Summiteer, Stefana Bosse from the United Kingdom, is one of over 50 young adults from around the globe who participated in the New Story Summit: Inspiring Pathways for our Planetary Future, held at the Findhorn Foundation and Community 27 September – 3 October 2014. Here Stefana shares her reflections on the inspiration, challenges and learnings emerging from the week.
It was an absolutely incredible week. It was incredible alone because I got to learn about and experience this magical place, imbued with the inspiring history of three young spirits trusting their intuition and embarking on writing a new story. It was incredible because it was organised with such love and care. And most importantly, it was incredible because I got to exchange energies – words, hugs, massages, laughter, tears – with 350 wonderful human beings. It was balm for the soul to be surrounded by conscious spirits, all on the same path, all trying to live their lives with integrity, love, and toward a more harmonious relationship with themselves, others, and all life. I fell in love with every single person there. And I wish I could have gotten to know all of them, hear their exciting stories, and give them a hug of appreciation.
And there were so many amazing workshops on offer; I wanted to go to all of them! I am so grateful for the learning I received during these workshops, some of which gave me yet another piece to my life’s puzzle. I am so grateful for the beautiful ceremonies offered by the indigenous participants. In our culture, so deprived of ritual, I had the honour of having my initiation dance guided by the beautiful Namibian Visolela, and of smoking Woman Stand Shining’s Native American peace pipe sending my hopes and prayers to the sky (and geese).
I felt such bliss playing music in the candlelit nature sanctuary, sharing stories about our ancestors around the fire in the Earth Lodge, dipping my feet into the sand and the salty sea and just being in the outdoor hot tub. And feeling my cells brimming with life after sitting in the cold ice water tub upon coming out of the hot tub!
I am humbled by having been a part of this process. And what a process it was! Yes, it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t all hugs, massages, meditation and singing. Although joyfully, there was plenty of that!
Even with a group of some of the planet’s most conscious people, ego surfaces, deep divisions emerge, frustration and discord manifest, fear and control take hold. The behaviour patterns of the old story are deeply embedded within us all. But what was wildly exciting was the participants’ awareness of and sincere willingness to overcome them in service to the new story.
It was raw, emotional, exhausting and exhilarating to be a part of this collective (chaos)/process. We hit our own walls, not knowing how to step into the unknown, how to be a light whilst moving into the darkness. We didn’t have the answer (“WE DON’T KNOW”), but we discovered a few more of its pieces along the bumpy road to collective emergence.
I was particularly moved by the coming together of young change makers at the NSS the second night before last. We met at night in the nature sanctuary and sat in a circle around a candle lit in the middle. Many came, so we snuggled up close. There had been no particular reason of convening this group other than the strong urge for us to come together as a group and get to know each other before we all parted ways again.
We had two main issues to resolve. Because of the late decision to come together, we ended up clashing with an important moment of process with the rest of the NSS group in the Universal Hall. That was difficult for everyone and we needed to decide whether to return to the Hall at some point, and if so, when. The second was relating to the content and structure of our gathering. Some felt it would be nice for everyone to introduce themselves. Others were tired of the usual ‘going around in a circle introducing ourselves’ structure.
I had convened the meeting but by no means claimed any authority to facilitate it. I was just the same as everyone else so there was no reason whatsoever for me to dominate or take control. It was interesting to observe my own inner reactions as I handed over the decision-making process to the collective.
As it often is with these gatherings, it took a while to get going. And in the bumpy beginning, my own fears emerged that without any leadership and with the little time available, the gathering might turn out not to be as powerful, beautiful and needed as was hoped for – a high stake in light of what we were missing out on in the Hall! And even though I knew better, my inner gremlin was threatening to wreak havoc with my emotions, making me feel responsible for the success of the meeting purely because I was the one who had convened it, and luring me to at least steer the ship in a certain direction.
Letting go and resisting the urge to control – our natural response to fear – is serious work! The new story is all about trust. And trust requires a leap of faith … into the unknown. I had no idea what the results were going to be but I believed in, and therefore decided to put my trust in, the method of collective process even with the risk of disappointment. And that notion of disappointment revealed yet another layer of my own engrained old story patterns. The possibility of disappointment only exists through expectation. And we all hold the expectation that being in and embodying the new story is going to be amazing and beautiful. But the high-pressure burden of that expectation has us in its grips, preventing us from letting go, and thereby preventing anything magical from unfolding.
And so, breathing deeply and consciously, I tried to let go of my expectations and just be with whatever was, wherever the collective decided to take the energy (which didn’t mean I was entirely passive either for I too was a part of this collective) – and lo and behold, the results were beautiful! Not perfect (by whatever standard), but beautiful. My teacher says ‘Perfect is insane. Extraordinary and excellent are much tastier.’ And that it was. We ended up having a beautiful, genuine, and rich discussion. Although I still don’t know everyone’s names and backgrounds, I feel even more connected to all of them, which surely is the most important thing of all. As we walked in unity to the Universal Hall at the end of our session, I was absolutely heart-warmed, inspired and uplifted. I feel that the others were, too.
Our meeting only represents a microcosm of the larger NSS – we were a significantly smaller group of people who were all more or less of the same generation … and my temptation to control was only minor and the consequent process of letting go therefore only a small feat. But it was a feat nonetheless and I hope that sharing our journey can provide some insight into the elusive new-story process we call emergence…
I am so grateful for the New Story Summit because every time I come together with members of our tribe, I feel renewed trust in my purpose, and motivation and confidence to go forth living my life in alignment with it. And in our society that alone is an act of rebellion and requires a huge amount of courage.
I know the ripples of this drop in our ocean of love will be unfolding and expanding for many years to come, and many beautiful community branches will be grown all over the world from the seeds that were sown during this magical week at Findhorn in late September 2014.