Grounded Gathering 2018 – Directors Wrap

Wow. What an experience. Once again we find ourselves re-birthed on the other side of another Grounded Gathering. Looking back it’s hard to believe it even happened, it kinda feels like a dream (we are living!), a self fulfilling prophecy that pops up for a moment each year and in between we work our magic behind the scenes. Being in the northern rivers really activated much of the soul-tribe, gathering in the heart of the caldera along the song-lines definitely channeled the vibes.

Words will never do it justice, these photos might help, those who were there know the feeling. This year saw us nearly double in size (~100–>200), and just generally get way more organised! The week long program was solid mix of practical actions with inspiring facilitators, backed by so many ninja workshops popping up as the moments required and the people desired. We held space for so many incredible conversations, so many laughs and tears, and so much focalising of the tasks on the never ending list of living on the land.

One of the unwritten yet guiding themes of the week was circles. The concept seeded thanks to a meeting early in the planning piece with a local elder, who reiterated the importance of circles and the power in sitting round the fire for a yarn. That theme rang strong throughout the week. From the site layout around the sacred fire, to the various talking circles (check-in’s, men’s, womens, crew), there is no hiding in a circle and we embraced the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of our authentic selves.

Congratulations on our first sell out event, having to say no to people is a surreal experience when ultimately we want everyone to be involved and more activated on this level. That being said, it is vitally important that we get REALLY good at what we do, there is HEAPS of room for improvement and I believe a key part of that is working within the limits of Dunbar’s number, the traditional village size which will allow us to get way more ORGANISED, refine our systems so our actions and behaviours genuinely align with our values which will in turn allow us to raise up the vibes even higher whilst staying more grounded than ever. This context sets the intention for 2019… to not grow in numbers, but grow in ourselves and our capacity to self organise.

For me personally the biggest highlights were:

1. Indigenous engagement.
Consulting with local elders to guide the intention and design of the event and having Kids Caring for Country present for Saturday to open the space with their Bunyarabugalma Workshop was something truly special. Engaging with my own indigenous self also rang home for me on many fronts. Really taking time to acknowledge all of the ancestors and all of mother earth’s life support systems that allow life to continue to evolve and express it’s conscious self.

2. Slowing down… getting Grounded.
Through the week I really slowed down, and started saying ‘no’ to being busy. Quite a big shift for me personally considering every other Grounded, and event before this, I’ve always been in ‘GO’ mode. Always distracted, never really present. Slowing down during the week, not being busy, and always allowing interruptions set a profound tone for the whole gathering. Clock time wasn’t anywhere near as important as flow time. It was especially apparent with peeps arriving for the weekend from the busy city time tables rushing in to make arbitrary schedules (that yes I know I made up – to be used as a guide!), and here we were… just cruising.

3. Getting real… owning the shadow self.
As a gathering with intention to regenerate our sacred connection to country, community and culture, and build a resilient community organisation, some ugly gaps in our approach made themselves very clear. I personally learnt and owned some very hard truths that made me taste my own ignorance, humble the ego and continue to feed the fire of desire to grow and be a better human being, I know many of you had similar lessons. In creating these gatherings, we are literally in training, learning the skills to become a resilient community and we would be kidding ourselves if we weren’t tested with the harsher realities we might like to forget or pretend don’t exist.

The biggest thing I noticed was how behaviours on the edge of our awareness can go on for a while before building up and snapping with obviousness like a rubber band. Learning to identify unacceptable behaviour early and calling it out, helping the person become aware themselves that’s it’s unacceptable (often they too don’t realise) and giving them the opportunity to seperate themselves from the behaviour is a key aspect of holding a safe space for all to gather and one of my strongest take home lessons from the whole gathering.

To help make Grounded even align even better with what we all dream why not leave some feedback so we can self-regulate?. Remember, there is no shortage of ideas of what we should or could be doing, only a shortage of troops on the ground ready to step up, take initiative, accept responsibility and manifest our collective dreaming into reality through our common destiny.

Many of you really enjoyed my talk on the rEvolution of Consciousness and how that influences our organisational paradigm. Frederic Laloux is the man the mapped the territory with regards to defining “Teal Organisations“, which draws influences from Ken Wilbur‘s Integral Theory, and Spiral Dynamics. Relating it back to the chakras is my observation and has given me some profound insights into the next evolutionary leap level right on our doorstep… Visionary Indigo, which I have no doubt is the level we are operating at when we fully embrace our intuition to guide our decisions and actions, know we are on the right path because of the synchronicity of it all with other beings on the same mission, and it all flows because are working towards the greater collective vision in alignment with what’s best for all and everything.

Well, that about wraps it up for me for another Gathering.

Brother Beans.

Grounded Gathering 2017 – Directors Wrap

And just like that our second annual Grounded Gathering has come to pass. The March 2017 edition at Bellthorpe was leaps and bounds beyond what we pulled off last year, and yet it was still firmly grounded in the same concepts that make it such a unique ‘party with a purpose’.
There will be no surprises to anyone that vibe wise the gathering was truly amazing. From the five participants that signed up for the full week, to all the crew there from start to finish and all in between, to all the punters that rolled in for the weekend party, everyone was buzzing on the immaculate work done onsite, the delicious food coming out of the Sol Kitchen, the sonic sounds pumping out of that sexy Staj Mahal, the whole range of talks and workshops on offer, and the general sense of community.

What I’m finding one of the most amazing aspects of this event is despite the high level conceptual planning and preparation to ensure a smooth running event, I leave a lot of the details to create themselves during the event. The main one that springs to mind is with crew/volunteers. Despite a lack of rosters, official roles or departments, everyone was keen to get involved and just filled the gaps as they were needed. This is a truly remarkable phenomenon, and the more I do it the more attuned I am to seeing a natural order in the chaos.  I have a theory that if we have enough volunteers, all we have to do is just keep giving each other breaks and then no one has to work too hard. Thank you to all those that stepped in and stepped up to keep things flowing smoothly without the need for structured rostered hours.

Flow wise I think it all went really well, the week was jam packed full of action, with plenty of time to chill, and the formula for the weekend is forming it’s self with a great range of activities for all. Permaculture Action in the morning, lunch, workshops and one-hour power-ups after lunch, music and dance in the eve, tis my dream really.
We managed to get a few photos and video of the weekend and have uploaded to the FB page, special thanks to Tashka Urban for capturing those moments. And also Zoe McGrath got plenty of good ones as well.
Brother Beans