I appreciate traveling away from home AND getting elevation, it always provides powerful perspective shifts that rattle my cells until they re-settle into a new way of being. I make it my priority to make the most of these experiences so the price paid by planet and people is worth it.
As someone who lives on the flat western plains of NSW – yuwalaaraay country, getting up HIGH in the landscape always provides relief and a reminder that no matter how much you climb and how high you get – there are always more mountains to summit.
It’s a subtle smack to the side of the head to remember to keep putting one foot in front of the other.. paying attention to what is at the same time keeping your eyes on the summit…
I was grateful to receive these reminders and more when I attended the Social Economic World Forum Rural immersion in Beechworth in Oct 2022 – with support from Westpac Foundation who provided a generous bursary to myself and 9 other social entrepreneurs.
My primary reflection from the forum, which included a couple of days in a bus wandering the socially conscious communities nestled in rural victoria, traversing Min-jan-buttu, Yorta Yorta and Jiatmathang country, was that as a culture we’ve come a long way in so many areas – but still have a long way to travel before the summit of equity, fairness, cooperation and abundance truly belong to all and I’m left wondering if our eyes are on the magicians hand rather than on the true pathway to where we envision?.
It’s kind of like the fractured rock I snapped a pic of…the gap remains as a reminder that we are not yet whole – as a nation… or as people.
A culture of scarcity that is hardwired into colonisation and capitalism has a lot to answer for – breeding comparison, shame and disconnection (Brene Brown’s work speaks to this in depth) and convincing us that there is 1 pie that we all must share which means the bigger ‘my’ piece of pie – the smaller yours will be.. it’s toxic and – as the SEWF Rural Gathering reminded me – it’s a lie.
But how do we find our way back to the truth – that abundance is a birthright not a privilege?
Truth telling has to be part of the cultural reckoning, if we are to transcend the pervasive narrative and biological belief there isn’t enough.
To share our individual truths enables us to build a comprehensive picture of different experiences that simply cannot be compared but must be placed side by side in the patchwork ecology of our country and culture.
Atop a mountain during the road trip we heard stories of fun and frivolity for some in a landscape and at a place that also held stories of pain and disconnection for others.
It made me ask – how do we move forward together in the diversity of those experiences without diminishing either?
It’s tricky and it takes some incredibly uncomfortable conversations, where desperate silence meets silent rage and some places in between.
It requires healing of people and landscapes, it needs open hearts, it demands permission and most of all it takes time.
Time to listen.
Time to learn.
Time to heal.
Time to celebrate.
Time to integrate.
Time to release.
But we rarely give ourselves that time – in the fast paced eco-system we have created (let’s not kid ourselves we were innocent bystanders in the busyness of our lives) taking the time to deeply listen and contemplate, integrate and heal our own stories is limited…let alone providing it for anyone else.
But it’s what we MUST do, if we are to truly #thrive #heal and #evolve individually and collectively.
So my message from Beechworth, for what it’s worth, is to invite us all to enter those uncomfortable conversations with our heart open – to make the time to take responsibility to understand your own truth so you may be open to anothers’ that is different to yours and do whatever it takes to reclaim your wholeness by getting elevation, demanding perspective and climbing a mountain high enough that you can see your own BS for what it truly is… something to be composted into fertile ground for new ways of being.
May your bowa be blessed,