Six years ago I was driving past the house that is now Odyssey Center when I noticed a “For Sale” sign in the yard. Almost instantly images flooded my mind—there was activity, people coming and going, of classes and workshops about health and well-being, simple, sustainable living, and of community. It was one of those experiences that makes you catch your breath a little at the sudden, unexpected glimpse of possibility. I was giddy with an “oh my gosh, can you imagine?!!” kind of excitement.
The giddy excitement soon settled into a sense of knowing that one day, when the resources came together and the timing was right, a center for learning would show up. And so it has—Odyssey Center for Transformative Learning.
We chose the name because we wanted it to say exactly what it is—a place to engage in the kind of learning that empowers us to effect change in our lives, helping us live more consciously and on purpose. We also wanted an image to symbolize the experiences of life and found “odyssey” fit well, by definition a long wandering or quest often marked by changes of fortune. The sea faring image of the mosaic logo expresses the spirit of an odyssey —sometimes smooth sailing, other times troubled waters; drifting off course, even running aground; and of course, the undeniable pull of adventure and the thrill of discovery.
Our belief is that we all have a sense, a knowing, that there is more to life than our day-to-day, routine experience; that a deeply meaningful life experience is possible, whatever that means for each person. It makes itself known in questions, thoughts and feelings that stir, unsettle, and urge us to act.
The stirring may be about purpose—the “why am I even here” question. Or maybe you’re pretty clear about your purpose but you’re not living it and the question becomes “how do I get there?” It may appear in the form of a longing for something you have always wanted to do, be or have but those things haven’t happened. Like a tap on the shoulder it asks “remember? you always wanted to do that,” or it nudges you toward an experience, a person, or a life-path that makes you feel more “you” than ever. It’s our inner guidance system trying to get our attention, urging us to trust our knowing that there is indeed more, and to set about creating what we imagine is possible.
But how? And where? And when? For change to occur there must be conditions for change—Odyssey Center’s purpose is to create the conditions, to be a catalyst for change. Maybe you will come to a workshop or class that leads you to overcome self-limiting beliefs that have held you back; or you will try a yoga class and, lo’ and behold, not only can you do down-dog, you can get back up! Maybe you will dust off a long-dormant dream, or like me, discover a passion for something completely unexpected. The possibilities are endless.
I have a therapist friend who often asks her clients “so…what are you doing with your non-renewable resource of time?” It’s a worthy question, isn’t it? We hope you’ll spend some of yours with us engaging in experiences that can transform your life—learning that matters.