Thanks to Hilary for (a) stepping in to run the ‘work that reconnects’ workshop at the conference, and (b) for doing a write up. Thanks! Here is the write up:
It was a privilege to be asked to step in at the last moment to facilitate this workshop with Toni, and I think it is a tribute to the profundity and simplicity of the practices of ‘the work that reconnects’ that we were able to meet, quickly rejig and simplify, and hold what turned out to be a very beautiful and strong workshop, even though we have never worked together before.
I was moved by the openness and willingness of the 17 people who attended (nearly equal numbers of men and women), in the middle of a very intense conference in which a lot of very difficult information had been brought into everyone’s awareness. I remember a clearly expressed interest in learning more about the ‘being’ side of the being/doing balance, the sense of unexpected strong emotion and vulnerabilty following ‘Stoneleigh’ and a desire to go deeper and perhaps learn to facilitate such workshops in local transition initiatives.
Toni spoke beautifully about the spiral of beginning with gratitude, honouring our pain for the world, seeing with new eyes, and going forth. We moved our way through all of these, with very intense pain being expressed in the safe space we had created, (A ‘Truth Mandala’) weaving from the very personal through oceans and oil, the future of young men and of masculinity, of water tables in Africa, and much more. One repeated theme as people held the stick for anger, was grief at our own feelings of impotence, and a recognition of the pull to ‘beat people with the stick’ of transition and of the urgency of the situation, and the awareness coming in strongly and spontaneously that this is not the way to go; a clear arising of insight and compassion in the moment.
Later, we moved to gentle music, sat alone, held each other, sat under the tree outside, as we needed, and finally came together to share what we were taking away; ‘something has opened that has been closed for years, the possibility of connecting’ ‘I finally get what this being stuff is all about, and I’m going to do more of it’ (joke), ‘I’m definitely going to be more tolerant’ ‘I cant believe how completely different I feel from – was it seven or eleven hours ago we began ?(it was three).’more peaceful’ ‘like on ecstasy’.
I wish I had recorded that closing circle.
For me it was a complete affirmation both of this work, and of the appropriateness of including it in a conference in which there is a lot of thinking and doing and facing painful information also taking place. Someone spoke of ordinary and extraordinary miracles in life, and that felt about right to me.