Tuesday, December 25, 2007

emergence of a new organizing pattern

november 2008

i write from volos, a small waterfront city in greece on the way to thessoloniki where tomorrow i will catch my plane home. i am with nora who is czech and slovakian, and apprenticing with axalditsa and rowan from denmark who is their first intern. we are having some separation anxiety after having spent so much rich and quality time together, so maria and sarah dropped us off here, on their way to athens, and we are all internet-ting together before i get the bus.

the november harvest at axladitsa

we have spent the last 2 weeks together with others from belgium, turkey, denmark and canada harvesting olives with panayoti, a wonderful local friend and farmer, and making olive oil. maria and sarah's olives produced the best grade olive oil yet this year at the local olive press. it was amazing to see the vats of olives, churning and turning into the biggest tapenade i've ever seen, then coming out in a tinted green oil that we've been using everyday in our meals. i have a 1.5 litre in my bag right now that i hope will grace my kitchen in montreal, and not the clothes in my bag. the prize bottle is wrapped in many many protective layers. believe, me this olive oil is worth the risk.

but we also created the Conscious Kitchen together as part of the overall gathering we were hosting. it was my first time really integrating these ideas into a living place and system and it was really amazing.

we learned a lot about how to integrate this not only as a programme here, but simply into the operating system of how axladitsa hosts gatherings. beyond cooking together, and hosting each other through food, is collectively being conscious of where the food is from, what choices we made and make everyday to plant, pick, buy, and compost our food and be conscious of where we create waste. so we have ideas for how to further integrate this into further gatherings with the vision of axladitsa becoming self-sufficient.

the other europeans there were really interested in co-creating their conscious kitchens with them. in fact, there is a whole emerging network out there for whom the conscious kitchen would provide a deepening of their practice and new avenues in to their work. we've already booked a week long conscious kitchen workshop for next november to co-incide with the olive harvest.

emerging the art of hosting meaningful spaces

our purpose for being together at Axladitsa was to deepen our understanding and practice of hosting, or of holding space for emergence to occur.
we saw the evolution of hosting spaces for meaningful conversations because the people who gathered here are developing a next level of this practice through hosting meaningful spaces. this means living this practice by integrating it into our daily lives.

that our work is in creating our own living spaces as learning spaces.
so 5 of the people gathered are actually integrating their living and work spaces and hosting what we called a "living learning centre". this is quite different than consulting or training and bringing a practice to a place or organization and then leaving. or creating workshops or retreats over a period of time. rather, it is to integrate it and live it at every level every day with family, work, neighbours, the land, and offer this living example to others to participate by inviting them into the rhythm of this living system/home/learning space.

what is so exciting for me, is that this is how i have been re-imagining my work and my life.

that at every level it is a practice, and it is integrating and aligned with other parts of my life - this idea of living wholeness. that is what the conscious kitchen is for me, too - a constant inquiry into how all these choices in how we eat or nourish or consume are connected not just to my own body, but to all my relationships: with people, places, practices and the planet.

i feel this is what has been emerging for me these last few years, this deeper integration and consciousness around the personal, collective and natural. and so it is important for me to be part of an emerging collective, a group and network of people who are living and working this way, who are constantly working to be aware of the emergence of new patterns for organizing their lives, their work, and our collective work in the world. i have been feeling - and now i am witnessing - something happening that has to do with a paradigm shift around how we live, work, relate, communicate, convene, reflect, be still, and move into purposeful and wise action.

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