by Diane Goble
After attending all the Community Assets Committee meetings this past year because I was interested in observing the process, I can say I was pleasantly surprised at how well-organized it was— everybody participated cooperatively, there was no dissension, no politics, no ego trips, and they accomplished their goal of vetting the top three projects voted on by the people who attended a previous town hall meeting.
Next they offered a follow-up town hall meeting to explain the results and present a survey to get more public input about how to proceed. Only about 10% of those eligible to vote turned in a survey despite intense outreach. Did the other 90% just not want anything to do with it? Did twelve people basically waste their time for a year doing what people asked them to do?
City Council did vote to form a follow-up committee last month, but so far haven’t. With only a 10% response, they might not consider it a priority. Maybe it’s apathy, not toxicity, that’s the problem with Sisters.
A lot of changes have taken place in Sisters since the Vision Statement was written in 2010. Sisters is having an identity crisis and doesn’t know who she is. She’s not just a cozy little western artsy tourist town any more and is poised to come into her own as a full-fledged self-supporting… what? What does Sisters want to be when she grows up?
Vision statement: “We create our future through a strong planning process that protects town character, encourages environmental sustainability, and defines future development including housing options for all citizens.”
That didn’t happen. When this was written, nobody anticipated a recession with loss of jobs, business closings, lower property values; loss of homes, farms, livestock, savings; and many families leaving the area and emptying the schools. A lot of old timers left and new families moved in bringing with them different values and ideas. So the old timers left are ticked off at the new comers, and the new comers don’t really care what the old timers think and see Sisters as a blank slate they can write on.
City management seems intent on grooming Sisters as a mecca for tourists from overcrowded cities along the coast who have certain expectations about amenities and apparently like to drink. Bud growers aren’t welcome in spite of the plant’s medicinal and economic potential.
High tech entrepreneurs hope to make Sisters a hub for small international online businesses. Developers want to make it a destination resort or a health and wellness canter. The arts community, which besides the environment is the biggest draw to Sisters, struggles to find support amidst the changing business models. The City keeps imposing more taxes and fees on businesses and landlords keep raising their rents forcing many small business owners to close. Are they anticipating major boutique chains coming to sell knockoffs made in China?
Those who wrote the vision statement didn’t anticipate there might be working families who couldn’t afford housing. Developers whine there’s not enough profit in it for them to build affordable housing, much less apartments for working families, who would become future homeowners with school students.
There’s the divide between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots; the property owners and the renters; those inside the city limits, those outside. We have those who can afford to own homes outside Sisters and shop in Sisters and those who have to commute to do the jobs required to maintain a tourist economy and service the wealthy homeowners.
Vision statement: “We have a strong tourism economy because of this beauty. But we are also a diversified entrepreneurial economy that includes arts and culture, light industry, natural resource-based businesses, and small retail. This economy especially supports locally conceived and owned businesses that provide a wide variety of year-round family wage jobs.”
Once again, didn’t happen. There are people at the city working on making changes and looking to the public for input so this is your chance to get involved in the new economic development of Sisters.
We’re in a period of everybody having cognitive dissonance. Nobody knows the answer or which direction to go. This is new territory. I’m just putting this out there to generate discussions and encourage people to take their ideas to city council. They say they want solutions, not problems. Bring it!
Vision statement: “Highly developed local leadership and an active and informed citizenry make Sisters a fine example of community self-sufficiency and grassroots democracy.”
That hasn’t happened either. I’d say both sides need improvement— more education about their jobs for city manager, council, committee members and staff; and more citizen education and involvement. It takes a community with a common vision working together to bring about change.
(This is a monthly column I write for my local newspaper, The Nugget, in Sisters, Oregon, USA)
It’s time to have The Conversation
The best gift you can give your family is to have all your paperwork in order so they can carry out your end of life wishes if it becomes necessary. It will save them a lot of worry and grief if they know what you would want them to do under certain circumstances if you are unable to speak for yourself.
How will they know unless YOU tell them?
How will they know where to find important papers if YOU don’t tell them?
This workbook will help you and your loved ones have the conversations needed to make the decisions beforehand that they might be called upon to make for you in an emergency situation. Doing everything is not always the best response… and hope is not a plan.
Nobody wants to talk about death, especially their own… but we are all going to die some day… consider how it would affect your loved ones if you died before your next breath… then don’t put it off out of fear of bringing it on. It doesn’t work that way.
It will give everybody peace of mind and if there is an accident or emergency health crisis, your family will be able to spend time with you instead of rummaging around for paperwork and phone numbers, and all that other stuff we tend to put off.
For those who experience fear of death, this near-death experiencer describes leaving her drowning body behind, in full consciousness, fully alive and aware of everything going on around her then traveling through a void on an amazing journey accompanied by a loving being of light who opened her consciousness to remembering all we forget when we become human beings, including that this is what happens every time the body dies.
We don’t die!
We are not our bodies
Bodies are temporary vehicles that allow us to experience life on this planet
Like astronauts wear space suits, we wear human suits
We are spiritual beings having human experiences as part of our eternal spiritual journey
When our body gives out, we return home
How you want to interpret that, what that means about your religious beliefs or lack of, what that says about God, has nothing to do with this cycle of life. Any of those belief systems can be incorporated into this practice to help you to have a peaceful transition experience with full awareness about what is going on and what comes next.
“Who we really are is all but beyond human understanding,” says author Diane Goble, who has spent the past 44 years since her NDE searching to find the words that describe her experience, “but I’m working on it.”
In Beyond the Veil, which is the 5th generation of her writings, including a training course for caregivers as transition guides, she has integrated the knowledge she absorbed during her NDE with her exploration of ancient mystery schools, world religions, and science, and years of meditation practice and spiritual explorations to convey the meaning of the message she was given to share so it makes sense to most people.
This is your opportunity to raise your consciousness and go beyond what you think you know. Each time you read it, you will experience lightbulb moments as you realize you too know this but had forgotten. As you practice the exercises, you will come to a deeper understanding of who you really are and the meaning of this life to your soul’s journey.
It has been Diane Goble’s life work since her near-death experience in 1971 to share this message and to teach the art of conscious dying, and now she has put her teachings into a workbook to help families talk to each other, their doctors, and their higher consciousness as they prepare to leave this phase of life and transition to the next, fully conscious and engaged in their journey home.
Available everywhere – ISBN 9780963860651