Harmony: the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole
This is one of the dictionary definitions of harmony.
The word that jumped out to me was ‘pleasing’.
This week I have been extremely busy with clients before I jump on a plane and head to the US for a few weeks of work. At times, my days have felt chaotic, overwhelming and crazy yet they were in harmony.
Because they were ‘pleasing’ to me.
This week has delivered to me some huge lessons in humility.
Because each time conflict or challenging emotions have arisen in my space, I have seen that I am the source.
Sounds odd I know, but it’s far too easy these days to look outside of ourselves at the person, place or situation and blame them for our inner turmoil or dissatisfaction.
Humans do it all the time.
Because we have been taught to defend ourselves (and therefore our stories) against ‘external threats’.
But why do we feel the need to defend in the first place?
It is the time of year where birth becomes a daily occurrence.
Following the resurrection times of Easter, we enter into longer days of light, the springing forth of green shoots and leaves and the beginning of warmer winds that herald the stripping off of winter layers.
In the North of England I am surrounded by the birth of lambs in the fields, the rising of early flowers on the hills and the co-creation of new ways of living as the pandemic restrictions we have been under for over a year are starting to lift.
Yet birth is often a struggle.
When was the last time you died?
Might sound like an odd question if you are sat at your computer or phone reading this feeling very much ‘alive’ in order to do so.
But how would you define living?
“Alive or just breathing?”
A tad cliché but worth considering.
We are at an exciting time on the planet.
Yes I say that a lot – but I do truly believe that to be the case.
Most of my life (excluding a brief foray into archaeology) I have worked in business.
Whether that’s for large corporations, smaller SME’s or in the last 11 years since I have been running Beyond Human Stories, a wide array of limited companies, multi-nationals, community interest companies and social enterprise. I have also worked with educational institutions and multiple not for profits, many of which are now run like businesses due to the way funding streams are structured and allocated.
Yet in the last year during a global pandemic, the world of ‘business’ has been able to stop, catch our collective breath, and take a good long look at what is truly important.
The last few days have started with a storm.
It seems this is pervading the energy fields of the planet right now. Whether it’s solar radiation, fluctuations in the Schumann resonance or simply the astrology, the prevalent frequencies seem to wish to distract.
What is your relationship to the primal energy under this seemingly simple word?
Is it in your vocabulary?
In your life practice?
Forgiveness is neither easy to say nor do.
It is one of those words that tends to grate up against all the parts of ourselves that we would rather not look at or even see.
Yet it’s power to liberate is unimaginable.
“Let the words you speak be worthy of the silence they break”
This phrase was spoken into the silence of a circle I was a part of over a decade ago and they have stayed with me ever since.
As a reminder of the sort of deep presence that I seek to cultivate on a daily basis.
How do you feel about silence?
On this day of new life
I am grateful
In this moment of new breath
I am grateful
For the past and the lessons it has taught me
I am grateful
For the present and the presence, I AM cultivating
I am grateful
And for my dreams and visions of a beautiful future that keep me going
I am so grateful
Have you ever met someone by following the flow of synchronicity and suddenly ‘just knew’ that you would know them for the rest of your life? This is exactly what happened to me when natural magic led me to Lorna Howarth, my lifetime(s) friend and co-author of our new book baby, The Soulistic Journey.
These are the times of unravelling.
I have said it before, and I will no doubt say it again.
Unravelling is as easy or hard as we make it.
The stories we have clung to over the previous hundreds of years are fading away.
Our choice now is whether we will fade with them or embrace a phase in human evolution where we simply don’t yet know the answers.
This is akin to being lost.
This is the moment of magic
The moment when you get to rest between choice and experience
Take a breath and
Allow everything outside to gently hush
And know that everything is really inside
In this ever-present eternal moment of silence
The pregnant catalyst of life
Can you hear it?
A new story is beginning to take form
Somewhere inside of you
As we approach the shortest day of the year on December 21st and the Winter Solstice, we are invited to step back from the stories that we live our lives by and find some deep peace and reflection space to rest and regenerate ourselves.
After the year that took us all by surprise, we are being asked to use the power of our conscious choice in new ways to create new personal and collective realities. One powerful technique to assist us in doing this is hibernation.
Yes – similar to the Bear tribe, we humans can also find our ‘cave’ and carve some ‘sacred time’ out of our day world to rest, enter into silence and care for our bodies, minds, emotions and dreams.
Taken directly from the December practices in The Soulistic Journey, the extract below invites you to withdraw from your conscious awareness or identity based stories for a period of time so you can discover the true gifts of the year that is passing.
“The real challenge to humanity at this time – and always – is that of distraction. Most of us are living within a story of ‘survival’ our entire lives. Our ancestors were also locked into the same story but often with a different context. And now, we find the whole global community facing a collective story of survival, from the triple-whammy impact of climate-change, global recession and Covid-19.
How do you respond to the multifaceted challenges of change? Do you feel a sense of relief that things are transforming or a sense of panic that they are out of control? Are you easily swayed into anxiety by those who preach fear and apocalypse, or can you rise above the fear and hold on to the light of potential opportunity? It is important to be aware of your responses because these emotions are the messengers of alchemical transformation.”
Excerpt from The Soulistic Journey
These are the times of inner and outer alchemy.
And the fire that fuels this is awareness.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
We find ourselves living through the times of fire.
The fires of social, environmental and personal transformation are burning brightly and it’s up to us whether we harness them to transmute the old stories that are ready to die.
This month is one of the most fertile times of the wheel of the year on earth. Not because things are growing but because we are planting the seeds of our future stories deep in the soil of our lives.
We are able to sink into the inner realms of our imagination and harvest the lessons and blessings of the previous twelve months. This is the time of year when I draw a line in the sand and decide how I wish to co-create the next twelve months in harmony with Universal Law.
For the last two years I have been living a wonderful story.
A story that romanced my friend Lorna and I for a year or more before she allowed us to catch her and bring it into form.
This story is called The Soulistic Journey.
And I remember the exact moment that she told us her name.
This week I found myself reflecting.
This Wednesday was the 11th November 2020.
If you are a student of numerology like my mother or astrology like several of my friends this was an important date for many reasons. Master numbers, planetary conjunctions, Universal forces coming into form. The story of potential was big.
And yet amongst all the bigness of what is undoubtedly happening in the world right now, I found myself reflecting on the journey of the last 9 year cycle for me (9 being the number of endings and beginnings).
We are all indigenous to Earth.
This is something I have spoken about frequently with many of the amazing elders who I am lucky enough to have in my life as teachers, guides and role models.
Humans are catalysed by stardust and yet made of Earth and clothed in her elements.
All our relations on this beautiful living planet are formed in similar yet different and diverse ways.
Our challenge is to return to a more integrated and interdependent way of living within the complex and intelligent ecosystem of Earth.
This week I have been paying a lot of attention to my version of power games. Primarily how I attempt to regain a sense of power and agency in my life when forces outside of me feel out of control and downright scary.
And I think we would all be lying if we didn’t admit to feeling somewhat out of control right now in the world!
I have noticed on multiple occasions the temptation to manipulate people and situations to fit the outcome I desire. Especially when I perceive that things are not flowing according to my inner plan and feel out of my control.
Forgiveness comes in the moments that really matter
Like those of life or death
It comes when we are asked to be bigger, wider, expansive
More than we have ever been before
Forgiveness opens doors
Doors that we have tried to close and lock
Forgiveness breathes us
Into places we have tried to forget
Forgiveness is a mirror
Into the parts of our soul that we have rejected
We forgive to create freedom
We forgive to liberate
We forgive to love
Ever heard the phrase “shit happens”?
Yes me too – this week has been one where ‘shit’ has happened unexpectedly (at least to my brain) multiple times.
Now I could have chosen to judge the ‘shit’ as wrong, bad, unfair, unjust but instead it stunned me into an inner silence that I wasn’t expecting.
And therein lies the gift of the mystery…..
Years ago when I was studying for my master’s degree in sustainable business, I came across an article by Myerson and Scully called ‘Tempered Radicalism and the politics of change’. Although the title of the article sounded dry, after reading it, I was caught by the powerful concept that the authors put forwards around the art of transforming communities and systems.
They spoke about how often when we are trying to create change, we can become derailed and frustrated by our own impatience and our need to ‘make’ or ‘force’ change before it is naturally ready to happen.
They also talked about the delicate balance between the states of persistence and desistence.
Next week is the Autumn Equinox, falling in the sign of Libra on the 22nd Sept.
Equinoxes are times when the day and night are exactly the same lengths, bringing us to an alchemical moment of balance and awareness.
Libra, traditionally shown as a female figure holding scales in her hand, represents harmony and equilibrium in all aspects of life.
So this is a time when we are all invited to consider how we are dealing with seeming polarities in our lives.
This week yet again I am dealing with death.
But I am also welcoming life.
The two paradoxical concepts seem ever more merged as we move beyond the old stories of duality and separation in our world.
This week I am letting go of a home and an identity.
This week, I am embracing a new and ancient adventure back into the heartlands of my ancestors, human and more than human.
Let me explain.
“Stories are like the water in which we swim, all pervasive land yet easily imperceptible”
This year has felt like a whirlpool of change.
Largely it has been out of our personal control and yet, calling each and every one of us to take greater responsibility for the stories within which we choose to swim.
The phrase ‘being stretched too thinly’ can apply in a number of different ways.
Often we associate this with stress or overload in our ‘doing’ aspects of life. When we are manically busy and overwhelmed with the number of things that need to be done.
However, I choose to look at this in a different way.
In terms of narrative and inner belief.
Which part of your story is being stretched thin right now?
A friend of mine emailed me this week.
She expressed a deep feeling that the rest of 2020 was only going to get more mad and crazy and not less. She asked what I felt we could do in the face of all our stories breaking down.
I had to stop and think about it.
More than that, I had to feel it in my bones.
Then I walked outside and asked the mountain.
Today, I sat on the mountainside.
My back to a large Ponderosa Pine tree who’s bark smelled like caramel.
The sun had warmed the pine needle carpet underneath me and it pulsed in waves of hot earth aroma, more pungent than oil.
The nearby Juniper tree, spoke softly to me as I worked to quiet my inner noise.
I had to work at it, but eventually, my mind calmed and my thoughts quieted.
I allowed myself to relax and simply notice what was happening around me in the celebration of life.
Chipmunks went about their day and chirruped in surprise when they came across me.
A quiet human.
A rarity in these parts.
Ever wondered how you would react if you found yourself in the midst of crisis?
There is a wildfire burning on the mountain side opposite our home as I sit here and write this. Right now. I am writing this ‘live’ because it feels important to share this as it unfolds.
It’s around 10 miles away from me. Yes, I am safe, and yes, I ran right outside and called in the forces of the land, the elementals and the angels.
Because this is the ‘work’.
An extract from The Soulistic Journey, a forthcoming book that Genevieve is co-writing with Lorna Howarth. Due for publication in Autumn 2020.
Cracking open the outer casing of your old story and identity
Okay, so now we approach one of the oldest and deepest practices that we share with you in this book. It is not to be danced into lightly and indeed is one you may find yourself shying away from rather than running towards. If so, good – that means you are sensing into its power.
Vision quests have been used by indigenous cultures across the world for millennia as a mechanism to remove ourselves from our old story, humbly seeking a higher vision from Nature and the forces in our Universe, in order to inform the next chapter of our life purpose. And vision quests often sneak up on us when we least expect them.
I meant to write this storyhack yesterday. But I was too tired and instead chose to go to bed super early. I also chose to spend half an hour before bed, taking the time to shower, cleanse my skin and do a body oiling practice with home-made olive oil, infused with Pine needles from my home on the mountain in Colorado.
This is me practicing radical self care.
“I wish my secondary school math’s teacher had been you”
I found myself saying during this deep and insightful Tea Session Podcast with my friend Adam Barley.
Adam’s work in embodiment and movement over the last few decades has created transformation for people across the globe as he has guided practices rooted in Five Rhythms and yet emergent into new evolutionary ways of expressing what is feels like and means to be human.
This week we have been treated to many inspiring and innovating sessions as we have moved through World Unity Week. From waves of indigenous-led blessings over the solstice weekend, through song, movement and dance and archetypal patterning, we have truly entered into the realm of the imaginal.
One of the sessions that resonated most strongly with me, was the one held by Richard Olivier from Mythodrama on accessing archetypal wisdom. Having worked with archetypes as energetic patterns of identity and narrative for many years, I love Richard’s work (with his co-creator Lawrence Hillman) in bringing to life the planetary archetypes of our solar system in their evolving forms.
Well, hasn’t 2020 been full of unexpected gifts?
Some of you may disagree but through the turmoil and chaos and sadness comes awareness, choice and resolution. The global pandemic has been just that – ‘global’. For the first time in many centuries (if not ‘the first’ time ever), we have collectively begun to realise the interdependency of our global systems and our global story. We have also started to see where it needs changing – and fast!
What if this rollercoaster of emotion we are all strapped into is actually the evolutionary journey of our species and our planet? What if we are all being given the possibility of choice in the emerging story of humanity?
What if …..
WITH PAUL CLARKE
Restorying Life Podcast – A New Story of Sustainability
Join Genevieve Boast, Founder of Beyond Human Stories as she adventures into the new territory of restorying sustainability. She will dialogue with changemakers, visionaries, elders and story hackers, discovering how human resilience and invention are transforming the old stories for good. These ‘bright spots’ of innovation are the forerunners for a new story of sustainability on Earth. They serve as inspirations and reminders for each of us to choose how we will participate in the change all around us.