On turning 60 and blowing the roof off my heart

Hello everyone

As you receive this email I’ll be turning 60, something fairly commonplace and yet I notice it is stirring in me a need to reflect, take stock, face my issues with mortality and look at what I might want to be and do for what I optimistically call my third life trimester. It feels synchronicitous with the explorations of both the Foundation and the community as we, as organisations, explore how to honour our past and continue to evolve into the 21st century.

YvonneCuneo19022015I notice I’m quite attached to who I am and to this particular life experience on this wondrous planet … and while hugely grateful for the adventure I still feel some fear (and curiosity) about it coming to an end sooner or later.

I am in central Australia now, in very hot temperatures, visiting Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) and many other sacred sites. I’ve just heard from a friend that Toronto, Canada is having the coldest February ever. As I travel through the vastness of the outback, which we call the red heart of Australia, I am consciously connecting with all 26,000 of you and with the diversity of age, culture and weather patterns we embrace.

After recently seeing two films, The Theory of Everything and Interstellar, I am reminded that not only are we citizens of this Earth but we’re also an integral part of the unfathomable mystery that is the cosmos. For me this fact is exhilarating, expansive, reassuring and yet also somewhat mind-boggling so I’m very interested in – and you may be too – a four-day event at The Park, 26–29 September. It’s called We Do Not Die: Expanding Consciousness Through Near-Death and Other Mystical Experiences. It promises to be a co-creative and highly experiential event so maybe see you there.

LoveseatI love what Lou Reed said when interviewed about his work shortly before his death: “Ya gotta blow the roof off of your heart, and let the universe in.” Dorothy Maclean, the Foundation’s surviving co-founder, now 95, says something similar, “As I grow older … I realise the power of love. It can make anything happen. And it’s appropriate in any situation. When nothing else works, it works … it’s the founding energy … it embraces everything.” (Have a look here for more inspiration about love – just wonderful!)

Despite Dorothy’s advice, post the New Story Summit I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the changes I feel are needed in all our human systems. There’s an African saying – ‘In order to find our way, we must get lost’. As Charles Eisenstein says, ‘Our maps and guidance systems are so conditioned by the old story that they cannot take us anywhere we haven’t visited before. We need to let go. We need to get lost’.

It heartens me to know that the world has ‘got lost’ and successfully changed paradigms before – gone are the divine right of kings and a global economy based on slavery. We can dare to create a world that looks very different from this one … it is happening already and I imagine you can see it and are part of it wherever you are.

It’s certainly happening at The Park, alive with participants of Applied Ecovillage Living from 12 different countries including Australia, China, Corsica, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Zambia – all wanting to participate in building this new world.

EarthSings2014-12If you’d like to join in – the more the merrier – there are many ways to co-create change. Why not ‘blow the roof off your heart’ at EarthSings – Singing for Unity and Wellbeing, 28 March – 3 April.

For something sensational and yet quite different, you might consider Reconnections@Findhorn: Values-driven leadership for transformational change, 25–30 April. This is a unique opportunity to spend five days with Jonathon Porritt, eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development; co-founder of Forum for the Future, the UK’s leading sustainable development charity; co-director of The Prince of Wales’s Business and Sustainability Programme; formerly Director of Friends of the Earth and co-chair of the Green Party; and Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission for nine years. Wow! An opportunity not to be missed! For more information visit Forum for the Future and contact

NSS-2Or come to learn about permaculture, a systemic and practical way forward! The Findhorn Foundation College is offering a two-week Permaculture Design Course 9–22 May certified by the British Permaculture Association. It includes 72 hours of training with a comprehensive introduction to permaculture principles, design practices and their application, with a particular focus on permaculture in community and is. Book by 9th March and receive a 20% discount.

Speaking of new paradigms, I’m sure many of you are interested in how the gift economy experiment went during the New Story Summit. I finally completed the Gift Economy Report on New Year’s Eve – hurrah! Having never seen a gift economy report before it was an experiment, a challenge and a labour of love. If you’re interested please read the whole report (background, challenges, delights and learnings) as the text informs the figures. To see the report click here.

I want to end on a note of gratitude. Although the world continues to have many challenges and perhaps you and many others worldwide are experiencing war, drought, sadness, violence, famine, cyclones, floods or arctic conditions, there are also the first glorious buds of spring in the north, the joyous celebration of Carnival in many countries, the last weeks of summer in the south, the richness of the wet season at the equator, the resilience of the human spirit, the gift of life, a birthday….

We are indeed one family, one planet, one universe.

With respect and deep gratitude for all we share.

And love and laughter, of course.

Yvonne Cuneo
For the Communications team

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25 February 2015