I’d like to come back for a few moments to a day a small group of us shared on April 17th 2017, a day in “the (he)Art of Europe”.

We sat in a clown school in Grez-Doiceau, a space to host People making Art, and Play.

“We” were a group of 10 people gathered around a common intention: reconnecting to our dream for Europe.

Volatile politics and shifting alliances, sometimes the very ground on which we stand as Europeans seems to be unraveling beneath our feet, and yet many of us still harbor in our hearts a dream for a larger “we”, a “we” that makes us richly diverse and somehow united.

It is around that “we” that we gathered that morning, in a circle. In the middle: a few lone stars, a candle and some flowers, to honor our desire to seed something together.

And the magic happened. Not only the smooth-inspiring-ride magic, but also the get-out-of-your-comfort-zone-and-try magic.

We did dream-building in different ways that day. For the individual dream, Nathalie introduced a beautiful poetry exercise which is brought to us from Indonesia: the pantoum. It is a series of questions which we answer with very little allocated time, and somehow a poem unfolds that is deeply connected to our intuition and freed of self-censorship: deeply liberating!

The individual visions that spring from the exercise are wildly inspiring, and the energy in the room soars to unforeseen heights. Here is a mix of 4 of our poems (Xenia, Erik, Anu and myself) which should give you an idea of our visions:

  1. The floating rivers that are carrying the water
  2. A peaceful sound of water colliding rocks
  3. Freshness of air
  4. Birds, people talking in different languages, laughter.
  5. Hope.
  6. Gratitude Peace Happiness
  7. Laughter Joy Happy sharing Harmony
  8. I take in this beautiful tapestry, it is Art. We are ART.
  9. Who are you when you are really you?
  10. Doing great Will be authentic
  11. I wish for love, unfolding in a myriad of colors, textures.
  12. A sense of belonging with exciting joy
  13. A feast of interdependency
  14. Release the anger from inside
  15. I am creating space to sit and breathe
  16. The freedom to build the container
  17. What color does love look like today?
  18. Turquoise, speckled with gold.
  19. Yes we will, we could, we can
  20. I am a splendid human becoming

 

Never before had I, as a facilitator of SALT/CLCP, witnessed such a powerful demonstration of individual dreams.

The other “magic” came afterwards: the not-so-comfortable magic :) .

There we were feeling elated by our individual visions, and by the clear overlap between all our visions… and now, we tried to create a common vision from our individual ones using magazines we could rip apart, colored markers, glue, and scissors.

And somehow the process felt tedious, and the collective effort we came to didn’t even come close to providing the same inspiration that had sprung from our individual poems!

Yet still we struggled on, making sense of the images, simplifying to come to more clarity, until we arrived to a dream we felt mostly happy with in essence (not in form!):

And a set of practices:

  • We sit together on the grass and drink wine
  • We reconcile town and nature
  • We breathe fresh air
  • We recognize that there is plenty to be grateful for
  • We appreciate and celebrate reality/what is there
  • We celebrate our uniqueness and oneness
  • We are in contact with our feelings and aware of our emotions
  • We learn/practice/teach compassion
  • We create space for sharing/learning/healing
  • We listen
  • We contribute towards regenerating our ecosystems

A healthy Europe soup, with lots of ingredients and a clear container!

The day ends with a sharing circle, and the echoes are about the importance of opening such spaces for deep connection and sharing from the heart- “circles of trust” as Franck called them!

And we coin a new phrase, “Let’s Europe!” – yes, because perhaps our dream for Europe is not so much a destination as a process. A process of “magic”, both the inspiring and the challenging type.

A process of reconnecting to our deep aspirations, to each other, and to the future that wants to emerge for all of us.

A feast of interdependency :)

And in the process, we are splendid human becomings.

Heartfelt thank you to all participants: Fabien, Mélanie, Erik, Xenia, Franck, Nathalie, Anu, Jean-Louis, and Zen (particularly for the beautiful filming and stills!).

Who wants to join?

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Comment by Célicia Theys on September 12, 2017 at 12:25pm

Malou :) ! So sorry to only catch up with your request now. If you send me your email address I will send you the Pantoum guidelines we used for this exercise!!! Thanks for your lovely comments all :)

Comment by Malou Laureys on July 12, 2017 at 7:51pm

Thank you for writing about this (he)art experience Cécilia. I'm curious about the series of questions that had been asked as a basis for the poem. Can you share them with us?

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on June 13, 2017 at 10:10am

Well captured Celicia. Would love to taste the soup...

Comment by Anita Sheehan-Nutz on June 9, 2017 at 8:00pm

Fabulous, Célicia. May the positive virus spread throughout Europe and the world. We are working on that :-).

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