A few weeks ago I named a 200 year old tree.
That day I was fortune enough to experience and learn about a project that brings purpose, sustainability and passion together at a remarkable property — Walden Monterey.
Walden Monterey is a 600 acre development being billed as a luxury “agrihood”— a housing collective focused on sustainability and communal farming—on the Monterey Peninsula. The developer, Nick Jekogian, is creating a purpose and reason to disconnect from our world so we can reconnect with ourselves. And it comes at a time when many of us are struggling with the good and evil of technology and the rate at which it’s changing.
Never before have we experienced such exponential growth of technologies and the capabilities that it is affording us, than today. It’s exciting and inspiring and provides us with opportunities literally beyond what we could have imagined.
I heard a quote the other day — “Never before has technology moved so fast, and never again it will move so slow”.
And never before have we had such addiction to a device that literally disconnects us from things of true meaning and purpose.
So we’re at a very interesting time in business and in humanity.
If we, ourselves, don’t slow down, then I think we’re all going to miss the point.
I’ve been listening to the book Tribe by Sebastian Yueng. It talks about the sense of community and belonging and how certain groups — tribes — gain all that they need by relying on each other and collectively working together for a common goal.
The day after I visited Walden Monterey, I went to my first Jewish service. There was so much singing and so little sermon — you could just feel the sense of community from the congregation.
I didn’t “belong” there because I am not Jewish and I was only there to support a friend, but yet I felt connected at a level that I would have never expected. And it made me long for my own community and the tribes that I have been fortunate enough to form, or be invited into.
I am one of the worst offenders when it comes to unplugging. I work pretty much all of the time and I justify it with the rational that I love what I do. Because I do — love what I do.
But these two events provided me with a new commitment and conversation with myself:
How do I unplug and disconnect from the world, so that I can connect with myself and build a more sustainable life for me and those that I love.
Because the more sustainable and profitable life that I can build for myself, the more that I can give back to this world.
I started the year off with a goal of getting away one weekend per month to read, write and relax. I called it my “Writing Weekend”. And I would give myself a C minus on my effort. I’ve technically went away for four of the nine months so far. So that’s good. It’s not enough, but it’s not zero. But if I’m being honest, I didn’t actually disconnect — not for the entire time and not how I had intended (or needed to).
So my visit to Walden Monterey re-reminded me that I set my intention at the beginning of the year for a reason and a purpose. And I didn’t try hard enough to really be successful. And because of that, I find myself at the same crossroads as I did nine months ago. And I don’t have nine months to let pass by without making a significant change in an area that I myself, deemed as a priority.
And that leads me to the tree. Relentless Serendipity.
If there is one word that I love and try to embody, it’s the word relentless. An old friend who runs 100-mile + ultra marathons has a tattoo on her forearm “RFM” — Relentless Forward Motion. As an ultra runner myself, it always resonated with me because in running, as in life, sometimes it’s simply about one foot in front of the other without stopping. That is RFM.
And if there is one word that I believe has the power to shape our future, it’s serendipity.
It was serendipity that my friend, Linda, invited me to an event at 1440 Multiversity because I told her about my Writing Weekends.
And it was serendipity that I met Nick at 1440 and got to not only share a glass of wine around a fire pit, but also an intimate fear as part of our writing class.
And for Nick to extend an invitation to me to visit Walden Monterey – and for me to be able to name one of its 200 year old trees on the property — I call that Serendipity. And I’m b.yond grateful for the experience.
I look forward to my renewed commitment to self and I hope this will inspire others to disconnect with the world and find a peaceful spot in nature to reconnect with what matters most — you.
oppressively constant; incessant.
noun: serendipity; plural noun: serendipities
the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.