Archive for the ‘story’ Category

WMtE13 – Weaving ourselves back into co-ecolution

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Because of the constellation lunch was late and we reconvened halfway the afternoon, back on the porch where we had this incredible interweaving with nature the day before. Judy invited us to check in, but we were silent, nobody spoke. Sitting in a half circle we were all facing outwards, with nature filling half of the circle.

loooooooooooong silence…

What if our soul becomes the leader of the pack, so that the ego can rest?

Is there a purpose why this frog and this bee ended up here?

Maybe not-knowing is less frightening in a collective?

Maybe ‘weaving ourselves back into nature’ is not right, and we are weaving ourselves back into co-evolution?

This last thought was kind of new to me. It made me humble to realize, as a human being, how we co-evolved with all around us, visible and invisible. We are so used to think of ourselves as on top of the food chain, and being like that forever – unchangable. But we are also part of evolution and we co-evolve, with the earth, just as this butterfly is linked with this specific flower and plant and co-evolved with it over time. As humans we are small and also under influence of these larger, bigger forces. Seeing ourselves within this co-evolution, maybe, brings us back into wholeness?

There is a mystery at heart of his co-evolution, something that we probably will never understand. We better enjoy it, enjoy its unfolding, instead of being frightened by the unknown in it.

Back to the overall question of our gathering: What if we could experience being natural, wild beings in a collective, in deeper mutual relationship with natural rhythms and cycles of the earth? important insights came up.

The wild is what is.
Simple sentence, but with profound implications.
The wild is what is.
This tied me back to the importance of witnessing; the noticing, the seeing of what is present – including the being seen, and being witnessed. As someone summed it up: In resonance the wildness is present.

So wildness is not how we normally picture it: being wild like a wild lion in the bush, or being wild as drunken youngsters in a music festival. No, being wild is being indigenous, in mutual relationship with all aspects of what exists around us. It is being in resonance with all of life – the pro-verbial plastic bags included.

WMtE 13 – Capitalism is exhausted

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Again, I’m sitting outside in the morning, the sun is doing its best! I’m sitting with the sound of birds – many different ones, and the sunlight pouring through the huge pine trees. I recognize now the song of the wood thrush, a bird we don’t have in Belgium. I’ve also come to know the sound of the tree frogs, mostly in the afternoon and the evening.

The blue lilies have opened up themselves during our time here, and a lot of buds are ready to burst open with some more warmth and light. I notice the sound of wild turkeys, and now and then a car passing by. This is gracious land, kept untouched, undeveloped they name it, for different generations, and it is bursting with life!

It is easy to stay centered and openhearted in this environment. Encountered with noises of breakfast preparations during the morning meditation, L. shared this question with us: Can we meet and great ‘the plastic bag’ with the same reverence and presence than (ideal) nature? It might not have this memory from itself… nature seems to have this immanent presence, this inner stillness, which is probably why it reminds us of our inner presence and why it feels so nurturing and restoring to us.

B. shared the profound insight she got by getting feedback from a few others and how she realized deeply that we need a conscious collective to point this out to us, in respect and love. It re-members us that we are also the deep water, the depth of the ocean and not only the stories – the family stories, the media stories, our childhood stories…

This brought us to: What is the next story for society? Rekindling a memory in myself of deep seeing that both communism and capitalism had a positive core when they started forming, but over the years these evolutionary experiments have hit a wall of going too extreme. I can’t describe the laughter that erupted from J., linking her sudden tiredness with ‘maybe capitalism is exhausted!’ It showed us the bigger evolutionary perspective and how funny and relative all ‘fighting for god causes’ or ‘struggle against what goes wrong’ actually is.

It was time for a break (and again yammy smoothies made by J.!)

After the break we used systemic constellation work to look into the evolving project on this land, to learn that relationships needed to be re-established to be able to move to the next step.

WMtE13 – Resonance in the field

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Checking my email during this gathering I was struck by the messages that would fit right in with what was happening in our field. So, one morning, or maybe after a break, I was reading them to the other participants. They speak about the listening, the silence and the stillness, the witnessing and even the cooking! For you to enjoy too!

Posted on Facebook by Yasuhiko Genku Kimura:

Every line of thought I pursued in coherent theory-making always revealed at the end its inherently nonsensical nature, for in the process of developing my thought my make-sense-ability also seemed to develop to a higher level. Every time echoing Ludwig Wittgenstein I utter the sentence, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must pass over in silence” (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Proposition 7) and then restart a new line of thought. Thus the goal of thought disappears and the process becomes the purpose—the process of ever-deeper open engagement with Being, which is what Thinking is.

Posted by Hala, a dear friend of Women Moving the Edge, living in Lebanon:

the best words are the silent ones which express more fully what no word can express ~ it is in this expansive silence and gift that I close my day, which started with “preporate” – making me stop and feel that a new language is present to host our connections and relational fields ~ with deep gratitude to all who contributed, participated and joined physically or by heart in bringing life form celebration moments to nSite and moving me into this expansive silence and gift ~

And some more by Hala:

the fullness came through the fullness of the witnessing and the fullness of the collaborative cooking process, and the celebration of both by sharing moments of eating delicious foods collectively spread on the tables in the space

WMtE13 – Wild again…

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

We took a long lunch pause to let this rich content sink in and let it digest a bit. We were mostly in silence and on our own. We reconvened on the screened-in porch. In the morning we had gathered in the living room, then the sun had called us out in front of the house after the break, but by noon it had already become too hot!

The porch is a bit long and narrow for a circle of seven chairs, we were sitting more in an oval, than a circle. Not much was spoken… long stretches of silence unfolded…

The morning had brought the realization of the importance and simple act of “I see you.”; which brought back the deep realisation from a constellation in a previous Women Moving the Edge gathering, where the representative of Earth has said: “The simple act of witnessing me, is amplifying my resilience.”

In the silence I was musing on all of this.

Identity…

Boundaries…

Witnessing…

Seeing…

What if we remove fixed boundaries and witness the essence?

What if we replace identity with uniqueness?

Authenticity doesn’t seem to need a fixed boundary to be in a relationship or in resonance…

This was all going on in my thinking, but energetically, in my body, a shifting was going on, a recalibration in my cells and energy system to our new understanding. I had to lay down to let the energy doing its thing.

B. called for movement, felt a need to stretch her body, as if her body needed to expand. She invited all of us to do the same. The circle disappeared in silence and each of us was following the energy in her body as natural as we could… some silent, some little noises made, some deeper breathing, some responding to sounds of birds and insects outside.

Again it was silent for a long time. Eventually, we ended up sitting and laying in a half circle, all facing outwards, in total connection – communication – resonance with nature around us, so present and close, with only the veil of the screen of the porch.

There were tree frogs telling a story,

then they were listening.

We were listening,

then listened to.

Witnessing going on in all directions.

I could sense ‘the collective’ of the forest becoming more present – almost tangible – than the individual trees.

Because we were, as a collective, witnessing the whole?

It was magic.

More silence.

It was amazing, fascinating and not anything I had experienced before. We were all in awe for what happened.

We came into rapport with nature,

as embodied human beings.

We reconnected with our indigenosity,

we wove ourselves back into nature,

the fragmentation undone,

the bridge re-established.

We became wild again.

WMtE 13 – Embracing the curiosity of the emergent

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Did you read the title above?

It was J., our youngest participant – who also cares for our meals and excellent smoothies (!) – who translated my sharing on ‘love making with the future’ in these words: embracing the curiosity of the emergent. I love it!

I realized yesterday how sensing into the future has become a habit for me, a normal state of being almost. Always sensing into what is trying to form, what possible connections might lead to a next minimal step? It is so fun, so joyful to relate with the future in a way that you look out for what will happen next time your lover is around. The sense of joyful expectations! The sense of Santa Claus bringing presents that are a full surprise, but just right.

I love to be in this expectant, pregnant space. So curious how the new baby is going to look like and anticipating what its uniqueness might be.

Oh, my god! The weather is just perfect here! Total blue sky, sun from morning till evening, a cool house to eat, a porch in the shade… and a tent next to the trees for me to sleep in at night. It is after lunchtime now on our first full day; we agreed on having a long lunch break. B., the steward of this incredible place, is sewing some vegetables in her permaculture garden. Joey, the dog, enjoys digging holes next to her.

I’m sitting on the granite boulders that were once the sides of a colonial route. Amazing to realize that some hundreds of years ago people were walking here and travelling with horses and carriages… and what was even here before that? Land and humans constant in a joint evolution.

As much as there is doom and gloom, pain and struggle in the world, there is the anticipation of a future full of potential.

The door is opening…

and we need to go through it together.

WMtE13 – Medicine from the heron

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

It is Saturday morning as I write this. Most people are preparing and eating their breakfast, some in silence, others talking softly. I just went out for a walk to the swamp nearby. I was contemplating on ‘being in mutual relationship with nature’; a concept or idea that came up a lot yesterday. Some proposed to use ‘rapport’ or ‘attunement’ instead of the more academic sounding ‘relationship’.

At the swamp – most likely the work of beavers – there are a lot of death trees, and has a nest of a blue heron on top of it. Quite amazing to see it so clearly peak out into the sky, above the quiet and still water. He/she is there! Right on the nest! I wanted to capture him with my camera. But how does that sit with this mutual relationship?

I noticed how my labeling – ‘a blue heron!’ (including exclamation mark!) – removes me from this being; installs a distance between him/her and me. I tried to move closer, paying a lot of attention not to make too much noise while stepping on fallen branches and leaves. Still, I was in ‘separation mode’. Then I decided to ‘do’ nothing. I sat still for quiet some time, not ‘trying to take a picture’, but just me sitting here and the heron sitting over there.

I noticed several black birds nearby, as if they were making their morning toilet, ruffling their feathers and wings with a soft sound I never heard before.

The heron was still sitting still on the nest. The only movement I noticed was him/her looking either left or right. Now, this was an example of stillness! When he took off, he/she didn’t have a plan upfront I guess. He just responded to some outside noise or clue, or something instinctual from the inside.

What if we could live from this stillness?

Yesterday, in our sharing, the big difference between our being together here, with no expectations – learning to speak and act from the inner spark – and the busyness of daily, Western culture.

Why do we go with this mainstream rhythm, even when we don’t like it?

Do we need to take more medicine in from the heron?

Arriving for the next Women Moving the Edge gathering

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Judy and I arrived here by noon, with lunch almost made ready by Beth. We are hosted in a fabulous place here, in New Hampshire. An ecological built new house in the midst of many acres of wild land, and a nature reserve across the street.

We started our checkin, with the three of us of this hosting team, on the porch. Sitting in the sun was almost too warm! We are literally IN nature here. Beth has accomplished a lot in making a garden with flowers and vegetables over the last three years, but brambles and wild life isn’t very far, and the trees are huge – 50 to 60 years old. I love it here.

The first thing we noticed as we stepped out of the car and – of course! – straigth into the garden were two big butterflies on the overwintered scallions now in bloom. We looked it up: the two-tailed swallowtail; indeed the biggest butterflies around here.

In the check-in we related ourselves with the question that will guide this gathering:

What if we could experience being natural, wild beings in a collective,

in deeper mutual relationship with natural rhythms and cycles of the Earth?

I wondered how to be ‘wild as a butterfly’? how to be flexible as a pine tree in the wind? We shared and exchanged about the differences between construction and creation, planning and flow, headspace and being present. We ended with the inquiry and the challenge of learning how to be in flow even when dealing – collectively – with practical day-to-day tasks. This is where the real trust in flow and collective comes in. It is kind of easy to trust the flow when dealing with matters of the soul, but do we dare, do we trust the flow when it comes to practical things like doing dishes, preparing meals and cleaning?

We also touched upon the fact that with ‘collective’ in the question, we don’t only mean us, human beings, but also the animals, the trees, subtle energies and so much more. I think we will start our gathering tomorrow again with a coning, as in the previous gathering.

Beth and I have set up a tent for me right before dinner, a big one with a lot of space. For me this gathering will be a blending of camping and hosting a gathering. I already know that I will enjoy it a lot!

Ritual and ceremony (WMtE UK, last blogpost)

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

This was actually the first time that we had a sense before the gathering that we needed to do a ritual. Of course, the circle practice that we use, is a ritual in itself one could say. But we had to do something with the land, with the stones. People who have been to sacred places know that they hold a vibration that is sometimes quite strong and tangible. In a gathering, a few years ago, named Powers of Place, I had understood that places hold a memory, an imprint of what happened there.

That’s where the first part of our question came from:
If land and stone hold a memory, and radiate it out through the ages…

If that indeed is the case and we now want a new vibration set for the future, then we needed to set a new vibration with the stones. I can tell you that I didn’t feel at ease when we first talked about this in one of our preparing calls. There is quite some logic in this, but still it felt weird; and who was I – or we – to do this? In the gathering we realized: it is us, because we feel called.
dare we open as portals…

It turned out that we did three rituals, or that the ritual had three different phases. First there was Saturday evening at the Blackdown Ring, where we cleaned ourselves of whatever obstacles there were in us to open for both the unwounded masculine and unwounded feminine. We each walked individually through the portals we had set up, releasing what was no longer useful and allowing and receiving the new, clean energy. It was great to see the open faces, the smiles and the joy and energy that was present when the ritual was done.

The next day in Avebury we first gathered at The Cove, two enormous stones, one slim, right up, being masculine and another quite wide and with a rougher surface, being the feminine. We first gathered in a little circle, with all of us present and I spoke the intention for this ritual. We were here to set a new vibration, a clear energy between the masculine and the feminine that in the future would be open and clear to create the new capacity of humankind, the capacity to sense, live and create as conscious collectives.

As we moved closer to the stones, one of us felt the enormous energy close to the masculine stone. She also guided us to the next steps. We had to move from the masculine stone to the feminine one, until we would form a chain, through our holding hands, and we could connect them both. G., who had joined us for this afternoon, brought her exquisite sounding bowl in, and made a lemniscate movement while sounding it. Later she would tell us that Avebury had been known to be a landscape temple for balancing the feminine and masculine energies, with major rituals on the eve of May1, Beltane. We didn’t know!
to re-member and co-create with Earth…

Then we got to the Long Barrow to do the last part of our subtle work. The (very) big stone in front of the barrow got our attention from the beginning, as it seemed to block the entrance. G. told us that this stone was most likely in another spot originally. We went into the dark and could fit nicely in the ‘room’ in the back. Once again I stated the intention and waited for others to bring in their input.

As I look back at this ritual I’m reminded of a saying by a Canadian, native elder that says: ceremony is how nature does it, ritual is how the humans try to imitate that. (my words) Helen has written extensively about this ritual and how it unfolded, so there is no need to repeat that. As I read her words, and also Judy’s words of the previous phase at the Cove, I am amased at how different experiences we all had. I didn’t have the vast and detailed experiences that they describe and yet I knew that what we needed to do was important. Not in any huge way, but we just had to do it. And we did.

Central to the ritual in West Kenneth long barrow was for me the sounding we did collectively. A lot was going on, although nobody in our circle was speaking. R. sat down a bit. It was clear that some difficult energies were running through her. Later she would name them as ‘being in labour’. Also S. was not in excellent shape and needed support from the stone walls behind her. But we made sound and gave in this way our attention with our intention.
to sound a new vibration – a new song – for the future to come?

On right place

Friday, May 11th, 2012

When we are aligning with the subtle dimensions one of the forms it becomes visible and tangible is the sensing and inside knowing of what are the right places to do something specific. (next to the right timing I mentioned before) We, as the hosting team, we knew upfront we wanted to do some ritual on Saturday, the evening before going to Avebury, which would be our main purpose and event. Specific purpose of this first ritual was to clean ourselves from anything that would block us from the unwounded feminine or unwounded masculine. Judy had received upfront information about some specifics for this ritual and we knew we had to pass through some kind of portal, symbolic for leaving something behind and opening up to the new. When we just started our gathering by walking the land, I noticed two stone towers right next to the stream; probably leftovers from a gate or a marker of the borders of the land. That seemed to me the right place to do this passage; of course it would be difficult to access for one of us who isn’t that stable anymore, especially on this steep slope from the house to the river.

In the evening Jane had welcomed us into Hazelwood House and told a bit of its history and had told us about the Blackdown Ring, up the hill, named as ‘a stone age hill fort’. Helen was strongly drawn to it and walked over there early next morning. When she came back she was sure that was the perfect spot to do our ritual: a bigger outer ring, as a ditch and a dike, then another smaller, inner ring, and in the middle a piece of land as a bowl in the midst of this all. The outer ring was perfect to shed any obstacles to receive the pure masculine energy and being supported by it; the inner bowl was perfect to receive us after leaving behind judgments and anxieties regarding the feminine energy. This spot was a way more better place than the one I had seen. It was easy accessible for all and a feeling of protection. Right place!

The next day in Avebury, we knew we had to do a ritual there; but where? There was a map of the ‘landscape temple’, all the sacred spots in and around the little village; and we had a map of how the leylines – both masculine and feminine – crossed this land and each other. I used the time when we arrived to sense into the place. I was drawn to walk to the same spot I had entered the ring of Avebury the first time I had come there, many years ago. It linked with the West Kenneth Avenue, the walkway from the Sanctuary into the ring. This spot and this direction held deep resonance for me; but was this also the sport for today’s ritual?

As I stood there and sensed I slowly realised that this entry point and coming from this direction was what I knew from previous times – it resonated in my body. But it was not the spot for the new to take place! Good realization! And good that I hadn’t insisted to walk that way for the whole group! As we had tried to decide where to do the ritual after our lunch, it was clear that there was no alignment between us; we couldn’t come to an agreement at all. That was where I understood we all had to sense deeper into it. Later we used Judy’s sensing and the information of a pendulum to check on the journey we would take. We started with one part at the Cove, a feminine and masculine stone inside the ring and later we drove over to West Kenneth Long Barrow where we did the main part of the ritual.

On right timing

Friday, May 11th, 2012

If you have been following this blog regularly you might have noticed that the harvest and reporting from the Women Moving the Edge gathering in the UK wasn’t finished. So, here will follow a few more blogposts, now with pictures! (again by Helen Titchen Beeth!)

One of the features of being in a truly generative space is that there is a timing that seems to fit. Things fall into place at the right moment. It feels as if we are aligned with the wider context and the environment at large.

When we started our Women Moving the Edge gathering there was also a marriage planned at Hazelwood House. Not a big feast, just the minimal people required, but still a ritual that would not fit well with us dancing in the room next door! One moment it felt as an obstruction to the flow we had in mind for the start of our gathering. Instead, we choose the opportunity side of this situation and decided to start with all of us getting to know the land and being outdoors. It was a perfect fit in timing and a perfect start for our time together as the land, in all its beauty and radiance, would become such an important part of our stay. And on top of that, the symbol of the marriage – the coming together of masculine and feminine – was totally aligned with the theme that was surfacing!

Another moment of right timing was when we went to do the ritual on Blackhill fort, on Saturday evening. There were a few people with a dog walking there as we arrived, but by the time Judy had explained what we were going to do, they were stepping back in their car to drive home; leaving only the sheep to witness us passing by.

Finding the right timing in Avebury was a bit more challenging for me. I was in a stressful place, because some part of me added ‘importance’ to the ritual that was going to unfold. Importance relates to ego, and that gave me the unwanted stress. Then the point came that I realized we were waiting for the right timing. I just mentioned that to my neighbor at the table, and sure enough there was G. who showed up! We got acquainted and then the rest of the circle joined and we could walk to the places we were supposed to be. Rich learning again that there is no point in pushing and pulling! Sometimes you just need to wait until the right timing is there and you are yourself balanced and aligned with your self, the group and the environment.

The last point I want to share is about the last moments of our gathering. I have never been in a gathering where the final checkout circle was finished and there was still more than an hour left before the official ending! What was supposed to happen? Each of us sensed what was appropriate for them to do. Most of us went outside to say goodbye to the land: the flowers, the trees, the little river that had swollen overnight due to the rains and so much more…