Thy will be done

I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

The path ahead is in shadow, none of my plans work out and instead I am forced into the present. Yes, I’m aware that’s probably a good thing but, oooowhee it’s uncomfortable.

Preparing for the gathering.

Case in point: Thursday night, the gathering of deep ecology/ecospiritual folk. I think it’s fair to say recent life events have brought me to a place of grief and vulnerability. On Wednesday night I went looking for my copy of ‘Coming back to life‘ to refresh my memory of ‘the milling‘ as an ice breaker. I couldn’t find it anywhere. “Okay” I thought “that’s alright, I’ve run it before I can just make it up on the spot. This will teach me to speak from the heart and that’s a good thing, I need to trust in myself.”

Thursday morning was overcast and my small self was hoping for rain. I was still feeling vulnerable (in fact at 9am I was on the phone to my father in tears) and that same small self was desperately uncomfortable. My larger self was unperturbed and gently suggested that vulnerable was a good way to lead a gathering. I consoled myself with the thought that I wouldn’t be on my own, Geoff would be there too and after all it was his idea.

Thursday afternoon the weather turned glorious and my small self had some choice words for the universe. There were 15 people who said they’d come along so it was clear that it was going ahead. I resolved to be present and take it as it comes.

Then I get a text from Geoff saying that he had to go home sick. I could not believe it. He was disappointed so I couldn’t be annoyed with him. He sent me this lovely text about how it was going to be beautiful, “you made me feel better about going with whatever happens last time we spoke.” Uh, did I say that? Yep, I did. All of my deep ecology work has been in the hands of the universe, partly in my control and mostly not.  I had to assume that this was too.

So when I left work I went to Flagstaff Gardens and prepared for the gathering. Not in the usual way, by writing up a timeline and scheduling activities, but by sitting under a tree and inviting the Earth to hold me in my vulnerability. When people started to arrive I greeted them with open arms and an open heart, completely unwedded to the outcome of the evening.

As the gathering unfolded people warmed to the topic that is close to our hearts. I spontaneously spoke of Eisenstein and the story of separation versus the story of interbeing. At times I heard doubt and fear and frustration in people’s voices and idly wondered if another group is really what’s required now. By halfway through it was clear that there is a real hunger to continue connecting and sharing our sacred places with each other.

Near the end of our time together a scottish pipe band began rehearsing ten metres from where we were sitting. We all agreed that we’d be finished soon so rather than move on, we moved in close to one another to be heard over the droning of the pipes.  It was hilarious and joyful. Someone expressed gratitude for the noise in bringing us closer together.

We couldn’t agree on a name and that is quite okay, I’m sure it will emerge in its own time. I hope it reflects the joy of those final moments, huddling together, laughing as we struggled to be heard over the bag pipes.

I feel amazed and humbled and thrilled by how the evening ended up. I find myself shaking my head in wonder. I’ve been a facilitator for 15 years and I never work without a plan. I can’t fathom it, that being open and present is truly all that’s required of me. That I am somehow the right person, in the right place, at the right time, just the way I am. If that’s true for me, then it’s true for you too, welcome to the new world of interbeing.

A wake up call

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On Sunday I went to see the delightful Clare Bowditch do her Big Hearted Business morning tea thing. It was inspiring, it was energising, it was a relief to hear someone talk about passion for saving the world as an asset instead of rolling their eyes. It was also a profound eye opener. I hadn’t really considered that the work I want to do could be a viable business. I’m not actually sure that a business can be inherently ethical in the way I would want it to be, I need to think about it some more.

I spoke to lots of interesting people, it would have been great to do even more of that. I haven’t started a business but I’m branching out into new territory just wanting a career that I am whole heartedly involved in, that engages the best parts of myself. I need to speak to others who can affirm that that’s possible and that it’s a worthy endeavour.

At one point Clare started talking about marketing, what things come to mind?

slick, sales, targeting, awkward, segmentation, niche…

Then she asked – who knows what problem they are trying to solve?

I don’t know if it was because I raised my hand a little higher than the others. Perhaps the audience didn’t have a lot of people who really knew their problem. Maybe it was completely random but I suddenly found myself talking to my hero, Clare Bowditch.

The problem I want to solve is connecting people with nature, so that they understand they are actually part of it.

How are you going to do that?

I run workshops.

And what’s your background, is it therapeutic?

No, I have a buddhist practice and I’ve worked in the community sector for 15 years.

(Satisfied, Clare turns to the audience) Okay, so who here knows someone or feels that they themselves need to connect with nature?

Everyone. raised. their. hand.

(Clare turns back to me, nodding appreciatively. Thunderstruck I can barely bring myself to look around the room.) Okay so how are these people going to find you?

Ah, they can’t actually.

Right, thank you for your honesty, that’s what marketing is for.

That’s what this blog is for, so people can find me. I have the luxury of full time work, I’m not looking for an income, I’m looking for deep conversation.