When I first heard about the Global Ecovillage Network I had no clue the headquarters of GEN International were in Scotland. I did not know at all about the Findhorn Ecovillage spiritual community and GEN’s roots in it. In a way, these two are still a mystery to me. After a year of living and working in the midst of both, I certainly still discover new bits and pieces of their histories every week.
The one thing that struck me before moving from Barcelona to Findhorn was the office’s ritual to start the week. Every Monday, I was told, the office team I was about to join would meet around the table and light a candle. After an attunement, each member of the team would pick a spirit animal card from the deck to guide their week. Next, sharing about their personal life and what was moving within. This could take as long as needed and, only after that, there would be a round to check in about work for the week.
This was definitely new to me. I had been before in circles where we tried to care for each other and share about our emotions, ‘inner weather’ and so on in the context of group work. However, I had never called any allies from the other world to guide me and my colleagues on a weekly basis. It turned out to be a really powerful ritual and it is going to be one of the hardest things to let go of.
As I finish my ESC (European Solidarity Corps) year with GEN, I notice how much I will miss this morning ritual with my dear office team. It has been one of the most grounding practices. Yet so simple, it has provided me with an anchoring point and safe space to be myself and process all the learnings, challenges and changes I had gone through the year. And there have been many, much more than I could have imagined. This year has been a powerful experience of inner growth and skills’ development for me. I can only be grateful for this opportunity ESC and GEN have provided me which I am sure will always remain in my heart and mind as a life-changing experience. Being able to live for a year in a place like Findhorn is definitely leaving more than footprints on me, possibly to an extent that I cannot even comprehend yet. This place has brought me closer to myself and nature, offering me the richest encounters, dances and inspiring conversations with wonderful people that I am lucky to call friends today.
Hopefully the seeds GEN, its beautiful vision, holistic framework and its lovely staff team have planted in me are going to stay in my memory as allies for the journey when I do not have an animal spirit deck every Monday morning. I might call in my colleagues’ laughter and wisdom when I need to feel lighter even if I don’t share meetings with them anymore. Not everything is over, I know. A part of me will still feel part of this movement and network. It could not be any other way. Only the thought of this big family of like-minded humans who are co-creating a more coherent way of living all across the globe relaxes me into a sense of hope. In addition, my stay in Findhorn is luckily being extended. It is now time for me to experience the place without the nourishing umbrella that the GEN crew was providing, and I know for a fact I will miss that. May we all keep doing our good work with love anywhere we go.