Loved ones, we are collecting koha for Naomi's waka back to NZ!
This global quest has offered me many tāonga.
Now is the time to reunite, to share the gifts I've found, by coming for a visit.
Why did I leave? In 2017, shortly after taking my permaculture design course, I set off on a pilgrimage to meet and learn from different cultures and ecosystems about patterns of livelihood, community and regeneration.
I decided to stay in Europe due to my dual passport privilege - but without residency, I don't qualify for work. Instead of taking out some debt to get an apartment that I can't afford, I have focused on full time activism; meanwhile staying with friends and doing work exchanges. I found a home in Stockholm with my very cherished friend Rebecka, currently living in our zendo temple sisterhood co-working monastery and supporting each other in seemingly infinite ways.
So far I haven't earned much money from my work designing for the restoration of commons -- what I have earned, I have spent toward furthering my education, donating to friends' causes, and replacing things like shoes and toothbrushes.
It's been a marathon of challenges. I'm smashing through learning edges like a fruit ninja. Simultaneous to the lived experience, I've been researching economic models and learning how to design better ones that do support the passion, innovation and creativity of youth, activists and marginal groups. It takes a lot to set a new system up, so of course I'm not yet living in it, but I have found it invaluable to be living in the gift! I invite you to experience this way with me.
This year, I'm not going to let my lack of financial resource keep me from meeting my basic emotional needs. I'm asking those I love to help me to come home for Christmas.
It's time to board the waka
It's an important year to come home and be with my family.
My grandmother was diagnosed with dementia earlier in the year, and relocated into a retirement village on the street where I was born and raised. We have limited time to be with each other before her condition worsens. And with existential crises on the horizon, I know I need to make this visit count. I want to discuss sociocracy with my dad. I want to harvest harakiki respectfully and try some raranga with my neices and nephews. I want to contribute some awesome vegan kai to the Christmas buffet.
Christmas is the perfect time for our family to get together, and this year my siblings-with-spouses are both spending Christmas with the Smith side. My parents also celebrated their 40th anniversary this year which was another significant milestone where my absence was felt.
As a gift for them, my siblings suggested 'getting the whole family together' and thus the idea to pool money together was launched.
Is it worth some of your resources to support my quest?
I know airplanes are awful carbon emitters. I know I'm already fortunate in many ways, and it feels weird asking for financial assistance to take this passage across the world and back. Maybe I could have made different life choices that secured my livelihood before trying to change the socioeconomic systems. Maybe I could have gone down a more comfortable path, ignoring the activist inside me.
But I didn't, and there have been many sacrifices along the way.
When I give my self to the mahi, it is 1000% of who I am. I have received invaluable capital like knowledge and skills and a wonderful network of very capable and passionate culture plumbers and care workers.
Now that I know how to use my superpowers - being a systems-thinker and network weaver, facilitator and process artist - there are endless opportunities to extend my value and skills to those in my life. I have no debt or corporate obligations that stop me from sharing freely, generously, to all those who ask me for support, and to stand up for what my core tells me is true and important, even when the risk is high.
I can't really put a price on that, but I ask you to sense into your personal connection to me, and ask: do I bring joy to your life? Do I enrich your world? Do you believe in my capacity to inspire a healthier story for humanity?
If you answered yes to any of these 3 questions, then I hope you've found a new way to measure value. I now invite you to experience the vibration of generosity that dissolves the myth of our separateness. I invite you to reconnect to my story, and to contribute to our physical reconnection, if you happen to be someone that will meet me on the land of Aotearoa this southern summer.
In solidarity, determination, justice and genuine exchange.