Harvest from a women’s circle Brussels, 26 May 2012
In the evening of a beautiful, sunny day in Brussels, we were eleven women – ranging in age from 24 to 50+ – who answered the call to gather in circle, an almost monthly occurrence these days. The question or theme of our shared inquiry becomes more emergent with every gathering. In the beginning, Nina and I would sit together in our shared office a few days before and sense into what was ‘in the field’. This time, we just trusted that the theme calling for our collective attention would present itself at the right moment. And so it did. In the morning of our gathering, during my morning session of online presencing, I stumbled on a piece written by Filiz Telek, one of our dear sisters from Turkey, and instantly knew this was what was asking to be seeded in our field. This is the extract I read into the circle:
“I noticed something powerful during my recent journey along the Aegean: women are in creation! There is a very powerful creation energy infusing our world right now. I am not suggesting this based on any 2012 prophecies or astrological forecasts; I am claiming this based on what I see with my own eyes and the stories I hear. Most women in my life who have been in deep sensing and listening over the past few years are suddenly manifesting their dreams and visions – by stepping into their new callings, building partnerships, creating new initiatives. Everything that might have seem a little crazy, even impossible in the past is now manifesting full on at a very quick pace.
And this isn’t just any creation. This is the Feminine in creation! and it goes like this:
”I know the structure of the ceremony. I know that but when I go in to do the ceremony I have no idea what direction it’s going to go; I know nothing. Even to the songs that will come, even to all of that. Everything is just allowing something to come in. You prepare this place and you allow. It’s a very very new experience every time. You go inside and you allow those things to open out, like a flower. And you don’t know what direction this petal’s going to go or where that petal’s going to go.That’s the mystery, that’s the beauty, and it’s from within. Just like today – everyday is a new experience. That is Feminine power.”
Pansy Hawk Wing, Pipe Carrier
When I read these words, I get it.
This is a different kind of creation than we have witnessed in the past. This is a creation welling up from within women, from our wombs – the divine empty space that holds life -, from our longing hearts, from our intuition, from our hips, our finger tips and singing mouths and dancing limbs…This creation comes not through strategies made in sleek boardrooms, sterile labs, not for the insane growth of production for the sake of profit, not to control or exert power over a certain group of people. This creation comes from love of life and love of children (of all beings), from the instinctual urgency of a fierce mother to protect life, from the longing to be in harmony and flow with the natural world. This is a creative force far beyond our imagination and comprehension, sprouting and blossoming deep and wide in every direction.
This is Great Mother, Sacred Feminine manifesting through women (and men) in the world, creating and regenerating, mending the web of life. She is showing up in dreams and images, in songs and stories, and urging us to remember what we are in service of.
I remember. So do You.
It’s time to dream a new dream,
it’s time to create a brave new world.”
I announced my intention to Filiz (on Facebook) to share her words with our circle. She responded “I’d love to hear what you weave from the collective womb tonight, please share! I’ve been feeling the call of the womb wisdom ♥”.
And we truly did weave from the collective womb.
In the centre of Nina’s circle, there is always a bowl of Angel Cards ready to unveil the synchronicities present in the space. Just as we began our sharing, I picked the card ‘Synthesis’. By the time of our check-out, I really had something to synthesise: the fabric of wisdom collectively woven in our invisible womb space that evening.
It starts with some key words and phrases, born from sentences uttered by the different women during our check-in around what brought us to this circle, and afterwards, around the feminine in creation and what that evoked in us:
The account I weave here arises as a synthesis through my own filters of the conversation that unfolded among us. Gossamer threads were spun out into the centre, upwellings of intuition offered in from the rim, amplified and interwoven as the talking pieces were taken up and returned to the middle.
Sound was present, frequency, harmony, resonance and vibration – the bell rang often, for silence to allow things to land and settle in every heart. We evoked the quivering thrum of our souls’ stirrings as they resonate in sympathy with calls coming to us from the world. We illuminated the process of learning to be played by the kosmos, so that our unique harmonic can join in the universal symphony of life and evolution, recognising that nobody else can bring what is uniquely ours to offer and be.
Memory was present – or more exactly, forgetting. The way our hold on the details of past learnings and experiences can desert us, leaving us as an empty vessel, a content-free zone, a womb available to bring forth the mystery into manifestation. Such forgetting can feel scary – content and facts are so prized in our society – but it can also be liberating: an irresistible demand to be present to what resonates in the NOW.
These are the moments when we know that life is living us on behalf of the whole. That we are pregnant with something that is growing in our depths, without our having any clue as to what it will be, until it is ready and ripe to emerge. This is the feminine way – it’s the same with our babies. We have no idea what they will look like, or who they will be, until they leave our bodies after nine months inside. And even then, during the years of their childhood, we patiently witness their ever complexifying unfolding, not yet knowing what they will become (always assuming we are sufficiently awake to refrain from corralling them into replicas of our own worldview).
And letting go was present, together with its shadow twin letting come. We let go of our preconceived expectations of how life should be, our fear of others’ judgement, our archetypal social and familial conditioning. We let come our deepest, most authentic yearnings and desires, our spontaneous impulses and the primal promptings of our souls, of our places, of our peoples.
Weaving these threads into fabric, I see that we have been evoking and exploring the conditions for living our uniquely creative lives. When I see what we have brought forth together from our centre, I know that this must travel and take its place in the expanding conversation that is co-creating Filiz’s Brave New World.
Thank you dear Helen for weaving so beautifully from my heart into your circle. Now I feel (almost) like part of your circle in Brussels.
Thank you for this, Helen. It touches on a theme we’ve been exploring in Montreal – the creative tension between womb and will, and the need to integrate these two creative energies. I’m co-hosting a four-day gathering in June, and these two energies have been present in the ongoing debate among participants about whether to leave room for structure to emerge or to plan it in advance. To untangle my own thoughts about this, I’ve been playing with the metaphor of a potted plant. Here’s what I shared with those who will be gathering with me in June:
* The pot is the goal of understanding thrivability and how to bring it to life in organizations and communities. This is our purpose. It’s what holds us together and creates convergence. [This is the will.]
* What we’re now structuring is the space within the pot – which we can think of as the supportive, connective living soil. [This is the womb. It is the fertile conditions that allow life to grow within our group. More literally, it’s the light agenda that will hold us in our exploration, as well as the physical setting, the number of people we’ll be, and other design aspects of our gathering.]
* The questions we’ll explore are the seeds.
* What’s emergent, then, are the ideas that are generated in our exploration. We don’t really know what’s going to grow in this pot and this soil.
* Those emergent ideas might then make us decide to adjust the structure (the soil). In other words, we might decide that different fertile conditions are needed for our ideas to take root.
How does this sit with you, Helen? How does it fit with your experience in the circle of women, or in other contexts?
It’s funny – I just looked back at your previous blog post… which was all about will! It seems that you’re playing with these two energies, too!
Michelle, thanks for your questions! I work with emergence in all my contexts – even inside the European Commission, which really tries to converge too early and rush to solutions rather than venturing into inquiry that diverges into discomfort.
My advice is always to hold an open container at all times as a crucible from which collective wisdom can birth action as and when appropriate. There’s no need to converge, seek consensus or agree. Just to keep that cauldron bubbling as a support for folks to be drawn into inquiry. What’s in the cauldron is the question that is bubbling for the community concerned. The biggest question you can get your arms around, the one that has the greatest embrace for people to find their on resonance. Hosting a field that can nurture inspiration and feed into action, held with intention by a strong core team capable of holding the whole in an impersonal (or transpersonal – at any rate post-egoic) way.
I love the principles of Open Space Technology: Whoever comes are the right people, and whatever happens is the only thing that could have. That and the Law of Two Feet – take your responsibility, follow your passion, and if you find yourself somewhere where you can neither learn nor contribute, go somewhere where you can.
Good luck with it all, Michelle, and keep up the great work!
Thanks, Helen. Your response was very helpful. I love the image of the cauldron bubbling!