• Stone Soup: A Support Group for Living Sustainably on a Shoestring

    Update November 1, 2013: The Stone Soup pilot was fun and went well. Stone Soup is now on hold while I consider changes to the scope and focus.  Stay tuned!


    Announcing a New Support Group!

    Starts June 19, 2013 in Kingston, New York.  See below for more details.


    Stone Soup:  Living Sustainably on a Shoestring

    Are you living on a shoestring?  You are not alone.  So many of us–whether by choice or by chance–are in this position these days.

    And growing numbers are striving to live a truly sustainable lifestyle, keeping the health of our planet, our families, and ourselves in the forefront as we make decisions about how to spend our resources.  So what do we do when our resources often seem not to be enough to cover even basic expenses?  How do we balance paying the bills on a shoestring with honoring basic human values like fun, health, meaning, and service?  It’s a hero’s journey.

    Let’s gather to support each others’ journeys!  This bi-weekly drop-in group holds the core practices of supportive non-judgment, resourcefulness, and confidentiality.  We welcome anyone who identifies with the sustainability-on-a-shoestring lifestyle–no matter where on the shoestring or the sustainability continuum you find yourself.

    Stone Soup’s Goals:

    1.  Offer support for living our values even if the culture says people in our financial situation “can’t” or “shouldn’t”:
    -buy organic foods;
    -seek holistic healthcare;
    -give up an income to stay home to care for an elder or home-school a child with special needs;
    -persist in giving our gifts to the world when they are gifts like farming, art, philosophy, or healing that may not bring a regular paycheck;
    -or . . . (insert YOUR values here!).  We affirm that, as human beings, we deserve to do the good our hearts call us to do even if we struggle to pay the bills.

    2. Share practical tips and resources to help us on our journeys.  Share our personal resources and skills with each other as desired.

    3.  Unhook ourselves from shame, secrecy, and fear and start moving through our financial situations in a more empowered, happier way.

    4.  Be a laboratory for exploring new/old systems of exchange like bartering, gift economy, and others.

    5.  Deepen spiritually together as we find the light in our challenging situations and express gratitude for all the good in our lives.

    Stone Soup’s Format:

    *Brief “tuning in” practice–meditation, movement, music, etc.

    *Talking circle: Those who wish take turns speaking about struggles, triumphs, insights etc. on their personal path.

    *Resource-sharing:  Members share information about resources–everything from locations of soup kitchens or free health care clinics to spiritual practices that have been helpful.  Offer our own services and goods to each other in a community of exchange.

    *Presentation/Discussion:  Listen/watch a presentation and/or discuss a topic related to our group’s themes, chosen by the group.

    Meeting Details

    Meets 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month, starting June 19, 2013

    7:00 pm

    Hudson Valley Sudbury School, 84 Zena Road, Kingston, New York

    The Hudson Valley Sudbury School is generously waiving their rental fee.  We will collect donations to help cover utilities; no one turned away for lack of funds.

    More info: Sherill, 845-336-4847 or sherill@fulljoy.us


    Stone Soup Story:

    The Stone Soup group is modeled on the old “Stone Soup” story.  In that folktale, a trickster character and a group of dirt-poor villagers magically transform a pot of boiling water with a stone in it into a delicious nourishing soup.  When each individual contributes what seems like a small and insignificant ingredient, the whole turns out to be bigger and better than the sum of its parts.  And the villagers have a lot of fun in the process!