Hello blog. Hello site. I am back.
It has indeed been a while. My website got spammed with really horrible links and it took me and others ages to figure out the root cause. We never actually did (those malicious spam worms!), so I’ve had to move my site to a new server. There are still more tweeks and polish needed on the site but I have been missing blogging and I have so much news and happenings to share. I feel the need to write.
These have been big and beautiful days. These last months have taken me around Ireland, to Greece, the UK, Germany and back deep into Ireland again. The learning has been intense, rich, raw, challenging and rewarding. I feel like I have been shedding old skins, old patterns of behaviour and emerging anew with fresh ideas, inspiration and energy for my winding path ahead- because if there is one thing I am certain of, I know there are twists and turns ahead. It is all part of listening deeply to where I am being called and where life is wanting me to move. Right now it is taking me beyond my current knowing, into the dark and magical territory of change and learning. I am deeply, deeply grateful for the people and opportunities which are unfolding before me, and slightly terrified too. Lucky me. I know the fear is a good thing. It means that I am on my edge.
One of my indicators of whether I am learning is the volume of new questions emerging within me and appearing before me. When I have lots of new questions I know I am entering into a space of enquiry and curiousity. ‘Love the questions’, Rilke encouraged, adding, ‘Do not seek the answers which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer’
Over the last few months I have been trying to be very conscious of the lines of enquiry and new questions which I am tracking. In doing so I have been asking myself, what would it look like to really live those questions? Where would life take me? Where are my curiosities leading me to? And deeper still, where is my inner essence, me inner being, my soul, being called to?
It was questions like these that took me to Greece in June, and while there, through the work of The Living Wholeness Institute, at Axladista I had the chance to explore them even further with the support of a wide and wonderful group of people who have now become close and dear friends.
I had been to Axladista last year and loved it. This year I returned and if felt like I was coming home, not just to the land, the people, the animals and the place, but to myself. Axladista, a 48 olive farm and home to it’s host, Maria Scordialos, is a very special learning community, which has made its way deep into my heart.
While there I was a participant of their annual ‘Immersion Programme’ – an eight day learning intensive and also co-hosted a yoga retreat called ‘The Elements’. Through it all we explored what sustainable systemic change means, from both an internal and external perspective. Over the course of the immersion programme, we – all 17 of us from many different nationalities and backgrounds- sang, danced, laughed and deeply enquired into what it means to really LIVE those questions. It was a transformative learning experience, and I don’t use the word transformative lightly. It really was magical.
The work of the Living Wholeness Institute is deeply enbedded into The Art of Hosting methodologies. This is a way of facilitiating group work, conversation and collective learning. At Axladista the learning hosts bring those tools into a daily practice and consciousness, responding to the needs to those present with the intention of helping each individul explore their full creative potential. In a way, the place is a prototype of a new system of being in the world, in relation to one self, the environment, the social and political context and the land.
I also think I met my soulmate there- meet Freddie- the wisest dog in the world. He is a beauty!
I am still very much processing all what happened to me there but one thing I know is that is is really shaping my path and also leading me to my next stage.
Which brings me to this:
Over the last few months we have been beavering behind the scenes at with The Trailblazery, excavating our new project. As the weeks go by that project has become stronger and stronger for us and it’s timing feeling right and necessary. We, Kathy, Ciara and I, have been asking, What is being called for in Ireland right now? What can we offer? What are the collective lines of enquiry which need to be explored? What narrative is revealing itself? And in what way can The Trailblazery bring the national conversation to the next level. They are big and powerful questions. We do not know the answers but we have a gut sense and so we are following that.
The gut sense has led us to develop a new project called ‘Rites of Passage’. We believe that it is time to bring to country on a journey, through enquiry into who we are and where are we going. We want to dive into our past, excavating some rich nuggets of wisdom which we believe have relevance today and then bring people into the enquiry of our potential sustainable and thriving future.
We have teamed up with the Dublin Fringe Festival to host this in September and have secured some exciting venues. We have also been working with 100 kids to form a bespoke choir for the project, who will be working alongside the talent of Nina Hynes. We are bringing in speakers from UK, US, Australia and my Living Wholeness soul sisters, Maria Scordialos and Vanessa Reid, who will be giving a series of hedge schools or masterclasses. Plus we have an amazing line up of speakers from Ireland. We are are creating an online platform to showcase it all to a wider audience. Phew.
Something deep in my bones tells me this is going to be very very very special. I am excited, terrified and exhiliarated all at the same time.
This is the biggest project The Trailblazery has under taken and we want to do the best we can with it. But in order for it to really realise its potential we need some additional financial support. The Fringe Festival have given some money but we need to raise more. And so we took the decision to launch a crowd sourced funding campaign to ask our community of supporters to be a part of making it happen.
Our project is now live. We have 14 days to raise €8500 – we know we can do this but really need support to make it happen. We launched yesterday and have raised over €1600 already of our target.
Please consider making a pledge via our Fund-it Campaign. We have some great rewards. Be sure to watch our video too… we love it! (Thanks to the talented Gavin FitzGerald for his filming and editing, Myles O’Reilly for his crows footage, Nina Hynes and Dancing Suns for the music and Brendan Canty from Feel Good Lost for his remarkable poster image)
This is the power of questions. Where are yours taking you? I hope to Rites of Passage this September in Dublin…
It is great to be back blogging. More soon. And below are a few more of the gazillion photos I have taken over the last few months… I will share more in the coming days and weeks.