Leaping for eco-living
As I left all my belongings in storage, letting go of the contents of my art studio and my creative practice as I’ve known it, grief and excitement were the responses. These actions were the first big steps on a new journey: for the coming year I intend to explore eco-communities, learning from the people who have created and sustained them, offering my creativity, skills and passion for our earth, and sharing my journey in my new blog, with the hope of inspiring the creation of eco-opportunities in peoples lives. I have navigated the rugged landscape of ‘am I sure’, and ‘am I lunatic’ emotions in the last few weeks, but as I write I am grateful to have committed to, and begun something very new.
I am passionate about understanding how to create and sustain resilient creative communities and about finding my place amongst them, so earlier this year I spent some time in the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland and in the Cloughjordan ecovillage in Ireland, learning about the myriad of ways in which they access their creative potential: in the gentler pace of life that allows people more time for each other, in working together on practical community projects, engaging in group decision making processes and through community gatherings and celebrations. These experiences inspired me to dive deeper: to immerse myself in ecovillage life.
This journey into eco-communities feels like a synthesis of the aspects of myself that I have been exploring with Movement Medicine over many years. As an environmental architect, an artist, a Movement Medicine teacher, and a woman with a great deal of passion for Pachamama, and for the impact our creativity can have on our world, I feel that I can more easily put my creative skills as a designer, maker, sculptor, teacher and visionary into action in these forward thinking communities, learning from practical experiences.
Over the last few years I have been exploring how creative process can be accessed through movement – both in my own personal practice, and in my classes. I believe that harnessing our creativity is essential for human life at this time of change on our planet, and that by coming together we can co-create better, more joyful and resilient ways of living. So this journey is about stepping into what I have been learning in my creative and movement practices; learning to bring them out into the world, into community where I am trusting that I am weaving a very new pattern and texture in my offerings.
While I am travelling I will be participating in community projects and offering my skills working on building projects, creating community art installations and offering Movement Medicine classes that focus on igniting individual and community creativity. At the moment I am at my first stop: in the Cloughjordan eco-village in Ireland, where I am working and learning in the RED (Research Education and Development) gardens in exchange for room and board. My experience here is rich and rewarding; working with the soil and learning about how to provide food for communities. I am here for another week and then I leave for Scotland where amongst other things I will be teaching a number of Movement Medicine Classes in at the Findhorn Foundation in October/November (thanks to a very kind invitation from Deborah Jay Lewin: Open floor teacher).
I have been humbled by the wonderful support that I have received so far; it all encourages me follow this thread of exploration. I quake at times wondering if I am crazy to do this: giving up everything I have, but I come back to listening to my heart and stepping in again and again to the place of the Fool in the tarot, taking leaps of faith into the unknown and trusting that my next steps will be guided by the creative weaving of the great mystery. So I stand on the edge of a cliff like ‘the fool’. I have to admit that there are days that I feel all the enthusiasm of a goofy deluded ‘Buzz Lightyear’ and then there are other days when I really trust that I am truly sprouting wings: I have been visited by Kestrels here in the gardens for the last few days and am in awe of their graceful flight and have been observing their flying techniques.