Archive for July, 2010

The Story of Us

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Un unseen spark
fertilizes the space
ripening what is
between us…
Who are my mates
and who wants to play?

Who is here
and who wants
to partner
in the story of us?
What is the juice
that drips from your soul?
How do your passions
nourish the world?
If your heart is a spoon
whose holy mouth
do you feed?
What is the story of us?

A covenant with nature
without the illicit affairs
without electricity,
and things.
Un collaborateur
with my body and yours
us-ing is a verb.
A collective presence
in an unseen field
of purple energy
tucked in a wild canyon
of artful learning
and joyful play.

What is the story of us?
5 hybrids in the parking lot
with “PLU” (people like us)
on the liscence plate.


Community Conversations
and Servant Leaders
longing to language
something unseen but felt
What is the story of us?

Feet in two worlds
with our heads in the sky
and our shoes in the dirt
of intentional community.
Seeding the moral imagination
in a polarised word
where Self is the Other
and things are not what they seem.
Cosmic identity
in a universe of voices
where boardrooms
and warrooms are
one the same.
What is the story of us?

What does the world need?
What brings us fully alive?
This is our quest;
The Great I Am
And Who You Are
could heal the world.

To be human is possible.
If we just live the shift
In the midst of the crowd.
What could Real Also Be?

The story of us is
the faces we see
the poems we write
its rewilding
and sometimes walking out.
The deep collective inquiry
is the future growing in us.

Here Now.

This is the story of us.

Captured by Ed’veeje, from the sharing in circle – on the second day – around the question: How is our passion, our emergent work the new story of us?

Moving to Open Space

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

This is what is going on right now: Open Space!





Elements for the New Story

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Third day in our learnIng gathering. We started with some singing and then moved to some excersises that were inspired by the systemic constellation work. First it was a relating to our highest potential – life’s work – soul – higher self; all in silence and using the body to sense the nuances and try new things out.

Then we did a collective sensing in how we relate with The New Story. As intro we used a poem, written by a dear friend living in Greece, and these days confronted with the reality of living without oil and what then comes to a halt. Again all happened in silence, and being aware of the many subtle ways that we know. What follows here are the nuggest spoken in a circle about what we learned, new insights we got, out of this last constellation; either on elements of the new story or how to relate with it.

I advice you to read it slowly, letting time between each line; maybe read it twice as we did in the circle this morning.


Expansion and flexibiity
Opennes and uncertainty of direction
Potential and bodies reaching for each other; no sense of what the new story is.
There is an opening between humanity and the source; the connection is beginning.
Role of attraction and allurement; of beauty; and the attraction of the trees.
Opening out.
Wicked cool! Wicked friends! Cool!
The light coming through the leaves and looking at the ground. The trees are solid.
I am the Earth, the old and the new story. I want respect.
Slowing and noticing.


Creative tension between opposites. Is humanity ready? It does not have to be big.
Spirits are here to guide us. Learn to ask and listen.
The call of the great wild cosmos.
Aware of pressure.
Each of us connecting to the earth, and the rest of the universe, and each of us seeking each other.
Being open to receive source.
Like a kid in a candy store: curiousity, playfulness and so much to discover.
It doesn’t seem incidentical that we are passing time (a little clock being the talking piece); counter clockwise.
People trying to connect in many different ways.
Lots of energy and potential and conversations and relationships.
Receiving the trees, guarding the forest; knowing there is no away.
Wonder, awe and curiousity.
Aware of being a small node in a vast system.
When you turn the clock face over there are stars.
Attention to the shifting whole.


Friday, July 30th, 2010

Collages from our experience in nature… the invitation was to listen to nature. This was the overall question: What is it that humanity needs to remember in order to rewild, repattern and restory?













The cellular depth

Friday, July 30th, 2010

In between my time here in the Art of Humans Being, I read the blog of Sarah Whiteley, over at the Axladitsa Ning site… so linking in with the theme of our gathering here in Essex. Here is part of her writing:

Through the tender witnessing, I realised to my utter horror that I had contributed to the oil spill – and that my need for fossil fuels was now destroying vast expanses of wild nature around the planet. And, I could not see a way of re-patterning my consumption, my… certainly not in the short-term… to the degree that was necessary. I faced the fact that this natural disaster was a “we did this”… not a “they did this…” and, so too I was guilty of playing my part in the systemic destruction of our Home.

It seemed clear to me that I must take the necessary preparatory steps and secure for the heavy seas – now so imminent – and not wait passively for when the big seas arrived and created chaos and destruction; that I too was feeling my own despair – and certainly times of empowerment, but now it was a time to feel another deeper level of despair; and that I too was the windsurfer out in the sea, without skill or a life vest. What skills and capacities did I now need – to not endanger myself, or others, through incompetence or recklessness?


Friday, July 30th, 2010

First morning here in the Art of Humans Being in the Essex Conference center. Not yet 7 am and I see already some people around writing in their notebooks; I hear a conversation going on in the background… I’m sitting here on my bed; the sun is sending its rays through the trees’ branches. My little room being under the roof, I see branches all around, as if sitting in a tree hut.

What to tell about our half day together yesterday? I’m not sure. There is nothing that really stands out for me, nothing that I could capture easily. The weaving of 26 stories and perspectives didn’t show a clear pattern; at least not to me. Or does it?


This is a gathering, a learning event that uses the Art of Hosting pattern, but its main pupose is not to provide a training in this art, but to use the art to dive into the main theme and question: How will we, as humans being, repattern ourselves, to create and activate the new story? Tenneson said: I want to loose myself in that question!

I have two feelings right now. On the one hand there is a tension – actually I think it is a longing – that we talk about and engage with the real stuff: Why are we doing this? What’s the real point here? If we don’t repattern ourselves the end will come, sooner or later. That’s a fact. Did we do that yesterday? Where we blunt and bold enough to be at this point where we don’t have a clue how to move forward? On the other hand there is this calm feeling – a deep inner knowing – this kind of coming together is the repatterning! At least part of it. Being in a collective inquiry works on many levels: energeticc – intangible – subtle – conscious and also: individual – group – collective – systemic.


What sure is different here is the presence of other ways of knowing – other than mental – the poems, the silence, the collages, the artful workbook, the invitation from Judy to come from a soul-aligned space.

Let’s be bold and nothing than my unique self.
No forcing and no holding back (Rilke).
From hosting conversations that matter to hosting collective learning that matters to the planet.

What’s going on in the world out there that makes repatterning and restorying important? That was the question for our World Café and a way to ge to know each other. Some nuggets for me where:
It is us – you and me – normal people – civic society that will do the repatterning, not the leaders in politics or economy.
We have a choice – we can make a choice.


The collages, made as a way of harvest, showed in many different ways the bridge from the known and old story to pictures and images that spoke of nature, community, being creative and the like: a story of wholeness and wellness and being fully alive!

We ended our first afternoon with a circle. What calls you to be here now – as you are aware in this moment?

Highlights and threads:
It is time to live big.
All is not as it seems.
Home – where is my place? Where do I engage in transitioning with a local community? Commitment to find community where I am.
This land – here – Cape Ann.


Leadership – How to create collaborative leadership? How to listen to the voice of the collective, of the system?
Deep grief – what is it that is being griefed?
Living between stories, between the old and the new – literally, energetically.
Finding my own voice – finding home in myself – owning my wisdom.
The nourishment of circles engaging with big questions – the gathering of the people – the collective inquiry.

Are these the elements of our repatterning, of living wholeness?

Chocolate and subtle sensing

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

People who know me in real time know that I love desserts. I used to say that it is my only addiction, as I don’t like coffee, don’t smoke and I am not fond of alcohol. Really, I have decided more than hundred times that I would stop eating (too much) chocolate or cookies and I never really managed.

Now something has shifted.

Since I am a very physically based person, and I am trained in emotional bodywork, I have an easy connection with subtle feelings in my body. Normally, when I go to bed, I fully stretch myself out and connect with a deep relaxation, both in my body and in my breath. This is a practice that has installed itself over the years. At some point I turn myself, lie on my side and fall asleep immediately.

During one of these evening sessions I noticed that my stomach was not relaxed; actually I realized it never is! Mmmm… something needed to be done here…

I focused on relaxing it and little shocks – more like tremblings – were releasing through my body. Somehow I could sense a fear when I tried to release even more. Not a big fear, but something on a very, very subtle level. It would be accurate to say that the fear wasn’t quite emotional, but was more on the level of my cells; almost instinctual. Doing this every evening I became aware that I had grounded myself in my stomach! Strange to say, but that was how it felt. Unconsciously – from early childhood – I had clinked to my stomach for security. Now I understood why I would always eat and snack more while being in any kind of stressful environment.

This brought a next awareness or insight about what I think grounding really means. I have always been a stable person – both physically and emotionally – and my ‘not so fine’ legs are a signal of this. For me it is easy to keep my balance and my legs have a lot of strength. It means I always have felt safe – and grounded – on/in my own legs. But I realized that feeling this is still not a real sense of grounding. Grounding has to do with ease and relax in your body, but it should also include a connection to the context you are in at the moment.

Back to chocolate, cookies, cake and eating. My eating pattern has really changed since I started relaxing my stomach. I notice it is now easy to eat just what I consciously decide to, and there are no moments – no! really! – when an invisible hand takes over and opens the cupboard or reaches for a next portion. I don’t even have to think about it, or ‘work’ on it.

It is relief – and the scale shows less weight – but most importantly it is a confirmation that I/we can reach subtle information in our bodies, and best of all: it helps or heals issues that always looked incurable.

Witnessing and radical amasement

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Some time ago I posted a question on my Facebook wall: “Sitting with this question: what makes witnessing so powerful? Is it because it links with our deepest soul?” A whole lot of answers came; and really nice ones.

The question had been fueled by recent experiences in some gatherings and learning events. In one we did a witnessing circle. It was a listening circle – instead of speaking when you had the talking piece, now you were the one to listen to the others who would share what they saw was your precious gift. To me, it was a very special moment and someone said: This is even beyond Appreciative Inquiry! It was special because we could all touch a layer that we normally don’t give words to. It was basically naming each other’s essence. I would say it was about and from the soul level. Also in the Axladitsa Immersion, a learning gathering around Living Wholeness this witnessing was very present throughout the gathering.

Here are some of the answers that came on my FB page:
“I have been sitting with this question as well 🙂 Some words from Alan Watts made me wonder if that’s a possible answer!
“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.” ~ Alan Watts”

“Often I’m reminded that our anatomy doesn’t let us see our own beauty except in a mirror. We can do that for each other!”

“There is definitely something about being seen and heard – and maybe that is about the universe being seen and heard through each of us.”

“Mirror neurons?”

“Perhaps the gracefulness of not attempting to change but accepting something…”

“There’s also something about seeing and hearing ourselves within that process which makes it so potent for me too.”

“The Vedas talk about unmanifest Being splitting itself into Rishi, Devata and Chandas – the Knower, the Process of Knowing and the Known – in order that it might know itself. Witnessing is a practice of being consciously aware of all three to complete the trinity, rather than just focusing on the ‘Known’…”

Isn’t there a lot of wisdom in my friends? I really was surprised by the abundance of the answers, as this was more or less the first time I engaged myself in this way on Facebook!

The witnessing evoked in the Immersion the notion of Radical Amasement. To me, to be in a state of real witnessing, be it something in nature, an old tool or someone else, I become radical amased about the ingenuity of what is in front of me. The wonder of life, that explodes in these myriad of different forms, so many different ‘solutions’ to so many different ‘problems’… it is just awesome!

Then you realize it is not about solutions and problems, but it is about how life tries out each and every way to express the richness of itself. It seems always trying out what kind of life forms are life-bearing or life-affirming. It just goes on doing that; and it never stops. Still the big bang is happening all the time….

It is what it is

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

The Dutch translation of this poem, originally written in German, was for years on the wall, where I changed my cloths. So, I read it many, many times in the morning or when going to bed; sometimes consciously, sometimes less. But it dripped in, slowly but surely. Now I came across it again… It is such a deep wisdom, that is also at the core of any transformation work, be it individual therapy, systemic constellation work or… it is also useful for the state of our world.

It is what it is, says Love…


“It is madness
says reason
It is what it is
says love

It is unhappiness
says caution
It is nothing but pain
says fear
It has no future
says insight
It is what it is
says love

It is ridiculous
says pride
It is foolish
says caution
It is impossible
says experience
It is what it is
says love.”

Erich Fried (Es ist was es ist. Liebesgedichte Angstgedichte Zorngedichte) – Translation by M. Kaldenbach