Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

Nuggets of learning

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

We had a most wonderful day – the third – in our learning gathering Art of Humans Being. It was juicy, it had song, it had a lot of embodied stuff… I think you can say it had a wholeness and fullness to it and I saw a lot of twinkling eyes and many, many conversations going on.

I want to share the nuggets we shared at the end of the day in the ceremony firecircle, here on the land. There was no fire, but there was the music of the flute that welcomed us; as it had done in the morning. And we all wrote down one specific learning of the day about repatterning and the new story. Here we go: (again read out slowly to let it all sink in!)

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Trust source operating through ourselves – we already have it.
Body and Nature; Simple and Elegant.
Going with the flow, relaxed about outcome.
What are the questions that lead us to feel most alive?
It is not the new story being better than the old on; it is the next story building on the previous one.
The system works. Relax. Let go. Trust.
With trust, love deeply in the old and new story.
Form a new relationship with souls purpose and step into our fullness, naked and courageous.
Separate acting, community acting; it is all the same act.
Living in a new way, a new story.
Let our collective music arise from source.
Strengthening and listening to body wisdom.
Build a nest, let it rest. The rest will build the rest.
Lovingly held and gently hosted spaces; heartfelt wisdom flowing freely.
Magic of the flute.
Deep, deep, deep listening to higher self and purpose.
Experience. Wait. Ask. Listen.
My highest self is participatory.
Dear universe, What do I want to tell you that you don’t already know? You tell me. I’ll try to listen. Hey, thanks.
A little can be a lot.
The new stories are infinite and alluring, filling up with awe, curiosity and exitement. Gratitude for friendship.
I am here now.

Fabulous list of weird questions!

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Via, via, via I came across a blogpost of Benjamin Aaron, participant in the Hub Berlin, and he shares an amasing list of questions!!! A few examples:

When you hear the term “sacred questions”, are there some coming to your mind that you would name sacred questions?

How would my experience of you be, if you are shining in your brightest light, radiating pure energy, being fully aligned with your passion?

You have 5sec on a stage where every human on earth will watch you – what would you do and say?

We are before the BigBang – you are god(ess) and you can choose which area(s) of the unborn world you take responsibility to create.

and many more!

It is so easy!

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

I am impressed by this article and the simple truth that is in it… I copied it as a whole, because it is important that things like this get spread.
A city in Brazil recruited local farmers to help do something U.S. cities have yet to do: end hunger. by Frances Moore Lappé

“To search for solutions to hunger means to act within the principle that the status of a citizen surpasses that of a mere consumer.” CITY OF BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL

In writing Diet for a Small Planet, I learned one simple truth: Hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food but a scarcity of democracy. But that realization was only the beginning, for then I had to ask: What does a democracy look like that enables citizens to have a real voice in securing life’s essentials? Does it exist anywhere? Is it possible or a pipe dream? With hunger on the rise here in the United States-one in 10 of us is now turning to food stamps-these questions take on new urgency.To begin to conceive of the possibility of a culture of empowered citizens making democracy work for them, real-life stories help-not models to adopt wholesale, but examples that capture key lessons. For me, the story of Brazil’s fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, is a rich trove of such lessons. Belo, a city of 2.5 million people, once had 11 percent of its population living in absolute poverty, and almost 20 percent of its children going hungry. Then in 1993, a newly elected administration declared food a right of citizenship. The officials said, in effect: If you are too poor to buy food in the market-you are no less a citizen. I am still accountable to you.

The new mayor, Patrus Ananias-now leader of the federal anti-hunger effort-began by creating a city agency, which included assembling a 20-member council of citizen, labor, business, and church representatives to advise in the design and implementation of a new food system. The city already involved regular citizens directly in allocating municipal resources-the “participatory budgeting” that started in the 1970s and has since spread across Brazil. During the first six years of Belo’s food-as-a-right policy, perhaps in response to the new emphasis on food security, the number of citizens engaging in the city’s participatory budgeting process doubled to more than 31,000.

The city agency developed dozens of innovations to assure everyone the right to food, especially by weaving together the interests of farmers and consumers. It offered local family farmers dozens of choice spots of public space on which to sell to urban consumers, essentially redistributing retailer mark-ups on produce-which often reached 100 percent-to consumers and the farmers. Farmers’ profits grew, since there was no wholesaler taking a cut. And poor people got access to fresh, healthy food.When my daughter Anna and I visited Belo Horizonte to write Hope’s Edge we approached one of these stands. A farmer in a cheerful green smock, emblazoned with “Direct from the Countryside,” grinned as she told us, “I am able to support three children from my five acres now. Since I got this contract with the city, I’ve even been able to buy a truck.”

The improved prospects of these Belo farmers were remarkable considering that, as these programs were getting underway, farmers in the country as a whole saw their incomes drop by almost half.

In addition to the farmer-run stands, the city makes good food available by offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to bid on the right to use well-trafficked plots of city land for “ABC” markets, from the Portuguese acronym for “food at low prices.” Today there are 34 such markets where the city determines a set price-about two-thirds of the market price-of about twenty healthy items, mostly from in-state farmers and chosen by store-owners. Everything else they can sell at the market price.

“For ABC sellers with the best spots, there’s another obligation attached to being able to use the city land,” a former manager within this city agency, Adriana Aranha, explained. “Every weekend they have to drive produce-laden trucks to the poor neighborhoods outside of the city center, so everyone can get good produce.”Another product of food-as-a-right thinking is three large, airy “People’s Restaurants” (Restaurante Popular), plus a few smaller venues, that daily serve 12,000 or more people using mostly locally grown food for the equivalent of less than 50 cents a meal. When Anna and I ate in one, we saw hundreds of diners-grandparents and newborns, young couples, clusters of men, mothers with toddlers. Some were in well-worn street clothes, others in uniform, still others in business suits.

“I’ve been coming here every day for five years and have gained six kilos,” beamed one elderly, energetic man in faded khakis.

“It’s silly to pay more somewhere else for lower quality food,” an athletic-looking young man in a military police uniform told us. “I’ve been eating here every day for two years. It’s a good way to save money to buy a house so I can get married,” he said with a smile.

No one has to prove they’re poor to eat in a People’s Restaurant, although about 85 percent of the diners are. The mixed clientele erases stigma and allows “food with dignity,” say those involved.Belo’s food security initiatives also include extensive community and school gardens as well as nutrition classes. Plus, money the federal government contributes toward school lunches, once spent on processed, corporate food, now buys whole food mostly from local growers.

“We’re fighting the concept that the state is a terrible, incompetent administrator,” Adriana explained. “We’re showing that the state doesn’t have to provide everything, it can facilitate. It can create channels for people to find solutions themselves.”

For instance, the city, in partnership with a local university, is working to “keep the market honest in part simply by providing information,” Adriana told us. They survey the price of 45 basic foods and household items at dozens of supermarkets, then post the results at bus stops, online, on television and radio, and in newspapers so people know where the cheapest prices are.

The shift in frame to food as a right also led the Belo hunger-fighters to look for novel solutions. In one successful experiment, egg shells, manioc leaves, and other material normally thrown away were ground and mixed into flour for school kids’ daily bread. This enriched food also goes to nursery school children, who receive three meals a day courtesy of the city.

“I knew we had so much hunger in the world. But what is so upsetting, what I didn’t know when I started this, is it’s so easy. It’s so easy to end it.”

The result of these and other related innovations?

In just a decade Belo Horizonte cut its infant death rate-widely used as evidence of hunger-by more than half, and today these initiatives benefit almost 40 percent of the city’s 2.5 million population. One six-month period in 1999 saw infant malnutrition in a sample group reduced by 50 percent. And between 1993 and 2002 Belo Horizonte was the only locality in which consumption of fruits and vegetables went up.

The cost of these efforts?

Around $10 million annually, or less than 2 percent of the city budget. That’s about a penny a day per Belo resident.

Behind this dramatic, life-saving change is what Adriana calls a “new social mentality”-the realization that “everyone in our city benefits if all of us have access to good food, so-like health care or education-quality food for all is a public good.”

The Belo experience shows that a right to food does not necessarily mean more public handouts (although in emergencies, of course, it does.) It can mean redefining the “free” in “free market” as the freedom of all to participate. It can mean, as in Belo, building citizen-government partnerships driven by values of inclusion and mutual respect.

And when imagining food as a right of citizenship, please note: No change in human nature is required! Through most of human evolution-except for the last few thousand of roughly 200,000 years-Homo sapiens lived in societies where pervasive sharing of food was the norm. As food sharers, “especially among unrelated individuals,” humans are unique, writes Michael Gurven, an authority on hunter-gatherer food transfers. Except in times of extreme privation, when some eat, all eat.

Before leaving Belo, Anna and I had time to reflect a bit with Adriana. We wondered whether she realized that her city may be one of the few in the world taking this approach-food as a right of membership in the human family. So I asked, “When you began, did you realize how important what you are doing was? How much difference it might make? How rare it is in the entire world?”

Listening to her long response in Portuguese without understanding, I tried to be patient. But when her eyes moistened, I nudged our interpreter. I wanted to know what had touched her emotions.

“I knew we had so much hunger in the world,” Adriana said. “But what is so upsetting, what I didn’t know when I started this, is it’s so easy. It’s so easy to end it.”

Adriana’s words have stayed with me. They will forever. They hold perhaps Belo’s greatest lesson: that it is easy to end hunger if we are willing to break free of limiting frames and to see with new eyes-if we trust our hard-wired fellow feeling and act, no longer as mere voters or protesters, for or against government, but as problem-solving partners with government accountable to us.

Frances Moore Lappé wrote this article as part of Food for Everyone, the Spring 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. Frances is the author of many books including Diet for a Small Planet and Get a Grip, co-founder of Food First and the Small Planet Institute, and a YES! contributing editor.The author thanks Dr. M. Jahi Chappell for his contribution to the article.

Thanks to Dave Pollard for the link!

First day in Greece

Saturday, November 10th, 2007
the house

Today, I had my first day in the Learning Centre in Greece, called Axladitsa – Avatakia. It is far away from big and small cities. The last part of your driving there, the last hour and a half, is up and down along very windy roads. No electricity, no internet. But a lot of olive trees, with olives ready for harvest.

I’m here in preparation for the Art of Hosting gathering on Harvesting, which will start in two days. Besides Maria and Sarah who live here, and who call themselves stewards of the land, six other people are already here, from all over the place: Turkish background, Belgium citizen, two Danish men, someone living in Canada and somebody on the move…

We live right now in open space, meaning that nobody is the boss or takes the lead, but we do what is needed, according to our own competences, passion and interests of the moment. I did many things today: sitting in circle this morning to check in with everybody and the work that needs to be done or can be done; helped cleaning the community space, harvested some olives, had a walk to the beach and now sitting here next to the woodstove, while others are preparing some dinner ‘by camping light’.

Rowan and the rock

What is special here? First of all the people; everyone is deeply involved with living sustainable and with living in a self-organised way. We will even experiment the next couple of days with a Conscious Kitchen. The invitation says: “we would like to create a conscious kitchen in which food is prepared with consciousness and responsibility as part of a natural cycle that nourishes our bodies and our earth.” Then there is also the land in itself, next to the sea with both a source and a well on the little pathway between the sea and the house. It is wild land, just as you imagine in your dreams! A good place to be!

Afternoon…

Monday, March 5th, 2007

again by Judy!

This afternoon was moving in and out of confusion and chaos.  I guess this is part of the process.  I felt we were really all coming from different places.  I could not discern a voice from the Middle.  I think we were not at all tuned into any collective knowing.  We were working with Action Learning, which is probably a very good tool, but not working well in this context.  We did not seem to converge on a question or have group buy-in to the process.   So we seemed to stop and start and restart.

All the while most present for me were the questions:

What is our Circle Task?
What if we are doing this FOR the world?

Many seemed to feel the question of how we were to make a difference in the world was too big.  Or that it was presumptuous to think we could really be much more than a ripple in a stream.  I was yearning to move into a deeper inquiry, a deeper space, into communion with a question, almost any question.  I know that from Moving the Edge last March I had worked through some of my uncertainty and fear with this process.  And yet it is still an edge.  After once touching into speaking from the Middle, I would forever want to return there, to that incredible and liberating power of knowing.  To that little worn groove in consciousness, that is now a bit more familiar.  The possibilities are so vast.  The opportunity to shift consciousness even in a small way is so attractive energetically.  It is as if consciousness is calling, magnetizing me and us to answer, to listen, to sense into, to be present, to co-sense, and to co-presence.  Once knowing this experience it becomes a capacity that must be utilized, that must be put into service.  The sense of urgency is compelling.

And then near the end of this long afternoon, Ria spoke as consciousness spoke through her.  I sat in silent support, holding the space, honoring her as the vessel.  Lisa captured her words; I was in stillness and awe of the clarity and presence of what emerged.  I defer here to Lisa’s rendering.  It was a huge shift for us.  We all knew it.

And then we moved easily and gently into dinner and a relaxing evening of conversation.  We glowed around the fire and admired the incredible pictures captured on Helen’s camera – colorful renderings of our faces, our hands, our time, and the beautiful setting that is the Heerlijckyt.

A Blessed day!

Second day in Women Moving the Edge

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Blogentry by Judy

What is behind the shadow? The long held and suppressed multiple ways of women knowing. The natural ways that have been suppressed in consciousness – from Witch hunts, the Inquisition, and our own permission. The wisdom of the body, of the womb, of ritual, ceremony, intuition and of the mental and feeling natures.
And now … And now we can begin to rediscover from this level of consciousness, we can create new ways of knowing from this place integrating all, bringing a wholeness to knowing, a new stage on the evolutionary spiral. From the interval, the space between, in time and between us, we can bring forward these sensing organs, nurture this as if a baby in the womb, that is being birthed through us. We have the power to co-create, to co-discover, to nurture, to bring something greater into being, into the world, to change the world.
Comfort Zone and beyond What is ego still holding on to, how do I still make myself feel safe? Is there fear – yes in the not-knowing, in the nothingness, in the fear of being lost. And yet I know that beyond the ego self is the Self, the one who has no fear, no past or future, no need for anything except to be in fullness, in now, and to emerge. No need for comfort as there is no fear. It is really the One, a Collective Self. The only me that is there is an instrument of how this Collective Self will move in the world, through this human consciousness.
The Circle Being So how can we as a circle of women co-create access to this Self? Are there practices that can take us there? How are death, emptiness, the womb, rebirth, nurturance all connected? Who is the She, the Collective She? How can being in a state of inquiry be liberating, safe in a way, free of all limitations, beyond the fears, pain, holding back of the ego self. Is the long held and dwelt upon pain and suffering a comfort zone? I am exhausted from the pain and fear of pain that lives within me. Can I allow what pulls and attracts me to be the draw, at least to the next level of safety and comfort? Can I be in the chaos that surrounds and infuses this journey? With the not-knowing. I am so used to knowing, to the comfort of mental models. Can I move to this frontier? Can we?

Questions in Africa

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

On the buses of Johannesburg airport: “Coming or going?”
On the shirts of the employees of Equity Aviation: “Who will you be?”

Am I coming? Coming back to the roots of humanity, the red earth and the bright sun?

Am I going? Going to learn about being a spirited, learning community? Shall I be able to translate what I will experience here back to Belgium, Europe, the people in the West? What can I learn? What can I bring? What will be a fair exchange?

I arrived today in Kufunda, Learning Village in Zimbabwe to live and work here for little more than a week. Who will I be in ten days? I hope and expect to be more whole, with more parts of myself integrated again. And with new questions to go home…

Learning about creation

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

Thinking about the world that we all want to live in, this beautiful, exciting and sustainable world; I was thinking about: What is at the core of what we have to learn to create it?

We know a lot about creating ‘things’: structures, products etc. If our worldview is evolving to more wholeness and interconnectedness, what is it that we need to learn to create?

At the core it seems to be processes or maybe better to use the word relations. Not just ‘relationships’ as the friendship between you and me, but “the process of the quality of relation” as my teacher called it recently.
And not only the relation between people, but all relations over time, space, cultures, species and so on.
I like to call it ‘the in-betweens’, that what is not visible to the eye, but is very meaningful and also tangible if you learn to ‘listen’ to it, or to ‘see’ it. That what is (in) The Field.

All this came together after a training block in Systemic Constellation Work; an inspiring conversation with Toke Moeller, who is teaching the world The Art of Hosting; and to hear something more of the ‘landscaping’ his wife Monica Nissen is doing.
Our co-creation will have to focus on creating these in-betweens.
More precisely: we need to become masters in creating ‘structures’ in order to let meaningful processes happen; so that the quality of the relation can be healed and can generate some renewing content.