Session 8 Study Guide Contents
Essence of the Session – Integration and Completion
Eight months ago, we all said yes to joining this wave of collaborative enquiry into living the new story and consciously evolving within ourselves to support the transition to a regenerative future. And what a privilege it has been to live the deep, transformative questions together! Now the time has come for us to harvest the learning, begin to integrate our experiences, and look ahead to what wants to unfold next as we continue to explore the cultivation of a regenerative future for our own lives and communities.
In our concluding session, we hold a reflection meditation to look back over the journey in its entirety. This leads into a ‘next steps’ exercise to look ahead to the future. We have provided the meditation and next steps exercise here to give you a chance to revisit your experiences in more depth, as often as you wish, to deepen your integration of the journey as a whole.
Close your eyes or soften your gaze. Feel the weight of your body on the chair, feet planted firmly on the floor, supported and grounded. Release any tensions and breathe yourself into presence, allowing the busyness of the day to simply fall away.
Now expand your attention to your fellow journeyers and to the power of our collective field of enquiry.
We have been part of a gathering of explorers who have stepped out together beyond the edge of the known and opened to the wellspring of insight and inspiration that has awaited us there. From this new vantage point, we’ll now take a brief reflective journey through each of our sessions and we suggest that you just be open to, and gently aware of, any significant moments of insight or inspiration, challenge or discomfort, healing breakdown or healing breakthrough.
We began in September with Session 1 held by Mattie and Robin, in which we introduced the journey, prepared the field, and set our personal intentions. Recall the intention that you set for yourself and how it has unfolded for you.
Session 2, in October, featured Barbara Marx Hubbard on the topic Emergence of a New Human Species. Barbara shared with us that evolution is ushering us into a planetary awakening that has the potential to birth a new culture and a new world. We learned that evolution is shifting us from a species that feels separate from each other, separate from nature and separate from spirit, to a more mature species that co-evolves with nature, co-exists in synergy, co-creates with spirit and leads with love. By embodying a higher consciousness, we can discover our unique vocation and join our human genius, through the power of shared intention, in service to the healing of the planet.
In Session 3 in November, Ousmane Pame spoke about Human Consciousness and Societal Development. Ousmane shared his rich West African perspective on cultivating regenerative societies to preserve ecosystems and cultural heritage, by transforming communities into a driving force to establish a new community consciousness and movement for large-scale regeneration of lands, forests and rivers. Ousmane shared with us living examples of how long-term community attention, leadership, ceremony and prayer serve ecosystem regeneration and qualitative socio-economic transformation.
In December, for Session 4, we welcomed Joanna Macy on the theme Choosing the Story We Want for Our World. Joanna shared with us the role story plays in our understanding and experience of the world within and around us, and emphasised that we can choose the story we will give our attention to and that will determine how we support the transition from the Industrial Growth Society to a Life-sustaining, Regenerative Society, which she calls the Great Turning. She highlighted four habits to help cultivate the shift in consciousness required to support the Great Turning: Befriending our Grief (feeling the tremendous losses in order to feel the full measure of our love for the planet); Rolling Up Our Sleeves (working in solidarity together to build and shape the new); Acting our Age (speaking from the authority of our 4 billion years); and Falling in Love with Life (accepting what is as we act on behalf of the living Earth). As Joanna shared, nothing directs our attention more swiftly than Eros.
Session 5, in the new year, featured Daniel Wahl who spoke about Designing Regenerative Cultures. Daniel highlighted that at the core of living the new story and creating regenerative cultures, is a both and perspective. We need to be both hospice workers of the old system that is dying, and we need to be midwives of the new system that is being birthed. Daniel encouraged us not to be afraid to put the old patterns to bed, whilst honouring what is useful in them, and discerning what needs to die and what needs to be carried into the future. In parallel, we are also midwifing the new and living the questions together. Although we don’t have all the answers, Daniel impressed upon us that, over the next 30 years, we need to restore our human presence in elegant simplicity, connected to the biocultural uniqueness of the places and bioregions we inhabit, draw down carbon and put it back into the soil, replant the forests and restore the waterways. We can live the new story collaboratively, in each place, whilst supporting each other’s bioregion. We are now being called upon in this unique moment in our history, and if we get it right, the 21st century will be remembered as the century of Earth regeneration.
In Session 6, Vera Kleinhammes addressed the theme A Revolution of Love: Building Communities of Trust. Vera shared with us the essential building blocks of community that have proven successful in cultivating regenerative societies, even in the most extreme conflict and crisis zones around the world, and how we can cultivate loving communities of truth and trust in our own lives, right where we are. She inspired us with the 6 Key Ingredients to radically transform our current way of inhabiting the planet and living with each other: Reconnecting with the Unity of Life; Cultivating Global Consciousness and Heart; Rebuilding Trust; Staying Faithful to the Quest; Nurturing a Strong Spiritual Base; Cultivating Truth and Authenticity; and Healing the Wound of Separation. Vera shared that all humans have the deep longing for acceptance and belonging, and that functioning community is where this deep longing is answered. In a healthy society, we have to learn to integrate all the parts of ourselves by creating spaces where the real uniqueness and wholeness of who we are can be given birth to through the truthful mirror and feedback of a trusting community around us.
And, finally, in Session 7 in March, Rob Hopkins brought us Radical Transition Stories from Around the World. Rob’s talk was a call to action to reclaim and unleash our collective imagination to create the regenerative future we want. He shared with us the 10 tools of transition, along with examples of individuals and groups around the world who are changing the narrative by coming together to create the new, exploring new ideas, implementing new strategies, starting new traditions, and witnessing often rapid and dramatic change for the better in their lives and communities. Rob encouraged us to be bold, brilliant and decisive, to act in proportion to the challenges we are facing, to aim for a future we are excited about, and to deliver on a legacy we are proud to leave to the next generations.
Some of the common threads that emerged throughout all of our sessions, in this time of transition, were the sense of a planetary awakening to higher consciousness, to the unity of life and the truth of interbeing, to the value of indigenous wisdom and our connection to the natural world, to our solidarity in working collaboratively together for the good of the whole, to the importance of igniting our imagination and creativity, and at the core of it all – awakening to the transformative power of love – love for ourselves, love for each other, love for the Earth and all its lifeforms – AND loving service to the healing and regeneration of both ourselves and the planet for the benefit of future generations to come.
During each session you will have been inspired and moved by the breakout conversations with fellow journeyers. Bring to mind the gifts and insights of these more intimate and participatory sharings. What stands out for you?
Now, take a few full and deep breaths, taking in and appreciating the richness and depth of the totality of the journey. Open an expansive space to really let all the experiences land and begin to integrate. Where were you in your life when you began the journey? Where are you now?
Hold in your awareness that integration will continue to take place over time, long after this phase of the journey is over. Be gentle with yourself, and receptive to, and allowing of, this natural process.
And in your own time, gently come back to the room. Allow yourself to remain in a contemplative state and record any insights or notes before we proceed to the next stage.
Next Steps Exercise
The following questions for reflection are designed to support you in integrating the totality of the journey and revealing your next steps as you look ahead to the future.
- Having reflected on your journey, what most inspired and touched you?
- What might have challenged or disturbed you?
- What has changed in and around you?
- What is now calling you? What is your contribution to cultivating regenerative societies?
- What steps and actions are you going to take to respond to this calling and live into your new story?
- What might stop you from fulfilling your calling? How can you reduce that likelihood?
- What might support the fulfilment of your calling?
- Ask the Universe if there is any other information available to you at this time to support your calling?
Continue to practise asking and attending to these questions in relation to yourself and also in communion with others. Notice what emerges. Allow the Universe to continue to conspire to support your calling and your emerging new story.
General New Story Resources:
- Check out our Blog on the New Story Hub website.
- Explore our film, video and book recommendations in the Resources section of the New Story Hub website.
- Engage with our Public New Story Community Facebook Page in addition to our Private ‘Living the New Story’ Facebook Group.
- Watch our documentary film – An Enquiry into A New Story for Humanity: Change the Story, Change the World.
Excerpt from Blessed Unrest: ‘How the Largest Social Movement in History Came into Being and Why no one Saw it Coming’
by Paul Hawken
I believe that we are part of a movement that is greater and deeper and broader than we ourselves know, or can know.
It flies under the radar of the media, by and large.
It is non-violent. It is grassroots.
It has no cluster bars, no armies and no helicopters.
It has no central ideology.
A male vertebrate is not in charge.
The unnamed movement is the most diverse the world has ever seen.
The very word movement, I think, is too small to describe it.
No one started this worldview.
No one is in charge of it.
There is no orthodoxy.
It is global, classless, unquenchable and tireless.
The shared understanding is arising spontaneously from different economic sectors, cultures, regions and cohorts.
It is growing and spreading, worldwide, with no exception.
It has many roots, but primarily the origins are: indigenous culture, the environment and social justice movements.
Those three sectors and their sub sectors are intertwining, morphing and enlargening.
This is no longer, or simply, about resources or factions or injustice.
This is fundamentally a civil rights movement, a human rights movement.
This is a democracy movement.
It is the coming world.
We do not know how big this movement is.
It may be 250,000 groups. It may be 500,000 groups.
It’s marked by kinship, and community, and symbiosis.
It is Pachamama. It’s Mama!
It’s the Earth, talking back, ‘Waken up!’
It’s so new, we can’t recognise it.
We’re familiar with armies, and wars, and governments, and churches and religions.
But there’s no precedent for what we’re doing.
What you’re creating is completely unknown.
There’s no centre.
There’s no one spokesperson.
It’s in every country and city on Earth.
It is within every tribe, every race, every culture, and every ethnic group in the world.
This is the first time on Earth that a powerful, non-ideological movement has arisen.
And during the span of the 20th century, big ideologies were worshipped, like religions.
They dominated our beliefs.
They dominated us with socialism, capitalism, and communism.
In the words of Ed Hunt, “Ideologies stalked the Earth, clad in armour.
They fought for the control of our minds, and the lands, and it wasn’t pretty.”
We were told that salvation would be found in the domination of a single system.
This is where salvation will be found.
We know that as biologists.
We know that as community organisers.
We know that as ecologists.
It’s found in diversity.
This movement is humanity’s immune response to resist and heal political disease, economic infection, and ecological corruption, caused by ideologies.
So it is up to us to decide.
How will we be? Who will we be?
This is what it is we’re building: the capacity to respond.
It is about possibilities and solutions.
Humankind knows what to do.
Paul Hawken has spent more than a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice. From billion-dollar nonprofits to single-person dot.causes, these groups collectively comprise the largest movement on Earth, a movement that has no name, leader, or location and that has gone largely ignored by politicians and the media.
Blessed Unrest explores the diversity of the movement, its brilliant ideas, innovative strategies, and centuries of hidden history. A culmination of Hawken’s many years of leadership in the environmental and social justice fields, it will inspire all who despair of the world’s fate, and its conclusions will surprise even those within the movement itself.
You have completed Series 1.
Thank you for joining us on the journey.
Please join us for our upcoming journeys:
Be sure to watch your email inbox for more information to come and stay tuned to our future ‘on demand’ and live programme offerings through our website.