paper) opportunities, which didn’t come off and I’m now glad they didn’t. Finally, I had found an opportunity in Devon that stood head and shoulders above the rest. I immediately forgot all of the reasons I wanted to be in Bristol.
Taken from www.embercombe.org
Embracing one’s purpose in life
I could potentially spend eleven months living and working (voluntary) at Embercombe. To describe this place as only an education centre and intentional community does not do it justice. Their aim is to empower people to realise their unique strengths – a cause I’m extremely passionate about. Very little encouragement is given (in our education system) to the discovery and development of ones natural gifts. More often we’re encouraged to fit into the prevailing economic model. I’d like to see this changed in my lifetime. So I went to Embercombe for three days to assess whether it was right for me (and me for them). It was fantastic! I met interesting and interested people, worked the land, spent time in nature and ate excellent, home grown food. All whilst living in a yurt with a wood-burning stove. Beautiful. But after just three days, I was exhausted. Emotionally, physically, drained. As everything was full on most of the time, I found it difficult to honour my inner introvert and take time for myself to process everything. When I returned to Bristol I almost instantly remembered why I had wanted to stay in the UK. I wanted to contribute to my community. To give a year of my life to Embercombe, whilst extremely valuable, would have been a big sacrifice.
Taken from www.davidpschofield.me
“Settling” for the right work
Back to the job hunt… Following my exposure to Embercombe’s philosophies and an impassioned talk offered by its founder, Mac Macartney’s, I was in question mode… Why am I doing the things I’m doing? Am I living courageously enough? What more could I do to live up to my potential? (Appropriately, as I write, this song came on Spotify). Looking at my Google Calendar, full of interviews, I realised that working full-time was not for me, right now. Even working part-time for charities with noble causes wasn’t right. So what should I do? To pay the rent, I was/am picking up a few shifts with my friend at Plaster Bristol – reconnecting with materiality. I will also be working on IT projects at Embercombe one week per month – reducing my food bills. I am developing a website in return for Indian Head Massage through Street Bank. I also have a business ideas bubbling (The Ethical Organiser), which I need time and space to develop. Not to mention, working on Toward Community. So, it’s essentially a full-time (plus) job, but set-up unconventionally. I encourage people to look beyond the context that has been chosen for them. If the “get a job, work full-time, buy a house” route works for you, then great. But the amount of people I know doing so and that are miserable doing so, baffles me… There are alternatives. But in order to live a life more authentic to you, you must first figure out what you are in service to. What is your life’s purpose?
Taken from www.thesacredmasculine.net
Looking forward to 2016 and beyond
Figuring out our purpose can be a long, but immeasurably valuable process. In order to help me along this new phase of my life, I have refined my life’s vision (It’s not the first draft, but with each I’m getting closer to the core of who I am…) This will serve as an overall guiding statement, a purpose that will keep me on course toward my future. In it’s most current form, it reads:
“To create and protect sacred space that empowers people; directing that collective energy to make the world better.”
Let’s see how I get along…
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