. . . once we're no longer holding someone else responsible for how we feel.
When someone is traumatized by someone else, as in the case of rape, molestation, physical or emotional abuse, when someone is betrayed by another, it is normal, natural, and appropriate to have very strong feelings in response - feelings that create all sorts of physiological chemical processes at the level of the bodymind. This pain accumulates, resulting in what we might call the individual pain-body.
When whole groups of people are persecuted, traumatized, or demoralized, it creates a collective pain in the bodyminds or psyches of people who are part of those groups. African Americans, Native Americans, Jewish people, and women, typically carry a shared pain, which we call the collective pain-body.
There is no doubt, in all of these cases (and others), that deep wrong was committed, leaving deep emotional wounds. This is when various spiritual traditions might suggest that forgiveness is in order. Forgiveness, they say, is the path to healing. I don't disagree with the spirit of the message. I take issue, however, with how most humans, clergy as well as laypeople, or other spiritual teachers, interpret forgiveness and how it is to be achieved.
When I was a mere babe, twenty-three years old to be exact, I caught my boyfriend in the act with another woman. I just about went crazy. I'll spare you the gory details of that night, but I was left with a broken heart and a broken jaw, a very remorseful boyfriend, and a lot of shame and shock to find myself in such a situation.
While common rhetoric went something like: If he hits you once he'll hit you again, I knew deep down, quite miraculously in retrospect, that I was being called to work through this thing - not just point an accusing victimized finger at him and walk away. At some point I ran across a book, also quite miraculously, about forgiveness. I wish I could remember the name of it, but I don't. And I don't know that the book itself was actually all that ground-breaking, but what I did with it was.
The takeaway was this: Yes, what happened was awful, it was wrong. He behaved badly (and in this case so did I). So now what?
Whatever I read in that book made me realize that there was only one way out - and that the one way out was through. I was going to work through every feeling, no matter how dark, and chase down every little nuance of hurt that might be hiding in the deep, dark recesses of my bodymind, until I was free - free of the rage, the hurt, the feelings of betrayal and blame, until I could look at him, or think of him, and feel nothing but peace, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. And I did.
And once the pain was out of my body, I saw him and me through eyes of compassion. I saw two young, pretty immature people, who were doing what humans often do - acting out their pain, their inner conflicts and confusion, in ways that hurt others and ultimately themselves. And that's when it happened - forgiveness.
I think I grew up that year; I mean spiritually grew up. And I wouldn't trade the experience - the actual trauma, and the suffering that it caused, for anything.
I hadn't thought about this period of my life for a very long time until a client asked me recently about forgiveness. I was trying to explain that forgiveness is, in my experience, not successful when it's attempted from the neck up - from the level of the will or personal intellect. The mere decision to forgive is rarely an effective one. It tends to just gloss over the hurt, avoiding the pain that goes along with it (a process sometimes referred to as spiritual-bypassing). But it's this very pain, this suffering that we're trying to avoid, that provides the necessary motivational fuel to undertake real inner emotional housecleaning, real healing.
I've got to think that when Jesus talks about forgiveness, he means for us to do this inner work. He doesn't mean that we should just decide, using our little personal wills, simply because forgiving is what we're supposed to do.
Because it's only when we reach below the level of the egoic mind and reach our bodily-held suffering and consciously surrender to it, are we open enough to receive the miraculous, alchemical nature of healing - an alchemical process that's beyond something our minds can think about, direct, and control. It's bigger than we are.
And I know this is so because once this emotional healing happens, forgiveness is a given. It happens naturally. It's not something I have to think about or do. It's not something I have to effort at or theorize about, or try to conjure. It simply arises; like a soft flower, opening from deep within my body, blooming outward, blessing both me the forgiver and the forgiven.
I've got to believe that this is what happened with Jesus on the cross. Surely there was a whole lotta suffering going on before he got to: forgive them for they know not what they do. And if this is true, it confirms what I've been saying here all along: it's not the forgiveness itself that is holy, but the suffering and the emotional healing that precedes it that makes it so.
Love to you and yours,
Conscious suffering is holy. Eckhart Tolle
What happens when you try to sit still, in the silence, alone with yourself for any length of time? Do you start to feel antsy or restless? Bored or fidgety? Do you feel uneasy or start to get uncomfortable in some sort of vague, indescribable way? Do you make excuses like, "I've got too much to do to sit still," or "I'm an extrovert. I need to be around people?"
Whether or not you're busy or extroverted is not really the point; what happens inside and the feelings that arise in your body before you get up and decide that this sitting-still-thing is stupid, is what's important.
The feelings that arise, if you're willing to stop long enough to notice them, are pointers. They point to suppressed feelings and unconscious beliefs and programs that your doingness helps you to continue to suppress. Most feelings, beliefs, and behaviors are driven by "underlying wants." These underlying wants usually fall under one or more of the following categories: wanting approval, wanting control, wanting security/safety, wanting separation, or wanting oneness.
While it's understandable and very human to want these things, we are usually trying to get them from unreliable, unstable, and impermanent sources; sources that exist outside of us, like other people, future situations, or improved outer conditions. And like most humans, once we get a taste of getting our needs met in this way, or even the hope of getting our needs met in this way, we will latch onto these outer sources and say, "I'm someone who needs ____, or prefers ____. It's just the way I am."
We then begin to think of these tendencies as preferences, personality traits, or something in our character, which helps us to strengthen or add to our sense of identity. But until you can sit in the silence alone with yourself, you won't know the truth of who you are, because the truth of who you are cannot be discovered by anything that you do, have, or who you are with. It can only be known and experienced as Beingness.
Until you can sit alone with yourself and be happy, you bring an unconscious expectation to your relationships, your work, or life in general, to meet your needs and provide your happiness. And it's ultimately a setup for suffering, because when the outer world fails you or doesn't comply, which always happens eventually, you are left with the despair of an addict without a fix, and all the feelings you were trying to avoid in the first place are up in your face - magnified.
This is why the Buddha said that desire was the source of all suffering; not because desire in and of itself is bad or sinful, but because it necessarily suggests a disconnection from the source of all true happiness and a further movement away from this source as we look for the missing thing where it is not - outside of us.
So sit with yourself if you can bear it. Watch and wait and let yourself feel. Let yourself hear from the parts of you who are wanting something because they feel a lack or a sense of not-enoughness. This not-enoughness can only be filled by your deep and conscious Presence. It's the only reliable, sustainable source. And every time you fill yourself with your Self, you're closer to the truth of who and what you are, and everything else stops being what you must have in order to be happy, and instead simply one of those things which "will be added onto you" (as Jesus said), like icing on the cake.
Peace and love to you all,
Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all theses things will be added onto you.
The kingdom of heaven is within you.
I read somewhere recently that Dr. Phil got in a little bit of trouble for some remarks he made about Covid-19. He said something to the effect that if we didn't return to work, if we didn't "get back to normal," more people would die from the stress of not working than from the virus. We all know that Phil has never been short on opinions, but whether he's right or not is not what concerns me here.
What his comment reveals is not only a reflection of his lack of skill-set, a lack of faith in his ability to help people release, transform, and resolve the stress around not working, but in his culturally-biased assumption that not working is the problem - versus recognizing our emotional reactions to not working as the problem. His comment reflects and also reinforces a disempowered stance that puts the locus of control on Covid-19, our political leaders, the economy, and our outer-directed efforts to fix all this up just right so that then we can feel better; instead of affirming our own innate power to transform our negative feelings, and be at relative inner peace, regardless of our outer circumstances.
Again, I'm assuming that this is merely an indication that he doesn't know how. This wouldn't be a problem except that because of his popularity, we can only assume that his position and attitude is a reflection of mass culture, and that's what worries me.
When we can't control our outer lives, if we do not have jobs or achievements, is it necessary that the stress of that kills us? Yes, being out of work with no income, and being responsible for others, would certainly bring up strong feelings of survival-type fear. It's perfectly understandable. But where is the faith in the human organism's capacity to transform fear? Where is the faith in an abundant universe that offers unlimited potential and possibilities that we might have access to once our fear is transformed?
Please understand that I'm in no way trying to discount these kinds of fears. I have them too. But within every fear and every situation that triggers that fear, is the potential for healing, release, and to know ourselves more deeply - inner work which we might not be motivated to do if we weren't scared silly.
We are not at the mercy of this pandemic. Instead, it presents us with an opportunity to face the illusion that we were ever in control in the first place. It invites us to find something deeper in ourselves than our outer-directed, ego-directed plans and strategies, something deeper than our self-identification with worldly-attained security, achievement, and success.
I hope Phil is wrong. I hope the stress of not working won't kill us. I hope instead that this crisis will be used to help us be more than we've been before and that instead of back to normal, we emerge from this as better than normal - with a greater sense of who we are, beneath and beyond our worldly, egoic striving.
Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said, I have overcome the world. Perhaps he came to know the limitations and futility of striving, strategizing, and trying to control our outer circumstances. Perhaps he was trying to tell us that as long as our focus is on anything out there, we will have "tribulation." Maybe he was trying to show us another way and was challenging us to dig deeply enough to find the innate, indwelling peace, stability, and freedom within, that which transcends the outer illusion.
In any case, I don't think he would let us off the hook like Phil did. He wouldn't agree that the world could beat us and wouldn't agree that the world could fix us. But would have invited us instead to rediscover the truth of who we are, beneath and beyond the world of form, all the while celebrating our remembrance of this truth, and the worldly conditions that inspired it.
In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John16:33.
Thank you Jesus, for showing the way.
We all want to feel fulfilled. It's a basic human need and a fine one. The Life Coach Training Institute that I attended and the life coaching movement itself is based on the idea of not just surviving, but of thriving. It's intended to help you live and create "your best life." Again, this is a fine intention and there's nothing wrong with pursuing it. I am grateful for how it has helped me create this life that's such a good reflection of my essential self.
The question becomes, To what degree am I expecting Life to suit my particular needs and desires, so that I can be happy, feel loved and secure, feel good about myself, or be at peace? To what degree am I expecting outer conditions to be set up in such a way that I feel good for good? It's a common illusion and one that's perpetuated by our culture. When ____ happens, or when I achieve such and such, then I can relax and rest and be happy.
This sense of postponing a feeling of fulfillment or happiness, this sense of waiting, is so much a part of us that we often don't notice that we're doing it. But, you will know this to be true if you watch your mind carefully. You'll notice how often your awareness is on some elusive, future experience, and less on the present. You'll notice how challenging it is, especially as you're performing fairly mindless tasks or while driving, to keep your thoughts on what's happening right now.
Part of this future-oriented waiting is mere habit, our mind's need for constant stimulation, the ego's need to feel that it's doing something, accomplishing something, getting somewhere. But another aspect of this is a conditioned pattern of looking for fulfillment outside of us, in all the wrong places. The fulfillment we seek is not out there. Outer life conditions can only bring temporary, fairly shallow fulfillment.
When life's not working to my liking, when I'm not feeling as fulfilled as I think I should be, it's helpful to ask myself, What am I trying to get to - feeling-wise? What am I hoping to experience or feel that I'm not feeling now? And then I let myself feel the discomfort of not having what I want, not having it the way I want it. I let myself feel the perceived lack of what I want to feel or the sense of not enough of it. I might let myself have an inner tantrum. I might let myself write out, uncensored, my tantrum-like demands and feelings - why it's unfair, why I deserve better, and so on. And I breathe and stay with it, until it settles and dissolves.
And once that happens, a deeper sense of Beingness emerges. I then let go, quite naturally, of waiting for some future out-there to fulfill me, and rest instead in deep Presence, the always available source of true and lasting fulfillment. And I have everything I need, everything I ever wanted, right here, right now.
Maybe that's what Jesus meant when he said that the meek shall inherit the earth.
Much love to you all,
Looking to the mind for answers to recurring problems or questions is like returning to an empty file cabinet expecting/hoping that this time the information is in there.
HINT: If the mind had an answer that was satisfying, you wouldn't still be asking the question!
See if instead, you can present your questions to the all-knowing Stillness within. Use your breath to connect with your body, feel your body breathing, feel into the inner space of your body. Quiet your mind and wait. If your mind kicks in, gets distracted or busy, use it to return your focus to your breath and your body.
See if you can build a "tolerance" for inner Stillness. It will get easier with time and practice. Sometimes it's helpful to place your hand on your abdomen, just above the navel, and wait for the answers to come - as words, images, or as a subtle knowing.
This kind of body listening is more likely to take you in the direction of gut-knowing, Divine guidance, or knowing the answer in your heart of hearts.
My life has not changed much since self-quarantine. I still see a few clients outside on the farm and others over the phone. As an introvert, staying home and talking with a few close friends on the phone is enough social interaction for me. And as a single woman with horses and a farm to take care of, I've got plenty to do to stay busy. But busy has never really been my thing. I've not tended to use doingness as a way to quiet my mind, quell any emotional discomfort lurking beneath the surface, or feel OK.
However, in the last few weeks, I've noticed a subtle boredom at times. It sort of arises at the edge of my awareness and is immediately followed by a sense of somethin' ain't right. And then I notice myself scanning off in the vague vicinity or direction of how to fix it - how to ease the subtle discomfort of somethin' ain't right.
When I've caught it and let myself feel into it more deeply, I've noticed a belief or assumption just underneath that goes something like this: I'm not supposed to be bored; I must not be doing it right; boredom bad/stimulation good; maybe I'm bad; if I'm bored, something about my life is incorrect. I don't really believe any of this mind you, not logically. As I said, it's a feeling. And it's subtle.
And I've thought about Buddhist monks living in monasteries and how daily regular work, performing mundane tasks, is part of their practice. If you're on a spiritual quest and want to find enlightenment as a guest at a monastery, they put you to work: cooking meals, cleaning, and mopping floors. The practice is, the intention is, to do these tasks mindfully, with humility, and with deep Presence.
From that perspective, thinking of those monks and those seekers, it seems silly that I would think my life should be anything other than preparing meals, doing farm chores, or mopping the floor. Whatever made me think, on some level, that it wasn't enough, wasn't good enough, wasn't entertaining enough, didn't make me happy enough? And I think, What a spoiled lot we are! And alternately, How poor in spirit we are!
Our wealth allows us to have endless ways to keep ourselves surface-level stimulated and entertained. It allows us to run from anything that feels like emptiness or boredom. It prevents us from suffering - not in the way that refugees suffer, not in the ways that homeless or starving people suffer, but in the way that middle-class America suffers - with a mild, but somewhat chronic state of not-enoughness, a low-grade boredom, restlessness, something-better-is-just-beyond-my-grasp-and-I-need-to-get-it kind of suffering.
So I've approached my days more aware of this subtle brand of suffering. I sense the low-grade, antsy glance at what's next, something's-not-right, something's-not-good-enough kind of feeling. And as I am more present to it and able to be with it, I've watched it transform and settle into something deeper, something calmer. As a result, I go through my day with less expectation - less expectation that Life should bring me a certain level of stimulation, which I suppose we culturally equate, and so I equate, with happiness.
And instead of surface-level happiness, an amped up this-is-good, I'm-doin'-it-right kind of happiness, I find a depth of peace and Isness that's far more entertaining, far more satisfying, than anything my spoiled American-self can conjure.
Wishing you growth and peace during this potent time,
I come up to the house from a morning of seeing clients down by the creek and I want my lunch. I don't even notice that I'm not really physically hungry, but I'm craving something for sure. I'm craving the soothing experience that my fixing-and-eating-my-lunch ritual has come to provide. It comforts me. It gives me a sense of continuity, stability, an everything-is-normal, everything-is-OK kind of feeling. I stop and wait and check inside, and I pause my lunch-making ritual for long enough to notice that pausing makes me feel uneasy, uncomfortable.
I let myself sit with the feelings of uneasy and uncomfortable and notice that underneath there's a feeling of emptiness, followed by a subtle, frantic, graspy feeling - an attempt to fill up and avoid the emptiness. And while all of this is uncomfortable, it's really not that bad. It's sit-with-able and breathe-with-able. And in a fairly short time, a smile comes, with a nod to my ego saying, Ah, you almost caught me. You almost made me believe I needed something, needed some activity or experience, to make me feel whole and OK.
The first challenge is being present enough to notice what I'm doing, instead of allowing habitual movement and activity to take over. The second is being willing to get a feel for what's really happening inside of me - the feelings underneath that are driving my behavior. And the third is being willing to take the time to be present to and make a space for the feelings until they dissolve.
Thich Nhat Hanh says it this way: First you must know that you are suffering, second you must welcome or embrace your suffering, then you transform it.
Until recently, I didn't quite connect with the Buddhist concept of suffering. I didn't really see myself as someone who suffered. But it's all relative isn't it? No, I'm not starving, I'm not homeless, I'm not in chronic physical pain. But I suffer from a chronic reach outside and away from myself for something more, driven by an underlying sense of lack, of not enough, an emptiness that if I'm willing to sit with it long enough, feels a lot like suffering.
This low-grade suffering is perhaps more pandemic in our culture than the current pandemic. It's so much a part of us that it seems normal. We don't recognize the reach for our devices, the trip to the store, or our time on Facebook, as a distraction from suffering. But I'm sure it's easier to see as viewed from other, perhaps more earth-based, cultures.
In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Carl Jung recounts an interview with Chief Mountain Lake who said this about us, “ . . . Their eyes have a staring expression. They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something, they are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want, we do not understand them, we think that they are mad.”
As we go throughout the day, maybe we can periodically pause, check inside, and bring our awareness to the internal push or restless feeling. Maybe we can sit with it and wait for the emptiness or fear that's just underneath, and allow ourselves to feel it, breathe, and let it transform. Maybe together we can stop the madness by bringing our middle-class-America version of suffering to light. After all, it's one pandemic we can do something about.
It seems to happen every year this time of year. This year is no exception.
It started when I decided to beef-up my YouTube channel. I wanted to create some free, helpful, supportive, and inspiring videos, figuring that people really needed the support and encouragement right now. With this desire came a sense of urgency. Now is a potent time, I thought. Now more than ever, people need help remembering who they really are and how to access the peace that's innate to their own Beingness!
So I set about trying to make some professional-looking videos. They needed to be well-framed, well-lit, and audibly clear. I needed to remember everything that I wanted to say and do so clearly and concisely, without seeming stiff or forced. Also, my hair needed to look good.
In no time at all, my neck started to hurt, I felt a burning between my shoulder blades, and I felt grumpy and resistant. All the while I was remembering a conversation I had with a writer friend a few years ago. We were talking about the creative process and how free it feels when we let Consciousness flow through us. And then he said something like, "But if you're not having fun, there's something else going on."
Well sure enough, I had stopped having fun. I couldn't get the lighting right: the stupid weather wouldn't cooperate. I couldn't remember what I wanted to say, so I made copious notes, which I mostly memorized, only to end up sounding stiff. I looked at the stupid camera like a deer looking into headlights, and my hair looked like shit.
I tried really hard to hang in there and "be positive," but the pressure kept building and I eventually had a meltdown. But this meltdown wasn't the kind of little-Shelly, pain-body-got-triggered meltdown. This one was different. I raged at myself. I'm so sick of myself! I hate myself! I'm so sick of this shit! And I wondered, Who is the self that I hate, that I'm tired of, and who is the I who is sick and tired of her? I realized that I was sick of the one who was all about push and effort and trying to make things happen. And the pain that I felt was the fury-filled, gnashing-of-teeth pain of inner resistance, an epic inner battle, a fight to hold onto my ego's agenda versus the need to let go, and I thought of Jesus: Take this cup away from me and how they say he sweated blood. And then I realized that I was dying - not literally dying - but that my big fat ego was burning up. Burning up as I laid on the bed suffering. And as bad as it felt, it somehow felt right.
I had told myself that my desire to make a positive contribution via these videos was noble and that I was correct and on purpose. But somewhere along the way, the purity of my desire was hijacked by the ego. Buddhist teaching says that fear and desire are the root of all suffering and that the death of fear and desire is freedom. Well I've done a lot of work on the fear part, but this desire thing is trickier - for me anyway.
And I think about what's happening now, in the world and in our country. As a culture, we tend to avoid the topic of death. We mostly shutter away our old and dying so that we don't have to be reminded that we are all going to die one day. Death is the ultimate loss of control and the human ego hates to not feel in control. The human ego loves to feel that it's accomplishing, moving forward, and making progress.
As Americans, we are intensely identified with achievement - what we want to do, have, and get - and our belief that we are masters of our own fate. But one thing this virus has taught us is this: maybe we're not. And maybe the way that we've been going about our lives isn't actually fun. It's just that we're scared to let go.
And so I can't help but wonder if, like me, we were collectively sick and tired of ourselves, but didn't even know it. Maybe a wise place in our collective psyche said, Enough is enough. We are tired of pushing so hard, striving so hard. And maybe we knew that in order to save ourselves from our self-created, collective unconscious suffering, we needed to get sick - either literally or metaphorically, physically or economically. Maybe countries are like individuals: sometimes we have to feel worse temporarily, before we can create more lasting healing.
How this Jesus-In-the-Garden experience, this crisis, will play out for us collectively we cannot know. How it plays out for us individually will be as unique and varied as we are. Some of us will sweat more blood than others. But this I know, by the example of the man who showed us how: if you can stay present to it all, even if your friends are falling asleep, your suffering will be your glory, and rebirth shall be your reward.
Much love to you all,
He lives and moves, as most cats do, from his center. Born wild, he is forever tethered to and guided by an Unseen Force from which he was born and from which he evolved, which might imply that he and the Unseen are separate - the one who was born and the one who bore him, but this is not the case.
Rocky's movements and travels through time and space, over rocks and creeks and up into trees, are not planned. They aren't thought of in advance. They are an expression of Life, of Consciousness, expressing through a white and tabby cat, with a bold and cocky swagger, who seems to know that death, is just around the corner. He's alert to every subtle movement, every sound, every smell - a slight rustle in the leaves, the snap of a twig, coyote footprints in the mud. Things that I don't notice, even in my fullest presence, filter into and through Rocky, becoming part of him as he becomes part of them, forever changing and adding to what he encounters with the energetic imprint of Rockiness.
Every mouse that barely escaped his grasp, the coyote he outsmarted, the rooster he tried to catch, and the titmouse he caught and ate, are forever changed. And so Rocky will live forever, (despite my suspicion that his cat years will be short).
And so it is with all of us. And so it is with Life. Like Rocky, Consciousness is always expressing through us. Like Rocky, we are each unique and special expressions. We impact Life by simply being here to observe and be part of it. And our unique expression of Isness mirrors back to Life, to Consciousness, something back to Itself, about Itself, that would be lost without us. That's how important we are.
But like Rocky, our time here, as cat and human, is short. And accepting our impermanence is terrifying for most of us. And yet, if the Essence of Rocky could speak, it might just say,
You and I are one. The same Consciousness that moves through me, also lives through you and gets to see Itself through you, so It is always on your side. Live as It so fully that you know yourself as That, and your human self as merely a vehicle, as an idea in the heart of the Unseen. and you'll never be afraid again - fiercely present, but never afraid.
is the truth that can't be argued about. It's the truth that melts your partner's defenses, the truth that melts your partner's heart. It's also called the microscopic truth or the dangerous truth, because it requires you to dig more deeply inside yourself and get to the bottom of what's really going on versus listening to the content of your egoic, thinking brain. It's a truth not spoken from the intellect, but from fully-embodied presence.
You cannot speak the truth unless you know the truth. And, the egoic mind, the thinking brain, can only speak to the surface level of truth. Given free rein, it will tell its truth over and over again, like a worn out tape in your head. And the more it tells its story, the more entrenched it becomes.
Its purpose for doing this is two-fold. First, the egoic mind's primary job is to create, maintain, and defend its identity. It derives its sense of self from its thoughts and opinions. It's not really interested in new information, despite its host's discomfort and claim that it really does want to understand "why." This is because its sense of self is not only thinking-brain created, it is being fed by the emotional tone of the bodymind.
So, even when you insist that you really are interested in the deeper truth, as long as you're doing it from your current level of frustration, hurt, or similar energy, you're not likely to arrive at any new information. Your mind will simply reflect the underlying energy that's driving it.
The second reason that the egoic mind insists on its truth is that it's afraid of looking bad or different from how it wants to see itself. It must therefore protect itself from deeper feelings that conflict with its image - the image it feels that it must maintain to ensure its survival. So when one has the courage to reach below the surface of the egoic mind and access that truth at the level of the bodymind, real breakthroughs occur.
No longer is there a stand-off between two separate, egoically defended minds, but a conversation between two undefended hearts, two sets of more vulnerable feelings that emerge as shared feelings, shared experience, and a recognition of one's self as not separate, but in oneness with another.
Heaven On Earth Farm
Specific directions provided upon scheduling or registration.
P.O. Box 1233
Pickens, SC 29671