A week ago or so, I followed an inspired impulse and invited a bunch of people to my parents’ place for an intentional conversation on the theme of “Old world, new world?”.
I named it Wohnzimmerphilosophie (= living room philosophy): the living room as a cozy, welcoming and safe place to be in, and philosophy which literally means “love of wisdom”. Fine things to dedicate some time to, I find.
The invitation was spontaneous, quickly written and I fully trusted in “whoever is there are the right people”. I didn’t feel any pressure to perform but instead totally open for whatever the outcome would be and ready to welcome anything and everything to happen. As it was an evening in the middle of the week, most people couldn’t come since they already had other plans or no energy left to show up for yet another appointment.
But then, when I had already thought we’d just postpone the session to another day, the doorbell rang and a dear guest showed up. And so it became a spontaneous but lovely little round, and I hosted the space in that kind of look which I have when I’ve been spending the whole day at home. (You know, sweat pants & messy hair).
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
— Arundhati Roy
I started off by guiding a mindfulness meditation (and added a pinch of compassion) in order to bring us all into the present moment and then read that quote above which had smiled at me from a page in a book by Charles Eisenstein which I had randomly opened just a few minutes before. I suggested a rough time frame and then headed into a slightly facilitated but also very much emerging conversation all together.
It became an interesting one, we shared our perspectives on these two different worlds and “the new story”, how we experience those moments when it crashes with the old story of this world and what it means to be human. To me it seems like that many people have that inner longing to live much more according to the new story but don’t really dare to fully follow it because of societal conventions and future uncertainty.
Right there, in my parents’ living room, this also made visible how much of the new story is already alive at home, the place of my roots which I used to judge and experience as an uninspiring location and a dull place in earlier years of my life. I felt joy for creating something meaningful in every day life for myself and others who came, drawn by their interest. That this happened at home was special, this place which of course hasn’t always been full of ease but at other times been densely filled with struggles and frustrations which – partially at least – had been caused by the collision of exactly those two worlds.
I think this Wohnzimmerphilosophie #1 could be called a prototype, a good step to just start doing and not endlessly wait until I feel perfectly prepared or completely confident. I want to dive into this much more because I know clearly that I learn so much better by doing than by reading, listening, (or by sitting and waiting and wishing…).
This was a good way to get some good insights, so that I now know that next time, I want to put the focus more on providing a space of creating an experience – More doing than talking for everyone!
“WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO DO THE RIGHT THING? NO ONE CAN OFFER A FORMULA TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION, BECAUSE THE RHYTHM OF THE PHASES OF ACTION AND STILLNESS HAS AN INTELLIGENCE OF ITS OWN. IF WE TUNE IN, WE CAN HEAR THAT RHYTHM, AND THE ORGAN OF PERCEPTION IS THE DESIRE, THE NUDGE OF EXCITEMENT OR THE FEELING OF FLOW, OF RIGHTNESS, OF ALIGNMENT. IT IS A FEELING OF BEING ALIVE. TO LISTEN TO THAT FEELING AND TO TRUST IS A PROFOUND REVOLUTION INDEED. WHAT WOULD THE WORLD BE, IF WE ALL LISTENED TO THAT?”
— Charles Eisenstein