Archive for February, 2011

what stands in the way…

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

We know what makes us happy—
but too often
our economic decisions stand in the way.

This I find is such a great, true quote. I would say ‘our economic beliefs’ stand in the way. The quote is related to a new documentary The Economics of Happiness.

More on women

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Don’t know if you know the site- and magazine – WorldPulse? The tagline says: Global Issues through the Eyes of Women.
It has great stories, all written by women form the land where they live.
One of the featured stories now is: A New Era Begins at UN Women.
It starts with this quote:
“When women around the world put their hearts and minds to a common good, we are unstoppable.” Ritu Sharma

Once sidelined, women are now gaining momentum within the UN system. UN Women opened its doors in January—and with it the doors to women’s leadership at the global level.

Led by Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s dynamic ex-president, UN Women has a smart, well-respected leader, a more powerful position within the UN hierarchy, and a new hybrid structure that unites the talents of four UN women’s agencies into one. It’s no wonder feminists are cheering.

I’m really curious what will unfold from here…

Perspectives on Europe – and work

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

One of my dearest friends visiting here in Belgium, Mary-Alice Arthur (American from birth, spend years in Europe and living half of her life in New Zealand) wrote this to a couple of friends:

Been sitting here in Brussels percolating away. Last night a beautiful and powerful conversation around Europe as a force for good in the world, really embracing, living and demonstrating peace. I was with 3 mid-thirties French transplants who expressed such a deep love for their country and this region, but also a very conscious awareness of what needs to be healed.

Over lunch with another woman yesterday (oh yes, my favourite meal is the one with the good conversation!), we talked about the energetics of this place, for centuries a battleground — what happens when you base the capital of Europe here? What does that mean for the dynamics of what is manifesting within the European Commission?

This she wrote somewhere in Autumn. Now we are getting slowly into Spring and next week I will have a first conversation with Mickael around calling an Art of Hosting training exactly around this question and opportunity that is Europe. I have been sensing this question and opportunity since many years, and have held this possible potential, that now may find its manifestation in an Art of Hosting training. I’m so curious what will unfold.

Recently I also came across an interesting perspective on Europe; by Franco Berardi Bifo (didn’t look up yet who that is or what he stands for): Exhaustion and Senile Utopia of the Coming European Insurrection. It is hardly ever that I read any from this kind of perspective, outside of the box of how it is right now. Here follow some quotes…

The EU entity has been subjected to a sort of political directorate that has unfortunately only served to reveal that financial interests lie at the heart of the Union’s priorities. The early stage of the European tragedy has manifested itself as a political enforcement of the financial domination of European society.

A deep change in social perception and social lifestyle will compel a growing part of society to withdraw from the economic field, from the game of work and consumption. These people will abandon individual consumption to create new, enhanced forms of co-habitation, a village economy within the metropolis.

Our main prospect is to shift to a new paradigm not centered on product growth, profit, and accumulation, but on the full unfolding of the power of collective intelligence.

The destiny of Europe will be played out in the biopolitical sphere, at the border between consumerism, techno-sanitarian youth-styled aggressiveness, and possible collective consciousness of the limits of the biological (sensitive) organism. The age of senilization is here, and Europe is the place where this experience will first find its voice.
Exhaustion has no place in Western culture, and this has become a problem, for exhaustion now needs to be understood and accepted as a new paradigm for social life. Its cultural and psychic articulation will open the door to a new conception of prosperity and happiness. The coming European insurrection will not be driven by energy, but by slowness, withdrawal, and exhaustion. It will be the autonomization of the collective body and soul from exploitation by means of speed and competition.

A radical passivity would dispel the ethos of relentless productivity that neoliberal politics has imposed. The mother of all the bubbles, the bubble of work, would finally deflate. We have been working too much over the past three or four centuries, and outrageously too much over the last thirty years. If a creative consciousness of exhaustion could arise, the current depression may mark the beginning of a massive abandonment of competition, consumerist drive, and dependence on work.

As it happens, my dear friend Helen, just posted What if we fail? So what if we fail?

Economy, artistry and poetry

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Someone named Postnikov – I never heard about him before – has written some interesting thoughts on Economy. His post starts with a few quotes:
Let the beauty we love be what we do. – Rumi
The environmental crisis is the crisis of aesthetics. – James Hillman
The poet knows of no “waste”… Ecopoetics is the way of thinking economically. – Hwa Yol Jung

His opening line says: “It is the right time for poets and artists to engage in economics.” Mmmm, wondering what that would mean… What follows are snippets of his post:

“The idea is that the systemic collapse could be prevented, or, at least, alleviated, by invoking an inner artist in everyone…”
“Roughly speaking, in order to survive, we need to decentralize the economy as soon as possible by reducing it to an individual craftsmanship.”

I don’t agree fully with him here, I think the individual indeed needs to learn more craftsmanship, but the individual is too small a basis to live from. We will need the community in every sense… and a lot of different crafts! but what he says is still interesting.

by “poetics” I mean the extended notion of poetry, comprising arts, music, etc; notably, any artistic work. The etymology of the term “poetry” comes from the Greek poiesis which means “making, or creating”. Semantically, it is close to the term oikos (root of ecos, ecology) which means “household.” A household, or the ecosystem, involves creativity, and, like good poetry, the home should be beautiful and harmonious.


This brings me back to our recent ‘building’ of a chicken tractor. Now, building doesn’t seem to be the word that really fits here. We didn’t have a plan beforehand, only ideas and some materials to be re-used. And yes, we had tools. New ones! What a joy to work with tools with a high quality! It makes any ‘building’ or mending or creative effort into a real joy. It is just fun to be able to use the materials – the wood, the wire-netting – in a way that works for your ideas to materialise. You know what I enjoyed the most? Re-using little pieces of iron wire that I have kept since many years. Now they served in the best possible way!

The core premise of the economy of poetics is thus the assumption that the artist, more than anyone else, feels the aesthetic satisfaction from his/her work, and is able to create sustainable living. “Poetry,” says Heidegger, “is what causes dwelling to be dwelling. Poetry is what really lets us dwell. But through what do we attain to a dwelling place? Through building. Poetic creation, which lets us dwell, is a kind of building.” [4] And, as an elder of the Findhorn Eco-village, artist and permaculture teacher, Craig Gibsone says, “There is no sustainability if it’s not fun.”


It was fun! Both Chrisje and myself enjoyed and now are proud. We know quite well that it won’t last long, as the wood will rot soon and the wire-netting is old and will decay. But it will work for us women to give it a start. It is light, it won’t blow away, we can transport it easily and we used a lot of materials that otherwise would go to the dump…

In short, the basics of the economy of poetics is this: everyone has to invoke an inner artist to begin the dismantling and transformation of the wasteful globalized economy and its infrastructure into his, or her, personal work of art (engineers should change their heart and provide the assistance). I take it that we have already accumulated (more than) enough material and tools for to begin perestroika of the environment. And under “environment” I mean the immediate space of everyone’s personal environment, both inner and outer.

The Commons

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

There seems to be more and more attention to what is called The Commons. One blogger that I have been reading regularly lately is David Bollier. To this date, it is always inspiring what he is writing about.

Here is the beginning of one of his latest blogposts. It seems here and there something is really changing! More gentleness, more vulnerability, more community, more inner dimensions…

While common lands and waters are being stolen by investors and developers the world over, the Supreme Court of India decided it was not going to look the other way. In a bold, surprising ruling, the Court made a sweeping defense of the commons as commons.

In the January 28 decision, the Court held that the enclosure of a village pond in Rohar Jagir, Tehsil, in the State of Punjab, by real estate developers was a totally illegal occupation of the commons. The developers, who were appealing a lower court ruling, had filled in the pond with soil and started building houses on it. The Court ruled in unmistakable terms that the pond/land must revert to the commoners immediately and the illegal occupiers must be evicted. Even more remarkable, the Court held that similar enclosures of common lands elsewhere in India must be reversed even if they have been in effect for years.

Women on fire

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Another manifestation of the feminine voice…

Millions of women around the world are generating inspired, exceptional, warm-hearted, generous and brilliant initiatives. Imagine the power, the consequence, if they were all joined up.

Women on Fire encourages women to live the power of gentleness, to bring tenderness to all walks of life, personal and professional, but most especially to themselves. It aims to promote and develop confidence in female intelligence, instinct and leadership. It offers a way of connecting up female wisdom worldwide. Its general purpose therefore is to power women as decision makers.

Women as decision makers constitute our one underused resource in addressing all the crises of our time: ecological, economic, social and spiritual. We want to encourage women to develop self-confidence without feeling challenged by patriarchal certainties. We want to offer instinctual wisdom as a partner to reason, wise women to accompany wise men.

Visit for more info.

Sharing dreams…

Monday, February 14th, 2011

It has been quiet on this blog since some months… recently I came across so many examples, so many eruptions maybe, of what I see as manifestations of the new feminine archetype. It seems the feminine energy is finding a new voice, a new expression in a multitude of forms, new forms sometimes. I plan to share some over here. Instead of making one big blogpost, which was my first inclination, I think it makes more sense to post them one by one.

This is a first video, a song that stays with you… the video itself explains it all.