Archive for March, 2007

Inspiring quote

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

«This is the setting out.
The leaving of everything behind.
Leaving the social milieu. The preconceptions. The definitions. The language. The narrowed field of vision. The expectations. No longer expecting relationships, memories, words, or letters to mean what they used to mean. To be, in a word: open.»

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner (San Francisco, USA)

Thanks to Pierre Goirand, who sent me this quote.

A true learning day…

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Lots of enthused people for the first Art of Hosting Learning Day, but finally we gathered with six – and a baby. And a learning day it was!

My body held still some sadness as I arrived, triggered by some last minute cancellations. I felt my face was closed.

We were welcomed by Rik in nature – his favorite working space – and by the sound of his flute. We stood in circle under a very old tree, hearing the sounds of working machines and closeby stood some building materials. It felt right to include them in our circle… including the ones who choose to do some ‘work’ and not to be here with us; and including the world ‘out there’…

I felt that nature, the silence and slow pace of our conversation and the music opened me up again… what a relief! My face opened up, my breathing became deeper and the smile returned on my face!

We were then invited to have a creative presentation as an answer to the question: In your wildest dreams, who – what – where do you want to host? Of we went for 20 min to let the ideas come up…

When we gathered again Sander was the first to invite us to join him in putting our nose to the window glass of the big room where he sees himself hosting leaders of the world. What did we see or hear while looking inside? This picture is what Helen saw: looking through the window, through the room, through the window on the other side, throught the garden, and through the gate and still seeing Sander’s reflection! Amasing lessons were shared from these small observations and Sander had the impression these answers were why he came all the way from the Netherlands to join us in this day.

Next was Hannelore to tell her wildest dream of having a farm and a garden connected with the Heerlijckyt, so that ‘a whole life’ experience can be offered to all visitors. She invited us in the field with the three donkeys…

Now it was Rik’s turn, and to keep his – and our – fire burning, he invited to build together a structure with some wood we could find around the place. This was an amasing experience! Nobody took the lead, the men were more collecting the sticks, women tended to build the foudation of the structure… and we managed to build something that was nice and exceptional! Again different lessons about working together, how things can emerge with no plan beforehand and lots more!

All this strenghtened my idea of how important it is to include the wholeness of knowing – all the different ways of accessing knowing.

Time for lunch!

This time we gathered around the fire-place inside, and I started harvesting on a big sheet of paper what we already got out of our conversations. If you ever were part of this kind of flowing, inspiring conversations you know it is almost impossible to capture. So rich, so many links, deep silence, building on each other, deepening our understanding together…

Some of the sentences:
We host the new world, as it emerges. Hosting means: holding the field outside the content; hosting the container for questions; hosting the process between people; hosting the trust.

We are creating the new, conscious groove.

What spoke to me the most was: We come together as hosts – without content – as the field, and this is an evolutionary, collective act and practice.

It was clear to us, after some time, that we were not here to organise something or to find a next step for some kind of action. This coming together, our search for deeper meaning, this inspiring conversation was our purpose!

Since earlier in the conversation we were talking about the history of the venue, De Heerlijckhyt van Elsmeren, where we were gathered and that we all have a strong relationship with. It was here that the first Art of Hosting happened last October. Julian remembered his first visit, when I showed him the barn that is used these days for storing wood and all the working materials. Somebody proposed to visit it right now, and of we went…

It is truly a remarkable place… a deep silence is almost tangible… an emptyness…

Rik started playing his flute, two others joined in with sound… Who is singing? Who is singing me?

The last words on the flipchart:

simplicity of love

power of silence

the mystery

as a gift

Thanks to Helen, who made so many beautiful pictures, go and visit them here! I’m pleased that I could use some of them to beautify my blogposting. The harvest team is building!

New evolutionary capability?

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Yesterday something new happened for me and I think it is important for the leadership of the future. Years ago, in the autumn of 2000, I initiated a women’s group, which was called the FiveStar. Later the name changed to FourStar as one of us left our circle. This women’s circle was very important for me and to all of us. We all used it as our safety net and as our mirror and deep profound feed-back opportunity. Being all trained as therapists, you can be sure that we inquired into all bits and pieces of our emotional life. At a certain point silence ‘came in’. We didn’t decide to have more silence, but as we trained ourselves in following the energy that was present, silence happened. We learned to meditate together and used this collective state of presence to ask for information regarding questions or issues that were important to us. It was in itself a learning cycle – over the years – of co-sensing, until the point of ‘the eye of the needle’ as Scharmer names it in his U-process. I, or we, didn’t know this theory, only later I could see how our journey was a kind of U-process, at least the left side of the U: the process of coming to an Open Mind, an Open Heart and an Open Will. It was so fascinating for me that I wrote an article about it.

In this article I’m talking about the CircleBeing, this collective identity, that can arise when the members of a circle can all be fully present in themselves and with one another. The final question of this article is my hunch that CircleBeings become present because they have a CircleTask. You can see it as how individuals have all their individual life-task.

In one of our collective meditations, many months ago, we saw what this CircleTask is for us. But I got frustrated over time when I didn’t see any energy to make it manifest. Part of this frustration became constructive energy in the creation of Women Moving the Edge, about which I blogged recently. So I entered yesterday’s meeting with the question: Is our circle dying or is there energy for the emergence of something new? We had a deep dialogue about it and finally got again into a collective meditation around the focus question if we were to end our circle, and if not – why not, and if yes, why so? In the information we got it was crystal clear that ‘the form’ of our gatherings had come to an end and that there is a seperate path to go for each of us before we can realise our true potential, or our CircleTask.

So we left with no new appointment in our agenda and in total peace with our new insight. No blame, no conflict, no attachment to what was before… I knew right away that this was something important: not to be attached to the form or previous content of our meetings. Being able ‘to flow’, to be present to what is needed, not only related to content but also to form!

This seems to me an ability that is needed for the right part of the U-process. Because the trap of falling back into ‘known’ procedures, meetings and organising is very tempting when related to make things manifest.

I’m curious for the future to come…

The notes of grace…

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

It is Saturday already, and I still want to share the last part of our fascinating gathering. Our harvest on Tuesday morning still had the same quality of a collective sensing field that started on Monday morning. There was an overall opening to a collective and deeper knowing, in the form of questions ànd answers.

We were wondering about: What is the transformative dynamic? What made us come to this point, this state of collective wisdom, this Circle Being? Many elements were named…
start from silence…
deep listening…
walk the talk…
contain the pain and destructive forces…
holding chaos…
emptying for the whole word…
start from diversity…
trust the system…
listening to Life itself…

But the real answer was to me:
A community that has the willingness and the practice to tune into the notes of grace.


The story of the constellation

Friday, March 9th, 2007

As I look back now on the systemic constellation that we did, I can see how all the elements that were needed in the constellation came up in the two days before, as elements of different conversations. Yesterday in a conversation about the gathering with George, it became clear to me that in a deep, collective U-process as we did in this gathering, a systemic constellation can be a format that makes a ‘collective letting come’ possible. More on this later.

For now I want to describe some of the important movements that happened in this constellation and the learnings we got out from it. Let’s start with the beginning.

In the beginning it was clear that Leadership needed support. The person representing Leadership felt unstable and fell almost to the back. The Future representative felt this need for support and wanted to stand behind Leadership, but it was not the right place for Future; so she went back to her initial position. Only when Leadership could take more distance from the Pain of the world, she could really look and felt all right. After the constellation she reported: “I was really struck how passive I can be; I rather went out instead of doing something.”


The constellation

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Late afternoon a systemic constellation was proposed. Some chaos re-entered as some didn’t know what it was, but they were willing to give it a try. What was it that we had to represent? What was here the relevant system and the relevant issue?

We finally agreed on the following ‘elements’: the future, consciousness, community, the holding back, inner knowing, the pain of the world, leadership and action. These were all elements that had been part of many conversations the days before. As we were all representatives with one facilitator nobody was there to record it in any way. We all felt the need to harvest and even when it got late in the evening we gathered to share our basic insights; they were so rich! And I’m sure I don’t understand them all so far!

I probably will post the whole learning later on, but I sit now with one ‘event’ in the constallation that I’m wondering about. At a certain point there was a strong message from Inner Knowing to go to Leadership and to support it. She went to stand next to Leadership and they gave hands. It was obvious that it supported Leadership in a very good way. I’m puzzled about how to translate that into my daily life…

I’m aware as I am writing these postings about the gathering that the other participants can and will have a total different story to tell. I was only one part of this collective Being that had it’s own wisdom and cycles. I can only describe it trough my own lense.

The one true thing

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

In terms of the U-process we had more or less passed the eye of the needle and the morning on the third day started with a different energy. We were now in the phase of co-presencing. Personally I didn’t have a clue how to move forward, no tools or designs would come up in myself, but there was a deep trust in the process and in the collective.

And this trust turned out to be more than worthwhile!


Hanging in…

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

This I wrote on the second day, that Judy earlier named as a day of chaos.

I started today with a strange feeling. Normally when facilitating a group I don’t have a fixed design, but when I sense into it some time before I always get a clear idea of what needs to happen. Not today! I contemplated on it for some time, but no: no idea would show up! And the ideas that Judy and I came up with some days before didn’t seem to fit neither. But strange enough, there was not any anxiety about it.

Arriving at the venue where others were eating breakfast it suddenly became clear, although we were talking ‘about’ the edge, and many good things happened and were shared, we were not on the edge. So I invited everyone to some movement and dancing with some questions: Are we still in a comfortable place, or our we really on the edge where it is risky? Are we sensible enough to listen, hear, feel the information from the collective field in between us?

Reflecting on this I could see – in terms of the U-process – how we had shifted to an Open Heart and an Open Mind, but that the step into an Open Will was much more difficult to take. It is almost funny to see when you know that this phase of chaos needs to happen and everybody is trying out her own pattern of survival and lots of proposals are done, but none is followed upon. The ‘hanging in’ here is important, because sooner or later the shift to real community will happen if you stick to real truth. The message spoken through one of us made us realise that we were a ‘real’ collective.

Gentle Fierceness

Monday, March 5th, 2007

We started our third day again with some music, movement and dancing: to become present in our bodies, to be able to receive precious information from that source of wisdom and knowing. Actually the start was earlier. We all arrived more or less on the scheduled time, some were lightning the candles, clearing away stuff from yesterday that we didn’t need anymore; putting the flipcharts on the wall etc. Only then we were invited in to the dance and at the end we let the words in of Sheila Chandra:

Women, I’m calling you!
Yourr wisdom can not be lost,
your spirit can not be broken!
Your wisdom is in dreams.


A message for and through us

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Just for dinner, on the second day, this clear message came through one of us. It made us all silent and we all knew the words were true. We offer it as a gift to others and hope you treat it with the same respect as we did.

“Be aware that what we do here is important. The new groove of consciousness is a collective one. Be aware that this is very important for the world. Although you might not know where it leads you, please follow the track. Stay tuned with your bodies, or your senses and your womb. It is a sensing organ because there is space, emptiness to receive. This is what makes you special as women, not in a way special as better. But special as this certain capacity that is needed in this being, this living organism.