The going forth stage of the spiral is about planting seeds of action in our lives. Chris Johnstone talked about our lives as stories and like all good adventure stories they can start with what seems an impossible task. But along the way we come across helping factors that assist us on our journey. My view of helping factors expanded today when Chris talked about helping factors could be processes that we do that support and strengthen us. He described these helping factors as Strategies, Strengths, Resources and Insights -SSRI which is apparently the acronym for a group of antidepressant drugs. Instead of a pharmaceutical anti depressants, self help, mutual aid and action can all be antidepressants.
We recalled times in our lives when something we did, or something we said or us being a particular way made a difference – either in our lives or someone else’s. They may have been small changes or they may have been stories of larger impact. Particularly moving were stories from people who have faced wars and trouble in their country and had chosen to make a stand for peace. We drew out the strengths and qualities that helped us. There was compassion, curiosity, connection to our authentic selves, intuition, being in service, trusting the process and an innocence at the beginning about how hard the journey would be. We also noticed how there was often a paradox and we were holding both courage and weakness at the same time.
We have the ability to choose stories and shape stories, and sometimes a story larger than ourselves taps us on the shoulder and says we have work for you. I sometimes think my own journey with permaculture has been like that, the story of permaculture called me in to participate.
With the problems we are facing now and in the future we can choose to act for the story of the Great Turning. To put our efforts behind this story and know that we will face more challenges, but there will be allies along the way. And as we know from thinking in systems, new things do emerge and we cannot know how the story will end, and we cannot know what will happen when more and more of us join together for a better world. There is hope and as per their book title we can live in Active Hope, putting our resources and skills behind the story of the Great Turning.
This is my last blog of the week – thank you to those who have been reading it, I have enjoyed feeling connected with people in across the Earth and sharing some of the learnings from this course. And thank you to all the wonderful people here who came from every continent, who have shared their truth and stories so openly and with such heartfelt honesty.