In less than 24 hours I will be on a flight to New York! Thank you so much to everyone who has assisted me. I will be a voice for Interfaith Harmony wherever I go.... and believe me, I am going to a lot of places!
Starting in New York, I will be attending the second year intensive at Stony Point ahead of our Commencement Ceremony at Riverside Church on June 8th. After that, I will be going to a town called Olean, about 7 hours drive away from NYC. Why?
Thank you for asking! I will be participating in a Charter for Compassion Conference there and will have the opportunity to meet global Charter co-ordinator Marilyn Turkovich who is the keynote speaker. I have also been asked to say a few words about how the Cape Town Interfaith community works with the Charter for Compassion, but I guess I will be listening and learning a lot more than I will be speaking. What an amazing opportunity, and so much gratitude to the hospitality and kindness of my hosts in Olean!
On June 15 I fly from Olean to Chicago where the openhearted kindness of my hosts has already touched me - imagine welcoming a complete stranger into your home and hosting them for four nights. Well that is what a Chicago couple are doing for me, and my heart is smiling. Looking forward to my meetings in Chicago with Parliament of the World's Religions and other long time friends of Cape Town Interfaith - again, a massive learning opportunity for me and I look forward so much to absorbing the inspirational experience of such an amazing energy hub.
And then... then I am off to Denver, where I will spend a night with friends before opening my heart to the experience of Sunrise Ranch, the oldest intentional community, I believe, in the States. Again, the generosity of my friends in Interfaith is magnificent. Looking forward to much to time with David Karchere, Karen Pritchard and Keahi Ewa at Sunrise Ranch - it's a power team who have a global reach in their consciousness-raising upliftment work. I will be there at the same time as a gathering of Evolutionary Leaders and again, look forward to absorbing some significant learnings.
My next perfect step takes me to Sedona, a pilgrimage of the heart. Sedona is a meeting point for so much of spiritual America, and I am excited just to spend time with my friend and mentor Rev Rene Ragan who has been so incredibly instrumental in facilitating my journey through Seminary.
Finally, I will be off to Atlanta and a celebratory finale as I spend two nights with yet another mnister friend and her family. It's her birthday weekend too - my timing was certainly spot on this time! Compassionate Atlanta, the organisation representing the Charter for Compassion in Atlanta, is planning to host a luncheon to give me the opportunity to meet and learn from what sounds like the entire Interfaith community in that city.
So you know that it was the White Lions of the Timbavati who called me to this path, this work, and this amazing One Spirit Interfaith Seminary where I have found my own special place in a pride of lion hearts? Some of you may know that legend tells us the mission of the White Lions is to walk love and light back into the planet with every step of those immense, magnificent paws. I feel as if that is a mission I carry in my heart, every step of my path, so I look forward to serving in that way, everywhere I go. My dad used to say: "Everywhere you go, be sure to leave it a little better than you found it." Maybe my dad was really a White Lion in disguise. Everywhere is holy, everywhere is lovely.... and there is a magic in building relationships that leaves a sparkle, and sends a sparkle and helps to make the world a better place. May Spirit be in my every breath, in my every step, in every thought and in every word. I am beyond grateful for the love, guidance and protection in which I live.
If you would still like to donate to my trip, the expenses along the way are not covered yet and I would be so grateful for your kindness and support. For your convenience, here are the bank details:
Account name: B A GARGAN, Capitec Bank Branchcode 470010, Account Number 1359239721
In service, in gratitude, in peace and in deep appreciation always
I am deeply touched by the interest, support and kindness shown to me since I launched this campaign just a few days ago. I really hope that I will be able to finalise my itinerary and purchase my tickets by the end of this month!
Meanwhile, a few South Africans have asked why I am using the US Dollar as my currency of choice. Very simply, it is because there is some kind of glitch in the system that made my overseas friends struggle when they tried to donate in pounds or dollars. But the system accepts dollars as the base currency with no problem.
However I know that having the campaign in dollars makes it a little challenging for my South African friends. So, we have choice! Here are the bank details if you prefer to donate via Electronic Funds Transfer:
Bank: Standard Bank - Branch Code: 051001 - Account Name: Cape Town Interfaith Initiative - Account Number: 270321357
Please use STUDY + your name as Reference.
And here is the Snapscan image which i have tested so I know that it works.
My journey with One Spirit started off as a miracle of synchronicity (yes, I do believe in miracles) and has been an evolution of trust.
I met One Spirit deep in the African bush, in the remote heart of the Timbavati in a small private camp surrounded by lions. It took me nearly a year to realise that I, too, could possibly become a student... and from the moment the decision was made I felt supported every step of the way. I was gifted with two beautiful mentors who encouraged me, wrote letters of reference and jumped in with profound gestures of support. In 2018, a friend won the National Lotto and generously paid for my ticket to New York to attend my first year intensive. The story of the incredible synchronicities that unfolded during my New York trip could make a book - from finding myself randomly addressing a gathering at a World Environment Day observance at the United Nations to meeting an international emissary of raised consciousness on a train neither of us was supposed to be on.
So many changes swirled through my life during that year and the next. I had not expected to move home to Cape Town but that happened. I never expected to be appointed Chairperson of Cape Town Interfaith Initiative, but that happened. I never expected the depth of learning and self growth through my One Spirit Seminary studies, but that happened. I never expected my relationship with the Creative Force of the Universe to grow and deepen and change so profoundly, but that happened. I never expected the levels of courage I have had to find within myself, but that happened too.
And now this final hurdle is here. I never expected to be without an income or some financial backing at this time of my life, but I have been unbelievably supported every step of the way by so many friends and benefactors. Every signpost along the way has said: Keep going, don't give up, this is what you are meant to do, you are in the right place. And I have stopped, many times, to check, to double check and to check again. Sometimes the only option is to just keep moving forward. And trust.
So trust I do. Things always work out, even if they don't always work out quite as I expect. Most days I wake up with a sense of gratitude and wonder at the miracles that unfold around me every day. Other days, I have to remind myself but it doesn't take much to do that. And sometimes I wake up with a profound sense of just listening, because I have learned that whatever title I may have, that is my real job description.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and energetically be a companion on my path! Some people have been having trouble with Paypal, I am told. So here is the Snapscan code which goes into the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative bank account. So if this is an easier method for you, please just use your name+STUDY as the reference.
Wishing you a bright and beautiful day, wherever you are!