Tag Archives: Circle Way

Titania’s twelfth month: Doing something for the world

Gosh, I just realized that half of July has already passed, and I still haven’t got going with my twelfth and final project month. The most important reason is that I’m (almost) on holiday (hard to say now that I’m self-employed and don’t get any money for staying away from work), and thus life has less structure than otherwise.

2013-07-12 12.56.04This last week my mind has also been completely filled up by a camp, Circle Way, that I’ve been organizing (OK, so there’s been a bit of work, anyway…) together with my best friend, and where I brought my whole family. In the Circle Way camp we were around 70 people of all ages, coming together at a beautiful place in the Swedish countryside, listening to the wisdom of Manitonquat (or Medicine Story), an 84-year-old North-American Indian, and his Swedish wife Ellika, and practicing supportive listening – in circles and in pairs. It was a challenge arranging the camp with so many people (we did it last year as well, but with less than half the number of people), but I still managed to get a lot out of it for my own personal benefit – and the kids loved it, again!

The atmosphere of Circle Way is very warm, loving and respectful – towards other people and towards Mother Nature. So, the Memento Vivere challenge for my twelfth month seems to fit in very well in the aftermath of the camp. In two years from now, my family and I plan to go staying somewhere abroad for a longer period of time in order to try to do something good for the world. We have talked about India, but might turn up somewhere completely different. I would like to devote what’s left of this month to finding more information about where we could do and what we could do.

The original idea of the Memento Vivere project was to address twelve different areas. It hasn’t turned out exactly like that; sometimes I have needed two months in order to really get going with something. I have also come to realize that I don’t want to stop now! Using the project frame has been very beneficial to my development; I have got started with meditation and physical exercise again, and I have done many other things that make my life richer. I really believe in the idea of focusing on one thing at a time when you want to make a change, rather than trying to do everything at once, with the risk of ending up without having done anything at all.

So, I will go on with Memento Vivere, perhaps for another year, perhaps for life. Whenever it’s useful and feasible, I will use the one-month format. Whenever I need more time, I will use more months. Finding information about what to do for the world will take time, so, unless something else that feels extremely urgent turns up, I will use the coming months (uncertain how many) to dig into this area, until I feel confident about what we will do. If you have experiences of international volunteering – or know someone who does – I would really appreciate your suggestions for where to start looking!

PS. My Spirituality month went great! I’ll tell you all about it some other time. 🙂

Titania

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Filed under Challenge, Circle Way, Titania, Volunteering

Titania’s third month: Family

Today is the last day of my Body month, and summing up I feel quite satisfied. I haven’t lost that much weight yet, but my pants are fitting a bit more loosely, and – especially – I have at least started a journey towards a more healthy lifestyle. A journey which I hope will be lifelong. Trying to keep good routines from my first two project months – daily meditation, reiki sessions every now and then, more physical exercise and less unhealthy food – I will now embark upon a new journey.

Two of my children bathing in the lake at the camp

The focus of my third project month is Family, and the project is in fact a kind of continuation of something that started this summer. Five sixths of my family (i.e. everybody except my oldest daughter Miranda) spent five days at Circle Way Camp, a camp lead by an old Indian tribal chief and his wife. In the camp we learnt about the  Indian circle way tradition, clan meetings where everybody talks for an equally long period of time, while everybody else listens. It’s a very good way of practicing listening without interrupting, and it is also a good way of giving everybody equal space: a normally silent person gets as much time to talk as someone who usually talks a lot. Another aspect that we (especially the children) enjoyed tremendously was the great atmosphere of love an friendliness that permeated the camp.

Going back home, we decided to try to bring as much as possible of the atmosphere from the camp home to our daily lives. Ever since July we have had family “clan meetings” almost every day, short meetings where we take turns at talking, usually about something “New and Good” that has happened to us recently. Sometimes we use another headline for our meeting, such as “Appreciation”, where everybody says something positive about themselves and about all the other family members. I have also tried harder than usual to listen to my kids and to avoid hard words as often as possible. It feels like the atmosphere at home is better now than before, but it can always get even better, which is why I’ve decided to devote my third project month to my Family.

The message to myself is simple in theory, but perhaps more difficult in practice:

  • pay more attention and listen more
  • give more appreciation – verbal and physical
  • be more generous

I will end by a quote from one of my favorite authors, Astrid Lindgren, the famous Swedish writer of children’s books: “Give children love, more love and even more love, and their good manners will come by themselves” (my translation).

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Filed under family, Love, Titania