Wow! What an injection of power, purpose, diversity, wisdom and youthful energy the community experienced last week – perhaps you felt this tsunami wave of love and longing and commitment to co-create planetary wholeness too. As we opened the four directions on the first afternoon, 27 September, I thought of you all – all 19,000 of you – and millions more who are part of this movement, impulse, whatever we want to name it … to build a better world.
The New Story Summit was a truly vibrant international, inter-generational gathering and a profound experience for me! It was a brave experiment in truly diverse participation, a new economic paradigm and a new emergent form with all the discomfort, division and frustration that can bring … balanced with many wonderful spontaneous offerings, inspired rituals, consummate artistry, much learning, deep healing and connection (with others, with Nature and with the subtle realms), brilliant networking and the sheer joy of being together, exploring our edges. And all this happened in unbelievably gorgeous sunny weather. We were truly blessed!
In a brief talk about the community I drew attention to ‘the pre-prepared field of potentially transformational energy’ here at The Park and at Cluny and how Eileen, Peter and Dorothy had pioneered a radically new story 52 years ago. I know we were a perfect venue for this event.
It is difficult to describe the richness of the summit experience – I felt we experienced the human family with all our potential and challenges in microcosm – chaos to community – evolving living community on the spot – needing ritual, ceremony, inner space, subtle realms, being heard, taking responsibility, inclusiveness, co-creating, sharing, negotiating, making compromises, allowing emotions, resolving conflict, and all the other truly essential matters of forming and living in community.
I, and many others I’m sure, feel exhilarated, exhausted, globally connected, alive with possibilities, rich with new friends … and have a new understanding of the power of ritual and a deep respect for diversity. And I can’t help wondering whether we could have pushed our edges more…
I encourage you to watch the recorded sessions – perhaps create a small ‘hub’ and watch together as many did during the summit. These are now freely available here. Many commented on how deeply connected they felt watching the streaming live. There were 500 registrations online and 50 of these were hubs with 10-50 viewers. You can also join the buzz on Facebook and Twitter which are still very much alive with engagement and inspiration for going forward. (Our Facebook post reach peaked at over 46,500 during summit week.)
I naïvely thought there might be a lull after the week but am also glad there is even more engaged energy afterwards and a longing to deepen the outcomes. The Foundation is keen to go forward in partnership and collaboration; we have so many new friends – we are a tribe, a family and, as Charles Eisenstein called us, the World Secret Government.
Many of you will be wondering how the gift economy experiment went – in short it went very well, and not just in financial terms. There was a true gifting spirit present in many, many ways. I hope to have a more detailed account of this in my next email as the gathering of gifts and expenditure is still happening.
On 16 October we had a huge thank you dinner at The Park, for all those who gifted time, energy, accommodation, love, support, creativity … we are all benefitting from the energetic field created by the summit and some form of new story is on the cards for the NFA (our community association) and for the Findhorn Foundation.
Last week the Foundation posted 7,900 copies of the beautiful 2015 brochure to those of you who request a paper copy. Everyone can now access the brochure online here. Enjoy! There are so many wonderful things on offer – The Game of Transformation (this is an AMAZING tool for change); retreats on the sacred isle of Iona and festival weeks on the wild, remote wee isle of Erraid; many versions of our seminal Experience Week; inexpensive service weeks; Applied Ecovillage Living; Earthsings, a great week of singing for unity and wellbeing; animal communication; GEN+20, celebrating 20 years of the Global Ecovillage Network; Constructive Journalism; Transition Initiatives… and much, much more… dancing, art, life purpose, spiritual deepening.
Do come and visit us next year (if you can’t wait, come for Christmas or New Year – three choices – a celebration, a quiet retreat or on Iona) or join us online. The Findhorn Foundation was founded as a new story for our time and we are still a laboratory for change and an experiment in conscious living. We invite all entrepreneurs, change agents and other positive deviants to come co-create with us.
I left Findhorn 20 October for a much-needed break – heading for the back of the geese formation for a while … and still flying…
I leave you with some New Story participants’ comments about what they felt they’d received at the summit and some longer comments – read if you feel drawn; they are rich pickings.
Love and laughter.
For the Communications Team
What I received: ‘a soul sangha, an energetic shift in the global field, connection with a new tribe, family, deep learning, deep healing, vision and possibility, insight, an initiation, expansion beyond what I can articulate, inspiration, knowledge and resources, meaningful transformative life experience, a rich mix of perspective, forging planetary community, reconciliation, being cooked under pressure, a vibrant movement, power and pain, tears, dance and laughter, the spirit of young people, being broken wide open, a breakthrough to a new way of being, an ongoing unfolding, not such an easy path, embodying the new story, it blew my mind, heart and spirit wide open, the best week of my life, a new perception of time/space/energy, I recovered a lost part of my spirit, it changed my life, its an honour to sail with so many conscious pirates towards the world’s end.’
Feelings, Reflections, Thoughts, Going Forth from the New Story Summit
A moment on the threshold
Of our times
Of our stories…
In parts and in the whole.
The new story called loudly – like a struck bell finding its resonant tone in the outside world … I came towards it without question. Knowing.
I heard the old stories, old patterns, old habits, old wounds, in me and in the room.
I felt the new, the next, the integrated, the whole story
in the songs, the poems, the movements, the spaces between, the pathways through the gardens, forests, dunes.
I heard it in words too, in glimpses, in flashes, in moments…
I felt in between myself. Between the old and the next. Between the fragmented and the whole. Between the youth and the elders. Between the head and the heart. Between humility and hubris. Between spoken and silent. Between patience and pressure.
What mattered most in me emerged subtly, in the connective tissue rather than the content … it was in the wings, the little things, around the periphery and dead center, living –
In pregnant pauses
In discordant moments
In notes from nature
Dreams and waking
Questions and longings
In the bones, the breakfast, the bar, the barrels, the burning
Candles focalizing space.
I felt so much to say and yet so resistant to forcing any more words.
I felt the want, the need, the yearning to be seen.
I felt the uninitiated behavior, the deep longing, the deep loneliness, in me and around me.
I felt the discomfort of patterns coming to completion … or coming undone…
Individual & collective…
I also felt the willingness to trust truth, to listen longer, to be patient, to know that each of us will have our time…
I felt the initiated behavior like an anchor in the swell.
I felt resilience and remembrance in the indigenous voice, wisdom and ways, as I have so often before…
Not that we need to – or could possibly – go back. But that if we are to go forward, we must
re-member, in order not to re-peat.
Remember that from which we come,
Remember 99% percent of our species heritage – no matter what culture we’re from – was an expression of deep and seamless interrelationship with the whole.
Remember that this body, this brain, these eyes, this heart was made from and for and through connection. Evolved alongside stars and robin and wave. Remember that human beings and human cultures are nature too, and can again embody reciprocally as such.
Remember that I too was colonized,
that I carry the forcible tear from an earthen identity in my ancestral memory,
that hurt people hurt people
that broken cultures break cultures
that separation separates
that refusing to see something does not make it disappear
that un-attended traumas do not go away
that unincorporated aspects of self still hold sway
that nothing in nature goes unused, or exists in a vacuum
that Fallen leaves make soil from which seeds Spring.
That the wheel is turning round, not starting or stopping.
That perhaps healing means making whole.
“Perhaps the idea of newness is part of the old story,” says Sir Charles (E.).
Perhaps we are not meant to charge ahead, but to settle in – fully – to where we are now, and begin gathering the pieces together.
Perhaps the times are indeed urgent… “let’s slow down.”
Perhaps the experience of separation is a necessary part of experiencing the whole?
So I underscore the voice of the fabric, out of which many voices spoke.
I highlight the healing,
Of indigenous peoples
Of peoples of European descent
Of women’s cycles and power
Of masculine and feminine
Of love and sexuality
Of power structures
Of head and of heart.
The presence of these, whether subtle or strong, spoke not of a new story, but of a story in search of integration. A story ready to re-member.
The story is a perhaps only a chapter in a saga,
A line of poem,
A turn of the wheel.
The chapter might be called “Separation.” Or “The Great Loneliness.” Or “The Night the Trickster Pulled the Petal from the Rose.”
The saga is called Life, and Mystery, and Magic, and God…
As I walk on, two questions burn the loudest:
Who’s story is yearning to be renewed?
And what is my part to play?
I believe I was born into the turning of the page…
I believe the paradigm of separation, the perception of disconnection (maybe 10,000 years young) is the story at the threshold.
I believe this story, of which my ancestral legacy is a part, has been outgrown. It is no longer nourishing, no longer meeting our deeper longings, except perhaps in the deep lessons it offers. When the skin grows too tight around us, we must either shed it and expose the vulnerable beauty of our next cloak, or die in the choke of a shell that could not contain us, but from which we were too afraid to depart.
And – I know that old patterns can be difficult to see, much less to break.
Here is where we need each other.
I believe it’s no accident that these were the penitential days in the Jewish faith.
I believe what Elisabet Sahtouris told us: That we have to make the story of a mature humanity as sexy and alluring as the hero’s journey was. And I believe it already is that sexy, that alluring, that provocative, that compelling… Rather than make it that way, we simply have to turn into it. When we do, we will face some of the most compelling questions there are: Who am I? What is the story I am co-creating? What is my authentic part to play?
Pat McCabe said that the “sign of an elder is someone who does not create separation.” Perhaps the story of a mature humanity is asking each of us what it means to be elders as such?
I believe in “Ainee: Nothing ever goes one way.”
If it’s a threshold moment we are in, then I look to the markers of the threshold itself: the first note and the last…
It began with a djierdoo and Australian clapper sticks.
Then a Findhorn elder calling in the center.
Then a Diné woman trained in a Lakota spiritual lineage calling in the north.
An African calling in the south.
An aboriginal calling in the east.
And a Hawaiian calling in the west.
It ended with council and emergent ceremony…
The geese are gifted to the 4 directions.
Then a choice to go where we are called to be:
4 ceremonies led by 4 women, each containing one of the 4 elements.
Not planned, needed:
– Earth vase
– Fire ceremony
– Water pilgrimage
– Pipe ceremony
… and a fifth group called to honor the food, the kitchen, the hearth…
We must each find our way, separately and together. And while it is 5 separate ceremonies, it is at once one collective ceremony. Geese flying together over all, helping one another, sharing leadership, “over and over announcing our place, in the family of things.”
We warned of story’s power to illuminate and also to constrain.
How will we live it forward?
How will we help each other to see?
What if the New Story isn’t word-able?
What if the essence of the new story is a felt sense, rather than a story we can put in words: a conscious internal shift away from running our lives based on thinking-planning-time-control to living in resonance with our hearts? It would be a shift from experiencing fundamental separation to experiencing unity, sharing and interconnectedness. Then we upgrade the stories that run our society, institutions and economy by feeling into how these institutions would run/look/feel if they were beautiful, caring, harmonious and sang with our hearts. Our heart-intelligence would be in the driver’s seat, our minds are in our heart’s service, there to arrange the details and interface with the physical world. Re-orient every institution to one that is about care and love, see how it changes, and the new story for that institution would arise out of that resonance.
Perhaps it would be that doctors work as healers, lawyers restore harmony and justice on all sides, teachers infuse creativity, enthusiasm and inspiration rather than information, retailers deeply care that everyone has what they need… New technology – even xl spread sheets! – arise out of an intent of care and love rather than motivated by profit and control. Our lives would be fundamentally about living in harmony (as opposed to personal striving, gain, consumption, property).It would be mainstream to Be Love. A new story woven around hearts that reside in interconnected openness would create far more radical societal change than any story we could format in words.
And the last to Eileen Caddy:
As you learn to give so you will receive…Give of the intangible as well as the tangible…give and give and go on giving without any thought of the self, without any thought of the cost or what you will get out of it. Your giving must be whole-hearted and joyous; then you find the very act of giving will bring with it joy and happiness untold…only the best can come out of your giving.