A reflection

1. The act or process of accepting.
2. The state of being accepted or acceptable.
3. Favorable reception; approval.
4. Belief in something; agreement.

It seems to me that acceptance means mutual respect and agreement between people, sometimes an agreement to disagree, not to dissent or argue, but rather to respect the other person’s point of view. Every time I “walk in another person’s shoes”, or at least look to see what the situation looks from his or her perspective I gain understanding and insight.

I agree/accept that we are one, that love is the answer, and now is the time. This statement is a universal truth. That being said, my personal outlook has evolved over the years during and since my years within the Family which now seems a lifetime ago, and in many ways it was. I am a different person, although at my core I am who I always have been. Because of certain experiences and revelations in recent years I have a broader sense of humanity beyond any one group, belief, church, or person. The Israel Family is only one part of the whole picture of humankind and is only as strong as its weakest and most helpless members.

I attend Passover because I believe that when people gather in a like mind there is power; and that to dedicate a day to put on our best, most positive mind we take another step to heal the world. I attend to be with those that I care about and love deeply; those that I have built close bonds with, part of my spiritual family. During the beginning years of my life in the Family I was more of a follower than one who had realized what was actually going on, except in the most simple of terms. I was not one to speak up much. My background before joining was very painful and as a battered woman I still had a victim mindset and unresolved issues. In many ways being there within the Family was a sanctuary and for awhile allowed me to feel safe, and through this process I was able obtain custody of my daughter Tekoah when she was a little girl.

I learned a lot about myself and about others. I had opportunities to grow spiritually and for that I will always be thankful. It wasn’t until later, after my children were older that I began to blossom as a person and become stronger in my individuality and question what I was doing with my life, which is something that I really needed to do. I had experienced what it meant to serve the whole but I also needed to grow as an individual and I didn’t feel that I could do that within the structure of the Family as it was. As it turns out the land was lost; I was free to go my way, and the rest is history, and, in my opinion, all for the best.

I had a revelation/vision up at our home site at the ranch one year that showed me without a doubt that life is eternal and indeed we are one. I later wrote a description and a poem about this experience. I will say that this revelation was one that reinforced my understanding of the Sacred Feminine part of God, which I thought would not fit within the male dominated system of the Family, especially in light of the Charter and my understanding of it. I had trouble with some of the interpretations.

As far as what to build from this point on, I truly don’t wish to recreate the past, or to necessarily live together as we once did. In the past I felt had so little control over my own reality and I truly was not happy with my living situation, both physically and emotionally, for many years. I still have painful memories of incidents concerning my children and other children in the Family and the helplessness I felt as a parent. I have no desire to live a life structured by someone else. I don’t mind working together and I love being around my family and good friends but I need to live motivated by my heart.

With regard to China Bend I have a special place in my spirit for the sanctuary that it has represented to me over the years, both the land itself and the households I lived with, especially in the early days. There was a quality and a genuineness of life that resonated with me in a profound way. I lived there when there was only two buildings and later some yurts, and enjoyed all the seasons; the planting, the harvest, summer days on the river with the children, and sewing with my dear friend Devotion in the deep of winter when we were both pregnant. We had little in the way of material things or elaborate housing yet I was completely happy. I am thrilled that Randy and Tekoah and others (including Ariel and me) have land and happy to have a retreat and the opportunity to be a part of the community. We have named our piece on the hill Pine Grove. I hope and pray that we continue to preserve China Bend as a sanctuary not only for our family but for the purpose of honoring and protecting our Mother Earth.

You stated that “we need to truly know each other” so by writing and reflecting over these past several years I am starting with “know thyself” because I believe that to know myself is the best service I can be to others; and that only by being true to myself will I become a fully realized being. I accept the “things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

Something I wrote awhile back:

Things I Have Learned and my Goals for Daily Life:

To accept myself, live from my heart and realize the purpose in my life is to know myself and to live from that center, to know that God is everywhere and that there is an infinite purpose in all things.

To be kind in thought and deed, to forgive and let live.
To not judge.
We are all connected.

To use my power with wisdom and grace.

To be honest and clear as possible in my communications.

My family and friends are my dearest treasures.
To live each day in thankfulness for the beauty and the sacredness of life.


Writing bridges the inner and outer worlds and connects the paths of action and reflection. We sit down, face the receptive blankness of a piece of paper or a computer screen, pull our thoughts together, and begin to write.

Writing is sorting. Writing down the stream of consciousness gives us a way to respect the mind, to choose among and harness thoughts, to interact with and change the contents of who we think we are. And that is what the spiritual journey is: a major change, over time, in who we think we are, followed by a corresponding change in what we believe ourselves capable of doing.

Christine Baldwin
Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest


I have been journaling all my life; since the first penciled scribblings in my little diary with the plastic cover. I treasured this diary and the experience of being “just me”. I was a faithful writer and after each session I locked the little lock and hid the book underneath my mattress or in the depths of a dresser drawer. I wonder sometimes where it is and if it got lost in the shuffle of my growing up years or got thrown away.

I think the only time I didn’t journal was during my first marriage. I was so involved with trying to make sense of my life and I literally didn’t know who I was. I was consumed by my husband and had no time to myself. I started writing again back in the early 80’s. Someone had given me a journal as a gift, so I began to sort out my feelings and experiences on paper once again. There were the years in China Bend which were for the most part idyllic as the journals reflect. The beauty and simplicty of that time have been such a blessing and a precious gift that I hold close to my heart.

When I was living at our family ranch I experienced some trauma and here was no other way I could cope with what was going on. Not even my best friends could totally understand. I was deeply depressed and felt isolated. So I kept journaling, this time in spiral notebooks as I felt those were much more freeing. They had more room and I could write lots and quickly. They were barely legible but they served their purpose. I have since disposed of these journals.

There was a pattern of my behavior that emerged I didn’t have a name for it at the time. I only knew that I was miserable and that I felt repressed and spiritually claustrophobic. I later learned that I was co dependent and also I had not totally resolved being separated from my two oldest children, but this was only one aspect. My self esteem was destroyed and I was struggling to get it back. I kept blaming myself for my failed relationships. I am amazed at how well my children have weathered all of this.

One of my friends gave me a book on spirititual healing through journaling. This was a wonderful gift and a wonderful discovery. It is called Journey Notes. This was the validation that I needed to continue.

I discovered Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones” which is now one of my writer’s Bibles. The stream of consciousness…..there was no one to please, not even myself. The very act of freeing my mind was the healing path I had stumbled upon and have been on ever since.

Poetry had its voice now and then during those years as well, and when I was given a computer my life changed drastically. I discovered blogging, and now post nearly every single day. I am now unafraid. Whoever said that practice makes perfect certainly had the right idea. But of course then I ask, “What is perfect?” Perfect for what? Whom? I am discovering it’s all about the journey.


I sit the desk in front of my new computer, thrilled that I, at last, am a real writer. My computer and I are partners in creating a great literary work. This fine piece of equipment will enable me to launch my career. I am new at this Word thing, but how hard can it be?

The words flow like a river and I can hardly type quickly enough to keep pace with my mind. Every now and then I stop to check my word count and, just for fun use the spell check. What fun it is to move the sentences around! Copy, cut, and paste; oh, it doesn’t get better than this. Computer, where have you been all my life?

The phone rings. I ignore it. The doorbell rings. I ignore it. Lunchtime passes unnoticed expect for the roaring of my stomach. I don’t care. I am feeling good. This is what writing is all about. There will be no rejection slips this time, no siree. This is going to be the prize article that launches my career. I am moving into the big time and people are going to notice. Agents will beg for my business.

My sentences are flowing, my choice of words perfect with just the right number of adjectives and adverbs. How’s the syntax? No problem. I re-read my work several times over and allow no disagreeing verbs, no dangling participles, naughty gerunds or sloppy slang. My beginning paragraph is awesome. I hook my readers in with the first sentence. My voice is clear and strong, yet gently entreating. My point of view is consistent as each mesmerizing sentence builds towards the scintillating climax.

The moment is here and the final draft is complete. I follow submission guidelines to a “T”. Every space, every line is precise on the page. Every word is spelled correctly, every “i” dotted and every “t” crossed. Wait, perhaps just one last spellcheck before printing, just to make sure it’s perfect. Taadaa! I smile, touch finger to key, and then…Oh no! What happened? The page is blank, and for a moment, my mind. Where is my story? The realization hits. I pressed the wrong key! My unsaved masterpiece is gone forever.

Woe, oh woe and much sorrow! That which was created is not, and has dissolved into the ethers. My once in a lifetime creation is never to be remembered. It is but a mere particle of mist in the sky of my imagination. Apparently a computer does not a career launch make. Maybe I should use the save feature next time.


“Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

Trying to define change is like building a sand castle. Just when you have the thing built it melts, dissolving into the sands of the beach once again. Life is change; all of it. The seasons change, birth and death are change, we transform from one being into another during the course of our lives, do we not? The way we think, the way we see ourselves and the world is constantly changing.
Then there is the question “am I the one who is making the change, or am I the one who is being changed?” Does it matter? Life happens anyway and if we resist change we only make it hard on ourselves.