Given the right conditions, all living systems, including the human body, move towards wholeness and wellbeing. ‘Regeneration’ is a word being widely used in these times as we try to understand what these right conditions might look like in our social and political systems.
There is a sense that, seeking more health-full and sustainable ways, means aligning with the essential goodness of our own human nature, as well as with natural cycles revealed in the world around us, and with the more-than-human realms too.
This means holding budgets, strategic goals, technology, structures and financial planning alongside such things as trust, flow, synchronicity, divine assistance, the wisdom of the ages and the deep time presence of the ancestors and the future-beings.
We've come up with the model of a Regeneration Wheel to help us work with this pattern of co-creation consciously and intentionally, as we seek to escape the perhaps more familiar 'Exhaustion and Burnout Wheel'.
Doing it Differently
The illustration here offers an empty template organised according to the overarching cycle of death and regrowth which we see in the seasons of the year.
The place of winter, of dying back, of planting seeds and going inward. Emerging into spring, with the rising sun in the east, the time of green growth coming out of the dark soil. The tender shoots of life growing into fullness in the south, bringing abundance and vitality, a sense of ease and joy. In the west, the autumn, bringing in the harvest, taking stock and celebrating the fruits of the earth…
Cycles of dreaming, planning and action; and of rest, renewal and reflection...
How does all this live in you? How does it show up in your relationships with others – and in your projects?
Might it be possible that everything we do could become in some way regenerative? What would it be like to experience all our living moments as both conscious action and regeneration: the inward flow, and the external gesture, the stillness and the movement?
By inviting a living inquiry along these lines, we hope to take this vision of the Gathering Gates in a direction that may be different to the community projects we have seen before. We want to explore ways of organising that will lean less heavily on both our human and ecological capacities and, with all humility, to manifest something that is genuinely innovative.
We've sketched out a few core practices which may be helpful to work with, in combination with our Learning and Unlearning Labs. Some or all of these might be familiar to you, and you will no doubt have others you can add to the mix.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant, but has forgotten the gift.
– ALBERT EINSTEIN
Wheels Within Wheels
This illustration suggests different ways of understanding this pattern drawing on the Native American model of the Medicine Wheel and an approach known as Dragon Dreaming. (Try reading it in the round, one colour at a time, rather than from top to bottom).
At the centre is a generative capacity beyond our human powers of knowing, an essence that holds us and the universe in coherence. This we might think of as ultimate reality or mystery, or simply as being itself, a source from which we may derive meaning and power.
These are just some ways of looking at this cycle, there are other models too which different groups might explore as we bring our diverse inspirations and sources into the mix.