An Open Container

The Freedom Lab is an open container to explore our natural passions, in a creative and supportive collaborative space

This forum is, in essence, open, but of course to create anything there has to be some degree of form and structure. I see any structure we use like stabilizers on a bike, or the rocket which takes the space shuttle to space; once the goal is reached it disappears.

Here is an outline of what a structure might look like, although of course this is open and only an initial thought – once we start we can really explore what it would look like in real time.

One: Our space

Our circleWe start with an opening circle.

This is our container. It is where we are one, where we begin on the same page and where we are all equal; but there is also the space for our radically unique individuality. We begin here.

In this space we start and we explore freely what this container actually is. We stand together in mutual trust and support, in freedom and inspiration, together in this challenging experience we call life.

We stay here as long as we need to so we can establish ourselves and each other in this ground.

We have sat in circles together for what seems like an eternity and so we return here, to start again.

Two: Our passion

Once we are ready we open our hearts to each other, as much as feels right. We take turns to share our passion and what we feel called to in this moment: natural, free, authentic, awkward; whatever it is, let it be heard, in this moment it is true.

Three: Our theme

Openness is the ground of our exploration but the theme is our trajectory. From our sharing of passion and exploration natural threads emerge; themes and topics common to us present themselves as possible avenues to explore more deeply.

If you pay close attention we are often exploring common and connected themes in our lives. These usually feel personal to us, but then when we speak with others we often find they have been exploring similar issues, sometimes exactly the same ones!

This is not something we force, we just give voice to what is already being explored, and to allow that to be our arc; the arc we sail together on, the arc we dance and explore through co-creation.

Four: Our arc

We build, from the ground of our circle, with the sparks of our passions, the session we want to create, together. It’s fine if we’ve planned something, or if we show up with nothing. We bring whatever we have, and create the session, the arc, we want. We can trust the organic intelligence of our interwoven connectedness, the truth of our deep and raw natural passions: this is what we’re here for!

Whether we want to dance, sing, play music, explore consciousness or shadow elements, this is a space to do this and to do it directly. Our arc can be anything, there aren’t any limits. One person may lead the whole session, this may feel right. Or maybe there are multiple mini-explorations led by multiple people. There is no right answer.

We are open and fluid, but at the same time, we are structured. We set times and are clear who is leading and what our plan is. We follow the structure, because we chose it together. We surrender to it and explore it with our hearts. But if something really isn’t right we speak out, we are all co-leaders, we are all co-creators, together.

Five: Our reflection

Once the arc has finished we return to the circle for reflection.

Being in a circle is not always easy. Some people love it, some people hate it. Unfortunately, for better or worse, our world is structured within very rigid hierarchies. We have all been hardwired to fit into these hierarchies and unconsciously compare ourselves to others. When we sit together in a circle none of this goes anywhere, however many Ommmmms we chant, or however much sage we burn. We are essentially quite primitive beings and when we sit together we compare ourselves to each other, positioning ourselves against each other.

Some of us love being in circles, always with something to say, always confident. Others are terrified by these spaces, feeling pressured to speak, scared to speak, annoyed that others seem to be effortlessly expounding with seemingly no self-consciousness. All of this is actually okay. Our varied experiences come from all the different ways we have grown into this life; all the different experiences, backgrounds, conditioning et cetera.

There is nothing wrong with any of this, not in terms of our personal experience of this or the fact that this is the way we have evolved. This is a space that includes all of that, but it is also a space to try to look beyond it, to create a level of safety where we all feel comfortable to share; where the motor mouth, like myself, actually shuts up for a while and only speaks when it is sincere; where the usually shy person feels comfortable enough to share whatever it is that is going on for them.

We all affect each other, and the more people who feel free to be themselves the more everyone benefits; in terms of individual freedom and personal expression, and because as a result of this the magic web of our mysterious collective nature is given life and wakes up, invigorating everyone.

The whole purpose of being able to share and explore freely, unselfconsciously, is to be able to deepen together, to integrate more, to understand more of what we have explored – and most importantly to practice what it means to be ourselves freely, together.

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