A few weeks ago I travelled to the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. where I happened upon a community fair by students of Antioch University Seattle. It was the final project of their class that is called The Great Turning, based on topics covered in a book by Joanna Macy called Coming Back to Life. I had heard of the fair only a week before, after talking to Michael Withey from Micro Community Concepts in Portland, Oregon. Eventhough I didn’t know it before, this place was right where I needed to be.
As I mentioned in my last entry , I finished my tiny house mostly because I set myself a deadline. Aside from the final result, this really shows how good I work with a deadline and a little pressure ;-). And it wasn’t just a random deadline.. It was the date of my (tiny) house warming party!
Over the years I spent some time with project lifecycles and especially systems like the one in Dragon Dreaming and the natural cycles of the medicine wheel resonated with me. Within Dragon Dreaming, there are four recurring phases in the cycle:
A while ago a friend of mine told me about an interesting method of raising children that was developed by the Hungarian pediatrician Emmi Pikler. One of the main principles is to not “help” the child to get into positions or places that it couldn’t reach on its own. So for example if you put a baby in a sitting position before it can get there on its own, it will feel insecure and won’t know how to get out of that position and probably experience stress. But if you find the patience to wait until it gets there on its own, it will be much more stable and also feel pride to have accepted the challenge and succeeded.
or is it?
I do like the motto of the Stark family in the Game of Thrones books, and I do like winter, but the season have been in transformation for some time now. This year, winter seems to be especially undecided. At christmas it had +15°C, only a few days later it was below 0 and looked like this:
Only a week after that, it was sunny and warm again.
I read a while back in a book called “The Vanishing Face of Gaia” (by James Lovelock) that the climate change will result in extremes. I guess that means that not only are spring and fall cut short, but also during the seasons the temperature changes rapidly and unpredictably in any direction. No adaptation periods. I can only guess, but this can’t be good for neither plants, animals or any other living creature. Well, we’ll see what’s to come when it’s here… What did you notice about the weather and climate in your area?
What I realized in the last few months: Going away for some time – however short or long it might be – holds the potential for a diverse set of lifechanging experiences.
Looking at a “usual” (defined as usual by our current western society) holiday, it’s generally seen as a few days or weeks away from the routine of everyday life and chores, maybe even seeing some other country or at least different landscapes. Pretty, but mostly pretty ordinary after a few days. Not really having much impact on your life’s path…
I recently listened to a song by Milow that is called “Against the tide” and had an interesting revelation. To swim against the tide as used in the english language means “to do something that is in opposition to the general movement of things” or “to not follow what everyone else is doing“. But the way I see it now – viewing the tide as a river – there are not two but at least three different ways of doing something or living your life in general.
The first one obviously is to swim with the tide, to follow the majority and do what everyone else does, the way everyone else does it, mostly to not even think about why you do it. That option seemingly needs the least energy, because you get pushed in the general direction anyway. But there is no real choice.
This concept of letting go is a really fascinating one. It is said that by letting go and not holding on to something or someone, you gain much more than you had before. This requires a certain amount of trust in something outside yourself – depending on the situation, that trust is easier or harder to accept. But as long as the whole thing stays a concept – just a theory, attaining that trust is really hard. Even if you experienced it a few times – and were positively suprised that it actually worked – that trust doesn’t come naturally. Is that something that we never had or has our current way of living and the way we and our parents and grandparents trained each new generation to see the world forced us to unlearn that trust?