Doing whatever it takes: the journey of a new culture maker
A Whole New Human launched yesterday with a wonderful deep discovery conversation with Barry Brailsford, New Zealand author and wisdom carrier. As I was preparing for the interview and taking another look at some of Barry’s books, a whole piece of my own story came flooding back. I arrived in New Zealand in late 1994 from the UK. I was personally and politically disillusioned. Much as I loved Scotland where I had lived for nearly 20 years, I didn’t love the Trident missiles, nuclear power plants, fall-out from Chernobyl, nuclear dumping, or the conservative government which had just been re-elected for a third term. I had been working intensively with people to support change from the inside out and within organizations and institutions. I was soul weary and in need of renewal.
And then my path converged with Barry Brailsford and I heard him tell some of the stories of this land. He told of the People of Peace who had lived in the ways of peace for a thousand years, and the way he spoke connected me with the Earth and the stars and the heart. He inspired me to set out on my own journey to discover what it means to be a person of peace. I know he has inspired many thousands of people all over the world. The same thing happened yesterday when I spoke with him in our interview, I could feel the truth of his words rippling through my being.
Over the last few years it has become apparent to me that a part of my calling or soul work is to spread some of these seeds of inspiration through my enterprise A Whole New World. This started with my book, Living Your Passion: How Love-in-action is seeding a Whole New World, where I interviewed 20+ New Zealanders who I came to know as the new culture makers: people who are creating communities and businesses, or working sustainably with the land, in alignment with whole-person values. I then became a radio show host, first on internet radio in the States and this year with the Passionate Women Show on Fresh FM. In doing the interviews I discovered it’s something I love to do and I have a gift for it. I love creating a space for others to talk about what is most important to them and when we speak from that place of passion and authenticity it is always inspiring to others.
Awaken the Whole New Human grew from this desire to spread seeds of inspiration for growing a whole new world by sharing the gifts I have been given and supporting others to share their gifts. The first series flowed in as much as I lined up a wonderful group of speakers for the New Zealand launch of the journey: Makuini Ruth Tai, Maori spiritual teacher, will talk about Aroha Light Language on September 13th; John Broomfield, author and shamanic/integral teacher will speak on Other Ways of Knowing, September 15th; Anahata Ishaya, Ishaya monk and Oneness Blessing Trainer will speak about her own process of awakening, September 17th; Margaret Jefferies, visionary grassroots leader will talk about her community in Port Lyttelton after the earthquakes, September 19th; Richard Oswald of the Eden Foundation will talk about awakening practical solutions to some of our common problems, September 23rd, and I will do a session on September 21st on Empower your Creative Genius, with collage Joey Walters from Scotland. There’s also a bonus recording with co-creator of A Whole New World, Woods Elliott, on the process of awakening, and an introductory session with Joey and me.
So I had an inspiring vision, and a plan, and I’d already spent several years building the infrastructure for A Whole New World as an internet based enterprise. Now all I had to do was build the next piece of technical infrastructure to support this series of interviews. Well! This is where it started to get interesting in terms of process. I think you would need to have an internet based enterprise yourself to fully understand what goes on behind the scenes. I am not a “techie” person. I’m more of an intuitive, visionary, big picture thinker and when I spend too much time around precision and details I start to feel cramped and eventually ungrounded and even unwell. Having said that, I’ve been amazed how much I’ve learned over the last six years which I never would have dreamed I could have mastered. And the learning goes on; it seems to be never ending, there is always more.
Anyway, having set out on this mission to take A Whole New World to its next level and do justice to a wonderful group of speakers by creating some fine, inspiring interviews to share, I have been tested over the last few weeks every step of the way. I won’t enumerate all the technical hitches and obstructions that have arisen, suffice it to say there have been many. And I have been doing all of this on a budget so tiny you can barely see it! Oftentimes I have felt like a spider weaving the threads of life from my being and launching across the void on my fine thread. How do those spiders do it? What holds them up as they spin the threads from their being? And what holds us up as we lay the tracks into the future from our passion?
Before I tell you some of the things I have learned from this process of overcoming obstructions, I’d like to tell you the last piece, which happened yesterday. I’ve been living for the last two months in an amazing sustainable adobe house, or actually a group of houses, on top of a hill, on the wild side of Golden Bay, with only wind and solar power and internet via satellite. Everything works fine as long as it’s sunny! When the clouds come in the internet becomes unreliable and I need internet in order to manage the calls. So, launch day arrived yesterday and it was pouring with rain! For almost the entire previous two months it had been mostly sunny and bright, today rain and low lying cloud. Ok. I got up early, tested the internet, tested the phone, went and started up the generator, prayed to the weather gods to lift the cloud and calmly prepared myself for the interview at 11am. At 9.45 my house mate came in and said, “Rose I think you need to go and do the interview somewhere else, the internet isn’t working and I know how important this is to you. “ I considered. To drive to my friend’s house on the other side of the Bay would take 45 minutes, that meant I had to leave right now, this minute. She was insistent and I realized she was right, grabbed my computer and my notebook, hurtled through the mists and down the hill in the 4WD, jumped into my car and set off at breakneck speed through the pouring rain, past the fast rising rivers, into the howling winds. I made it to Maggies’ just in time and did the interview with Barry. With a little help from my friends I’d managed to find within myself what it took to be present at the starting line.
This article is already long so maybe I will share some of the learnings in the next article. You see, this isn’t just about me. I’m pretty sure that anybody setting out to be a new culture maker, to weave the new world from their own being, will be faced with challenges and obstacles along the way, just as I have been. Your challenges and obstacles will be different from mine but we will all be tested. It is said that the greater our commitment the greater the challenges we have to overcome. Sharing our stories creates a common understanding and a common language: community. That’s what this is all about for me: doing everything I can to bring a vision of community into reality. As Barry Brailsford said:
“”Remember the journey is everything. It is the destination.”
“ If we lose our story, we lose our dream and if we lose our dream, the spirit dies.”
It is time to weave the new stories of the Whole New Human from our being and stretch across the void, to create A Whole New World.
If you would like to sign up for the Awaken the Whole New Human series please go here to register: http://www.awholenewworld.net/awaken
The recorded interview with Barry will be available to listen to until Friday this week, and the other live interviews will be happening every other day until Friday 23rd September. Then there will be a second leg of the journey starting in October.
Rose Diamond September 12th 2011
P.S. Today the sun is shining. Dare I go back to my visioning place on the top of the hill on the wild side?