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Acting in Service of Life

How are you acting in service to Life as this beautiful butterfly is?

Business as Usual, the industrial growth society so many of us are evolving in today is clearly no longer sustainable. With the latest IPCC report there’s no denying this fundamental truth and the challenging present and consequently large scale life-threatening future we’ve created for ourselves and all living beings. As human beings we need to live in a radically different way for complex life forms to continue. We need to stop doing anything that is harmful to the greater web of life which we belong to, change radically our belief systems and engage in life-sustaining behaviours. This is certainly no easy task. It requires great awakening, inner and outer transformation, freeing ourselves of past conditioning and dysfunctional belief systems, creating new ones, and tremendous bravery and supportive communities as we step into not knowing and creating a new way.

At my micro, humble level, with determination and at times hope, joy, confusion, insecurity, fear and plenty of not knowing, learning and exploring I’ve committed to walk along this path of transformation. I am opening up my antennas to those that are agents of change that I can learn from. I am open to discover how I can contribute and engage in this Great Turning that is asked from us all. I don’t have the answers but my purpose drives me: “being the nurturing arms that invite the magic of life to flow”

I am blessed that so, so many are further along this path than me, that there’s so much collective wisdom I can draw in, so much ancestral knowledge, many open minds and hearts, goodness and inspiration. I feel so much gratitude, it is so empowering to realise that we never walk alone but with a collective of light warriors who care about acting in service to Life.

Citing some of my recent inspiration below, certainly not exhaustive. Please feel free to share yours so we can harvest more collective wisdom here?

#mindfulness #spiritualecology #activehope #extinctionrebellion #workthatreconnects #transalquilmia #treesisters #demeditatietuin #pachamamaalliance #roseauxdansants #plukcsa #getdowngetdirty #ecofeminism #offgridliving #kaskantine #resurgencetrust #icanchangetheworldwithmytwohands #nayanature

Active Hope – The Cairn of Mourning practice

I am currently following a training with Chris Johnstone & Madeleine Young to facilitate Active Hope Circles. This training will come to an end before the summer and it is my intention to start hosting regular Active Hope Circles in Amsterdam in the near future .

I shared the “Cairn of Mourning” practice together with one fellow trainee last week.

This practice in essence consists in spending some time (ideally outdoors) reflecting on the following question: What is being lost in our world that you mourn for?

As strange as it may seem for the uninitiated, having a space to mourn and share our pain for the world is perhaps the most powerful way to wake up and feel our interconnectedness, to start healing individually and collectively and to free us to take meaningful action or to continue doing so without burning out.

In this post, I wish to share with you some of what came up for me in this particular Cairn of Mourning practice I did recently. Sharing this is a gift to the Life within and around us. So here goes, prepare the tissues …

I mourn the loss of fresh air, clean water and healthy soil. I mourn the loss of purity of air, water, earth that we as humans have caused through our industries adding toxicity to all that is offered to us, sustaining our Life. I mourn that instead of appreciating and taking care, being guardians of these amazing elemental offerings we suffocate Life including our own human bodies made mostly of water, air and earth. I mourn the loss of vitality, the destruction of habitat, the disappearance of species happening at an unprecedented rate, almost 1000 times quicker than before we humans appeared. I mourn that these species aren’t properly mourned, that they disappear in a huge silence in the midst of our frenetic lives often unfolding in corporate towers through all sorts of digitalised devices.

I mourn that our activity and way of life has destroyed most wild mammals, 83% are the latest statistics I remember. I mourn that our once beautiful oceans are now overfished and full of toxic plastic that will linger there for hundreds of years. I mourn the loss of over half of the world’s colourful and magnificent corals due to the warming ocean, the loss of 90% of big fish and countless others.

I mourn that we spend more time on screens than outdoors. I mourn that we are so busy and disconnected that we barely take the time to pause and feel deeply what is happening to our world. I mourn our loss of freedom, we have become slaves to systems and modes of consumerism that do not serve us and are largely destructive. I mourn the many humans who suffer the consequences of “modern” lifestyles, the poor, the oppressed, the displaced, the indigenous people, the victims of climate change, of conflict, of discrimination.

beginner'smindI mourn the loss of wilderness, the loss of untouched natural spaces where one can go and not hear a human sound or the sound of some human-made machine for days. I mourn the melting ice, the flooded regions, disappearing under the rising oceans, the many lush and ancient forests being burned away, the desertification of so many regions losing their natural fertility due to rising temperatures, the loss of habitats, the loss of beauty, the loss of softness, the loss of feminine values, the oppression of the feminine, the disrespect of women who are sacred givers of Life, the loss of value we place in care and nurturing, the loss of treading lightly on this beautiful planet that is our mother, the source of all Life. I mourn the loss of life, the destruction of Life that we are causing directly through violence and wars or indirectly through the modern industrial lives we have created and come to think of as normal.

I mourn with all the fellow humans who have the courage to stop, to feel how much they really care. I mourn the loss of intimacy and community and places to mourn as well as places to celebrate, give thanks and rejoice through song and dance.

I mourn that we suppress and numb feelings of helplessness, despair, fear, sadness grief when faced with the state of our world. These feelings are natural and healthy, they make us human. Feeling them allows life intelligence to flow. It takes a lot of energy to suppress and numb then and cuts us off from our power to respond appropriately to the challenges we face.

I mourn the loss of meaning of what it means to be alive, to be a human at this particular time, to belong to this world.  

What is it that is being lost in the world that you mourn? I would like to hear and receive that and make space for your process. I know how much moving through our pain opens us to Life.

Our mourning is natural and healthy. Our tendency to resist pain is dangerous. Through numbing our pain, we cut ourselves from our life energy and our ability to respond appropriately to the challenges we face.. It is very draining to suppress difficult emotions & overtime causes dysfunction and disease.  When we allow ourselves to feel it all, Life flows again in us and all around, our hearts break open, we get in touch with the depth of our longing and from this incredible creativity can arise.

 

 

 

The Great Turning Towards Life – Summer Solstice Gathering on 20th June

The Great Turning is the name for the essential adventure of our time : moving away from an Industrial Growth Society that is incompatible with life on this planet to a Life-sustaining Society. This shift is happening and gaining momentum through the actions of countless individuals and groups around the world.
photo credits : Noah Buscher
We invite you to join us and celebrate this turning towards Life together at this special moment of the year. During the Summer Solstice, Life is at its peak and nature is abundant. Our own projects may be showing signs of blossoming or perhaps our motivation to create, serve and take action is rising substantially.
During this evening we’ll hold a nurturing space in which you can explore where you are called to in this Great Turning, honouring your unique longings & gifts and deepening your contributions. This vibrant time of year invites us to rise fully into who we are, who we are becoming and what wants to be born through us.
Our intention during this evening is to offer a space for support, celebration & inspiration as well as community sharing to nourish and empower us as we move forth into the Great Turning.
We (Marjorie and Suzanne) have connected through this beautiful course we are both following at the moment “The Great Turning Experiment” from the Findhorn community. The Great Turning Experiment. All the precious learnings and community received there have energised and inspired us to host this evening together, share our own journey and insights from the course.
Marjorie draws her inspiration mainly from the work of Joanna Macy (The Work that Reconnects) and Suzanne from the teachings of Michaël Derkse (pioneer and expert in transformation, founder of Pulsar Visie). We’ll be weaving some foundational practices from these sources into our evening together whilst bringing our own unique flavour to these.
You can expect an empowering and inspiring evening with:
• Deeper insight into your own journey and contributions to The Great Turning
• Celebrating the Summer Solstice and abundance of life and light
• Space to explore as a community our grief and concern for the world. Moving through these feelings opens up the door to deep connection and creativity.
• Connection & community as you navigate through this Great Turning.
“The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying our world – we’ve actually been on that way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millenia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other. This awakening makes the Great Turning possible.” – Joanna Macy, Coming Back to Life
Practical Details
Registrations : send an email to marjorie@experiencemindfulness.nl
Date: 20 June 2022
Time: 17h30 – 22h (including a potluck dinner, everyone brings something)
Location: Embodied Empowerment, Christoffel Plantijngracht 6,
1065 DA Amsterdam Nieuw-West
In the spirit of conscious contribution, as well as openness through hopefully accommodating diverse social groups, we are offering this evening on a sliding scale.
• €90 support fee (enabling us to offer student/low income fee)
• €60 standard fee
• €30 student / low income fee,-.

Spring Equinox Spiral – The Work that Reconnects

 

Note : This workshop is offered in English language. Both facilitators also speak Dutch if occasional translation is needed or you are more comfortable expressing yourself in Dutch.

What will we do

To celebrate the Spring Equinox and the transition into Spring, we will immerse in a full day journey of the Work that Reconnects.

This work is based on the vision and teachings of Joanna Macy and supports us to develop our well-being & vitality, our inner resources and community in the face of uncertainty around social and ecological transition. The Work that Reconnects offers a rich variety of profound psychological and spiritual practices inspiring a shift in consciousness and transforming our denial or helplessness into empowered, creative and collaborative action. These practices are interwoven in a dynamic Spiral structure across the following 4 stages:

1) Coming from Gratitude,

2) Honouring Our Pain for the World,

3) Seeing with New and Ancient Eyes,

4) Going Forth.

During our day together we will propose a series of practices that are an invitation to explore these four steps through our imagination, intuition, emotions and creativity. This will help us to restore our sense of belonging to nature so we can find the strength and clarity to better define the role we can and wish to play in a social and ecological transition.

Benefits

Join us for a day of deep connection with self, others and Nature, which will leave you feeling resourced, energised and inspired to live in a balanced and harmonious way with all of Life.

For whom

For everyone who is concerned with the current state of the world and wishes to put their energy towards the creation of a life-sustaining society.

Everyone is welcome, whether you are familiar or new to this work, engaged with social and ecological work, aspiring to engage, or simply craving some time for yourself to recharge your batteries.

Facilitators Marjorie Lumet & Annette Wijbrans

This work was passed on to both of us during a Work that Reconnects facilitator training in the fall of 2021 by Roseaux Dansants & Transalquimia; two organizations that continue the Work in the same line as its root teacher, Joanna Macy.

Marjorie Lumet

I’ve been facilitating mindfulness trainings for 8 years, guiding others to awaken to the fullness of each moment. As a nature lover who feels rising concern around the ecological crisis, I was however missing a more engaged form of mindfulness. I also became well aware how much being outdoors in a mindful way was so essential to our vitality & well-being.

The Work that Reconnects is a deep work that encompasses all these dimensions of mindfulness, nature connection, meaningful community as well as engagement in service of Life. It is a real honour to be able to share this beautiful body of work around me.

Annette Wijbrans

I’m a member of the scouting association ‘les Eclaireurs de la Nature’, in Grenoble, France, where I live and organize nature outings and summer camps for children and young people, with the goal of helping them find a way to live comfortably in Nature, find their place in the world and to learn mindfulness.

I’m also a student in the realm of medicinal and edible plants, which for me is a way to profoundly connect to the natural world, through reciprocity and gratitude. Practicing the teachings of Joanna Macy in daily life helps me find the strength to sustain the gaze of the suffering in our world and helps me to strive for a more life-sustaining direction of our society.

Practicalities & Price

In the spirit of conscious contribution, as well as openness through hopefully accommodating diverse social groups, there is no fixed price tag for this event. Decide for yourself if you are able to pay 30, 60, 90 euros for this full day event. Part of your contribution will go towards Voedsel Park Amsterdam to support organic local food, local nature and biodiversity, check it out here  Home – Voedselpark Amsterdam, more information will be shared on the day.

There will be some snacks on offer but please bring your own lunch and anything you wish to share with the group.

 

Indigenous Wisdom – Gratitude to all that sustains us as a way of life

“Every being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our mother earth from whom all life comes” – chief Leon Shenandoah
photo credits : Noah Buscher
In The Work That Reconnects, we start our journey through the Spiral with Coming from Gratitude.
To be truly grateful, to live in appreciation firstly we need to be present and actually pause to feel the many gifts that the moment offers. Gratitude opens us to receive these gifts and allows us to remain grounded and stable in uncertainty. Gratitude is a deeply nourishing state that strengthens our capacity to rise to the many challenges we face.
In many indigenous cultures there are important rituals and practices to cultivate gratitude. Something that is sadly mostly lost in our modern industrial society relying to an extent on human chronic dissatisfaction and greed to fuel consumption and economic growth (largely detrimental to the natural world).
In the Haudenosaunee Native American culture, gratitude is at the essence of their way of life. Before every meeting or gathering, the Haudenosaunee give thanks to everything that surrounds and sustains their wellbeing. Animals, trees, plant life, medicinal herbs, water, etc. are all considered as part of their extended family and referred to as Mother Earth, brother Sun, Grandmother moon. Every day is thanksgiving and words of thanks are “the words that come before all else.”
Awe
Here is a version of this Thanksgiving address published by the Mohawks
“The People
Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are One.
The Earth Mother
We are thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks, Now our minds are one. “
In the Autumn of 1977, The Haudenosaunee travelled to a UN conference to share both a prophecy and warning referred to as “Basic Call to Consciousness”. In this address the following paragraph was contained : “The original instructions direct that we who walk about on Earth are to express a great respect, an affection and a gratitude towards all the spirits which create and support Life. We give a greeting and thanksgiving to the many supporters of our own lives : the corn, beans ,squash, the wind, the sun. When people cease to respect and express gratitude for these many things, then all life will be destroyed and human life on this planet will come to an end.” …
– text adapted from Active Hope by Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone

Awaken Your Potential Retreat

Would you say your living and expressing your potential daily? Most of us aren’t even close. We can spend so much of our lives doing what we think is right, what we believe is expected of us, belonging in some way or another that we lose touch with our inner wisdom, our gold, our spark. But it is always there, waiting and longing to be ignited. That’s the reason we are here.

I invite you to join me and Anne Gélébart, CPCC, PCC, life and career coach, to do just that: ignite your spark.

Check out our short video here where we talk briefly about our 2-day program ‘Awaken Your Potential’. Our 2nd edition is coming up on October 8th & 9th, face to face in Amsterdam.

Through a combination of coaching, mindfulness, conscious movement and plenty of group work we’ll guide you to break open, awaken the fire within, get in touch with what matters, bravely and lovingly overcome challenges and embody what is yearning to come alive in you. You’ll leave inspired, deeply connected with purpose and clear goals to align your actions with your vision.

Living your potential is joyful : you experience greater flow, clarity & confidence as your life unfolds.

Register now to secure a spot or get in touch for any questions. Looking forward to this journey with you.

#coaching #mindfulness #consciousmovement #aliveness #purpose #embodiment #joy #flow #fulfillment #awakenyourpotential

Keeping your mindfulness practice alive on the holidays can be challenging …

Here I am in the Swiss mountains trying to meditate on snow “à la Wim Hof”…honestly, I didn’t get too far with that apart from a wet bum:)

Do you find it challenging to keep up your daily meditation or exercise practice when on holiday?

Well me too definitely. During the holiday period or when my routine is shaken I often fall short of my meditation practice.

Then the imposter syndrome kicks in and occasionally some guilt… “me a mindfulness trainer believing firmly in the power of meditation, failing my morning mindfulness routine, not practicing what I preach, seriously?”.

Yes it happens to me too. And sometimes I lose my routine to the extent that I ask myself why I meditate again. As soon as I commit to practicing, show up and take my seat, clarity comes rushing in.

Meditation allows me to connect deeply to what I feel, to what is most true and alive in me. After some grounding allowing me to inhabit my body fully, feel the sensations, the emotions, what wants to be known, I feel an opening of the heart, an expansion, loving life essence rushing in, aliveness. As I become more receptive, more can be felt and known. Possibility expands. I go from feeling numb sometimes to begin with to being grateful and inspired. Insights start pouring in, ideas, projects that motivate me, it is almost like I feel the connections happening in my brain as I meditate.

Through meditation I connect to the very essence of being human, to my deep essence.

Without the awareness cultivated through meditation I tend to fall too often into autopilot, of just going through the motions of my life without the spark, without really connecting to my intuition, my heart, vision and purpose.

Meditation, mindfulness, presence, intentionally coming back to the body and being still and receptive allows me to feel like I am actually living my life. I know it sounds weird, of course I am living my life. But that sense of livingness comes from embodiment through the practice of mindfulness. It can also comes from conscious movement, being in nature, dance, doing something I love like gardening which is all mindful but meditation is a super highway into that awareness.

#mindfulness #meditation #embodiment

MOOD BOOSTING CHALLENGE : WEEK 1 – MINDFULNESS

Welcome to the #moodboostingchallenge.

Every week I will share a post with some inspiration to boost your mood with resources to support you.

Tag me @experiencemindfulness and include hashtag #moodboostingchallenge to share your mood boosting story and you have the chance to win a free session or workshop with me.

Your mood boosting story can include the challenge or anything that lifts you up you want to share.

#MOODBOOSTINGCHALLENGE WEEK 1 – MINDFULNESS  

Happy Monday! Today is day 1 of the Mood Boosting Challenge 😊

And we begin with the beginning of course : MINDFULNESS

Feeling good, living a full and thriving life begins by showing up fully for all its gifts : BEING PRESENT which is often easier said than done, it is practice! Any positive change begins by paying attention which our minds often need a little nudge with.

So the #moodboostingchallenge of the week is to practice mindfulness EVERY DAY if you aren’t already.

Don’t forget to share your journey or send me a photo of where you meditate, mention @experiencemindfulness and hashtag #moodboostingchallenge, inspire others and win a chance to attend a free workshop, coaching session or circle with me (value between 25 and 100 euros) .

 

 

 

Resources

  • Tune into my free meditations. The 10 minute breath awareness one is a perfect place to start and the 3-step breathing space is great to integrate in your day when your heads get busy and you need to pause and center. Note : I will add new meditation resources in the upcoming weeks to keep you motivated but it is great to start with the basics.
  • If you are relatively new to the practice and need some help de-mystifying mindfulness, tune in to my podcast
  • 8-week mindfulness course : If you want to start or deepen your mindfulness practice and are looking for more personalised and continuous support, join my next course starting 26 November
  • Community: Join the Mindful Circle starting Tuesday 24 November, email me at marjorie@experiencemindfulness.nl
  • Book: Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Danny Penman & Mark Williams. This way for plenty more book recommendations. This books offers simple & straightforward form of mindfulness meditation that can be done by anyone and only take 10/20 minutes a day for full benefits to be experienced.

If you already have a daily practice, share your experience of what has helped you achieve this and how it benefits you with mention @experiencemindfulness and hashtag #moodboostingchallenge to take part in the prize draw.

How is this going to boost my mood?

Mindfulness is a strongly-evidence based practice. There has been tons of research demonstrating that mindfulness improves mood allowing a significant decrease in anxiety, depression, insomnia and irritability as well as indicators of chronic stress. Not only does mindfulness support mental health but it also benefits our physical health, boosting the immune system, fighting off flu, colds and other diseases (we can all use that right now), reducing the impact of serious health conditions such as cancer or chronic pain and favouring longevity. Our concentration, memory and creativity improves as does our overall happiness and overall well-being. Worth a try?

Why is mindfulness important? 

When we are present we step into our full potential. Instead of bringing 10% of ourselves in the moment, being half-heartedly there or somewhere else in our head, we bring 100% to each moment. This makes life experience richer and fuller with more possibilities because we are not living from our unconscious, habitual mind which always leads us to similar places. The opposite of mindfulness is mindlessness or a state we call the automatic pilot, this is when our body is here but our mind is completely somewhere else, as if we were sleepwalking through our life. Yep I’ve spent a number of years sleepwalking through life before being mindful …

We all have this amazing capacity to observe our experience and consciously choose what will allow us to thrive. It sounds crazy but nowadays many human beings have lost touch with this ability to be mindful so we need to train our minds so that our wonderful minds can actually serve us rather than enslaving us. Whatever we practice grows.

Mood Boosting Challenge

Join the #moodboostingchallenge

These are strange and sometimes tough times and we could all do with some positive energy so I got your back for the weeks to come.

I am starting a #moodboostingchallenge on November 16 for us to lift one another up and I’d love for you to join in.

Watch my video to find out more about this challenge or read below

Every Monday, I will share a post with some inspiration to support you to improve your mood and well-being.

This post will include links to resources to support you: meditations, interviews, practices.

And every month we’ll come together as a community in the Mindful Circle to practice together and share what lights us up.

Tag me @experiencemindfulness and include hashtag #moodboostingchallenge to share your mood boosting story.

Every time you share you lift others up as well and have the chance to earn a free session or workshop with me.

Stay well and happy ❤️

#mindfulness #experiencemindfulness #mindfulcircle #moodboostingchallenge #inthistogether2020 #community #wellbeing

8 foundational attitudes of mindfulness …and life really:)

Mindfulness is not just about paying attention but how we pay attention, with what qualities of mind.

Cultivating certain attitudes of mind is helpful in training mindfulness and can help you get the most out of your practice, giving some touch-points to refer to when obstacles arise. Each of these attitudes relies on the others, so working on one enhances them all. These attitudes provide a kind of compass with which to approach mindfulness, holding them in mind, reflecting upon them, and cultivating them will nourish, support and strengthen your practice and gradually change your life.

  1. Non-judging

We are constantly generating judgments about our experiences, labeling them as good, bad or neutral dependent on the way they make us feel. Non-judging invites us to become aware of the constant stream of judging in our minds, and not get caught up in it, learning to take a step back to become an impartial witness to our experience.

 

  1. Patience

Not rushing the present, being open and accepting of each moment, allowing oneself room to have the experience that is unfolding at any given moment, understanding that sometimes things cannot be forced and will happen in their own time. We don’t have to fill up our moments with activity and more thinking to make them richer.

  1. Beginner’s mind.

The quality of a beginner’s mind, meaning a mind willing to see everything as if for the very first time, is very important to bring to the practice. Regardless of how many times we have experienced something or someone or a meditation, we need to free ourselves of our past experiences and understand that no moment is the same, every moment is unique and filled with unique possibilities.

  1. Trust

Learning to trust one’s feelings and intuition rather than looking to outside world for guidance is another key pillar of mindfulness practice.

  1. Non-Striving

Non-striving is about embracing ‘non-doing’ and not being focused on achieving specific goals through meditation. This is difficult as human nature is to do things for a purpose, to get somewhere but during meditation this can be an obstacle. It is common to think that by letting go of striving, we may be losing our “edge”, yet when we can relax into things as they are this change in attitude actually enhances openness, creativity and happiness. There is no goal other than to be fully oneself.

  1. Letting go or ‘’non-attachment’’

As we meditate, we learn to avoid our impulse to grasp pleasant thoughts and push away unpleasant thoughts, just by watching them and letting them be without getting caught up in them.

  1. Acceptance

Acceptance is a willingness to see things as they actually are in the present moment. In meditation practice this means being with each moment fully, trying not to impose our ideas about what we should be feeling or thinking on our experience but just being open and accepting to what is rather than wanting things to be different. We sometimes tune out from negative feelings as a way to defend ourselves (“experiential avoidance”) which may be helpful in short term but over time these bounce back at us. We should not ignore, resist or fight negative. Our experiences are here to teach us something. We are cultivating trying to observe all experiences, whether negative or positive.

  1. Kindness

Mindfulness practice is ultimately about kindness, towards ourselves and others. The quality of kindness is cultivated as an antidote to the difficult mind-states such as anger, fear, envy, greed, judgment, etc. Kindness allows to dissolve fears, guilty feelings, anxieties and stresses that lead to exhaustion and chronic discontent. We cultivate kindness over and over moving in the direction of greater compassion and acceptance. Kindness is not only a good quality in itself that leads to more peace and well-being for ourselves and others, it also leads us to clearer thinking and a better, more productive way of living and working.,

In addition to these attitudes, a strong commitment to work on oneself and enough self-discipline to persevere in the process are essential to developing a strong meditation practice and a high degree of mindfulness.

A personal vision

Finally, practicing alone isn’t sufficient, one needs to have a personal vision of what they want for themselves. Many people meditate to attain peace of mind, happiness. This is probably what most reasonable human beings desire for themselves. However we probably all have different visions of what that means, how that translates, what one believes is most important to be their best self, at peace with oneself.