Navigating persistent personal turmoil, despite all the time you’ve sat with it and all the ideas you’ve put into action, can be exhausting.
How do you navigate the isolation, tiredness and melancholy of feeling like you’ve got to do it all yourself, even though you know there are good people in your life who care?
Regardless of constant opportunities for connection in the modern world, and despite those in our community who may want to support us in our time of need - we can still feel alone and lost when we’re experiencing personal trouble.
It can seem others have their own stuff to deal with and don’t have the space for us. Not the space that’s required to really dig into the sub-soil of a persistent trouble scratching at the core of who we are.
This human experience of isolation and despair is likely more common than we realise - a whole bunch of us may be moving around in our personal bubbles of turmoil, unaware of just how immense and similar another’s experience might also be.
Thus, the CIRCLE OF CLOSE ONES is introduced.
How to do the Circle of Close Ones
This is a tool to help an individual call-in specific support when experiencing personal crisis. It looks and feels like this:
(1) Call together a trusted group - The challenged one calls together 4 to 8 people they trust to confide in. Those for whom they feel a sense of confidence and safety. These are people that can hear the ’stuff’ without having to fix the other; nor are they easily triggered into their own turmoils. These are close ones.
The close ones are invited into a held and facilitated space. A private space, where the group will collectively deep dive together for 2 to 4 hours.
(2) Hear the one carrying the challenge - The circle’s purpose is to hear the troubled person in the deep honesty and vulnerability of their life challenge. This sharing isn’t endless - it happens in a time-range that feels appropriate to the group. Up to 20 minutes of explanation might be a good start. Having a time limit helps avoids the circle being a ‘dump and fix’; rather allowing a contribution of collective wisdom from the whole group from which the challenged one draws inspiration and guidance.
(3) Use circle rounds to clarify & contribute - The group use circle rounds to discuss and explore what they hear in the challenge, and what might be possible to support them toward a more balanced and settled place.
For the FIRST set of circle rounds, each support person describes the feelings and needs they hear expressed by the challenged one; reflecting what might be important to that person, and what feelings are presenting as symptoms of those needs not being met. The challenged one might also like to give this a go. The group collectively reflect what they feel/sense/hear from the one carrying the challenge. They might refer to their own life experience to describe what they’re hearing, and there might be several rounds of the circle exploring the feelings and needs.
For the SECOND set of circle rounds, each person describes what they feel could be valuable strategies for the challenged one to meet their needs and cultivate what’s important to them. This is the creative part - and a space for lateral thinking. Again, this might continue for several rounds as more ideas surface and emerge. The point here is not to be a ‘dump and fix’, but a vast harvest of options.
The challenged one is responsible for taking action on what feels right for them - the close ones cannot save them, and self responsibility is essential.
Rounds can happen by moving person-by-person around the circle - passing a talking stick to help guide the flow of contribution, and to support each person be fully heard in their sharing.
Alternatively, rounds can also happen in a pop-corn style - placing the talking stick in the middle of the circle where each person picks-up the stick when they feel to share something. In this case, keep it to only one contribution from each person until everyone has contributed and shared for that round. Choose the style that feels best for the group.
The essence of the Circle of Close Ones
The Circle of Close Ones happens in the spirit of sharing circle; guided by the principles of:
As the rounds progress, only one person speaks at a time, without cross-talk. This includes the challenged one. The talking stick is used to show who has the space to share - only the person holding the talking stick has 'permission' to contribute at that time. This requires a self-moderation for the time taken to share, and an awareness of fairness in holding the talking stick.
Recognition to the First Nations people of North America, and globally, who have been the longest carriers of the talking stick and sharing circle practice.
Sharings can be scribed to capture the essence of the contribution of close ones. Before the circle begins, it’s important to gain consent from all present to the scribing of the circle sharings, and to clarify who will scribe.
Having a facilitator to guide the Circle of Close Ones is not necessary, though helpful. A skilled facilitator will open and close the space appropriately - helping everyone arrive fully in the circle with a presencing practice, and leave with closure and completeness.
A facilitator will track the energy of the group - especially of the challenged one - supporting the flow of contributions and stepping-in only if a sharing seems off-track, inappropriate and/or not honouring the intention to support the challenged one.
The great beauty of the Circle of Close Ones is that all are able to benefit from the wisdoms shared. It’s possible the close ones may have their own ‘stuff’ emerge while in the circle. However it’s important to reiterate the focus is on the challenged one for whom the circle was called; supporting those in their process with emergency empathy, and then bringing it back to the challenged one.
The Circle of Close Ones allows a gathering of collective wisdom and insight from trusted kin. The spirit of this circle is to witness and see each other in our vulnerability; contributing in a meaningful and considered way.
Practical aspects to the Circle of Close Ones
Practical aspects to consider include the following.
If you're interested to experience the Circle of Close Ones for yourself, either talk to a skilled facilitator or seek the support of a friend to help you coordinate the time. The outcome will hopefully be more clarity on options, and a greater sense of support.
Please note! The Circle of Close Ones is not a surrogate for professional psychological help. Seek the support of a professional counsellor or psychologist where needed.
The Circle of Close Ones utilises the social technology of sharing circle, an age-old global practice by which humans have met and connected on deep and meaningful levels. Sharing circle is a place of respect, vulnerability and collective wisdom.
May it be used to support modern humans to connect with transparency, trust and contribution to move forward in ways that are witnessed, supported and fulfilling.
For online and/or in-person facilitation of the Circle of Close Ones, please connect with me to explore and engage. It is a pleasure to be in service in caring for each other with deep and open hearts
Newkind Festival has taken time to process. 6-days of deep-diving with social change agents near Hobart, Tasmania was potent and provoking. My call there was an invitation to present on regenerative people systems and governance. It’s affirming to be invited to share this with people making positive change in the world.
We 400 folks gathered to explore and connect around topics that matter. We explored social and environmental injustice, and the diverse and bold strategies initiated by inspiring people from around Australia and beyond.
I experienced workshops, presentations and panel discussions on a vast subject matter around how we can human in a more humane way. It struck me how appropriate permaculture and it’s principles are for addressing all of what was being discussed. And not just permaculture in the food-production sense; but permaculture as a design framework for all that we do.
Connecting the dots of how human systems create oppression and injustice, and then contemplating how we might create empowering and life-affirming systems is motivating, sometimes intimidating and absolutely necessary.
Standing in the Newkind lunch-line was a treat (we all ate plant-based meals together, all cooked on wood-fired rocket stoves), giving us a chance to connect and network. I was blown away by the calibre and clarity in all of the people I came across. It was epic to be amongst a collective of individuals who are all actioning unique positive change in the world.
Big BIG kudos to the tireless efforts of the Newkind crew for catalysing such a gathering (completely solar-powered at that!). These types of events are a critical piece in the emergent puzzle of how can be in greater care of earth and people while fairly sharing resources and experiences. I am blessed to have met new friends, colleagues and comrades in this work of creating a better world, feeling bolstered and nourished in this work that can be confronting and depleting.
To all you who know change is possible - go do it! Every voice/conversation/post counts - even if it’s simply affirming something in yourself. Make sure your lens for the world is micro and macro, broad and specific, diverse and full spectrum. There’s so much going on: both individually and together we create the reality we desire. I’m with you on the journey.
#WeAreNewkind #Newkindfestival #thrivingpeoplebetterworld
It's a pleasure to write from my homelands in the hills of the Sunshine Coast, Australia.. Life here is a forested-affair.
Squawking cockatoos, chittering fairy wrens, electronic-sounding whip birds, and far-reaching kookaburra calls. Ferns carpeting the mushroom-rich forest floor, under the towering tall gums.
Where I live is a thriving ecology. It's special to live amongst..
My forest home is a distinctly different to that experienced in Germany and Northern Europe over for 3 months over the previous Euro summer. There, I was predominantly in city-scapes with their own people-rich uniqueness.
I love to play in cities. And I love to marvel at the ecologies of humans who create amazing realities with their concentration of resources, crossed-paths, and magnetism to outsiders.
And Germany isn't all city living; there's plenty of country-side filled with quaint villages, rolling green hills, wind-turbines and solar panels.
But they've got nothing of the natural riches of the Australian continent.
While I'm in places like Europe, I contemplate, converse, question and explore how people got to be the way they are; both in Europe (where the bones of ancestors lay), and back in my heart-home of modern, and ancient, Australia.
A clear realisation/confirmation from these contemplations: humans are inherently shaped, defined, and framedby their topographical and geo-political landscapes i.e. the land where they live.
Germany has clearly made it's mark on the global scene (cars, renewable technology, head of the EU). It holds nine international borders and sits in the middle of a historically busy region. Coordinated defense systems have been paramount to the security of country borders, as had their preparation for the life-threatening chills of winter.
Germans are compliant, relatively well-educated, and tend to have a general understanding of systems – knowing how things work and building them to be hardy, efficient and effective.
Tradition, rules, authority and structure are a big part of German culture.
Australia, on the other hand, is spacious. The population per square kilometer compared to Germany is enough to illicit an involuntary giggle of amusement at just how few people live in the nation.
That space has meant we don’t have the same cross-pollination of different cultures and other humans, as many other nations do. In fact, Australia is pretty darn tight in controlling it’s borders to those of other cultures. That many Australians will purposefully sit a few seats away from another person on a public bus if they can (to give each other ‘space’ of course) is a classic example.
Most Australians live in a house with a backyard where the dog can run freely and we can do what we like, when we like without really have to interact with others. Germans, on-the-other-hand, are used to living in stacked boxes of apartment buildings, relying on nearby parks to walk their dogs where they naturally see and interact with other dog walkers. It’s a common thing to do.
Australians know how to live life without many people around. We’ve adapted to it and come to reinforce it where we can. We like doing what we want, without having to consider the needs of others.
Of course, yes, these are blatant stereotypes to which there are many exceptions. But hopefully the point is coming through. Space is a defining feature of life in Australia.
And there’s almost something we lack because we don’t have the pressure of population density pushing us forward. We can be apathetic and complacent – on certain things at least. “She’ll be right, mate” is an unofficial motto that has seeped into various levels of Australian life. Renewable energy is a good example – Germany excels in their renewable energy quota, where Australia lags sorely well behind despite our spaciousness and abundance of sun, wind, water.
Germans on the other hand tend to air on the side of the meticulous: getting everything in order and utter cleanliness – physically, emotionally, politically. (definitely a claim laden with stereotypes!)
In some ways it seems the muscle of Australian's for human dynamics are at a different level of maturity and perhaps not as toned as those in European lands. Perhaps we’re just … different. Perhaps it's all of the above.
That said, modern Australia has space to innovate, create, and live large. We haven’t the hierarchies of institutions and royal families so heavily on our soil to dictate how things happen here directly.
This has afforded us a little more free-range to develop and evolve in unique and inspiring ways. Much like the USA (the land of entrepreneurs), yet in a very different way, Australia has developed our own brazen boldness to be ourselves. The freedom of that is special, liberating and useful.
The invitation to modern Australia is to mature and develop with the aid of insights to other cultures and ways (which sit at our finger-tips more generously than ever before); growing more sophisticated cultural traits that honour and celebrate our spacious and ancient landscapes and people.
We’re hindered and blessed by our history, our land, and our connections with the rest of the world. I truly hope more Australians realise how life in the Lucky Country requires us to be engaged and informed citizens who demand our macro decision-makers to serve the people and our common unity of life on this continent with the intelligence and sophistication of those cultures we so greatly admire, that we are absolutely capable of living in our own special way.
Have you ever thought of time as series of patterns? Seeing the seconds, minutes, hours not as a looming threat, but instead as a drumbeat of cycles that present us a structure to design and create with?
Time patterns are macro and micro; broad-scale and small-scale. Long and short. Bright and dark. Hot and cold.
Year after year, seasonal patterns happen. Daily patterns happen. Solar patterns roll around each year. Lunar patterns happen each month.
They are all markers in our life experience (whether we see them or not).
And they are especially useful – resources to help orient ourselves, our projects, our check-ins and our energy output.
The nature of a cycle is that it has a beginning, middle section/s, and an end.
The sun through the year has it’s beginning at the Winter Solstice. The days wax in length through the mid-point of equal day and equal night at the Spring Equinox. Daylight shines it’s longest and brightest at the Summer Solstice, and then slowly starts to decline. The Autumn Equinox again marks equal day and equal night as the days shorten towards their dullest shine at the Winter Solstice.
Each day begins with a sunrise, peaks at midday, declines with sunset, and lays in full darkness at midnight.
The moon is dark and not visible at the new moon. Half seen at the first-quarter and third-quarter moons. And shining full and bright at the full moon.
Here’s the thing. Regardless of where we’re at in any of these, each distinctive point of the cycle provides an opportunity for us to utilise for reflection, intention-setting and awareness of what’s happening in our lives.
The peak point of the cycle (e.g. Summer Solstice and full moon) are times of outwardness, high activity, the obvious and illuminated. The low point of each cycle (e.g. Winter Solstice and new moon) are cold, dark, inward, subtle, slow.
Neither point in the cycle is better than another – each inviting us into a different part of ourselves.
For extra definition and detail, meaning can be assigned to the different cycles to reflect different aspects of ourselves.
The Sun might represent how your light is shining in the world: with the Winter Solstice a time of intention-setting, and the Summer Solstice a time of illumination and reflection on how you’re shining.
The Moon might represent your feelings and emotions: setting intentions for these with the new moon, and reflecting and expressing these at the full moon.
The beauty of time as patterns and cycles is the predictability. Predictable allows for self-organisation, and provides structure and framework to orient ourselves and know what to expect.
If we know how to read the patterns of the earth’s movements around the sun (the solar cycle), then we effectively have a drumbeat of seasons structuring how we operate and a lattice work to create around.
Here are some questions you might like to consider regarding patterns and cycles in your life:
Patterns and cycles are a resource for us humans to utilise to refine our essence, and thrive in our individual and collective missions in the world.
Let yourself dance to their beat and, piece by piece, create an authentic, real and deeply fulfilling reality.
PART 1 :
THE SUN IS DYING
It’s happening. The sun is dying. It happens the same time every year. It’s predictable.
The physics of the diagonal axis of our spinning globe, rotating the firey ball of gas in center of our solar system, allows for summer and winter to happen. The ‘death’ of the sun happens mid-winter, sustaining it’s lowest arch in the sky for three days. For us in the Southern Hemisphere, our greatest tilt away from the sun is in May, June, July, August.
My white-skinned cold-clime ancestors of the Northern Hemisphere had story about the death of the sun. As far as I know, there are many reported cases of different human groups having big story around this (watch the first Zeitgeist movie for more insights). For those of the cold regions, this death was something to pay respects to for various compelling reasons (all of which are just as instructive and relevant to us in the modern times).
(And, interesting side note: those on equatorial latitudes were/are primarily governed by the waxing and waning of rain cycles rather than length of day)
For those of us born after the dawning of the age of electricity, this can all seem a bit “whatever”. Modern humans in the digital techno sphere dominated by the Gregorian calendar and petroleum don’t have much need to pay heed to the sun’s sky position. Because hey, we’re running on the long-ago captured sunlight from ancient algae transformed into the liquid black gold that touches just about every part of the modern era. Oil and coal.
But get this. Before oil and coal was a ‘thing’, humans existed only by the light of the sun that could be captured via plant and animal life, that could somehow be preserved for as long as possible (which generally lasted for a solar year – meaning for around 12 months). So in those times, when sunlight was respected for the fueling role it had on Earth (which it still very much has), humans paid attention… and revered… the movements of Sol.
PART 2 :
RELEVANT TAKEAWAYS FROM THE DEATH OF THE SUN
This all teaches us some important stuff about being human. Here are just a few relevant takeaways from the death of the sun.
(a) It teaches us about DEATH
The sun stops shining and plants don’t grow as much. Simple as that. For those in really cold climates, plants stop growing all together i.e. they die. Life goes fallow, and it all gets to have a rest. Life has a chance to hibernate and appreciate times of rest. Life recharges and restore in the darkness of winter, connecting to the inner realms. Humans, plants, animals: all of it.
We humans are reminded of the ‘winter’ of the human experience. When our bodies age and eventually die. It happens to all of us. And it’s just as predictable as the sun dying each year, or the moon dying each month.
(b) It teaches us about LIFE
All this talk of death teaches us about life. It teaches us that rebirth happens. The sun rises again in the sky in the Spring. The moon grows luminous again after it’s darkness. The matter of our human bodies cycles back into the flux of the Earth to be transformed into another form with lifeforce.
It teaches us to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ in the summer. It’s reminds us of the fullness of life, and that our bright shining life-force is limited and therefore, precious. Its teaches us to value the freshness of the new. It teaches us to use the time we have as a resource.
(c) It teaches us about CYCLES
This is yet another means to describe the drum beat of the 12 monthly sun cycle: a light-based time marker through which Earth pulses. The moon holds a similar beat but on a mo(o)nthly rhythm. These cycling celestial bodies allow us opportunity to orient ourselves within the midst of these ‘dynamic constants’ as our lives happen – with all the change and unpredictability.
It’s said it’s beneficial to plant seeds with the dark/new moon, working with the idea that water is literally drawn down in the soil profile where the seed roots must anchor. The full moon draws water up, bringing extra life-force into leaf and fruiting matter.
Some apply the pattern to the human experience as well. We can plant seeds of intention into our lives with the new moon cycle and new sun cycle, dropping our intentions into the drumbeat of the celestial rhythms to see our visions grow each month and each year.
PART 3 :
DANCING THE CYCLES IN 12 STEPS
Choreographing our life experience to synch with the beat of the waxing and waning of the sun & moon offers a biorhythmic intelligence for dancing our life intentions in small and digestible chunks.
The southern Winter Solstice occurs around the 21 June 2018 each year. At this time of declining sunlight we can feel the opportunity to plant yearly seeds (think of new year resolutions). We can then watch and tend these intentions as they sprout with the Spring Equinox (September), bloom with the summer solstice (December), decline with the autumn equinox (March), and eventually fall away to allow the next cycle to emerge.
This is a similar pattern we can dance with the lunar cycle I.e. plant seeds of intent with the monthly new moon, see them bloom at the full moon, and dwindle with the waxing quarter.
Indeed, the sun and moon cycles can be used together. ‘Plant’ yearly intentions at the Winter Solstice. Break-down that 12 months of the coming solar cycle into it’s quarters and see these as milestone markers. Then break-down each quarter into the 3 moon cycles they contain. Use these lunar cycles as additional milestones to check-in on the progress of your intentions.
Here’s how that can look in 12 steps:
(1) JUNE (Winter Solstice): Set intentions for the 12 month period following. See these intentions within the scope of your broader life goals, supporting you to practically step toward the greater visions you hold for yourself and the world. Also in June, set yourself the next step toward your intention for the month to come – what will you do through the rest of June to help you grow your intention seed into a thriving plant?
(2&3) JULY & AUGUST: At new moon of each month, set intention for the next step toward your yearly intentions. What will you do through each month to help you grow your intention seed grow roots and establish? See this monthly intention illuminated at each full moon, and die-away with the waning moon.
(3) SEPTEMBER (Spring Equinox): How have your yearly intentions been growing for the first 3 months? See them like a sprouting plant reaching up out of the soil full of conviction. Are they growing as you had hoped? Do you want/need to tweak and refine your actions to integrate current information and context? Reflect and keep your intention growing.
(4&5) OCTOBER & NOVEMBER: At new moon of each month, set intention for the next step toward your yearly intentions. What will you do through each month to help you grow your intention seed into a thriving plant at the Summer Solstice? See this monthly intention illuminated at the full moon, and die-away with the waning moon.
(6) DECEMBER (Summer Solstice): See your intentions blooming amongst the light-flooded longer days of the summertime. There is a lot of energy and heat at this time. Do your year-long intentions need to take a breath in amongst all the outward energy? Admire the ‘flowering’ of your intentions after 6 months of tending to them. Stop to smell your ‘roses’ and appreciate their full-bodied life force.
(7&8) JANUARY & FEBRUARY: At new moon time of each month, set your intention for the next step of your yearly intentions. Your intentions will still be basking in there blooming state – how are you utilising this energy while there is still light around? See this monthly intention be illuminated at the full moon, and die-away with the waning moon.
(9) MARCH (Autumnal Equinox): Since the full light of summer shone on your blooming intentions, what have you learnt and harvested? This quarter equinox point of equal day and equal night allows you to balance as you reap and review from the past 9 months of journeying intentionally. Acknowledge the wisdom gathered, continue on with your blossomed intentions, and tune-in to how you can bring completion to this cycle.
(10&11) APRIL & MAY: At new moon of each month, set intention for the completion steps of your yearly intentions. Continue your intentions in these final stages. These are the months for a completion ceremony and resting. This is also a time to contemplate how you will begin the next solar cycle of intentions. See these monthly intentions illuminated at the full moon, and die-away with the waning moon.
(12) And then start again. Utilise any progress, growth and learnings from the past solar cycle to help you move onto the next stage on your life journey.
Life is a precious and limited experience for all life forms. We’re guaranteed that one day our bodies will no longer live in the form we currently know them.
We humans have a potent opportunity to intentionally align our matter with our spirit for an average 8 to 9 decades.
May these insights help you live your deepest intentions and manifest your wildest dreams: step by step, piece by piece through each cycle we’re granted. That way, no matter when our spirit leaves our bodies, we will know we’ve lived fully in each moment we’re afforded.
Blessings to you for each & every cycle!
• AUDIO •
• TEXT •
Showing-up and being seen in Life is:
When we take the opportunity to show-up, to show the truth of who we are in any one moment, regardless of other people’s (or our own) projections and stories about what’s said: we honour Life.
When we show-up in the fullness of who we are, allowing our light to shine simply because that’s what’s happening in Life at that moment: we honour Life.
When we show-up in Life and allow ourselves to be seen… truly seen… even when the going’s tough, when we are at a lull, when we don’t know how things will change: we honour Life.
When we show-up in Life and allow ourselves to be seen for all our sovereign right to be exactly who we are because that’s how the stars were aligned at our birth or who our parents were or what the political context was or what town we grew up in: we honour Life.
When we allow ourselves to be seen, even when it goes against our childhood-conditioned, neurologically-wired, muscle-memory self because we know there’s a deeper truth that wants to express itself as a birth-rite of being a Being: we honour Life.
When we allow ourselves to be seen when we don’t agree with the politics or the economics or the ethics of the majority, but our allegiance and utter knowing of the sacred depths of Life push us to speak-up and be heard: we honour Life.
When we show-up with our heart in our mouths, pulsing fear and anticipation and tears and relief that the truth’s being spoken, without knowing how the other, how the self, will next respond, but knowing we can’t hold the pseudo reality any longer: we honour Life.
When we do these things, we’re doing the only thing we can do. We're using the resources of the present moment, not wasting the potent energy of truth but offering it up so Life can work it’s magic of synchronicity with all those who hear. We allow deep trust to alchemise what IS, and stir the pot of co-creative potential.
When we show-up in Life, we can’t know the impact it may have on others, the unknown ripples through the human experience that might plant seeds, water potential, cull potential, open a door, close a door. We can’t really know.
All we can, and need, to do is SHOW UP & BE SEEN.
•AUDIO• Click to play >>
The thing about feedback is that it happens whether we like it or not. Either way, consciously acknowledged or otherwise, feedback is swooping around us, within us, between us and beyond us.
The thing about feedback is that all life is designed around it and dependent upon it. Our human bodies, the ecosystems we belong to, the development of a new born child adapting to the world. Feedback is the driving force of the great organic machine called Life, and we’re all loops in it’s grand circuits.
The thing about feedback is that we can pay attention to it, receive it, feel it, allow it, contribute to it, and find ourselves dynamically propelling through authentic interactions – or not. We have the choice to utilise feedback as our co-creative wand, acknowledging life for what it truly is – for what we truly are - and live present and real with ourselves and the world around us.
On this World Water Day 2017, the one on which clean water access for humans is revered, may we remember the absolute necessity of clean water access for the Earth. Water is LIFE, and no more so for humans than for this precious planet of which we are members & inhabitants. Water is SPIRIT, lubricating LIFE FORCE into action.
While Pacha Mamma is highly sophisticated at dealing with contaminated water, her threshold of tolerance only goes so far. Humans are insidiously manipulating fresh water at an extent we cannot fully understand.
Ancient aquifers are tapped to water cash crops of inefficient monocultures grown in a cocktail of chemicals.
Fresh water is treated to drinking water standard into which we deposit our human waste, contaminating the water, and then sending it to a treatment plant to be transformed by another energy intensive process to then be sent out to sea.
Vast expanses of waterways & systems are threatened by industrial contamination & oil spills, victim to human error & misjudgement.
May we humans understand the responsibility we have to the greater whole to which we are but parts. Should we respect that responsibility, we have opportunity to continue to live in this abundant & divine world with much fulfilment & empowerment. Should that responsibility be disrespected, we will continue to see Life's systems failing, their life force & spirit clogged with the externalities of humans linearly designed systems.
Water is LIFE ~ may we use it with reverence & gratitude, always ~
EXCITING NEW FEATURE :: This post is available in audio (below), read by the author herself. Feel free to download to listen while you're on the road/go. And let me know what you think of it, I'd love to hear. And never fear, the text is available further below, for your normal reading pleasure!
I’ve been hearing this thing inside of me calling out for more bridging of the individual with the collective. I hear it, and sometimes without thinking my response is “who, me?” and other times I realise “yes, it’s totally talking to me” and other times I feel that it can only be me… in this particular context, at this time, with my experiences. If not me, then who?
An idea conceived in my mind some time in the past couple of years, with a serious gestation since October 2016. At that time I found myself at a permaculture convergence, going from workshop to workshop, absorbing wheelbarrows of insight and information, with quick pressure drops in the tea breaks when I could tune-in with fellow convergence folks about their take on day. At the end of it I felt adrift: What do the elders think of these matters? What do the diverse change-makers converging together think of these matters? What do I think of these matters when I’m thrown into the cauldron of public witnessing when it really matters? With much respect for the sentiment of the event, I realised there was a subtle but vital piece missing; one for which an action was calling out for manifestation through me. That piece was something to the effect of people coming together to discuss their perspectives and views on the matters at hand, something that so often feels way greater than the sum of it’s parts. And, so, the Folk Forum was born.
What does that name even mean? Well, inspired by a friend feeling passionate for folk medicine and people knowing how to use nature’s pharmacy for their own healing, I realised we humans (the folk) continually bring together a whole bunch of ‘medicine’ through our experiences, wisdom, knowledge and curiosity. And through my work in the dynamic whole-system governance approach of Sociocracy, I’ve experienced check-in rounds before starting a meeting to see where each person is at as a status check of each element of the system. Through this I realised circle work is a powerful social technology to be utilised for humans to process life together (the forum). Much like Martin Prechtel talks about in his book The Smell of Rain On Dust, true authentic grief performs a fermentation of our sorrow into a profound sense praise for the life gone, and so it goes that the act of bringing together people as a means to SEE and BE SEEN can be a potent pot of perspective on ourselves through the mirror of the other humans sharing in circle around us.
These posts offer you insights & practical tools to support you to thrive for a better world!
Sign-up for monthly newsletter updates:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.