Wisdom Keeper Week: Embracing Wholeheartedness - Rancho La Puerta
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Wisdom Keeper Week: Embracing Wholeheartedness

Week of March 4, 2023

We often feel pulled by two poles of responsibility, to others and to self.  As CEO and President of Rancho La Puerta, when I am feeling stressed and depleted, I recall the words of Brother David Stendl-Rost:

“You know that the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest?
The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness. “

We invite you to join us for a week of wholehearted creativity and play; to awaken the song in your heart, to allow beauty to call you out of doors and to shed exhaustion at the foot of the mountain.

My father, Edmond Szekely, believed that we could not help but feel enlivened in the presence of mountains.

The mountains are to many of us inexhaustible sources of joy and peace, of health, and even of life. We have gone to them jaded and worn, feeling, perhaps without any external cause, anxious and out of spirits, and have returned full of health, strength, and energy. Among the mountains Nature herself seems freer and happier, brighter and purer, than elsewhere. The fresh air, the mysterious summits of the mountains, the blue haze of the distance, the morning tints and the evening glow, the beauty of the sky and the grandeur of the storm, all have refreshed and delighted us time after time, and their memories can never fade away.

We will shine our brightest when our hearts are full and our minds are allowed to empty and be receptive. Be blessed by the new life the early rains have brought to our mountains and may your heart be filled.


Sarah Livia Brightwood Szekely is President of Rancho La Puerta.  For forty years she has designed the gardens and cared for the wildlands around Rancho La Puerta.  As the keeper of the vision and long-range planner she has preserved the soul and culture of Rancho La Puerta while bringing new programs and reviving the earth honoring traditions that inspired the early years at Rancho La Puerta.  She is also President of Fundación La Puerta through which she guides Rancho La Puerta’s non-profit work in the region.  In 1984 Sarah established Agrícola Tres Estrellas, a diverse organic farm that provides food to Ranch La Puerta’s guests year-round and in 2007 she designed and opened La Cocina Que Canta, a culinary center and cooking school to teach commitment to healthy eating and to embrace the joy of harvesting and cooking in community.   She is the daughter of philosopher and visionary Edmond Bordeaux Szekely and community organizer and philanthropist Deborah Szekely, the founders of Rancho La Puerta.

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