By Mara Evenstar
I’ve been pulling on different threads, trying to decide on the best one to follow to unravel my tale of how Evenstar’s Chalice came into being. We decided to focus these first few blogs on our origin stories; last month you read Jeanne’s journey, here is mine, and in the near future, Russ will tell his tale!
Where to begin? Although the seeds were planted much earlier, I think the real germination point for me was attending the 2011 Integral Spiritual Experience conference in California with Russ. We both had profound spiritual experiences over the weekend of this gathering. One such peak moment for me was a moment of opening and saying “YES.” Even though I wasn’t even exactly sure what I was saying “yes” to, I knew with every fiber of my being that it was important, transformative, and related to one of my very purposes for Being. It was one of those moments when you know your life is fundamentally changing, even though you may not quite yet know how…but more on this thread later. I also want to share that this conference was being held at the beautiful Asilomar retreat center in Pacific Grove. Part of our experience was roaming the beautiful grounds, having life altering experiences in sacred spaces, and dreaming together about how wonderful it would be to create this type of space as an opportunity for others. We were just talking like many couples do, how we’d someday like to have or do this or that. I had also had this feeling and inclination in visiting other such space like Omega and Menla Park in New York and Esalen, also in CA. But these were just dreamy dreams and I hadn’t yet connected these two things directly – my life purpose work (to which I apparently said yes) – and creating sacred and transformative spaces for us all to deeply connect to our purposes and grow into them!
For me, co-creating Evenstar’s Chalice is a step in fulfilling this dream and purpose; but it came in a very surprising way! You see, the Universe took me up on my YES, and since that time I have been working towards various visions and ways of manifesting this dream. Using my spiritual guidance system, I began unfolding a fairly literal interpretation of what was inspiring me. The vision was to create the “Esalen or Omega” of the Midwest, a retreat center in which we can come into our wholeness, grow and evolve and expand our consciousness while in deep connection with one another. And I was/am certainly not alone. Many are sharing and working this dream or something with similar intent. And several of those people came into my life through this unfolding, many of whom are now part of my spiritual family and co-creators on several levels. Many of these connections were made in the process of forming my organization New Myth Works, which was created for the purpose of creating these networks of creators and holding and nurturing the various visions and dreams coming through. Our mission statement is to “Provide a dynamic sanctuary for conscious evolution” and yes, this is the connecting fiber.
My connection with Jeanne Adwani, co-creatix of Evenstar’s Chalice began in this way as well. Jeanne attended one of the earlier New Earth Day events put on by New Myth Works and that event is when we first met. Not too much later, I reached out to Jeanne because I also had been looking for someone to help me care for my hair. What a coincidence! Through the following years we connected more deeply and began forming a friendship, Jeanne also was engaging and participating with New Myth Works, Sophia Unfolds and Conscious Rites (all organizations that I have co-founded on this journey).
Meanwhile, back at the ranch….in 2016 Russ and I were now serious enough about creating the center that we were looking at real estate and leaning toward a more urban center that had similar offerings to what the retreat center would eventually have. We were giving serious consideration to the Quirk building in Ypsilanti and I was simultaneously building a team of interested people in my circle to help midwife this next step. In this incarnation, the dream was called the Center for Transformative Arts (CTA). Jeanne raised her hand and said, “I’m in!” (As a side note, interestingly, the other person that showed up for coffee on that day that Jeanne relays in her story is Holly Makimaa, who was also joining us in discussions about the CTA….(so I’m pretty sure Miss Holly will be showing up in my story again as we move forward!). As the months rolled along, it became clear that the Quirk building was not quite right and that perhaps we weren’t quite ready to take such a big step or financial risk. Back to the waiting and less-tangible building game.
Insert here that magical day when Jeanne, Holly and I met for coffee at Cultivate. Jeanne was looking for space to move her salon business and wanted to fulfill her personal dream of opening a shop, she just couldn’t do that part alone. And because Jeanne was already part of our dreaming of the Center – it wasn’t a huge leap for me to take, to see that this was a divinely orchestrated opportunity to take our next step. Having a retail space was always part of the larger vision for the center – I just never thought or imagined to lead with that! It was always a phase 5 or 6 thing I my mind. So it was definitely a pivot in the larger plan, I just needed to see if Russ was game too. He was holding that ever-so-important financial investment piece and we either stepped in together or not at all.
What unfolded next was a whirlwind of activity that burst forth from this web of amazing connections and creativity that we had been cultivating over the last several years. All three of us were stepping into a big unknown. It has required trust in our love for one another, for our community and world. It has required a deep listening into what is trying to emerge through us. And although this did not in any way begin with the vision to open a retail shop for me, I am finding that this is a way in which the “Center” is being born and dreams and purpose are being fulfilled. It is a space that is welcoming, transformative, supportive of everyone’s finding their own paths to their own purpose and wisdom. Who knows what will unfold from here. Perhaps this is “it” or perhaps Evenstar’s Chalice is a waystation on the greater journey. What I do know is that there is great joy and fulfillment to be found in the now of this. I invite you to come drink that in and become part of the story of Evenstar’s Chalice.