Hello friends! Have you ever been on staff at Song of the Morning? A hard working work exchange volunteer or intern? Then you know that life at Song of the Morning is a 24/7 experience, and you know how important this project is!
Song of the Morning has been a welcoming place of healing and transformation for hundreds (and possibly thousands) of us seeking a place to ground and serve in spiritual community while we deepen our spiritual practice and connect with the Divine. Over the last nearly fifty years, short term or long term, we come to immerse ourselves in a tight-night, close quartered community to serve, learn and grow. And this is incredible! The housing, however, while manageable for a shorter term stay, is not so manageable (nor incredible) for someone wanting to commit long term and put down roots.
For too long, the average length of stay for a staff person has been six months to one year. The primary cause of departure is burn out. Research into live/work dynamics and their impact on our emotional and psychological well-being are clearly documented - burn out is inevitable if we don't get some time and space to restore inner balance. And, we can't serve fully and do our best if our own well-being is diminished.
Knowing the future and stability of Song of the Morning depends on an experienced, stable core staff, the Golden Lotus Board, along with staff and Clear Light Community representatives, began a process of inquiry into what was needed to manage burnout and create an environment where staff can thrive and serve for years to come. The top of the list was more appropriate housing - something that says "come stay for a while", offers a modicum of privacy, and is in keeping with our values of simplicity and sustainability.
With the first of three planned duplexes complete, we are experiencing the truth of this notion - the two staff members who have moved into their new spaces are clearly benefiting and so too, is everyone around them. This project means so much more than a comfortable space for someone to call home.
While staff being adequately housed is unarguably critically important, the domino effect means Song of the Morning can shift in high gear toward an exciting future. High staff turnover is an incredibly expensive problem for an organization to grapple with - we want to pour our resources into realizing the mission and vision of our founder through programs and services, renewing our existing facilities and structures and building new lodging, a temple and additional gathering spaces. There's so much exciting work to do! But this is the first step - we need the staff in place to make all this and so much more happen. Will you help?