Thursday, 30 July 2009

Everything has a deep dream

I've spent many years learning how to fix life,
only to discover at the end of the day
that life is not broken.

There is a hidden seed of greater wholeness
in everyone & everything.
We serve life best when we water it and befriend it.
When we listen before we act.

In befriending life, we do not make things happen
according to our own design -
we uncover something that is already happening in
us and around us and create conditions that enable it.

Everything is moving towards its place of wholeness
always struggling against odds.

Everythings has a deep dream of itself
& its fulfillment.

by Rachel Naomi Remen

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Bienvenue en Paris on Bastille Day - 14 July

Monday the 13th I left the UK again, this part of the trip now by train or boat, started off with the intention to first go to Southern France, Le grand Bal d'Europen, one week of dancing and camping near Lyon before heading back to Eastern Europe via Germany.

Just shortly before leaving I somehow felt increasingly uncomfortable with idea of the dance, the masses, yeah even the camping ... rather confusing and unsettling. I was looking forward to the dancing and french charme for so long - as a matter of fact, the only part of my travel where all the train tickets were booked in advance -in the end somehow the timing didnt seem right. When I was describing my unsettling feeling to a friend, saying "I'd rather do something else, maybe spend some time at the sea, read and catch up with some writing", he simply and apathetically replied: "Well, then why dont you?"...hmm, true! Until then I felt pretty stuck, going up the walls feeling urged to make quick decisions, it simply took someone else to ask me that question of "well what else would you prefer doing? or why not change plans?" to see the horizon behind the clouds again, to open up new possibilities, yeah why not change plans? So I decided to first see my friend Brian in Paris as planned and then look for a place at the sea side instead.

Somehow good timing as I got to arrive the night before the grand Bastille Day, with grandiose celebrations, fireworks and bands playing on the streets. It was great to see that a nation possibly could come together at one day of celebrations, where the streets in the centre of its capital are blocked and everyone, old and young gathering at various places like the Place du Bastille to meet, to dance, to celebrate. I was wondering if there is anything comparable in Germany? Couldn't think of anything. Couldn't quite think of anything in any of the countries I have lived in, except for the very orange Queens Day in the Netherlands which always is quite spectacular. In these moments like these of beautiful european atmosphere of a warm and still very light summer night I just love being in Europe, a few hours south, west or east and you'll find a new rich culture, sometimes language, and its rhythms, traditions and celebrations. Exquisite.

Being in another big Metropole, Paris is also always good for hilarious surprises, like this very hairy Mama, chatting to the police.

Very hairy in Paris from mokoflip on Vimeo.

The next day, the news mentioned that 137 cars were burned in the country over night. I don't get the whole care burning tradition that seems to be a very french thing. The other interesting cultural encounter, the massive parade that day which was also broadcasted on TV. There were state guests, from neighbouring countries and the "Chief Guest of Honour" of this years parade, the Indian Prime Minister of India, Mr. Singh.

As a matter of fact even the Indian armed forces "as a significant landmark in their history" led the massive Bastille Day military parade, - the first time that they were marching on a republic day or a national day of a country.

I couldn't help but sense the taste of Imperialism from when it was still prestigious to have numerous colonies and impose your divine culture to the rest of the world. There were military parades, horses shows, thousands of flags and more french tricolore in the sky from military planes flying over the Champs Elysee. I was wondering how Mr Singh must have felt seeing all the pompos show that day.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Visiting the UK: Storytelling, Dancing, Social Transformation and wonderful Nature

End of June I returned to the UK to visit friends and a couple of interesting events, such as the story telling weekend in Embercombe which I wrote about earlier, a 5 day retreat in East Sussex called Bodysong: Dance, Bodywork and reunion with the Feminine and a weekend with Don Beck and Spiral Dynamics in Action to create a vision for an Integral Brittannia.
I also took the chance to take some time off from London, visiting a friend in Shropshire and going camping in Wales' stunning Nature.

View Part II: UK in a larger map

Exploring ShinSomatics in East-Sussex
A friend of mine introduced me to various somatic practises who are coming from performing dances and bring a more feminine approach to body work, e.g. Sondra Fraleigh's work in Somatic Movement Tharapy and Education and ShinSomatics (in contrary to other somatic practises coming from the more masculine traits of martial arts - mainly Aikido).

I got hooked very quickly. The promise of the retreat, to tune in to my intrinsic creativity, connecting with powerful femal energy, deepen my mindbody wisdom through an embodied experience of the natural world, healing dances and an experience of transformation through gentle hands-on bodywork was definitly something I didn't want to say no to...Having been there, I am now considering to pursue this work further to become a certified practitioner myself.

Coming straight from the beautiful spot in Devon, I arrived at the rolling hills of the South Downs in Firle, East Sussex. The old house we gathered in, was right next to the famous Charleston Farm, which used to be a meeting place for artists and intellectuals such as Virginia Wolf and known as the Bloomsbury Group. Our Georgian country house called Tilton House, had its own very fitting story to tell. During the time of the Bloomsbury group gathering, it was inhabited by a famous balley dancer Lydia Lopokova from Russia, who was said to sometime be watched dancing naked on the loan during full moon.

The week was in particular special as it gave me a new experience of sensing and comprehending through the body which is rather hard to conecptualise or articulate in words. We didn't move or exercise a lot but it seems the subtle movements and hands-on work had quite an effect on all of us - organising and reorganising the body. Early evenings we were exhausted and to bed early every night. Coming out of the week I did feel I got a lot more sensitised to different people's body presence and energy, allowing myself to be more intuitive with others and more present.

Being back in London, at Don Becks grand seminar, I found it rather tiring to only operate from the head again, looking at theories, discussing big issues and sitting back to back in a room facing a lot of monologues. Shropshire and Wales were a welcoming change and seeing Snowdonia's National Park totally exceeded my expectations! The pic below with the lake is at Tal-Y-Llyn and the camp I stayed at was called CWMRHWYDDFOR Farm Camp!!! Any ideas how to pronounce that?

Moko in Wales from mokoflip on Vimeo.

Cool bands at the Brighton Loop Festival!

Enchanting Emiliana Torrini came last on Sunday and was a true delight to see. I didn't know her that well and was taken immediately by her charm, that witty spark in her eyes, her uplifting voice and captivating lyrics. Definitly a feast to see!!!

Emiliana Torrini 'Sunny Road' from Tom Lindsay on Vimeo.

Wicked Witchy Fever Ray - great band!

When I Grow Up from Fever Ray on Vimeo.

Exhilarating and defnitly my favourite group of the year, Portico Quartet!
And my main reason for visiting the Brighton Loop in the first place, what a shame they played almost first that day, while I was still having lunch with a friend right next door. Uargh! By the time we entred the venue, we heard the last hang sounds as they were just saying good bye to their fans.

Portico Quartet create wonderfully refreshing modern Jazz. They played at the southbank outside the NFT before they were discovered and the same year made it to the best Jazz Band 2007.

Having seen the rest of the day (and Emiliana was indeed a treasure), Portico's amazing 21st century classy tunes just had to be celebrated at the end of the day - whoever arranged the flow of the day - wake up to true talent man!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Storytelling as a vehicle for transformation

I went to a story telling weekend in Embercombe, hearing and telling stories in Nature and around the fire place. Mac the founder of Embercombe is a true master at storytelling and I learned a lot of ancient beautiful English myths.

Telling stories, personal but also stories of others can be a very compelling way to express where what you care about, where you come from, paint a picture of what you envision could be created to engage people, open their hearts and minds

Stories – as a seed for transformation - e.g. encouraging people to move from a consumer society to a citizens sustaining life society. Changing the stories by which we define ourselves (e.g. around scarcity and security) can change the human nature. Asking oneself what story am I part of? What story is unfolding or better do I want to see unfolding? Am I telling the story of tragedy or comedy? The outcome will be different depending on whether my energy and storytelling goes into the one or the other.

Positive empowering stories will also impact your energy and being. Storytelling in the end is so much about being in the moment, present and connected to really express your authentic self. In the end the content matters less than the very special place where the story comes from.

“Who you are speak so loudly that I cannot hear a word you say”

Some story telling tips:
- An exquisite example of a bigger picture is more powerful than the full story (being concise)
- Always speak from your heart and authentic self – it’s not a performance
- You determine the pace and rhythm of your story
- Know what message you have for your audience
- The more personal the more universal