Harvest of Collective Alchemy circles—4 June 2021


Since March we’ve been on this journey with our overlighting question:
We’ve been traveling through different terrains, stopping in various places,
Today we find ourselves on the shore line,
between low and high tides; a place where water seems to be in control.
The ground is sometimes firm, sometimes slipping away beneath our feet.
The air can be full of water or full of radiant sunshine: a shifting, changing place.
As ever, we are invited to source from the present:
what’s around us and in us NOW, in this moment.
We invite direct experience of the connection with our inner state,
while remaining mindful of the external circumstances as the tide moves in and out.

Today, our inquiry centres us in the cross-hairs between inner and outer,
where personal integrity, boundaries and alignment
meet the constantly changing world of the ‘ten thousand things’
The element of water continues to be very present
as we find ourselves walking along a beach at low tide.
This, too, is a liminal space, between the domains of air and water, past, present and future,
where what lies revealed for a moment will soon be swept away.
We are struck by the power of this scene as a metaphor
for exploring our strategies for living.
As we meander along the shoreline, faced with the vast diversity
of the ocean’s treasure washed up on the beach, how do we respond?
Do we fill our pockets with shells and stones and seagulls’ bones,
enriching our life’s memories and our story of self?
Do we fill our eyes and our hearts with the beauty and strangeness?
Do we walk away empty-handed, leaving no trace yet having lived…?
How do we listen for that elusive inner truth?
Do we follow the powerful promptings of our habitual mental-emotional patterns?
Do we key our sensing into the deeper whispers of feelings native to us
as denizens of a living universe?

When everything is in constant flux, what is the dance between our inner truth and the array of ‘external’ prompts and invitations to respond and to act?

(Early call)

It’s revealing, sitting with this question.
The dance is between certainty and uncertainty.
When I’m in that still place where I can tune into my body
and inner truth, and feel the impulses arising
and step into them as a way of moving forward,
there’s a certainty about that.
I long to be in that space the whole time,
and I’m not there yet!
I’m aware of how easy it is to slide into that reactive place
where I’m at the mercy of the patterning, the habitual responses.
That takes me into a place of uncertainty because
I’m then navigating according to other people,
and my patterns around getting things right and pleasing others
—the deep stuff that seems to still be there!
How much easier I find it to honour that inner truth
and that space of stillness when I’m alone.
It’s the interaction with other humans that brings the challenge,
in terms of holding that ‘centre’ – the centre of the universe,
of nature—and being part of nature and able to feel and
step into those impulses.
That’s what I’m inviting in more and more;
being able to do that whilst in the company of others.
It’s easier in some company than in others.
It’s bringing up a real desire to be in that centre-point
of stillness, spaciousness, capacity to feel what’s arising
and go with it, in an honouring of the inner wisdom,
an inner knowing that comes from being part
of the natural environment around me,
and navigating the human component of that.

In the imagery of the shoreline,
I find a sandy beach, 100m from the cliff edge.
This week I’ve been feeling the shifting sands.
If I travel east from here, I visit a rock pool:
a bowl, an excavation of the rocky landscape.
That pool is a microcosm of depth and diversity,
holding the movement of the wave action
rippling across the surface
and helpfully flushing out what needs to be released
for the abundance to continue to proliferate.
That points to the challenge as I imagine
the constant movement of the whole beach
as it circulates around the British Isles.
This rock pool is reminiscent of
practice circles like this which take some distance
from the movement of the oceanic influences,
holding some kind of deepening dynamic equilibrium.
In this space, I’m not scoured and drained constantly
by the movements of all these prompts and invitations,
emergences and emergencies.
Lying in the rock pool,
allowing myself to be washed over
by the wider oceanic influences,
whilst enjoying a vantage and view and connection
which allows something else to remain,
some other kind of relatively more diverse ecosystem
to be present and to thrive.
There is still some kind of scouring,
even in the rock pool:
a fine grinding into the obsidian surface of the bedrock.
The impressions are embedded on the ecosystem.
My inner truth is affected by an internal flux,
and yet something else is honed and created
as a result.

I am aware of ripples of attention, care and concern
extending from my core as the centre:
my immediate environment,
my community of loved ones,
society at large,
Mother Earth in transformation,
the slowly spinning galactic ground,
the cosmic pulse.
Each lands as a vibrating pulse in my body.
My body is within all these different energetic waves,
and all of this is arising within my awareness.
I am being drawn towards silence
by a deep longing;
the cosmic pulse is calling. It anchors me
in the very local space-time coordinates
where my body spends its days.
I was born to be a cosmic being, here and now.
Certain bandwidths of frequencies
(particularly the societal ones)
feel toxic when my sensors touch them.
I tend to recoil.
There is little appetite to move beyond
the boundaries of my home place.
When I step out onto this land
I feel my boundaries melt,
like stepping into a warm bath,
at exactly my body’s temperature.
I feel seen, loved, deeply known,
welcomed, accepted without question.
Among humans, I am learning to actively hold
my inner silence and sense of self,
allowing all the social promptings to subside,
speaking when spoken to,
in a way that allows the silence to settle in quickly.
There is very little doing.
Yesterday I sowed nasturtium seeds,
made juice to nourish my body,
and sat in the shade.

I feel like I might be rewiring
to be able to correspond.
I like the constant flux,
that’s only possible when the wires work.
I feel best when in water, swimming, here.
I feel really embraced by the water, the planet, the universe.
I can transfer that everywhere – my bed, my chair…
This has become my guiding principle.
I might need to grow new sensors and organs,
it’s an in-between space:
I work best in dialogue and conversations.
That is where I can flourish, contribute and be nourished:
it’s a real exchange.
Whenever it’s asynchronous, in whatever medium,
I cannot cope well.
I’m best in presence.
Even speaking about the past to bring it into presence, it works.
I’m still unpacking my old life, bringing it out of boxes.
What do I want to relive, to digest, to throw away?
When do I set aside time for re-inspiration?
Boxes of black-and-white photos of the siblings of my grandparents.
Someone died too early to do that work
that I now need to do with my own stuff!
When I speak of my ancestors, it’s all very alive.
What I’m missing is the hook: what traces do I leave when life is over?
What condition can I find to embrace the lives of my ancestors,
to showcase their ripples,
whilst enhancing my own presence and impact in the world?
This living dialogue is alive, imminent presence, in the moment.
When there is resonance to the invitation, I respond.
Through social media, I am less likely to feel it.
When I rewire around embodied presence and nature,
I can’t go far wrong.

A dance can never be made of compromises,
It is made of choices.
I want to say yes to all the external invitations
while remaining true to my truth.
I want to realise that sometimes I need to make choices to make it work.
A dance made of compromises
looks like a bouncing to the environment,
nothing like my own dance,
that is powerful and energised.
Even today I’ve been trying to find compromises.
I’ve been so much in work this week that
my whole being asks for movement.
This external invitation of Collective Alchemy
required me to compromise, coming outside with my computer.
And this is not working!
It’s good that I made this compromise,
and now I really want to move:
I’m going to leave you here, put on my running shoes,
and take you with me into the fields!

During this call, I got an external prompt,
and chose to respond!
Asbestos removal man, arriving unannounced (as announced).
He doesn’t need my attention,
but still I feel I need to take care of things:
My good intention serves no one—
I scared the man out of his skin
and could do nothing to contribute.
It allows me to observe, sharply,
that I tend to respond much more to external prompts
than I need to.
So how can I constrain my responses to what serves,
what is needed and beneficial for myself and the outer world,
rather than shaping myself to what I think is needed,
which actually isn’t?
How to walk this line is a constant learning, a balancing act,
to one side then the other,
navigating that.

In the silence, my stream of insights
was interrupted by an image,
followed by a blank:
Let Go!

There is nothing about reacting in the question.
The constant polarity of either/or…
Letting go of the reaction.
Responding and acting from my inner truth,
not from my reactions.
What does that look like?
I have been telling myself I sometimes have to give up
my reactions, the heavy stuff.

Of course, it’s a dance, it’s not a forcing.
Not trying to make the inside and the outside opponents.
Seeing it as a dance helps to soften the stiffness of reaction.
Dance with life!

Dance also brings awareness of the body:
how is my body responding? How soft? How relaxed?
How driven by the mind to react?

Words come trembling through.
Flux is something that passes by.
It’s a volume that goes through a membrane,
and act of filtering.
I’m aware of how consciously I filter,
taking in every external trigger invitation
as a chance for me to purify,
to see what is the intent, how does it relate to me?
Can I play with it? What does it do with me?
Sensing my own bass frequency.
The rock pool and the wave action
—in and out, in and out—
is also part of the purification.
I felt my body, scoured down to the bone.
Only the skeleton left.
The flux: what’s the intention of the incoming wave?
Does it strengthen and nourish mine?
The dance.
Dance without music: what rhythm presents when you listen within?
Which frequency do you respond to in the music that presents?
What frequency am I not responding to yet?
What happens when I move to that?
Perhaps it matches an internal frequency that resides in a blind spot.
Sensing: what’s right for me now?
What’s nourishing, what’s enriching?
Picking it up enables me to feed back nourishment into the field.
It helps to short-circuit the pre-set reactions of the mind.
The dance helps me to purify the false distinctions between inside and outside.

Dancing with silence and speaking.
Something shifted when someone left.
There have been external prompts in this circle.
2 pigeons in my garden, doing a dance.
Contact and space: they do this all the time,
together then apart, always interlinked.
The inner truth is also a flux.
Not one thing inside my body that I need to centre to.
The act of self-abandonment I’ve committed for most of my life.
Shape shifting.
I have to be kind to myself, knowing that’s what I needed to do to survive.
It’s only now that I’ve realised what it means
to not abandon myself.
It doesn’t mean avoiding external prompts:
the waves are always coming in.
But honouring the space, of the retracting of the wave,
allowing it to go through every cell.
In that space, I was telling too many stories,
understanding other people’s stories.
It’s in the present moment, conversation, interaction
that I can understand.
When I don’t engage in the present conversation,
I’m not going to justify my acts.
My integrity is a WHOLE.
It always has been, and I won’t discuss it with you.
Unless you meet me in this moment, I shall not respond.
The dance is the dance.
The dance is life.
I love to dance freely,
I don’t want to dance to someone else’s tune or choreography,
unless it resonates with my truth in the moment.
Not abandoning others,
what I can be to them and mean for them.
If I remember that I’m WHOLE…

I’m struggling between silence and words.
What we do when prompts come
is a live exercise!
This kind of conversation requires a certain quality of presence.
Each one of us has been making choices.
The choice to return to the dojo for real practice.
There is the inner truth: the more we practice it the more we can stay in it.
It’s a choice, to humbly step on the mat and practice.
So grateful to be able to practice in this circle.
Embodying in the now-moment, the very essence
of the question you asked.
It’s a real offering!

(Late call)
The scent of the rain on the earth!
Realising in the silence that the array of external prompts
and invitations to respond and act that I used to call my life
was pinched out like a candle flame at the start of this pandemic.
Just switched off.
My social life has ceased to be.
I sometimes participate in the social lives of my housemates
when that turns up on my doorstep…
And I’m not missing it.
I’m not interested!
If I lean in to wonder why that might be,
it has to do with learning to be a creature.
Learning to be a living being among other living beings,
doing what living beings do.
Sleeping, waking, eating, resting, relating with the other
living beings in the environment.
Watching life unfold,
and feeling content.
And all the grandiose stories I’ve told myself
through my life, of the value and importance
of what I was doing in the world
I see through it all, and it no longer inspires me.
Nothing is as important as just being a living being.
I look at my mind, full of thought forms,
like an empty pond with fish, flapping around
without any water.
Just useless! With no function or purpose,
and yet they were what was running the show for so long.
There a feeling of alignment and rightness,
of being where I am, with nothing more than that.
Being in this practice, with you, is a completely seamless organic part of that.

This question makes me twitch!
It’s around the term “inner truths”
as if there is inner truth that doesn’t dance
with external factors or people.
In the US we still have a large number of people
whose inner truth is that Donald Trump is still president.
What happens when people’s inner truths collide
with other people’s inner truths?
There is a dance between…
But inner truth is not an abstract concept.
My inner truth from five years ago
might not be my truth now.
I have a hard time acknowledging that every inner truth
in and of itself, is the “right” inner truth.

The world I knew before
Is not important to me any more.
It’s still out there,
people participate in that.
In the world that is fading into the past,
people believe that one or the other is president.
I don’t believe either: it is GOING.
My inner truth is a reality that leaves all that division,
people getting caught up in that stuff,
I’m leaving that behind.
There’s no truth of any kind there, inner or outer, for me.
I have no resonance to what’s out there,
except that in this phase of the era shift
I have to meet my basic needs,
which might mean going to the grocery store,
and watching how it’s all falling apart.
The shelves are empty again.
Something is up.
The shift is well in process and I choose to be
with the world that calls me into a deeper place
where nature can be fully present again,
where all those dysfunctional and corrupt institutions
just fall away.
If we don’t give them our attention, they’ll go.
I want to build the new ‘nature’s world order’,
the wholeness of that, as humans
we haven’t even begun to discover our role in that.
The magic that when we put our attention there,
it can happen!
That’s why spaces like this are so important!
To truly tap into what might that look like?
What are we willing to see? What’s already here?
What are we not willing to see? What are we not willing to let go of?

What I experience is that language isn’t helpful
in trying to discern this, for me.
‘Knowing’ can occur, and it doesn’t have the aspects
that we usually target as ‘knowing’.
And then, if I try to put language in between
the knowing and the doing,
it is the language that is inadequate,
and can really distort the answer to that question: “what to do?”.
It feels like the space here is just to be in,
and to not have to know it or to make a language about it,
because the language just distorts.
And yet something is there that is felt,
not known through the mind,
felt all around.
I’m getting more and more comfortable with
the feeling of the ‘knowing’,
of what has emerged,
and then the space,
and then the action.
I don’t want to think about it and describe it.
Just like the knowing arises,
if there is action to be taken,
so that too will arise.
What’s really going on for trees,
below ground the roots are helping each other.
When a tree is cut down, the roots give nourishment to it.
It feels like that’s our group.
We are the trees standing,
and below are our roots,
connecting with each other and giving nourishment.
That’s what I experience the group as.
Not for saying what we know,
or what we have to do,
but for being in that space without language.
The nourishment is there.

Taking a moment to breathe,
to take in what has been spoken so far.
From the portal day we spent in the subliminal, the underworld,
I remember that we can use a sense of vertical imagination
to picture things that lose their mythical grip
when we flatten them with our horizontal speech.
I’ve been on a quest (without knowing):
how can I stop distracting myself in the outer world
in order to dive in to what I’m bringing in this life?
We are born with something that precedes
our knowledge, our choices, our ability to focus,
and we have lost our capacity to attend to that.
I was born into a comfortable environment,
full of options for learning and hobbies.
It kept distracting me from what is unique about me,
what it is that I have inside me: my inner truth.
As I played with all the distractions in my environment,
I started building my identity,
and lost the joy of impulsiveness and intuition,
leaving the garden of childhood and entering
the more serious adult realm.
I understand I can’t turn back the clock,
but I like to imagine that I can go back to the garden;
to live the life of an adult, infused with the gifts of my childhood:
the gifts I was born with.
How can I be detached and wise enough to step back,
stop playing around with what is accessible
and attractive to the eyes of the many,
and dig deep inside to bring out that light
that can contribute to building the new common reality?
All our identities and choices are reasons to keep us apart.
Who is president doesn’t matter.
Whether the Earth is flat or round doesn’t matter.
These are just things that keep us apart. Opinions we can’t agree on.
I can see the game because I, too, am playing it.
So I’m struggling with “stillness”.
I understand the feeling, yet my mind is running so fast.
It’s easier to think, do, plan, feel, talk about it, get updated, pick up on new things…
an endless menu to pick from
that keeps me stuck in the verbs:
what I have, what I want, what I’m doing:
what I’m sharing.
That’s part of the constant flux
that any living being in the universe comes across.
So the dance that emerges for me is a subtle one,
that keeps inviting me to reconsolidate my centre,
to be reborn.
I’m thrown out of balance by the choices that define me,
seeking that one thing that will define me forever.
The dance is being thrown out of balance to regain a new balance.
I’m widening my base to accept that dance,
and this increases my capacity to be still in the long run.
So my inner truth is not something fixed – it’s something that changes,
like all complex life forms: it’s constantly in movement.
Being on the quest for inner truth
brings many unexpected gifts.
The best gifts come with spines,
in unattractive packages that tempt me to throw them away.

I followed the whole co-sensing journey.
The concept of choice loomed large.
I kept trying to keep things in the personal realm,
away from the professional!
I am very considered and deliberate.
I don’t believe I have made choices that weren’t right for me.
But how did I arrive at those choices?
With my heart or with my head?
I don’t believe I have ever made a choice in my life
that I didn’t sense first, with my soul, my intuition.
From that I would have explored and made decisions.
One of the words that comes out of the sensing is
Whether anyone approved of what I did was less important
than feeling I did the right thing because it felt right for me.
There is something grounding and strengthening.
Dancing – is not of stillness but of movement.
To arrive at inner truth I have to dig deep, search soul.
I sometimes choose the road not taken.
I’m all right with that.
What I get from the collective is that validation
that it’s OK to be me, to speak my own truth.
Integrity is a key word.
What would Jesus do?!
I can always ask myself what a member of this group would think,
but what’s most important is what I think.
It’s important to sleep at night knowing that the choices I’ve made
were right for me and those I love.
How different we all are, and yet, how alike!

A word in the invitation
that hasn’t let me go:
The energy of cross-hairs, that can be in
the sight of a gun,
in a microscope,
a spirit level.
Bringing in the guardianship to cross with the hosting.
The pressure that has been building around this aspect
has landed in my heart space.
It has to do with the consequence of our choices.
I too struggle with the energy of the inner truth,
but there’s something about integrity
that creates alignment for me in that sphere.
Speaking of the trees and the root systems,
the interconnectivity,
In honesty we’re in such a hyper-complex situation
I cannot hold the whole picture.
How does a kaleidoscopic multidimensional cross-hair
function here,
so that what I do in my day, in that moment of choice,
feels aligned?
Including when we sense what is aligned is
contrary to the dominant surround,
and yet we must still speak and act?
How can that be held and moved with
in a way that we feel an emboldened positioning within ourselves
—the connected aikido move.
To take our eye off what needs to be in our sights
has the potential for more consequence these days.
We are at an important choice point,
with big energies in motion.
Holding the clarity within myself,
that I might name or witness,
that’s part of the practice we’re honing,
so there is this upliftment that is life-affirming, generative,
without knowing how we might be affected,
it’s just clear.
Integrity is a cleaner sharper energetic implement
than the truth.
A knife so sharp it cuts together, not apart.
We need that precision now, in the many ways that can show up.

When what arises arises,
maybe we don’t have to figure it out.
Just let it wash over us.
Maybe the figuring out can be a distortion
that pulls us in another direction.

Where do we turn when language is no longer helpful?
I don’t know the answer to that question.
I can’t just describe my inner truth, it’s such a non-language thing!
It’s almost funny to want to speak with words here and now.
What is the dance?
One of staying related.
I love dancing with a partner.
There’s nothing like being connected with another human
and flowing magically…
If I sever myself from anything that appears external
I sever myself from myself.
If I can perceive it, I do that inside my own body.
The distinction between external and internal
must blur in order to come from a state of wholeness.
Being in integrity brings a feeling of wholeness.
If I sever myself from anything, I sever myself from wholeness.
Without letting it overcome me, can I stay related?
It’s so easy to separate myself from what I don’t want to see, feel, be.
Its a dance of staying related to the feeling
of what these external invitations evoke in me.
And yet we do have to make choices about what we do with our life energy.
I struggle in choosing which relationships to feed.
Life keeps inviting me to stay related to what I don’t want to be part of.
I don’t know how to do it: it creates turmoil and dissonance.
This question will stay with me:
what else can we turn to when language is no longer helpful?
I knew I would be understood here not because of what I say,
just being in this practice together, I feel understood.
And I want to note that things people say here are also hard for me to hold:
sometimes they feel disconnected from Earth.
The challenge is trying to stay related with it all.
This space also challenges me to stay connected,
despite my visceral reactions: that’s not my truth!

Who showed up:

Daniela Tablado, Wini Condic Begov, Anna Brunain, Marie-José d’Aprile, Ursula Hillbrand, Patricia Hunt Perry, Molly Whiteley, Jenny Hegland, Madeleine Schwab, Judy Wallace, Madeline Snow, Pieter Deceuninck, Georgios Kastrinos, An van Damme, Louise Carpenter, Sarah Whiteley, Helen Titchen Beeth.

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Invitation Page

Our invitation to practice Collective Alchemy continues 4 June 2021

  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE NAVIGATING THE ERA SHIFT TOGETHER? Since March we have been on a journey of discovery with the above question as our guiding star. Since our journey started, our exploratory co-sensing has invited us to try on different lenses, which has brought us into a variety of different dimensional spaces full of unexpected gifts of learning—particularly the liminal (learning to appreciate the gifts of not-knowing, slowing down and stillness),

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