Back in July I was invited to go along to the Emergence Foundation weekend event called Regenerating Culture: What are the Drivers of Change? This weekend of co-creation in the beautiful Kent countryside was set to explore, reflect and engage in regenerating culture through mind, body and soul, at a time of global crisis.
The two-day event consisted of many presentations by invited speakers, group discussions, embodied movement, and grantee-led workshops. There was also time for networking, nature walks, and wild swimming. I could write about many of the inspiring people I met, or the wonderful presentations or the people who run the Emergence Foundation however something emerged for me personally so I thought I would share this rather than attempt to provide a blog on what was a very full and rich two days.
I have been taught about and am aware of the importance of self care so I organised everything I needed. There was an option to book a glamping tent, all I needed to do was arrive and there would be a bed and a tent ready. I took great care to pack what I needed and set off in plenty of time to miss the rush hour traffic. All was well in the world. I had taken great care of myself.
Saturday. the weather shifted from warm and dry to cold and wet. After a long day I finally returned to my glamping tent to find it sides sagging but nothing that a few pulls on the guide ropes would not fix! Or so I thought!
Sunday. Having survived a collapsing tent, thanks in no small part to the organisers who found me a warm room I went on with the plans to attend what was to be the event of the weekend – a joint Akido and Dance Workshop. I observed others moving their bodies, taking up space whilst my body begged me to go and sit down. It had been a long night. But I am not one for sitting down when everyone else is standing. I had planned to be at this workshop and I was not about to leave. The workshop ended, the weekend ended. It was time to go home.
It had been an amazing weekend full of so many inspiring talks and workshops and shared stories and yet I was feeling dreadful, tired, exhausted, in pain, and frustrated. I had tried to take great care of myself.
As I sat there in the corner of the large dimly lit barn, a small quiet voice, one which I had been unaware of before, emerged: “Do not make a fuss…” “Do not stand out…” “Do not be loud…” “Do not take up space…” “Do not ask for help…” “Do not have needs…” “Do not upset the flow…” “Do not attract attention…” The voice went on and on, each admonition prefaced by the words ‘Do Not’.
A voice emerged that weekend, a voice I can now hear if I listen carefully. Rather than ignore it, I now take care to listen to what it has to say. I am listening small and not so quiet voice…let’s have some conversations…
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