Both the non-profit Groundswell Institute and the residential ecovillage hold the following values in common. These values shape our relationships and the culture we are working to create.
Groundswell’s Statement of Values
Our shared queer nature is central to our community. We praise our own and each other’s queer spirit, celebrating that flame of otherness which gives rise to our unique place in the world. We view queer perspectives – those that are outside of the dominant heteronormative paradigm – as essential for the creation of vibrant, sustainable ways of life.
This community practices embodied spirituality. We give trusting, delighted attention to the embodied world, and engage with it in our physical and energetic bodies, through touch, feeling, movement, ritual, stillness, and space. With heart and bodymind, we act on, and with, and as part of the world: this is our manifestational magic.
Ours is a heart-centered community, grounded in the practice of heart circle and committed to interpersonal process, especially when challenges arise. We value feeling as much as intellect, and honor lived experience as the essence of the sacred. We aim to interact always with loving kindness, and to witness each others’ joys and struggles in a spirit of open-hearted learning and mutual support.
We revere the natural systems upon which life depends. Our deepest spiritual inspiration lies in the relationships between ecosystems, the mineral strata, and the cycles of seasonal change. Aiming for sustainability and self-reliance, we embrace practices that minimize damage and nurture regeneration in our environment. We live in balance with the natural world, tending our eco-village while also honoring what is wild in our midst.
We are sex and intimacy positive. We value the many, varied forms that relationships take, and happily hold space for their transformative power. We cherish the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of connection as much as the physical, and hold both intimacy and sexuality to be sacred in our personal lives and in the rituals that we create together. We view participation as a matter of individual choice, and see consent as essential.
Our community cultivates creativity. The creative spirit permeates all aspects of our daily life and work. We facilitate imaginative expression in its many forms: visual art, performance, healing, community-weaving, building, environmental design, and other kinds of making. We believe that there is no aspect of life that cannot be brightened by beauty.
We foster interdependence in our community. Valuing cooperation, reciprocity, and learning, we build common spaces, tools, and practices for collective growth, while recognizing the need for balance between communal and private life. Ours is a culture of connection, which nurtures and inspires all who are part of it.
Our community is engaged with the world at large. We are part of the social fabric of our locale, and maintain friendly relations with our neighbors and kindred spirits. We take an active interest in civic affairs, and eagerly share information and ideas with others. We value accessibility, both economic and physical, and consider social justice and education to be essential components of a healthy world.