Summiteers around the global have been reflecting on their experiences of Findhorn’s New Story Summit, as have members of the Findhorn Community both individually and collectively. Here, community stalwart, Mary Inglis, offers her insights and learnings to our extended new story family. The New Story Summit: Inspiring Pathways for our Planetary Future was held at the Findhorn Foundation and Community 27 September – 3 October 2014.
Some people say we already know what the new story is; others say it’s something still emerging. I think it’s both. In many ways we can describe and define it (and although different people describe it different ways, it does regularly seem to include words like holistic, unified, interconnected, collaborative, ecological). And we can tell stories about it. Both the describing and the stories are important. But living it – ah, that’s a different story. That’s the emerging part. It takes time, practice and patience.
We all have different doorways into the new story. We all hold different strands, and have a responsibility to bring them in… not so much in telling stories as in living them.
In working with the large-scale versions of the Transformation Game, we put a lot of emphasis on each individual’s relationship with the overall collective purpose. In order for the purpose to come alive in us collectively, it needs to come alive in each of us individually. We are each fractals of the whole, and as each of us embodies the purpose in our individual unique ways, that creates a field of embodied presence that opens and creates pathways which then become more accessible and available to others.
Janice Dolley tells the story of how before Roger Bannister ran a 4-minute mile, people thought this was impossible. But once he had done it, others soon went on to do it as well. It’s like the story of the hundredth monkey effect: that when a critical number of monkeys on a particular island had learned – through observation and repetition – to wash sweet potatoes, this behaviour started appearing among monkeys on a nearby island, without physical contact with the monkeys on the first island.
One of the squares in the original version of the Game is the Major Initiation square (in the Transformation box Game it’s the Transformation square, and in the organisational version of the Game it’s the Breakthrough square – different names, but similar energies). At the time of the creation of the Game, Paul Solomon was a regular visitor to the Community, and he talked about major initiation as a fundamental shift that involves the whole of ourselves. We may (or may not) have a sense of something happening, but we often don’t know what it is until later, when we look back, and realise that something shifted. At the time it’s more of an “I don’t know” space, in which the new hasn’t yet taken shape.
There’s a poem by Juan Ramón Jiminez that expresses this well:
I have the feeling that my boat has struck
down there in the depths
against some great thing
And nothing happens.
Nothing….. silence….. waves…. nothing.
Or, has everything happened, and are we standing
quietly now in the new life?
I have a sense that there was a kind of major initiation during the week of the Summit, that something fundamental shifted in the field. Something new got seeded, and is growing, and our task now is to nurture those seeds.
The thing about seeds, however, is that for a long while after they’re planted, nothing seems to happen. They even seem to disappear. It can be discouraging.
I think that often we have high experiences in which we embody and take the shape of what’s possible, stepping into a space in ourselves full of insights and potential – and then we forget. We fall back into old familiar patterns of thinking and feeling and acting; the previous experience seems lost and even irretrievable, and we get upset, sad, or angry. We talk about the loss of that experience in a way that energises its absence.
I think we need to find ways to make space for whatever it was that called each of us, whatever it was that we stepped into that so nourished and energised us, the ‘new you’ that held promise and potential. Not in a grand large-scale way, but in small actions and thoughts that will enable the large-scale to emerge.
It’s not a matter of being or staying positive. It’s a matter of deliberate practice. What we can do is to revisit the seed of our experience, touch and inhabit its energy, even for just a few minutes or seconds. In Robert Maurer’s book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, he talks about how small, continuous baby steps can lead to larger, sustained changes – more so than beginning with ambitious large-scale programmes.
We can recall and reconstellate how that new story lived in us and take its shape within ourselves. Of course, that may often trigger the awareness of how it’s not as consistently present as it was… and it’s easy then to drop right into mourning its absence, or beating up ourselves and others for losing it. Sometimes, when that happens, it’s important just to go into and through the sadness (create your own grief ritual!) – and then to re-engage with the seed energy, blessing it, giving it space. It will grow.
The world supports the growth of seeds, on both physical and subtle levels. The subtle energies in particular constellate around the energetic shape we take. This is one of the principles behind successful manifestation. We can be mindful of how the seed of the new story takes shape in us, practice on a regular basis holding an awareness and felt sense of it, and find ways to give it embodied expression in our daily lives.
Mary Inglis is a long-term resident of the Findhorn Community, coming here first in 1973. She works with the Transformation Game®, as well as with other multi-leveled approaches to personal and spiritual development, both at Findhorn and in a number of other countries. She is managing director of the UK branch of InnerLinks Associates, which researches and develops Transformation Game products, programmes and trainings; these offer playful yet substantial approaches to exploring and transforming issues in life and work. Mary has been involved with the Transformation Game since its beginnings in 1976.