I took myself away for the weekend, down to Cloughjordan EcoVillage in North Tipperary, for what we called The Nourishment Lab.
It was a weekend to gather, reflect, learn, calibrate and re-examine. It was a time to shake out some old patterns and look at some new. It was a small group, a few of us who work all work broadly in the social change/ social entreprenurship/ facilitation/ sustainability space (whatever that is!)- all passionate people, doing hard work and each in need of some down time and reflection.
Cloughjordan EcoVillage was our base and provided a wonderful context to help us reflect on some of the system change work we are engaged in. Specifically we used the environment to help us understand more fully a couple of models of change which we each find useful to help navigate and investigate what it takes for change to happen and sustain itself, namely Theory U and the Two Loop theory, proposed in the Walk Out Walk On work of Deborah Frieze and Margaret Wheatley (which I have written about previously here). We took some dialogue walks together, pairing up to ask questions and gently probe, and also a pro-action walk, a mobile variation of the action cafes I have been facilitating with Eimear Mc Nally, to help us dive into our next steps. There is a time for stitting, we realised, and a time to walk and talk and learn in the open.
There was cooking together too, and yoga, and wild strawberry picking, and chatter about cob house building and raw milk, and perhaps a glass of vino, or too.
So often we get caught up in the day to day, the doing and the more doing. I’ve been on a roll of that over the last year, but over the last few weeks I have been feeling the need to take some deep space for reflection and refueling, checking my track and questioning if all the doing is going in a good and beneficial direction.
The time is so good. Even better, for me at least, is time in nature, in the wilds, in the fields, in the green, in the open skies, in the grass with my feet bare and a mind open.
I’m too close to the weekend to see where it will take me. All I know is the stepping back to review, in order to step up again can only be a good thing. A good thing too is that I’ll have a bit more open space in the coming weeks.
(Thanks for all the fellow nouishment lab participants who helped to make the weekend happen)