“For each of us, you’ve got to be very quiet to hear your unique dharma, your unique way of expression. Somebody comes along and their major thing in life is to regain the rights of indigenous peoples. Someone else comes along and their major thing is to awaken people to environmental degradation. Someone else comes along and their major thing is to clean up the incredible oppression of women.
It isn’t a question of which thing is worse, or which is more worthwhile. Each person has to hear what is their part in the whole process of how their compassion expresses itself. I am doing this gig. This is my part. It’s no better than your part, it’s just my part. I’m not under some illusion that I have a different part and I honor everybody else’s part, I just have to constantly keep listening to hear what my part is anew.” Ram Dass
I’ve noticed that sometimes our major sources of frustration have the potential to orient our purpose. That’s my experience at least. When I just graduated and I entered the world of work, what I saw there inspired me deeply. So almost a decade later- I would work to transform it as a consultant and coach. I continue to listen to my purpose. And it continues to evolve.
So….What is your part right now? What are the major sources of frustration in your life? How might they be linked to your purpose in this world?
If you feel curious about how Integral Coaching can support you in this journey contact me for a 20 min. free session.
Winter is here.
Leaves keep on falling. In the northern hemisphere, the nature rests.
This awareness invites me to look inside. Not too engage in too much action. To pause. To listen carefully. To consider.
In order to do so, I hear the calls for action from the world. And to some I say, it’s not time yet. I promise to listen to my internal rhythms. So I can discern when the time has come.
My soul rests in silence. Nourished deeply, getting ready for what’s to come. I do not know what will be, nor do I need to.
For now I embrace stillness. Looking inside. Not knowing. Just being.
And in doing so, I invite you to connect with the part of you that yearns to stop and listen. What message does this part have for your? How can you honor it? ¿Which practices, spaces or activities can you nourish it?
by Mary Oliver
Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
For a concrete practice on Stillness, the 10 points practice by Dharma Ocean is a simple and powerful. You can access it here.
In this post, and as new year’s purposes ask for some serious attention, I’d like to bring your attention to the containers in your life. Here’s an excerpt of my book Gatherings – available at the Contact section of this site – about this topic:
“Container is the context, physical and psychological, that offers the required conditions for our intentions and the group’s to flourish and become real. It is an energetic field where we can experiment all possibilities safely. It is a supportive space.
A container can take different shapes:
– People: could be our team, family, life partner, a friend or a mentor. A wider group of people such as a social movement. The author of a book that resonates with us, a world leader or a relative that passed away and we still feel connected to.
– Places: museums, a childhood home, mountains, the sea, airplanes or our car, old buildings… any place that makes us feel safe, calm, serene.
– Practices: prayer, physical practice or an intense hobby.
– Virtual spaces: our culture, our spirituality, our country’s history… “
Now, as you consider your containers for your intentions of this year, you can ask yourself:
What containers do you already have to hold you in this effort?
What containers do you need to create to be successful? Of what type? What conversations do you need to have to activate them?
How are you going to nurture them?
In the same vein, I also invite you to ask yourself, who are you going to hold this year? What projects, what initiatives? How?
“Having a lover/friend who regards you as a living growing criatura, being, just as much as the tree from the ground, or a ficus in the house, or a rose garden out in the side yard… having a lover and friends who look at you as a true living breathing entity, one that is human but made of very fine and moist and magical things as well… a lover and friends who support the ciatura in you… these are the people you are looking for. They will be the friends of your soul for life. Mindful choosing of friends and lovers, not to mention teachers, is critical to remaining conscious, remaining intuitive, remaining in charge of the fiery light that sees and knows.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
“What is your view of the current world situation- I asked George Pór?
Well, I’m going to sit down to talk about this. How I see it is that there are two currents running at the same time. From one side, the world is getting worse and worse. Ecological crisis, economic ones, exclusion, poverty. And on the other, things are getting better and better, a greater awareness, creative movements, revolutions. Both currents are increasing in speed more and more. So when two currents like that operate at the same time, a clear result of it is chaos. An increase of chaos.
In a way ,to understand the moment we’re in, it is helpful to think about the image of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. There is a moment, where the structure of the caterpillar starts to collapse, and the organism, lives in a cell-soup full of potential. The caterpillar is no longer a caterpillar but it is still not a butterfly. In this soup the key challenge is for the cells of the butterfly recognise each other and organise themselves to form the butterfly. So now, in this precise moment, the key challenge is that individuals willing to create a new society recognise each other. They recognise each other and don’t fall into ego traps of “I dont’ like you”, “this is not my thing”, “working collectively is too difficult”,and so on and so forth”
This one, and many other deep insights were shared on the 30, 31st of January and 1st of February, on the co-design workshop of the project Innovant Junts (Innovating together), hosted and promoted by CEICS, the Campus of International Excellence Southern Catalonia.
During this 3 days, we – George Pór, the pionner in collective intelligence, Jordi Cartanyà, the visionary director of CEICS, Yois Haro and Nuria Quince dynamic members of the CEICs team and myself – hosted a design meeting for 3 innovative communities of practice (CoPs), in the following domains: food, innovation and collective intelligence.
The gathering counted with around 30 individuals from the corporate world, research centers and health institutions with the curiosity and willingness to step into the unknown domain of learning together through CoPs. The framework we used was Theory U. We bravely engaged in Check-ins, Listen-up Harvesting and Visioning techniques. On the second day we celebrated a World Cafe to go deeper into the topics.
Each participant, thanks to CEICS, was given a book “Gatherings”, in order to encourage further the use of rEvolutionary techniques.
Before the 3 CoPs are officially launched in a couple of months, we are moving into a “transition phase”, where we will engage in specific tasks to nurture the initial efforts, water the seeds that were planted, coach and encourage the cells, every individual forming the CoP to recognise each other
Once upon a time, a delightful woman named Alicia Falvey had a vision of a training. It was not just any training. It was an Art of Hosting training. And she envisioned it in a place of exceptional beauty, Mas Fontarnau, home of the Actors Space in the heart of Catalonia, Spain.
With this vision, she put together a team that had never worked together before. Marian Masoliver, Chris Chapman, Floris Koot and Magda Barceló³. They did not know each other but they trusted Alicia. So they started to design the training.
After some days of working together, they realised that what the Actor’s Space and Art of Hosting had in common was the “play” part. And they were curious to explore what would the “Art of Hosting through Play” mean.
Days passed and communicating the added value of the workshop was not easy. People were drawn to the Art of Hosting notion – it was only the second one to take place in Spain-, but not really to the play bit….after all play is about not being serious, about doing unimportant things, about things that don’t matter. But, is it really?
As the date was getting closer, participants decided to join – and sadly, Alicia could not join. Institutions such as the Barcelona city council, University of Vic and the adventurer Albert Bosch supported the training, giving it a boost. At the day of the training they were a group of 17 people from 6 nationalities. There were coaches, a social entrepreneur, a civil servant, a facilitator, a market researcher that wanted to change the world, a student of social change, a green building expert, a drama teacher,…that had in common valuable skills and experience, an open heart and willingness to play.
On the first day “arrive and connect” they started in a circle check-in, play exercises, and an intro to the AoH. Soon after they welcomed Albert Bosch. With the whole group ready for a collective story harvest (groups of 3 focussing on the same question), the group travelled to the dessert of the Sahara and later on the South Pole with Albert’s adventures.
Over dinner, the group, fed-forward Albert, what they had heard, what they had learned. Some choose a short sketch, another a sculpture, another a song…A powerful message stayed with all of them: at the end of your life, you will ask yourself: Did you live, did you love, did you matter?
Reframe my challenge, my purpose (second day)
On the second day “reframing my challenge, my purpose”, they started – after some awakening play- by sharing the dreams of the previous night. They asked themselves, what hidden perspective was the collective unconscious bringing?
After this, a knowledge expedition was followed by a session dedicated to connect with their inner child, helped them reach forgotten memories to play them out. And an Open Space followed “What tools might help you to find your purpose in a playful way?”
A session about how to facilitate play in groups supported participants to introduce more playfulness into their everyday work.
On the third day “deepening my practice and connecting to the whole” they started by playing as usual. A live sculpture with the “elephant in the room” feed-forward the group with the learnings from the previous days. After this, the group delved into a social presencing theater session to explore the wisdom of their bodies. What did their bodies know? How could they play out the forces their bodies sensed to become wiser? What was the role of the systems they were part of?
This, was followed by a World Cafe with all sorts of inspiring insights.
The afternoon was about responding to the question, “Where are we with reference to the AoH through Play?” most responded with short plays.
A quick tour in town before dinner made the group realise that, the world outside Mas Fontarnau surprisingly followed its course. The evening was closed after dinner with a soundscaping session in the small chapel of Fontarnau. With the whole group in the dark, sounds were uttered, songs were sang, chaos and order danced together creating moments of beauty, and others of big clanging leaving no one indifferent. That night, the stars were brighter than ever and two of them rejoiced looking at the illuminated dark sky.
What will I bring to the world? (last day)
On the fourth day, “What will I bring to the world?” the team of hosts woke up inspired. One of them had woken up with a powerful insight that had crystallised during the night: play, when overdone, might play get in the way of having powerful conversations? When shared with the participants, the insight cut through the topic of the session.
Starting with a check-in on the question: What have you learned about yourself that makes you ready for your next challenge, your next adventure? The group was getting ready to land back into their world.
A Pro-action cafe wrapped it all up, as participants made use of the collective intelligence of the group to advance an interesting variety of projects: A festival on deep democracy, another one on innovation, transforming the educational system, engaging green building stakeholders effectively and a youth leadership program.
Then, the bittersweet time of goodbyes, farewells and seeyousoons. Something had changed inside each one of them. The magic of the Art of Hosting had worked again.
The time in between spring and summer. Is it cold or is it hot?
The time in between ending a project and shaping up new ones. What to do?
The time in between living in one place to then move to another. Where to place my roots?
The time in between work, leisure,…. What is really what?
I find myself living in the time in between. How to know how relevant it is? Where to focus my attention? How not to feel lost? Does it really matter?
What if the time in between was the most inspiring? While things are not defined, and everything is possible, freedom can be experienced,…and also vertigo from the creative tension. I remember the most beautiful piece of L’Arlésienne by Bizet, was an Intermezzo, called to a piece in between two main musical movements. I could not believe that such a piece did not have a name of its own, a weight of its own, instead of just being in between two defined and purposeful parts. But perhaps Bizet knew that time in betweens are key ones. Because in its latency, in its full potency everything is shaping up. In our feeling lost, things are happening inside and around us that later on will make sense, but that we can not comprehend yet.
Meanwhile I say YES to the time in between.
To hold the space that will bring the new.
Cancer, low fertility, allergies,….all kind of diseases are more and more common. The root causes, economic and life models non sustainable. The voices that defend a different kind of agriculture are often silenced. Here is a high impact proposal, using the media,…to support you just have to click and watch the video.
Càncer, baixa fertilitat, al·lèrgies,…són cada vegada més nombrosos. Els motius, un model econòmic i vital no sostenible. Les veus que clamen per una altra agricultura són sovint silenciades. Aquí es presenta una proposta d’alt impacte mediàtic,…per donar-li suport només heu de veure el vídeo.
Have you ever wondered why lives of women in history have remained mostly invisible besides very few exceptions?
Why this is a proven fact – despite they had crucial roles and they were as remarkable as male historical figures – and the enormous implications of this invisibility for women’s sense of identity, inspirational role models and a large etcetera is beyond the scope of this post.
I’ve just taught a module of Equal Opportunities for the participants in the project NOA of Barcelona Activa , financed by the European Social Fund. The aim of it is to foster women’s opportunities to work in male dominated sectors – the majority of them better paid and with better conditions than feminised ones of a similar category, thus reducing the gender pay gap. In this particular one, three groups of women were trained to work in IT, logistics and as drivers. While my module was to provide the background of the program, explain the current situation of women and men in society, as well as provide notions of gender perspective, I also created a space for women’s history – herstory – and in this way being the change I want to see in the world.
The exercise was to find out about a relevant woman in history and briefly share the findings with the group, or tell the group the story of an acquainted woman or a relative the life of whom had left a positive imprint in them. As women were coming to the centre of the circle and shared the past of other women, a special energy started to flow into the room, providing intimacy and group consciousness that impregnated us all. The atmosphere became magical as we travelled to Brazil to meet La Redentora, to the Spanish Second Republic times with La Pasionaria, to the ancient times of the Bible with Lilith , to the northern seas with the pirate Mary Read , to the US with the union’s movement with Crystal Lee Sutton and the activism through civil disobedience of Rosa Parks.
The lives of these women were evoked with other anonymous lives. These were the lives of some of the mothers, grandmothers or acquainted of women of the participants. Women that fought bravely against their circumstances and challenged the current gender relations, in order to raise their family, make sure their daughters and sons got an education and/or simply to reclaim their place in the world.