When we started writing our year end letters to y'all, maybe around 2001, it was our main way to communicate and share our happenings. Those original letters, a cross between a thank you, an informal annual report and a means to be in touch, were essential to us.
Remember, back then, it was me and a bunch of amazing young women who were the first Apprentices and shining examples of Shakti’s innovative leadership work. One year our team of six wrote notes to 500 people each. We were bleary eyed but felt so triumphant. Because these letters were going to OUR community, and we wanted them to not only know but FEEL how their support was truly making a difference - not just in individual women’s lives, but for entire communities.
Now you are likely reading this letter as one among so many requests for support. It’s possible or even likely that I haven’t met you yet which somewhat astounds me. And yes, we do want and need your support - in resources, time, wisdom and belief.
Yet, we actually deeply want you to be RESOURCED. Because times are challenging, and it feels like no sooner does one intensity pass than another is at our doorsteps. Perhaps it’s always been this way, or maybe it’s the new normal. I simply know that as I travel across this country, working in different regions and with all kinds of people, the thing I hear the most is overwhelm, weariness and longing.
The longing is to feel what we at Shakti know is possible and necessary: deeply rooted belonging, the ability to befriend uncertainty and as Joanna Macy says, something that motivates you to get up every day and work toward your vision of yourself and the world.
Hence, we still get together as a team each year and cook up a batch of Shakti’s secret sauce and send it to you, with the intent that it be like magic in an envelope, or email.
In my family, cooking is more art than science. My Grandma taught me the pinch and dash way of measuring, and even though there are only 5 ingredients, no one in the family makes pie crust like she did. So it is with Shakti: for some reason, our recipes work, powerfully, the ingredients we use grow strong, vibrant women leaders and resilient communities.
May our recipes inspire you to cook up something delicious in your own life and if you are so moved, to contribute to us with your resources, your wisdom and your belief.
Founder & Visionary Director