Video Inspiration : Our collective dream – Lynne Twist

in 2004 I was apple farming in Nagano, Japan. I got in trouble for pulling out the stalks - in Japan apples are an expensive delicacy and need to look beautifully intact.
in 2004 I was apple farming in Nagano, Japan. I got in trouble for pulling out the stalks – in Japan apples are an expensive delicacy and need to look beautifully intact.
    One of the gifts of travel is the opportunity to step outside your own culture, and see the world from a new perspective.

My first distant adventure was 4 months spent in Japan in my early twenties – mostly volunteer working on organic farms out in rural areas. This was a radical departure of lifestyle from office work in IBM.

Exploring a new place is compelling and mind expanding. The unexpected surprise was the severe culture shock I experienced when I returned to England. I remember my first morning ‘home’ staring blankly at the toaster wondering where the breakfast rice was. I remember the brick buildings and churches seemed solid and heavily suffocating after the sliding wall paper houses of Japan. I learnt a lot more about the assumptions of my own culture than I did about the new one I’d visited – the shock part was discovering certain daily “facts” about life where not universal. But how far can we really go to get out of our own cultural mindset?

Lynne Twist has a wonderful TED talk about the importance of changing our collective dream. The indigenous Rainforest tribes she visited had a clear message – that from their perspective we are all stuck in collective trance, disconnected from the world and nature. She considers that our problems with economy, money, resources are fed from this dream, and that a key part of transforming those problems is to create a new dream for our global community.

For more than 40 years, Lynne Twist has been a recognized global visionary committed to alleviating poverty and hunger and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability.
For more than 40 years, Lynne Twist has been a recognized global visionary committed to alleviating poverty and hunger and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability.

I really liked Lynne’s idea of acting as a hospice for the ‘old’ world, while being midwife for the new one – which is currently being born through us! I’ve often looked around the world and despaired at the whole situation – or felt an angry rage and desire to destroy it to find something else. But to hospice someone is not the the same as to kill them! Perhaps we don’t need to fight to destroy the current world, with wall-street cocaine economists, greedy bankers, corrupt politicians – because this old world is already dying?

Lynne’s message is one of hope – that our efforts should be to assist in that dying, with love and compassion, whilst simultaneously focusing on birthing and nurturing the new life-giving ideas and world. I see this new world emerging in diverse ways – it is as wide ranging as supporting new environmental food practices, such as buying locally where possible — to new money systems such as Bitcoin or peer-to-peer currency exchanges (I use “Currency Fair” all the time) that bypass the banks and their charges completely.

I decided when I finished my Cognitive science degree (and was an optimistic 21 year old!) that I wanted to dedicate or offer my life in service to the world – but I didn’t know at that point if it would be focusing directly on nature, the environment – or if it would be focused on working with health and people. I followed the second path but my view now is that the two are really woven together. When people are tranced out, suffering mentally and physically, caught up in their traumas or disconnected from their body-truth – we don’t really know, think or care about the environment beyond perhaps a moral or intellectual interest. In contrast, the journey back into your body brings all manner of new awareness. For example – when you start to feel the effect of nourishing food vs chemical processed food on your thoughts and world – then you begin to reallyc are about where your food is coming from and how it is made. It has become personal, not abstract.

The feeling of separation from Life IS an illusion, a core part of the trance we sustain ourselves in, or try to escape from. This I know to be true, even though I forget when in depressions or fear. When we feel intimacy with ourselves, others, the world around us- joy and presence fills us. The experience of the world shifts, and we start to truly notice and care. It can be easy to look around us at the mess of an industrial world we have, and despair – to feel that working on changing ourselves is insignificant, if not self-absorbed.

life-is-pure-magic-lgActually starting with ourselves is essential! We are the one part of this existence we can have real control and influence over, if we take some self responsibility. We are like fragments of the hologram that is our whole humanity – each containing the image-dream in complete form. Perhaps if enough of us change our inner fragment, the overall picture will shift – a new dream is born. It is happening already : how many times do you find yourself reading something on the internet written by a person across an ocean from you – and found yourself deeply resonating with their words? A great joy with my friends and clients are those moments when deep understanding and mutual recognition occurs – moments when you realise that you are not alone.

[infobox]Would you like support in finding a new dream? I’d love to help! claritysession[/infobox]I also love seeing people emerging out of that heavy trance – sometimes it can be as sudden as dog shaking away the water, fluffing out in an instant. Other times it is a slow effort-full shift like pulling yourself out of sticky, sucking mud. It is much easier when you have a new dream to move into.

Often I see and hold that new dream for my clients, when all they can see is the pain or heaviness of the muck around them, or caught in the anxiety and fear of the old familiar world-way of being dying. Lynne’s metaphor – to be both hospice and midwife – is as equally valid for our individual healing journey as for the whole world. I agree with her in that courage and compassion are key. It took me a long time to realise that sometimes courage and compassion is knowing when to ask for and allow ourselves to receive support.

What is the dream you are living in? What would you change if you could? Is creating a new dream for your life critical fuel or a distraction from facing reality?

Inspiration / Review : Wild Women who Run with the Wolves

    “A healthy woman is much like a wolf – strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, intuitive and loyal. Yet separation from her wildish nature causes a woman to become meager, anxious, and fearful.

With the wild nature as ally and teacher, we see not through two eyes only, but through the many eyes of intuition. With intuition we are like the starry night, we gaze at the world through a thousand eyes. The wild nature carries the medicine for all things.

She carries stories, dreams, words and songs. She carries everything a woman needs to be and know. She is the essence of the female soul.

It does not mean to lose one’s primary socializations. It means quite the opposite. The wild nature has a vast integrity to it. It means to establish territory, to find one’s pack, to be in one’s body with certainty and pride, to speak and act in one’s behalf, to be alert, and to find what one belongs to. It means to rise with dignity, to proceed as a powerful being who is friendly but never tame.

The Wild Woman is the one who thunders in the face of injustice. She is the one who keeps a woman going when she thinks she’s done for.

She is intuition, far-seer, deep listener, and she is loyal heart. She thrives on fresh site, and self-integrity.

Where can you find her? She walks in the deserts, cities, woods, oceans, and in the mountain of solitude. She lives in women everywhere; in castles with queens, in the boardrooms, in the penthouse, and on the night bus to Brownsville.

Whether you are possessed of a simple heart or the ambitious, whether you are trying to make it to the top or just make it through tomorrow, the wild nature belongs to you.

She lives in a faraway place that breaks through to our world. She lives in the past and is summoned by us. She is in the present. She is in the future and walks backward in time to find us now.

Without us, Wild Woman dies. Without Wild Woman, we die. Para Vida, for true life, both must live.”

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D

“Women who run with the wolves” is a classic book for any wildish woman looking for new stories and myths of femininity. Having my own connection to wolves, this was one of the first books I grabbed when I begun my embodiment quest. I was still at university and lapped up the dense-poetic prose as a wonderful contrast to the scientific papers (not to mention bullet point self-help books).

7646553df4771f1aafdef9b41646e138Clarissa’s book holds a dear place in my heart, I remember reading it with a sense of wonder – to find someone who recognised and validated the sense of inner-wolf-creature I’d had my whole life. It was the first time the link between inner wildness and mental health had ever been suggested to me. It was also the first book to introduce to me the idea of healing myths, archtypes and the wisdom held in stories. Reading this book was like a remembering : of a time long ago before the written word, let alone the internet. The way to pass down key information on how to live was to encode it stories, and then through an oral tradition of tale-telling, keep that information alive across generations.

In the book, Clarrissa shares specific stories for women to help them understand more about their natures, relationships, and life. She takes a traditional tale, then goes into it in depth, explaining the symbolisms and meaning. But it is more than a collection of stories, it is a story-account in it’s own right, with Clarissa guiding you into the territory of your inner wild-poetic soul.

    I remember getting completely engrossed, reading it avidly almost as if I was a wolf following a scent trail. But I also remember the forest-book getting denser and denser and eventually giving up somewhere towards the end. Everybody I’ve met who has read this book shares a similar story – if you’ve read the whole thing, I’d love to hear from you!

“Wild Women who Run with the Wolves” is definitely on my return-to list, but it is a book to be given time and space to really take in and consider. I am very grateful to have found this book at a relatively young age, it shaped my twenties by giving me permission to be wild, free and trust my instincts.