Archive for October, 2007

Collective leadership

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Like in the first Women Moving the Edge by lunchtime it was time for us, facilitators, to lean back and give the leadership to the whole group. Meantime it was pouring rain outside, so much so that we couldn’t even see the trees on the other side of the grass field.

And what did we do? If I would give a bullet list of all the different activities you could never understand the depth of what happened. We had some silence, there was conversation, we did a presencing-movement exercise; we danced ‘the Temple dance’; we sat in circle again. There was the sound of the big crystal bowl, we made sound and music together…

But I can’t hardly describe what happened in us and in between us. First it was named as a not-knowing, and later also as a not-talking… but then, what is it?
We seem to listen, to tune into, to sense…
into what?
the delicate, the subtle, the fine, the intangible…

Woman

It seems to be possible to access – in our bodies – the unformed, the unmanifest…
the sound of silence…

silence…

collective silence…

suddenly it was there:

a connected silence;

a tangible in-between space;

a sacred space;

a space full of possibilities;

a generative space…

Grace had arrived! The We is pregnant!
And you know what? Rain stopped, the mist was gone, we could see again the trees and the whole environment!

Lifting the veil…

Saturday, October 27th, 2007
Free drawing5

The magic here continued. When we got up this morning there was fog all around. The hills on the other side of the valley were not visible anymore. The simple question of What is present now? brought a very rich conversation around the theme of What is feminine power?

The metaphor of the mycelium, what we normally think of as the roots of the mushrooms, is actually the plant in itself and the mushrooms are its ‘flowers’. In my drawing of our conversation I noted a lot of the words that make up our mycelium: gentleness, safety, holding, enlivening, equality, talking stone, the earth, the collective… Stories about shame, fear, rage and sadness… these personal stories who pop up from the collective, just like the mushrooms…

Free drawing2

The conversation shifted to: purpose, power, presence. What does it mean to stand in my feminine power, and not to retreat or not to attack? What is feminine power? Is ‘feminine warriorship’ the right word? Can we let go of the old women’s story? Are we present in and to ourselves, or are we ‘over there’… From where do we engage with the others or the world?

Sooooo rich!!! The words here can hardly convey the energy, the presence, the learning, the laughter and so much more! Time to have a break and eat some wonderful nuts.

Free drawing3

Judy and I both felt that this were enough words. We invited Eve-Marie to guide us in an experiment with drawing, using colors. That was basically it: use colors and let them take over, drop your mind and your judgments, come to the still point in your body, just go with the colors and the movement they evoke. “It is just paper.” “What would a four year old do now?” These were some of the questions that seduced us to a no-mind space, the space of creativity. I loved to come to this point where it was just the fun of let my hand move with the colors. Being present with the colors. Good stuff to come to an open mind!

In the sharing there was someone who recalled to invitation at the beginning of the drawing exercise to drop yourself into the still-point within… this still point is so full of freedom; it carries all potential! My sense is that it has to do a lot with the power of women…

Arriving…

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Judy and I arrived today at noon at Angels Rest; a beautiful place with a beautiful name. You can feel, sense and see the care that has been used to create this place. We have our gathering in a huge space, which was probably a barn in former years. There is a very big window facing south-east with a splendid view.

I was amased by the richness and the depth of what was said in our first circle. The introduction was really minimal: half hour of movement and dance to become present in our bodies; followed by a welcome word and a little introduction into the gathering and about circle practice.

My harvest from our conversation

In this first afternoon we also shared the questions we all brought to the circle. Here they are as an example of the richness of the field that was gathered:

How can we deepen our sense of collectivity and honor difference?

How do we hang out in messiness and let it be OK?

What is the omnicentric leadership? How can we do that?

How can we be with wholeness, let go of control?

How can we be consciously in the world with the future emerging through us?

How can we let life happen and not be in the way?

What are the deep assumptions that we hold about ownership?

What is feminine warriorship?

How can we integrate the life enriching energies that lie in both ownership/entrepreneurial ventures and community initiatives?
Such a richness, competence and passion is gathered here!

the big boll

Do we really see that? Are we conscious about what this could create? I truly doubt it… but I trust life and I fully trust the process. I think some magic will happen.

Part of the magic are three crystal bowls, brought by different participants, which make the most amazing, resonant sounds… I wish you could hear them…

All photos here.

Women Moving the Edge2

Thursday, October 25th, 2007
IMG_1134

It has been a long time since I did some blogging… but here I am again. I’m sitting here in the Boston area, in a newly painted home, some boxes still unpacked… sunrays falling through the autumn leaves outside… It is good living here, being hosted by my friend Judy, with whom I will facilitate the workshop or gathering ‘Women Moving the Edge’ from tomorrow on.

We took our time over the last two days to settle in into this emergent work. There aren’t a lot of exercices or theories to be prepared, it is more a way of getting into the right ‘space’, sensing what is the deeper purpose and intention; getting aligned between the two of us; sensing into this particular group of participants.

I love to do this kind of work; although it is hardly ‘work’ for me. It is more like a way of living, of being in the world: living a life ‘on the edge’. You might be wondering what that is… There are many entry points to start some explanation about it, and I am sure it will never be linear.

One element is living with an open mind, an intention to be constantly in learning, to enjoy the moments that I become aware that my thinking was limited, was stuck ‘in a box’, to constantly live with and in questions that really matter.

Another element is living with an open heart. Many might say that they do that also – I don’t doubt that – but for me it means that I try to overcome my sense of seperatedness. I am not a defined person that can live on its own. I exist – or: I come into being – in the ‘space in-between’, between you and me; between the trees and me; between the house and me… our language feels too small here, too limited as it uses ‘nouns’ who then can ‘do’ something, but it doesn’t give us a language for expressing the mutuality, the becoming that is happening all moments… Wouldn’t it be great to have this language where threes are named by the sound they make as the wind moves its leaves?

Living on the edge means also to be open to ‘the greater will’, to live your unique gift, to speak the right words on the right time and otherwise to be silent; to live as if always ready to die – no actions or words left for later.

This is more or less what we will try to accomplish in three days with 9 women who don’t know each other beforehand. Wondering how it will be different than the same kind of gathering we had earlier this year in Belgium. My hunch is that the listening, the openess to the subtle realities will be a little more difficult; but maybe that is my prejudice…

Women Moving the Edge2

Why women? Not from a feminist perspective, but to add some deeper awarenesss to our feminine gifts that are so needed in our world. I want to go to the heart, the essence of being feminine. The better we understand, we ‘get it’, the easier to bring it into the outside world. I think that is my gift to bring to the world…