Quite some harvest has been posted to and aggregated on AoHlive.posterous - worth checking out.
You can see Helen's photos here: Slovenia Learning Village
Ria and Helen's reflections are now available as a pdf attached to this post - if anyone wants the full-quality pdf (with better photos), please contact Helen.
Here follows some of the learnings that were harvested after the event, early Sept.'12, and shared via email:
A Learning Village harvest…. intentional apprenticeship towards mastery
The damp greenness of the morning air lifts me from the warmth of my bed. Like cool mountain mist I drift to the open window high inside a castle's wall, waking to a mystical Slovenian sunrise. Energy from the previous day's journey into the surrounding landscape – with grail legends of castles and caves, of passionate violin strings resonating in the belly of an ancient chapel, of generations harvesting fields together - all these layers wrapped themselves around me as I slept, like blankets woven of velvet and jute. Standing now at the window with this blanket draped around my shoulders, and the deep green voice of these hills wrapped around the castle's village, sensations of luxurious richness and scratchy longing share the morning space of my empty mind.
What is jute's scratchiness wanting? Perhaps it is a longing for those things I have not yet mastered and for wisdom from those who have discovered the grail's sacred offering. I long for the luxury of time spent solely in the joys of relationship, deep inquiry, creative expression and celebration of life, as we have shared these days. I long for more velvety threads spun of mastery, that kind that deepens wisdom and presence and freedom and gentleness. These longings seem to speak to the scratchy threads woven through life's tapestry, filling those spaces yet to be worn smooth by practice and time. Perhaps my longing is less than unique.
So what called us to be in learning together? And what of this village? And of learning? Are they different parts of a whole? Do other parts unnamed wait to be acknowledged? It seemed to me that as we lived our way into becoming a village in the presence of Statenberg Manor, the beauty arose in the unknown spaces, as individual learners brought light to unspoken elements of the system they were witnessing, shifting the learning to the collective like a gift. Some pointed to assumptions made, others to needs unacknowledged. All seemed to be responding to the scratchy threads of this collective tapestry, not yet worn smooth.
In this experiment of a 'learning village', words of purpose and expectation often dissected the center as we entered the space of both learning and being, alone and together. Sometimes they collided in contrast. Sometimes they danced with elemental grace. All expected by some, none expected by others, some not spoken at all. Simple evidence of humans being together, I suppose. Clarity is often held only through our own lens of expectation, even with the best of intention in the call, and even when made visible in the coming together, quickly forgotten in the busy-ness of the dance.
If I harvest one learning in this experiment it is this - that in a learning village, we each hold responsibility for illumination, for bringing light to that element of the system we see that has been invisible to the collective, one whose scratchiness lies on our shoulders. In this weave of insight and responsibility, we make the unknown known, and open the possibility for newness to arise in the system, for the system to see itself and choose its future collectively from a place of awareness and trust, where new attention to practice can begin to soften that thread. Without this gift of illumination, there is space for confusion, mistrust, and lack of clarity to live in the shadows between the threads.
Many people stepped into this responsibility in service to elements in need of voice and light. My responsibility showed itself through a dialogue around intentional apprenticing, on this same mystical morning. A conversation rich in insights around the need to be more intentional in mentoring the emerging practitioner in all of us seemed to be one of these assumed yet unfulfilled elements in our system. We gathered as a village around our work in a beautiful spirit of openness and invitation for all to join, to ask for what they needed and to offer what they could. In this I sense an underlying assumption that 'asking' is easy for someone new to our practice, that simply making a request will bring forth the resource to meet the need. Often the need is not for funds or someone to join a hosting team, but for a commitment to an authentic, caring relationship, one in which an emerging and a more experienced practitioner agree to be in intentional learning together, at their edges without expectation but with a promise to be there to answer a call. Sometimes, maybe most times, this is nothing more than a short call to test out an idea for a design, a short email to know someone will be holding space for you as you step into the courage of hosting at your edge. As an apprentice, the 'knowing' that someone you trust has your back or will answer your call is often all that is needed, no call at all. And the practice of being a mentor may be richer still. In a village, you know your elders and your coaches and your teachers and they know you. There is clarity of role and invitation. Having a network of a thousand people at your disposal to call can be a far less helpful invitation when you lack the personal relationships to know where to begin. For me, knowing who my mentors are and who I can count on to have my back makes all the difference.
A balancing step arises here...perhaps that boldness in asking for help is what our village expects. Perhaps it is one of our unwritten laws, a rite of passage when one steps into their practice deeply enough to truly need help beyond the newness of curiosity? Trembling at the intersection of true need and the edge of asking for help is fear. What if no one answers? What if I am asking the wrong person? What if they tell me something I am not prepared to hear (that the work I need to do first is inside myself)? Oh, sweet vulnerability!, the secret door into leadership of self that is found by walking through the dark bowels of the castle and climbing high to the top of her tower, throwing open the door to find no balcony to step onto, only the naked threshold of trembling air. Taking a risk to step into your own airy trembling to speak out 'I NEED HELP' loudly enough that it can be heard takes a warrior's courage. And we are building warriors in this village.
So here I take responsibility to shine light on an unspoken assumption I see in the field: the assumption that apprenticeship towards mastery will happen where a need arises simply by virtue of a broadly stated community value. My invitation is to consider how else we might host our own learning through more intentional relationships, for deepening our learning and practice, to find others willing to explore learning and practice with intention together, as mates, as family, as village.
in loving service to the whole,
Thank you, Tracy, oh thank you for your beautiful harvest!
Thank you Lovely Helen for your curious invitation to share & reflect.
There sure was a lot of learning!
Right now I want to share the very lovely final harvest of all of us. On Saturday everybody spent some time on reflecting about the three questions: What really happened here for me? What really happened here for us? What wisdom has emerged that we can take to the world?
As I really enjoyed reflecting, I was curious what wisdom nuggets everybody else got out of the week. So Marcus and I collected the yellow and white cards everybody wrote and this is what I want to give back to you. (see attachment below: Harvest Learning Village final day.pdf)
To continue this rich harvest:
Dear Ria and everyone!
I promised we would prepare a report on a great event we made within the Slovenian Association of the Facilitators. Most of you probably don't even know this Association exists in Slovenia… Yet it does and here is our puzzle to fill the harvesting part of the LV. Thanks to Natalija and Marjeta who made an effort to put this together again. (see attachment below: Collective Story harvest - Learning Village)
Best regards and thanks again to whole AoH community for being with us in Statenberg.
Hello to all -
More to come...
so beautiful to read all the words expressing each individual inner process after Statenberg.
It is like being still there.
In my mind’s eye (or better nose) I can smell the perfume of Statenberg. A perfume who has connected with my own one.
Before I came to Statenberg I didn’t know why I have to come.
But my inner guidance leads me there.
And this great inner voice also invited my mother and my younger daughter.
A few days before leaving for Statenberg both of them said to me, that they don’t want to come with me. They couldn’t imagine something about AoH……
But something in me said: Be quiet, say nothing, just wait.
And in the morning of our departure to Statenberg both sat in the car – ready for that adventure!
THANKS , THANKS, THANKS
Really much has changed after this week.The connection of our 3 generations became deeper as ever before. My mother, she is 64, started to learn English and wants to go abroad as a Grandma-Aupair !
My younger daughter got a great motivation to think more consciously about the sense of her young life. She had so much deep conversations with her older sister; the first time she took over the role of the class representative after holidays. I asked her what was her inspiration to do this. She said: Mom, I want to create a good community!
THANKS TO STATENBERG.
And me. I could heal my heart while cleaning the chapel. Now the love can flow.
I want to say thank you with a song, I often play together with Iria – she’s a friend of mine and a singer. You’ll find the file attached. (sorry, it is not here)
We have sung this song in the week before leaving for Statenberg while sat together with friends around a fire.This is my present to the EVERLASTING FIRE OF STATENBERG.
The text is in German – but I tried to translate it:
I listen to the call of my heart.
Whatever it wants to tell me.
I listen to the call of my heart.
And deep inside I became silent.
I honor the call of my heart.
Even if it confused me sometimes.
I honor the call of my heart.
It has never been wrong before.
I follow the call of my heart.
Whereever it will guides me.
I follow the call of my heart.
The wind which relights my fire.
Thanks to this song – it leads me to Statenberg.
Warm hug to you all.
Setting Your Intention and Taking Action, by the Joy Archer (aka Alissa Schwartz)