This was the mood and experience today,

A trip through wind blown fields 3 of us climbed Cluny Hill and visited an ancient site, and had tea with a Findhorn Old timer in a magical room full of instruments...she played a few.
Hope you are warm on this night...💚🌿Ute

Small things


apple tree branches outside my window

they hunch against the evening sky of twisted bows for

one such tiny bird with feathers puffed against the harsh of Scotland winds


almost November now, 3 weeks with worldwide traveling people

gathered in one place, maybe hugging for warmth and worth

I look for the cradle in an old timers eyes, a thread of light

woven by her singing bowls


a Druid walk, the archivist steps guide us spiraling to the ancient place

of 7 powers moved here from a time beyond

only falling follows me into the center halls of Earth and song

will I hear it, called again and sung by a small bird at the window

and a wise one’s singing bowl

 Jill plays metal singing bowls (hammered by her own hands)

Jill plays metal singing bowls (hammered by her own hands)

 Keith, Findhorn archivist, Jill, Findhorn member for 30 years

Keith, Findhorn archivist, Jill, Findhorn member for 30 years

 Ana, from Brazil

Ana, from Brazil

4th Thursday, Findhorn.....almost weekend ! Ahhhhh

The schedule has been intense, someone compared it to eco-village boot camp. That actually made me feel better, so I know I am not alone feeling the pressure to keep up... 

The teachers have assembled an amazing array of guest teachers and programs, nothing is left out, I have reems of google docs and am sharing only very few highlights.

So here is a personal carbon foot print map/mandala to raise my awareness and discover what could be improved. I wish for a Ground Source Heat Pump which uses water out of the ground to warm the house as well as create drinking water...cool ? My windows and doors are leaking, I drive a car to my grocery store etc. (don’t share the ride) and have no public transportation. My garden is too shady to grow food, and my energy sources are most likely not very sustainable, my studio is poorly insulated. Once a year I fly to Europe (plane trips are great pollutants). First thing I am going to save up for is the purchase of a Bullet Woodstove to replace my Pellet stove, though the latter is a pretty good choice as far as pollution is concerned, it is difficult for me to operate and needs a small amount of electricity to run, which does not help when we regularly loose electricity in storms for many days and I freeze and can’t cook on the stove. I could get a generator, eventually....more pollution ?

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Entrance of a small one bedroom house (small enough that it falls under caravan regulations, it could be moved, so zoning is minimal). ....and it feels spacious with lots of wonderful natural light sources the way the windows bring in nature. Wonderful simplicity, and I can easily see myself living in such a building.

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Entrance, mud and plant room.

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Kitchen

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Dining

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Natural light over kitchen and livingroom

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Livingroom, sleeper couch for guest

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Bathroom shower

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Long closet corridor with built- ins for tons of storage and bathroom entrance, with architect Graham from Australia 

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Bedroom

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With lots of natural light, .....deck with hot tub underneath !

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3rd Wednesday, Findhorn


This has been a delightful day so far.

Michael and Lisa, a father daughter team, taught us about projects they have been doing around the world bringing pollution treated water back into badly neglected and abused natural environment. We learned about various treatment plants and saw slides how they accomplished this. Very impressive !

Then we got into BIOMIMICRY,, a way of understanding how Nature has already solved our man made problems if we knew how to observe, listen and learn from ECOSYSTEMS. A few examples I remember: a gecko/ adhesion; prairies/ how to grow food; redwood forrest/ grow business; bird wings/ aeroplane transportation. ....an example of a speed train in Japan: beak of a kingfisher ! A termite mount: ventilation system in a high rise using 10 % of energy costs than before. Spiderweb silk as a resilient strong substance used medically in nerve repair....nature ecosystems informing our designs, nature as a source of ideas instead of only source of goods.

Also examples how nature can aid to create healthier materials as in Mycelium (fungi) to grow packaging.

Nature as : model, measure, and mentor.

‘WHAT WOULD NATURE DO, OR NOT DO HERE ? ‘ became the elephant in the room question.


  • Resource efficiency
  • Life friendly chemistry
  • Evolve to survive
  • Locally attuned
  • Integrate involvement

So the good news is that life is emergent and that from chaos emerges novelty.

How do we dance with change ?


These next ideas made my heart sing !!!!!!!

CREATIVITY is the key property to all living things.

We humans have a fundamental drive to express, our need to fulfill this creative drive can help to regenerate the ecosystems of the planet. (My aim for the Globalselfhealingvillage.com project that Harkirat, Zak and I created together this past year)

This could be CYCLICAL CREATIVITY....imitating DEEP BEAUTY in nature in its

                             birth - life - death cycle.

HOW CAN WE CREATE BEAUTY THAT ELEVATES ALL.....see through time to past and future.

Our teacher Lisa Shaw did a ....TedxTalk...on all of this, which you can view on YouTube, that might be worth looking at.


Then our group went out into the original garden (yes, it is still here) and explored how to mimic consciousness - the mind, the intelligence - of nature, our own and the plants’ as best as we could.

We used sensitivity games by exploring each other’s hands. Walked blindfolded through the gardens with guidance, looked at the astonishing beauty in detail all around us. Marked a square yard in which to observe plant and creatures’ interrelationships, (while I was deeply involved by looking at my little patch of nature, my nose stuck into a flower bush, a small Robbin appeared about the width of a hand away from my nose, curiously looking and joining me in the explorations).

Next we drew with pen on paper a nature being, like flower or leaf, in detail, to imagine its function and expression and give us clues, or ideas how it might inform a new innovation by cooperating with its design.


Those of you who know me also know that this is my kind of classroom !

And when Jason knocked on my door after lunch and invited me to a latte I couldn’t wait to ask him more questions about the intention of his studies.

He is trying to design new learning environments (for he is PhD thesis) that acknowledges our INHERENT KNOWING and WISDOM which is reflected in nature intelligence.....but somehow we have lost the connections to ourself and become imitation and regurgitating puppets trained in our traditional education systems (my own words).

  This afternoon I played hookie in order to integrate and reflect on all this exciting learning. And just now my house mate dropped off a note from Keith, the archivist. He had told me at lunch that an older woman, Jill Denton, who lives in Forres (the next town over) is willing to meet with me. According to Keith she is one of the ‘energy keepers’ of the early times in Findhorn. I can’t wait, and am SO excited....now things are popping.!

Tonight a gathering of our group in the Earth Lodge for the full moon ceremony. You should see this place !! I will try to post photos.

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my inspiration...I drew the elegant lines and created repeated waves ....which hold the seeds.... being birthed from ancient civilizations ....you would have had to be there !! More creative explorations to come....

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my patch of ecosystem where I met the little Robbin

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Astonishing Deep Beauty in each little detail....intelligence of nature at work...our classroom of the future.

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3rd Tuesday at Findhorn


I feel I am on an upswing. Getting to know the ‘lay of the land’ in terms of community spirit culture a little better, and scaling down my expectations !

Have been talking to an archivist here who has been giving me a bit more insight into the Findhorn spiritual evolution.

Sounds like when Peter, Eileen and Dorothy all gave the reigns of the responsibility to the community in the late 70s a new wind started to blow. The community directed their view away from the subtle energy of the plant kingdoms to the human energy of business. Land was bought, much was sold, they lost some of their assets and transitioned to ‘people growing’ to shore up the money chests.

New energy people felt that  the contact with the ‘Subtle realm’ was no longer important and should not be emphasized any more. People who came had an experience week with each other and were no longer  introduced to the wisdom of the meta physical world....just had a good time with each other. Lots of fine workshops sprung up, people from all over the world came to teach. It became a workshop capital of the New Age.


Now, it seems, another new wind is beginning to blow ! Last September Findhorn created a huge conference to re-enter the intention of re-connecting with the subtle worlds. I am still looking for the ripple effects as I continue my digging by interviewing various people who might give me further clues what difference that might make for the future of Findhorn..... as the former beloved and vastly admired place in the world that had such amazing beginnings.

It still puzzles me BIG TIME why there is so little evidence of these former teachings here at its birthplace ?

Tomorrow there will be a Full Moon Ceremony at the Nature Sanctuary which I am very much looking forward to.

Some magical things have happened to me in the last 2 days....more of that later...now back to the classroom to learn about Bioregional mapping and water treatment plants......

which was truly fascinating to my surprise.


I haven’t reported yet on our visit to a Permaculture Demonstration Farm 90 minute bus ride from here. It rained on the way and I was bus sick. But then clouds lifted and revealed a beautiful landscape and we were invited to warm up around the fire with tea and biscuits by our Permaculture farm hosts, James and Rosa.

What an undertaking !!! 8 acres, 14 hours a day ! They have been at it since 2015, building a CSA (community supported agriculture) in a Scottish often wet (except for this year) climate. (photos below).

I thoroughly enjoyed the large sweep of the clouds hugging meadows, innumerable sheep, hills (with old Roman ruins and castles), and standing stones from ancient cultures apparently all over the place.

On the way home we also stopped at the Glenfiddich Whisky distillery and some of my fellow students had some samplings, (we saw many distilleries on the way, but only stopped at this one !!).

We made another delightful stop to visit a Hobbit house that was being built, and for 20 minutes had the pleasure to participate by sanding beams.


During the following night I just could not sleep (which happens for me here frequently, also in years before, the energy keeps me alert,...not a bad thing),

anyway, I was wondering again about the possible metaphysical contact with the nature world of the young farmers....and since I also had to do the recap of this trip for the group the next morning, all kinds of speeches for the importance of learning wisdoms and guidance from the nature kingdoms were swirling through my head. How much would I dare to say, it seemed almost like heresy to broach the subject and speak up on behalf of the Devas. I was anxious and conflicted about what to say and what to omit ....so I asked my apple tree on the other side of the window to help me. I opened my eyes and the branches and few left leaves were dancing as shadows on the wall, all were shaking with energy, for just a little moment, and then all was completely still and I did not see it again no matter how often I opened my eyes (my skeptical side is always looking for satisfaction, darn !)

The next morning I woke up and just on the edge of a dream state a BIG golden yellow apple (about 3 fists big) appeared in my vision.

With this support I decided to pose the relationship and contact question between man and nature at the end of my recap.

the farmhouse

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warming up at the fire

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Permaculture Farmer James

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and Rosa

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view from their land

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much needed sauna after a long work day !

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at the edge of the kitchen garden

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goats for milk and cheese

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Glenfiddich Whiskey distillery

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Hobbit house

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indoor roof

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Indoor hobbit house

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future hobbit house kitchen

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the sky in the living room

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Findhorn

3rd Saturday morning in Findhorn


I woke up early and had many thoughts about the culture here and am wondering what happened between the first time I was here, 1978, and today. Last night my sister Aries and I had a long talk about this. She and her husband Pierre had been in Findhorn many times, starting their visits in the early 80s.

Aries and I have both come away with the same feelings. We sense that in the earlier times the community was still deeply connected to the energy of the founders, Eileen and Peter Caddy, Dorothy MacLean, and Roc (who had frequent contact with the nature god Pan). We both experienced this as a clear, easy and powerful contact with the spirit of nature, which created deep transformation for all of us, Pierre too. Aries reports that Pierre had been a generous but cynical and secretive business man who after the ‘Game of Transformation’ (an actual game that was designed here and is played) had a total shift in consciousness, which was hugely helpful to their partnership.


In 1978 I remember walking to the beach and screaming all my pain and frustration of my previous life into the wind and felt cleansed with a lifted sense of pure lightness.

The gardens at Pine Ridge, where I was sent to work (love in action) were beautifully laid out and carefully guarded of who was to be let in to ‘play’ with the plants and how one would bring ones own consciousness to the interaction.

I met Eileen and experienced her fervent urgings to connect to spirit, many attunements seemed to be going on in the community. We did Circle Dancing with Anna Barton, who apparently still lives in the community. I hope to be able to visit her and ask her opinions about the changes over the years.


When I was here again last August our group was expertly guided by one of the old timers explaining about the workings of Findhorn. We had one unforgettable evening in the Nature Sanctuary where we shared from the heart and meditated together, but other than that one was left on ones own to discover ones contact with nature (and not much time was left for it). We went to Randolph’s Leap where the wild Findhorn river has its path, and I felt a ‘neglect’ with human spirit’s cooperation. I sensed that nature was withdrawing its energy from humans, and I came away feeling so very sad. I talked with the trees to make contact and had to ‘time travel ’ in my mind to the deeply nourishing contact I had made with one of the trees in 1978 , when I had fallen into a ‘sleep’ at its roots to ‘return’ afterwards so wide awake as never before.

This time, 2008, the focus of that trip seemed to be for the group members to try to swim in this cold river for the thrill of it and having to be super careful that no one would come to harm (which had recently happened). I missed guidance into the deeper realm of nature, I know this would have been immeasurably valuable to me, and maybe for others in our group too.

I have had tons of group experiences in my life, always full of learnings and connections, but how to connect with the help of the healing forces of nature, that would have been and still is the most important part for me in coming to Findhorn.

I am trying to get a sense if this is still a focus for the community members who live here, the teachers and the many visitors who come.

At the moment my take is that Findhorn has turned into a place for Green Business, with the emphasis on Business, as well as busy-ness.

I am hoping that I am unfair in my assessment and will continue to look for hopeful signs. Nature is endlessly patient with us humans, until it isn’t, and Findhorn played a hugely important part by focusing on the direct contact with NATURE and it its secret messages from plants and trees, immeasurable wisdom teachings, training us humans to become much better listeners.

Michale Roads, who has been a teacher here in Findhorn, and also at my place in Pa. says in his latest book ’Secret World of Nature’ .....we so seldom experience the fullness of life in the moment that we have become addicted to linear time and space.’ He further reminds us ‘ We are physically three-dimensional, but metaphysically, we are fourth-dimensional. All our thoughts, our emotions, feelings, intuition, imagination, etcetera, are obviously not physical; they are metaphysical and express on a fourth dimension reality. It should be noted that the metaphysical always precedes the physical’.

So I am devouring his teachings again (after having read all his books during their early publications) in the middle of the night here in Findhorn today, to find a way to make contact with the early intention of humans’ contact with nature....still the same reason I came here so long ago. And the question ‘What happened to Findhorn’ won’t leave me alone.


I just returned from a walk and breakfast with my Kaffee Klatsch group to the Bakehouse in the village of Findhorn, the same little group from last week. Lotte from Copenhagen, Christiania community, Hans from Sweden, Permaculture teacher, Cynthia from Seattle, Permaculture teacher (who is planing to stay here for at least 6 more months), and Ana, from Brazil, Community Organizer.

We had a long talk about our course and different opinions of what we came for and what the experiences are....the verdict is still out and experiences in process.....so stay tuned.

meanwhile here are some photos of the nearby village of Findhorn.

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Findhorn, still Friday night

We finally have a moment to breath....it’s been SO stacked with info.

Now that we are actually designing it’s becoming more engaging for me. The course is still excellent, and so are the teachers, and though the course is varied with a few attempts to bring the body and humor and games in to it, it’s still designed for left brain thinkers and the history of traditional training styles that it is based on...I finally figured this out big time and wrote about my own learning style and preference to the teachers. I am a right brain learner with strength in kinestetic and visual learning. Don’t know how much of a difference it will make because they are VERY product oriented and most likely have to answer to higher authorities and their own degree programs....it’s all about measuring after all in this society, even in Findhorn!
I am reminded of Moshe Feldenkrais, designer of Functuonal integration between brain and body, who said ‘the brain only likes to learn through pleasure’, and one of my pleasures and need for learning well is to have time to be out in nature, and be in quiet time to integrate all that I am learning.
But I am learning interesting facts too for which I have a ton of information to refer to in the end, much of which I can’t retain anyway, so there will be lists and lists to refer to. Maybe they will come in handy some day (in any case they might make me feel more confident in my own ways of doing things).
The guest teachers are often very stimulating, and it is interesting to see who resides here. Otherwise I don’t have any time hardly to interact with community members, which is a shame and I miss it.
It think it might be fun to come back and do just that and tour Scotland a bit.
I am still trying to get an overall picture who comes and stays for what reason. And even though it may be varied and reflect as many reasons as there are people, there still might be an overall theme and different categories that emerge and even merge.
I also would like to interview artists and wellness providers. They do not have a wellness center, one would have to go to the next town. That really surprised me, and also no provisions are made for eldering !!! Or financially limited budgets.
To get in here you’ll have to have a stable income, or live on the poverty line and do very menial jobs. Salaries are very low, and people keep having to move to different accommodations depending of the present need. I think they try to see that as service to the whole.
There are different versions of living here in terms of income, some people have bought and built their own homes, fancy homes,  and pay for meals if they want them... I am trying to figure out the various life style systems. Though I can’t help thinking that some of them might create some divisions and resentments ? It’s a community living together after all. On the other hand there will always be have and have nots, and it may be VERY difficult to create equal share and care while operating in a free society and function well, or harmonious.

I was asked to accomponay some friends to the local pub, a walk through the dunes in darkness to taste different excellent Whiskys, which might have been fun, but my chest cold has still not moved on, and alcohol does not attract me too much. So being in my cozy room with a cup of hot tea is my distinct pleasure right now. Drum sounds drift over from the disco dancing, which I am also declining...all is good in Findhorn tonight.

 

 George from New York decorating our tables tonight

George from New York decorating our tables tonight

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One of the residents who is starting a six months ‘Leap Year‘

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Dinner tonight, daal, garbanzo bean stew, apricot stew, cauliflower, roasted pumpkins, zucchini, youghurt with nuts, desert:raspberry compot and chocolate mousse

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Findhorn Friday, 2nd one already !

We are now getting into the design phase of our projects, FINALLY, and I am so glad that the 3 people on my team have a lot of experience already, especially in cost structure...my least favorite part. I think we are coming up with some good stuff and that my contributions are valuable. Wish I had better art material though.

First presentation this afternoon.


One of my colleagues is writing his PhD theory on holistic ways of learning ! I have realized that I have already written one part of the bible on that, done all the research and so on when I created Unergi Holistic Therapy School for 3 year trainings, and then wrote my book ‘Touchback with Body, Art and Nature’ which is now a digital book with the new name ‘Stuck is Not a Place’. It will be interesting to pass on the findings if he wants to use them.


I will share this with the group next week, as well as my new  Global website, but have to find the tech support for slides etc. first.

Also realized, Findhorn teachers in our course teach us how to build Social Enterprises....I have built 3 so far, Unergi, Blue Bamboo, and Global and now am working on eco village.

Interesting that I have been involved in all that without knowing the terms, or that it was anything special....just doing what is next, and using my intuitive knowledge gathered over a life time and with very different training models, related to body, mind, feelings and sensing, art and nature, ....not business designs and Sociocracy as we are learning here.

So I am out of my comfort zone having to wrap my mind around all these new terms and designations, seems cumbersome,.....but is also a good thing for me to adjust more to the world at large....unfortunately in a lot of circles the latter would be deemed more ‘realistic’....never had much interest in these parts of human designs...my feeling is that they are often more removed from trust and intimate interactions.....which in the long, long, long run we have to return to anyway.

Hope that does not come across as superior, that is NOT my intention, simply stating the way I see it from my limited perspective, which I am trying my darnedest to open to a larger perspective, (which to me is more convoluted).


The Findhorn model of Sociocracy is different though from the the usual business model in that it includes the spiritual and social aspects as equal components.

That feels right and good.


So in 20minutes my lunchtime is up and we go back to present our first design aspect: Design ideas, Cost and Profit return ! Also part of the world of REALISM ? We have 5 minutes for our pitch !! Welcome to business procedures !

 rather good recap by one of our students ! Adriana from Norway.

rather good recap by one of our students ! Adriana from Norway.

Below clue: picture that come closest to our housing design proposal....stay tuned 🤪

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Thursday at Findhorn, 2nd week

It’s been a tough couple of days for me. 2 days of power point presentations. Yesterday very interesting with Faisal Bogale, a social enterprise entrepreneur, showing us 4 different projects, one of his own producing coffee in Africa and selling it here. Another about turning garbage into profit run by poor people in Brazil. Another one in Sicily for immigrants making high end chocolate. All the pros and cons from start to finnish.

Today was challenging day staying present to the presentations by Alex Walker about community investments and social enterprises as it relates to Findhorn. I go a bit numb when there is so much talk about money, banking systems and alternatives ... interesting is that Findhorn was one of, or maybe even the first community who established community money bills the ‘Eko’ that can only be used within the community. 

Sorry about the photo and placement, I have a lot to learn about this blog’s capacities...or my own for that matter! 

 

An Eko bill photo of one of the founders ‘Roc’ (my favorite Findhorn personality, a mathematician who met Pan, the nature god, in the Edinburgh gardens in the late 60s.)

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So by late afternoon I was done, and excused myself to take a walk and a cappuccino....while my classmates are slugging away with this below.

We have tons of these kinds of materials to go through and put into practices ! It gives you a very small idea about the range of this eco-design course. ....and for 3 quarters of our group English is the second or third language !!! And have lived mostly in other countries all of their lives ! Amazing !

 

EDE Findhorn Design Studio

What follows is the list of design projects you’ll participate in during EDE. They are all intended for you to apply what you’re learning.

The hyperlinked text takes you to the design brief for each project and you will also find them if you search for this folder: EDE18 Design Project Briefs in your Google Drive

Design Circle/Team Aims (deliverables)- Products (Results)Review

Reviews will take place on the following dates:

Week 2 Tuesday 16 October - within in group

  1. Home and Learning Space Care - Small Group Agreements

Week 2 Friday 19 October - to group - and for enterprise possible guest

  1. Design Team Agreements – documented in a way that can be presented to the whole group and uploaded to GD**.

  2. Regenerative/Social Enterprise Design

  1. The regenerative/social enterprise design

  2. The 5 minute pitch of the regenerative/social enterprise design

  3. The documentation of the design and the pitch uploaded to GD.

Week 3 Friday 26 October - in group and with content providers from the week

  1. Main Design Project interim design

  1. 15 minute presentation to the whole group and

  2. Presentation uploaded to GD

Week 4 Wednesday 7 November - in the group with community guests

  1. Main Project Design - Cumulative Presentation -

  1. 20 minutes in presentation to the whole group

  2. Presentation uploaded to GD

Retrospectives - Process & Relationship of Design Team/Circle

Will take place in the whole group on:

  1. Friday 19 October at 4pm

  2. Friday 26 October at 4pm

  3. Wednesday 7 November at 2:30pm

First iteration of review questions we will use are:

  • What went well?

  • What didn’t go so well?

  • What have I learned?

  • What still puzzles* me?

*Open to suggestions for more appropriate word here.

Use each of the project as vehicles to apply and adapt what you’ve learned during the course from all of the EDE Dimensions. Include skills and experience you’ve brought with you. If there is a skill you would like to develop – facilitation for example – let your team know – ask for support in that area.

**GD = Google drive

 

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We also took a walk to inspected the site yesterday we are supposed to design for. More about that later, I am sure. Meanwhile here is on of my fellow students Karis from Latvia photographing one of the plentiful mushroom populations, which ever so often he serves us for breakfast ! Yum !

And after the day was done a little spontaneous singing to take the pressure off ! 

 

I have a feeling that my blogs will become more sparse as the course continues to demand my full attention, but I will do my best to inform you of what is happening here !

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Findhorn, Monday, second week

In 20minutes I have to be back for an evening sessions to learn about CAR SHARE, how 150people share 15 cars, HAPPILY !  

We have been working since 9 this morning, 2 hour break for lunch, which usually is filled with interesting conversations...so...I am ready to drop again.

It’s been a good day, learning a lot from architect Graham Seltzer, from Australia, (he has been at Findhorn over 10years) who built his own eco friendly house in Pine Ridge, an area of the community I am designated to redesign with 4 other design students from my group. I am intending to coral him and ask him a ton of questions, you can be sure, before I put my design ideas on paper.....LOTS of questions !!!

Meanwhile here are some photos of agreements and proposals we have been working on....these are just a small list !!! (Looks like I need to take better photos next time and also learn more about editing, .....stay patient...lots of patience needed from me as well ! I’ll do better next time !)

i will eventually share Graham’s extremely interesting slide show of good eco houses all over the world. 

 

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THE HEALING POWER of ILLNESS

When you read this title, The Healing Power of Illness, what is the first thought that comes to mind?

Everything will depend on that, no matter how your illness shows up. Whether it is accident related, is a disease that comes from ‘nowhere’, or appears through a genetically inherited disposition, the belief systems you have been exposed to and adopted will have an untold impact on your illness. I know this sounds like heresy, new age clap trap, or quackery. It certainly challenges the impossibly huge belief systems of many health and illness related disciplines and modalities as well as the belief systems and mores of place and culture.

Even to begin, we must first agree that we have the ability to open our limited and indoctrinated belief systems to new ways of thinking about illness and health:

• I am not saying that I have the ultimate truth. I am simply excited to share some ideas that have informed my thirty-five years of discoveries by studying, practicing, and training others in Body-Psychotherapy, creativity, and the healing forces of nature.

• I invite you to think with me ‘out of the box’. It has taken me many years to figure out what I am actually doing and why it’s working. Now I can’t help but want to share it with you.

With a new openness, we can examine how our conventional beliefs picked up over a lifetime may have attracted illness. We can see that now we can use this very awareness as an opportunity to create wellness.

We live in the ‘body of our beliefs’. We give our beliefs power when we act blindly in response to an environment that was created for us when we were young. From this early blueprint, we develop habits of feeling responses. If they remain unexamined, these feelings will dictate the rest of our lives. In addition, if these adopted beliefs become contradictory to our own inner truth, we open ourselves to a barrage of inner conflicts. These major confusions can create great anxiety and this dis-ease forces the body to react and become diseased—physically, emotionally, and, also, spiritually.

Happily, these same confusions of contradictory beliefs present an opportunity. They can actually point us in the direction of self-examination, perhaps on our own and perhaps with the help of sensitively trained practitioners who can amplify the early story of childhood. It is my experience in working with hundreds of clients that this story usually repeats itself over a lifetime. It triggers feelings of abandonment, rejection, the feeling of “not good enough”, the fear of lack of money, the feeling of not deserving love, and so on.

Here is a truth I have found to be very helpful in guiding people out of the maze of symptoms which create the deeper psycho-physical dysfunction, and therefore illness:

The truth of our lives lies UNDERNEATH our personal and societal stories. It is embedded in each cell connection. The cells resonate with each other and CREATE an electromagnetic cell connectivity. You could say they communicate with each other and provide information of a vast wellness system that rests in the BEINGNESS of our nature. This power of ISNESS is always safely stored there, and nothing and no one can disturb it or take it away.

We live with conviction our human story of drama and joy, fear and terror. Below that the wellness truth is safely imbedded. Before our beliefs get launched into physical human form and life, genes and chromosomes are coded to form a precise cellular reaction. Thus, our beliefs plant the seeds for our future existence.

So now it becomes most important to find a way and bring awareness to early cellular imprints that have interfered with the connection of universal truth. The good news is that wellness resides in a cellular interdependent imprint, that it has a multidirectional ‘memory’ of what we might call ‘light’, or ‘divinity’ or ‘ultimate act of creation’, and our nervous system is the inter-cellular messenger. Therefore, nothing and no one can destroy this ‘light’ or take it away. It is always humming below our physical, emotional, and mentally constructed human life of beliefs.

Now, this query arises: If this wellness truth is imbedded below our adopted belief systems, how do we access it?

I invite you to contemplate these big questions :

• How can we ‘slip’ this divine truth into our everyday reality?

• How can we deal with conflicting belief systems and ‘dive through and up’ by sensing, believing, acting, and seeing our buried true self in the mirror?

• How can we avoid ‘diving down‘ and becoming ensnared with overwhelming evidence of chaos and fear?

• How can we slip through the cracks and at least visit a state of being again and again that is not affected by habitual and entrenched belief or human behavior?

This is how I continue to lean into these questions.

•I honor music that invites me to feel transcendent.

•I honor stillness and glimpse nothingness.

•I honor beauty and polarities in nature that remind me of my own contradictory and miraculous nature.

•I honor harmonious and exciting human innovations that add to the balance of the planet.

•I honor diversity and allow judgment to soften and melt away.

•I honor my creative experimentations no matter what the outcome.

•I honor the world of poetry, painting and sculpture that invite me into the secret and unending power of the creative self.

•I honor my body and all of its miraculous functions.

•I honor the Trail Blazers that show the way.

And most importantly

•I honor my resistance to all of the above. I now have become soft and compassionate with myself (without collapsing).

Through a lifetime of ‘stalking the wild pendulum’ by studying and teaching art and Body-Psychotherapy, I have found ‘a way in’ to the sensory realm of the sacred, to a place where nothing else is needed . . . where, to me, it feels like ‘it is a good day to die’ because life and death are continuous, and neither is better or worse than the other. At those times when I am ‘there/here’, I have joined with the nothing and the everything. My resistance to life as it is unfolding is gone, and I enter the field of endless possibilities.

As a Body-Psychotherapist and Alexander Technique teacher, I offer a certain quality of listening touch that awakens the skin (the biggest organ of the body). This touch has no other agenda than to listen unconditionally to the body’s voices. Therefore, it reaches under the story and reminds us of the unfathomed support and love that is way beyond any life story. In this place, ‘good and bad’ belief systems are gone. As I am offering my expansive presence, this same touch that touches the other person simultaneously touches me back. We enter together . . . .into the indescribable.

Over the years I have discovered that as human beings we are always looking to complete our life story. We want to make sense of that which has hindered us to live a contented life. We want to know what is no longer serving us and how to let that transform and go. A certain quality of touch opens the possibility for the client to dive deeper. It is natural that habitual physical, mental and emotional responses and well-trained belief systems want to resist this exploration. As memories begin to flood the nervous system, it may trigger fear of vulnerability, of confronting the experiences of the past.

This is where safe agenda-less touch creates its own message and ‘speaks’ gently and loudly of the deeper universal truth for which the body is divinely designed. A vaster self-recognition and -acceptance becomes possible. As the psyche shuttles with lightening speed between the polarities of past and present, it wants to release everything that is in the way of sacred harmony in body, mind and emotions. The rejected, abandoned, unloved parts of ourselves are coming into conscious awareness. We get to ‘see’ what in us needs love and listening compassion. In order to heal the self, we now have an opportunity to enlarge our belief systems.

As I sit with a client exploring that quiet place, I often watch as their mind makes another appearance. After this rush to release all that is hindering sacred harmony, now the mind reminds us of its presence. The person begins to struggle with the enlarged field of attention that opens under the story because it may be almost a completely foreign territory. Perhaps as a result of living in a world gone awry, we, our parents, and our ancestors before us, may have been thoroughly indoctrinated with feelings of unworthiness. We may have sensed and believed in our inherent goodness and our amazing capacity to live joyfully with each other. Yet the idea of living in that goodness and joy may have seemed an unachievable myth.

Sitting with my client, I observe the resistance the mind is now presenting, and I offer the mind a gentle invitation. As we know, resisting resistance is futile. Rather, we honor the resistance again and again by giving the confusion a much needed and welcome voice. The part of us which has suffered and may still be frozen in fear, needs to be listened to and encouraged to speak. Listening touch combined with micro body/mind sequence movements and Gestalt therapy creatively amplify the story of both resistance and possibility, and the body/mind is encouraged and given a voice.

At the same time, my hands sense that the body is softening and releasing its tension, becoming available to safe touch and movement, entering a field of unconditional presence and expansion.

To get an idea of what is happening in the client, we can visualize a three-dimensional spider web in which every thread that touches another reverberates through the entire net. That is actually what the functioning of our body’s connective tissue looks like—a constantly moving net of interconnecting messages.

Now, in the session, another miracle takes place as the brain lets go of overused or misused brain cells. The old story is transformed as new brain cells are ignited that have been lying dormant patiently waiting ‘in the wings’ to be used on one fine day like this. Here is brain plasticity at work. The anxiety, fear, terror, or depression that have triggered extreme confusion and overwhelm and then illness, have now become a healing opportunity.

Suddenly we realize that all of this is turning our well-trained belief systems upside down. Through the grace of listening touch and the body voicing its experiences of the past we simultaneously find ourselves expanding into the divine realm of sensing and being, that realm where we can finally live in our inherent goodness with infinite capability to live joyfully with ourselves and one another.

Ute Arnold M.F.A. has degrees in Art and Design.

She is a certified Body-Psychotherapist, Alexander Technique teacher and Gestalt therapist and has honed her skills for more than 35 years.

Ute blends these leading edge therapies in the modality she calls Unergi— unity&energy, integrating body, mind, emotions, creativity, and nature to experience the vast inner spirit of wellness.

She teaches and practices at her Unergi Holistic Therapy School in Pt. Pleasant, Pa. since 1985 where she has built the artful Blue Bamboo Studio.

Ute also takes people on Healing Journeys to Europe where she teaches and gives workshops.

She is available for Body-Voice phone sessions.

Ute’s ebook, Stuck is Not a Place, integration of

body, art and nature, is available on her website

www.unergi.com, and on Amazon.

Candace Pert, P.h.D., Psycho-Pharmacologist and

author of Molecules of Emotion, wrote the forward.

Utebarnold@gmail.com

Findhorn, Saturday eve, after the first week.

Findhorn, Saturday eve after the first week


The weeding dinner was amazing ! A huge group of people gathered around long and exquisitely placed and decorated food ! I don’t think I have ever seen so many different kind of deserts (for me the favorite part of the meal !!)

I got permission to take a photo of the couple who met each other 5 years ago on a first course in Findhorn....see what can happen,....surely preferable to internet match making, and maybe another reason to visit Findhorn !

The happy couple at dinner

wedding cake !

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AFTER THE FIRST FINDHORN WEEK.....Enjoying the day off !

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I have a dear friend at home who at this time has not shown interest in being part of an eco village group, though I would really like her to be part of it....

NOW I understand her hesitancy. Yesterday was tedious and very exhausting dealing with what to me seemed like people’s own unfinished business that showed up in a group process. I don’t want to sign up for that unless I am clear that we are doing group therapy, and even for that I have no interest involving myself in this way any more at this stage of my life, been there done that.....unless I am in a facilitator role.

There are two elders in the group (though I am by far the oldest by 10 years). We had a moment of ‘huddle’ during tea break and I knew I was not alone. That felt good.


This morning was a lie-in, and then 5 of us walked for 25 minutes through the outer edges of the Findhorn foundation to the public Findhorn village. We had private time with each other and I could finally have my longed for cappuccino, plus a delicious pear tart, though without Schlag, in Britain they don’t have whipped cream to my chagrin, just what they call ‘double cream’ a liquid mess in my opinion !


The sharing at the table was insightful and we had a chance to get to know each other a bit more personally.

  • Ana from Brazil, living in Portugal at the moment and having taught as a Professor ‘Community Organizing’ at a University in Senegal, Africa, but is now ready to return to her large family property in Brazil to start an eco village and give back to her people.
  • Hans, a Permaculture teacher from Denmark who has private clients there and also teaches courses in Permaculture to large organizations.
  • Cynthia, who has been a Professor in Seattle, Washington in ‘Community Culture’. She has come to a crossroad in her life where the next step is wide open, she is searching to belong to an eco village, while also valuing her privacy (like me).
  • Lotte, is a Black Smith teaching this at a University in Copenhagen ! Have you ever,....can you imagine this being taught at an American University ??? She has lived for 20 years in the long time established community Christiania in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have visited there 3 times in the past, and have had a lot of questions about this place, which she has been expertly answering. She also has invited me to come and stay at her island home on Samso, East of  Copenhagen, lucky me !


 Findhorn cafe...lots of good food

Findhorn cafe...lots of good food

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Now starts disco dancing and at 6 is a wedding dinner....the couple got married in a cave on the beach and apparently a school of dolphins showed up “wanting to be part of it’”.

In the evening is a Ted talk at the Universal Hall by 4 key note speakers, streamed world wide, one of which, Martin, I just had lunch with today. He lives in New York State at a Waldorf community and will be speaking about ‘Subtle Energies‘ ....how perfect is that !

Friday, Findhorn

 FRIDAY, FINDHORN


This was a challenging day for me.

We began with studying SOCIOCRACY.

A  very  important component in an eco village.

      STRUCTURE and CLARITY within RESONANCE


After looking at Common Ground Findhorn Guidelines we asked ourselves

‘How did the group do in relationship to theses guidelines during this first week ?’

We acknowledged that we created a Compassionate Structure and declared that we needed to create a Spiritual Practice as part of the Group Culture (not just a private spiritual practice).


Next we looked at GROUP AGREEMENTS in COMMUNITY CULTURE as a way to create CLARITY and CONSENTING to these group agreements, for that we we need to create a PROPOSAL and get CONSENT  first, before we move ahead. These ideas were collected for now.


  • Open Communication.....Sense, feel, intuit
  • Assume intention and respect
  • Draw on the intelligence of nature
  • Active feedback....give and receive...reflection and evaluation
  • Practice listening
  • Be aware of gender balance...in general and in decision making
  • Story telling...emotions enliven knowledge
  • Give space for every one to speak
  • Practice self care
  • Practice being focused
  • Minimizing food waste
  • Minimize power and rank
  • Mobile phones awareness
  • Minimize interruptions
  • Let go of distractions



Next we looked at the concept of SHARING..

Our little groups AGREEMENTS were:

  • Use I statements
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Being present, listening
  • Refrain from responding...no unsolicited feedback
  • Give space for every one to speak
  • Be authentic


My brain is still foggy about what came next....but somehow we got into discussing that because one group member was absent (and some people had difficulty with that person’s behavior previously) we could not continue to make agreements without this person being with us. Fair point...however it turned into what I saw as popcorn triggers that were trying to get resulted in this moment at the end of a day when most of us seemed overloaded already. ....Not a good moment for me. I was extremely tired and had no patience for a process that sounded like group therapy in the guise of group studies, and it diverted us from the intended goal to create smaller groups for our 3 major design projects ...though maybe it was all part of  learning about Sociocracy ?

Not being familiar yet with the parameters of Sociocracy principles and how they might function in such a moment I was simply frustrated with the long winded process of personal opinions related to the missing group member. I felt we were seriously floundering and getting off course.

At tea break 2 elders in our group (I am the oldest by 10 years !) ‘huddled’ with me for a month and I knew I was not alone. That felt good.


In the end the group leader helped us decide that we needed to shelf the original lesson plan about AGREEMENTS and deciding on design groups,  until Monday, ....and that we should continue with the study of Sociocracy now, in the last 30 minutes of the day, on Friday evening !


I felt that went clearly over the top for me, and though we put on some dance music and moved to transition to this next task, I was mostly on the floor to readjust my body and spine with some Alexander technique/Feldenkrais movement sequences to calm down and get into some body-brain clarity.


There were a lot more detailed principles we were introduced to, but though I wrote them down, it all flew over my FULL head. I couldn’t wait for the day to be over.


Dinner was lovely as always, varied, healthy and colorful.

And the day ended with a  live concert in the Universal Hall (a gorgeous building)

by

TWELFTH NIGHT, two women musicians on Orcadian fiddle and Peebles harp. A mixture of folk, jazz and classical...amazing and beautiful, great throaty voices too !


Tomorrow, Saturday is FREE !!!

I will be meeting friends in the village of Forres for Cappuccino !

Findhorn Tree, Subtle Energy Realm with Michael Lindfield

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Today we were in the company of Michael Lindfield, a long time teacher at Findhorn.

After spending the morning listening to his wisdom we played this GAME:

Two people played asking these questions over and over :

What called you here ?.....So that ?

My combined answer is ‘I have to own my purpose while being witnessed’

Then we went into the Findhorn gardens to communicate with a tree. Here is my story and experience based on Michael’s lecture.

What called me to this tree ?

I was called to dance around the tree, maybe to design a Mandala with the tree. Like Earth and Venus dance around the Sun, maybe the tree and I became one of the spiraling lines in the Mandala of the Grand Design.

I began by walking around the tree to announce my energy and ask for permission to enter a closer energy field.

In my observations I acknowledged the tree branching out into 5 directions, embracing sun, moon, stars, earth and sky, as wind and rain enter the serious play of growing in and on the earth. I intuited a kinship knowing that my intentions were connecting my human essence like a sacral fractal with the ONE.

I began to move my arms, hands, spine, head and feet to sense our intrinsic energies. I felt an invitation to step closer, to experience form, it’s density, shape and energy directions by using my hands to touch the tree and to receive being touched back simultaneously.


I can acknowledge that when I design for human needs I am designing a relationship structure that resolves not only practical questions, but designs from the Centrality that we are part of the web of the Universe, and I in this moment am part of the tree, ....together we are bridging our different energy fields.


In my best moment of designing I might choose to communicate with an inner universal blueprint that works with a limitless inner source. My true design might carry vibrations that achieve a frequency of balance and harmony between the combined resources of man and nature.

This means that man’s and nature’s needs to live sustainably and respectfully on this planet together are achievable.

I learned today that the secret to a good life and a good design is RESONANCE.

If I listen intuitively to the CALL my life shapes itself to that which seeks me naturally. Today I listened to the call of a tree.

Being part of the group design requires of me that I become more of myself within my and the group’s deep listening structure.


This sentence blew me away :

‘The end of the world is here when spiritual matter resonates at the same frequency’.

 

.........In the afternoon we were introduced to three women, long time residents in Findhorn.

They are going to be our clients each with a different project for us to design. I understand that we are to select one and then are going to spend the next two weeks on one of these projects.

We toured the sites this afternoon ! OH MY MY MY this is going to be huge !

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Findhorn, day 5

Is this tree shouting loud enough ? 

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Is this tiny lichen beautiful enough ? 

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And when we get close enough we might see a miracle ....

Or a nature spirit tending it ? 

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Today we started with a design project. Each group of 3 were given a task. Ours was:

You are an eco village study group deciding to go forth and create a settlement’. My partners were an American woman who has been teaching community design for many years, and a Permaculture designer from Sweden ! So I was in great company !! We created a project plan starting with gathering people to create a:    VISION...SURVEY OF VALUE AND PURPOSE...MISSION STAEEMENT....GOVERNANCE

2 nd group :  

You are re-inhabiting  an Italian Village:

The group takes a trip to visit. Checks out conditions, surveys what is needed, estimates a budget, decides on how many people can live there, involves the local population. 

3rd group : 

is given ONE MILLION sterling. The group decides to buy land in Sweden close to two larger towns. 60% of women are part of the governance. They explore the government structure before they move ahead.

4th group : 

is a SOCIAL ACTIVISM PEACE GROUP. They research where to place themselves, establish Purpose and Planing 

5th group : 

are given a DISUSED MILITARY PROPERTY. They can rent it for 100 years.  They create AGREEMENTS for COMUNICATION first, explore their  community NEEDS for LAND, FOVERNMENT and LOCAL structure 

6th group :

is given a run down local DAIRY FARM from distant relatives. They decide to REBUILD the SOIL with  

local resources. Take INVENTORY, research the HISTORY of the land, plan to terrace the land based on the contours to increase planting, meanwhile live on a small garden. 

 

Next we were shown slides of the following communities: 

ZEG focused on education and consulting 

AAWAROAE in the wilderness of a tropical area...(I can’t remember where)

IBC in Cerrado, Brazil, ...a Research Institute, NGO

NARARA in Australia, started by one woman, now 145 members, formed a coop

 

REQUIREMENT of SUCCESS

LAND ATTUNEMENT....GROUP COHESION, very clear agreements,....ATRACT SUFFICIENT RESOURCES.... TRANSPERSONAL VISION ( values creates attraction !)....INTELECTUAL and SPIRITUAL CAPITAL....CREATE RELATIONSHIP WITH LOCAL ZONING BOARD

The afternoon we spent in the woods, learning about good woodland stewardship from a Findhorn Old Timer ! We also played GAMES !!! Blindfolded we walked ....guided through difficult terrain, climbing, crawling, unseeing on sand, stones and heather...all to build trust and confidence in our sensory awareness. I loved being blindfolded ! my feet felt like they were talking to the earth and the earth was welcoming me, the wind was blowing through my hair, it was a grlorious warm day. My young partner from Basel Switzerland was an expert trustworthy guide who made sure I was safe at all times....we were not allowed to talk !!! ! When we switched she took off her shoes and sox !!! And navigated the terrain easily. She wants to take me on a night walk to the beach next ! I think I will be in good hands !

6 of us also ‘skied’ across the grass on 4” by 6” railroad tires pulled up by strings and held by another pole to grab...hard to explain, you should have been there. Our group leader started a chant...Left...righ...left...right in a drawn out sing  song  chant at which point we would all lift the appropriate foot and pulled the ‘ski’ forward...if one of us had lossed their footing we would have had to go the whole way (maybe 30 yards) back and start all over. I DID LOOSE my footing, but luckily at the very start...no big deal hallelujah ! Our group got to the goal way ahead of the others because of our silent agreement to start the rhythmic instruction song ! It felt ancient and right...and so good in my body sensations to be connected to others doing the same difficult task.

At the end we build a perfect circle all holding on to a long rope, and BLINDFOLDED again ! There was a lot of negotiation on how to do it, we had 20minutes to complete, but did it in the fastest time of any previous groups !! 22 SECONDS ! well that just felt buddy marvelous !

 

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It was such a good day...we finnished in the beautiful Universal Hall with a world wide meditation that was streamed all over the world to connect our hearts and feel the LOVE. 

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Whisky Barrel House ....from the magnificent to the mondane ?

Findhorn, day 4

And morning off ! Hurrah ! We all needed it. It’s almost 9 am, cozy in my bed I have been watching the comings and goings to ‘my’ apple tree outside the window...a huge black and white bird sat on a brach looking at me, such a presence,...and then it feasted for a while on one of the last apples stuck in a crook of branches. I have first hand experience of how that apple tastes, delicious !!! nothing like the apples I buy in the States, the flavors announce themselves before you even take a bite and then... indescribable joy of juicy heaven !

Last night was gifting night. WHAT FUN! We all described a need we had and wrote it on a post-it...a head massage, a computer lesson, a walk in the woods with some one (was mine), a trip to Loch Ness, a box of cookies for the group...then we picked one. Next what we wanted to offer.....I had the choice of being gifted with mutual motivation sessions, a night walk on the beach, a walk in the woods with an expert botanist, a capuchino at the cafe, a walk into the local village, a contact improvisation session, a private guided meditation on body compassion.....I am receiving all of the above  ....and much more...and I offered a Unergi Body-Psycotherapy demonstration with a willing participant, sounds like it raised a lot of interest...stay tuned for next Tuesady on that.

The sun is shining, the seagulls are calling ...I think I will follow their song to the ocean

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Findhorn, day 3

When you have a close look at this packed schedule you’ll understand why I at different times of the day simply want a bed, and at other times I marvel and am completely in love with the design of the course, the excellent group leaders, and the GAMES we play !!

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Today was no different. 

One of the quotes I heard was by Martin Luther: ‘The truth will increase when you listen to others.’ Which has beautifully played out in my life and also my work. 

And so we played the first GAME: ‘What will happen when you put all your cards on the table ?’.....I realized through my answers that the pattern got set very early in my life ‘why bother, no one would be interested anyway’...and so I became self reliant and good at listening to others, very good at what I had hoped to receive from others....undevided interest.

Next question: ‘What is the cost of NOT putting all the cards on the table ?’ My answer: I lost out by not trusting that I am valuable enough to be heard and seen (notice a recurring theme here ?)...and much more....

3rd GAME: sitting with a partner and gazing at his eyes for a while....then stating these observations Being with you I notice.....’ And in the second round: ‘Hearing you I feel....’

Some of the guidelines are: To be in the here and now and stay authentic I need to validate myself, even if others don’t. My body experiences help me to stay authentic. ....This Last statement is especially true for me. Having studied body awareness for so many years I can always completely rely on truthful and immediate body feedback. Sometimes I ignore it when my truth feels too uncomfortable, or I override the messages focusing instead more intently on another person. The result is that I notice very quickly that I loose the connection to the other while most sadly loosing the connection to myself. That is when the body becomes louder and sends me physical pain ! ! Dread !!!double dread! I can’t get away with anything anymore without the body carrying the brunt of my escapes. But ohhh the rewards when I do listen, ....the gifts are : deep feelings of groundedness, a direct connection to Gaia, and a level of comfort that feels utterly complete.

last GAME of the day: 3 people play. One is the Birthday Child, the other two take turns to draw out the birthday child’s story while not loosing one own self in the failitator’s role. Instructions for the facilitator are: I see.....I feel....I imagine...I am curious about...I wonder....I notice....

It was wonderous for me to have two people’s undevided attention for 10 minutes, and then each person summarizing what story they heard.

Here is another statement: ‘Growth does not necessarily happen in comfortable situations but in challenging relationships.

And here is a bonus you can try with a couple of people or by your own: Draw a birthday card for GAIA. To get going without having to make too many decisions of who draws what I took a partners hand holding a crayon and moved it over the paper to leave a line shape, from there the self conscious spell was broken and we drew to our heart’s content. Everyone was happy with the result because in the moment of child like spontaneity we did not give ourselves time to start judging or comparing.

Time to get under my down blanket.... 

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Findhorn, 2nd day and more ‘games’.

I have decided to mostly write down the games we play.  They are really significant teaching tools ! And though I am learning much in new ways, and revisiting what I have learned over the years about social, economic and ecological models, what works and what doesn’t and why, the games make it clear for me of what is important and how to ‘sense’ that, which is probably my own greatest strength, I intuit what works most easily. 

My biggest challenge for me is probably how to engage people and bring them on board, so they will champion a great idea, from dream... to concept...to resolution.

GAME: 3 or 4 people have been given a huge amount of money. Question: What do you want to create, the sky is the limit. Our little group decides that we want to create a festival, or design a recreation facility for body and the arts in nature........Next: the huge amount of money has been withdrawn at the last minute, we are given 100 British pounds ! Our decision is to bring in 7 year old children and let them create a festival !

Game: not so much a game, but because we do it in a group of 4 it feels like a game.  We are given a number of categories and have to place them in the order of importance : Value, skill training, design, project management, fun, purpose, communication & facilitation, governance & decision making.....What would be your order of priorities ?......our little group places them in a circle since all influence each other and it depends on the situation. Maybe a lazy way out ? Though I don’t think so.

......and there was SO MUCH MORE !!  I need to let all the learning material sink in and have my subconscious take over...haven’t even mentioned the amazing people I have met today who are doing the most exciting projects in different areas of our globe ! So now I leave you with a quote I heard today, which I love:

People don’t buy what you do, the buy why you do it. 

 

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1rst FULL day in Findhorn

is there a way to describe this !

The major memories of this day will be the games ....2 blankets spread on the floor to make a big square. 16 people are asked to think of this as an island they share, poisonous water all around them.

We get onto the blanket huddle together, every one is still comfortable claiming a small space. Next the blanket gets folded, a quarter taken away. Again we come a little closer. I am expecting less space than I have, yet staying on the outside, while the smallest people take up the space in the middle, ...why? ...others are towering over them...they are getting squeezed the most, why would they choose that, unless they are already used to being overlooked ? The blanket gets folded again and again. We come up with spontaneous strategies, lifting our arms, leaning in, grabbing the hands and arms of the strongest while standing on one foot...it works, we work, because we are working together.

Next game: we are outside in a small grassy area. Pieces of cardboard, big aenough for one person to stand on, are placed on the ground one step away from each other, only one cardboard square stays empty. We are bees protecting our hive and honey. A wasp predator ‘flys’ in, she tries to land on the empty card board to eat our honey. We hop on it so she can’t land. In 4 second she has confused us, we can’t protect the honey she gets in ! Then 10 seconds, back to 6, yeah 16 seconds before she lands, one time 22, but after a number of tries we can’t get higher, in fact we score lower and lower ! Why ? I think we have become too goal oriented, we try too hard, we laugh too hard, while Ms wasp just ladi dadi da calmly looks and finds her honey patch ☹️

Many ways to build community, cohesiveness, listening and observing skills, and I LOVE this kind of experiential learning ! Tomorrow I am sure we’ll be back to academia, and I will publish here some of the overwhelming lists that are given to us today, color coded, efficient, and well thought through into the smallest details....

At lunch I meet an Oldtimer, she has been here 20 years, now 86 she was a Waldorf School teacher here at Findhorn, now shares a lovely house with a housemate. I drink of her wisdom ! 

The afternoon is spent with a walk through the village, while I take a nap exhausted from coughing all day and catching up with jet lag. We meet in the Sanctuary Hall for meditation, then dinner and a slide show of the developing Findhorn over the last 50 years !

Stay tuned...

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Finally in Findhorn

of course I am jet lagging after 24 hours of travel. The air plane cabin pressure was playing havoc with my ears again, and a cold had settled into my chest.

So being fair to myself and my journey I have to process the metaphors right now in the middle of the night ! Luckily the angel card I picked at our first group gathering is KINDNESS, it’s a little angel drawing in which the entity offers a rose to two small animals. And so throwing kindness for mysef into the mix is a good thing as I ask ‘what is sitting on my chest, and what is the answer to this I don’t want to hear’. Sometime the brutal energy that goes into these self reavealing questions ends up in the self judging bucket, before it can gather enough kindness to do me any good.

Hari (my friend in Pa. who is my wonderful personal geek and creates the technical know how in how to publish my creative voices) you were right and read me perfectly before I went on this trip....I struggle with making myself visible, I want to fly under the radar AND I want to be seen and be valuable, and those two are not on the same page.

In my work I practice getting out of the way so other people learn to shine.  I believe I have come to Findhorn to create a balance between the two, and I know that NATURE is the not so secret ingredient that I have to allow to make that happen.

I am staying in the same adorable house my sister stayed in when we were here together last August. The reason I picked THIS room was because it has an apple tree right outside the window, and when I was waking at midnight with the persistant question of ‘visibility’ I openend my eyes and the lamp in the  garden created shadows of the most exquisite patterns of branches and leaves on the wall ! Now is there even a question that this is a perfect journey and I am guided by the spirit and the beauty of nature !

We were asked in the first session of what is the most important ingredient that we want to explore in the course, and my answer was ‘ I would like nature to be part of the group process and that is why I came to do this ECO-DESIGN course in Findhorn and not somewhere else on the planet....And I was the first person who was asked ! Now where do I put all that !! 

The simple answer is that I am exploring my OWN nature and that the little apple tree is helping me to do that right now ! Can it get more perfect ?  Can I go home now ?? 

The course looks like it is exquisitely and very professionally designed and may challenge the hell out of me, as I think of myself as this seasoned traveler with different hats as a Body-Psychotherapist, artist, group leader and bla, bla, bla all roles I want to strip from over identification, while staying open of what all this background can teach me in relationship to new information and especially via the teaching of my nature buddies.

An hour before I left for Findhorn I walked to my huge tree in the garden and asked it to accompany me on this journey and that I would need its help. The book in the airoplane I read was on Permaculture and Spirituality by Craig Gibson, with whom I had done the last workshop when I was here in August. It has a quote in it

“Plants are capable of intent: they can stretch towards, or seek out, what they want in ways as mysterious as the most fantastic romance.”

So I declare that I am going to fantastically romance myself in these next 5 weeks ! Which at the moment still feels quite narcissistic, so I can already see what a challenge this is going to be ....and by the way, the group members are going to be a huge help, 16 people from all over the world, ...fist impression ‘kind, thoughtful, eager, varied in their approach, creative’... while the leaders seem to be super organized, very experienced, fair, and great listeners. They are going to take me/us to my/our growing edge if I/we let them. 

Its 3 am and I will try to catch a few more winks before group meditation at 6:30 am ! Pew....here I roll...