When does something actually start? What is that moment we call a “beginning?” Is there even such a thing, a clear and tangible start of something?
I have been thinking about the beginning of the Right Livelihood Quest and whether there is one. I can certainly look at the first two retreats, in the Summer of 2011, in two beautiful and different locations somewhere in the loose vicinity of Seattle, as a possible beginning. I can go a bit further back, looking at my Ph.D. studies in Applied Eco-Psychology and how that learning augmented and expanded the magic and the impact of the Quest experience. Going further back, looking at the inquiry into my own life, when the Why Me?© Framework was born in my heart and mind, which is the framework the Right Livelihood Quest is based on. Traveling further back in time, I can think of my career in high-tech and that “elusive something” that was missing and I was not able to articulate it, yet kept looking. Like the old Russian folk phrase, “Go there, not knowing where, look for that, not knowing what.”
Perhaps such a “something” does not really begin at any particular moment in time. Perhaps it evolves, as an ongoing emergence process that continues to integrate past moments and experiences, weaving them together into the “next” something, and then the “next” and the “next.”
The Right Livelihood Quest has been evolving during these past 9 years, in duration, format, impact, and locations. We ran it in a tree farm and a summer camp outside of Seattle, on a working ranch in Northern California, at the Esalen retreat center in California, at Whidbey Institute, at the Yellowstone National Park, and a few other diverse locations (all in the USA). We had it in British Columbia/Canada, on the Sunshine Coast, on Vancouver Island, and on Cortes Island. I ran two customized versions of it with a client organization I have been working with for a long time, and another customized version with an international organization in Europe. It was a course at Pinchot University, as part of their MBA in Sustainable Business. It was also a course with Presidio Graduate School, as an offering for their MBA and MPA degrees. All these deliveries have been blended, meaning some parts were virtual, whereas the retreat part of the Quest has always been in-person. During this whole time, I have been listening to the ways the Quest has been wanting to evolve and express itself next, as I have learned that I am merely a conduit for this process and an inquiry that has a will and wisdom of its own.
And now, the Right Livelihood Quest seems to evolve and expand yet again, allowing many others to engage in this transformative experience. Hence, (drums please) the Quest is Going Virtual, transcending geographical boundaries, distances, and COVID-19 restrictions.
The detailed schedule will be finalized by the first week of May, and the current anticipated start is July 2020. Stay tuned.