This year I have spent experimenting with ON+OFF Grid living in a hut, in the woods half the time with no internet or phone reception! An experiment I have bought a global community along with through my weekly vlog on youtube. It has opened me up to a whole new way of being and I have learned more than any other year!!
I wanted to share the depth I experienced in watching each of the seasons emerge in a film to expose people to the woods and share it’s thoughts on it’s impact on me! So in November I bombed in a mates van round the country to 10 coffee shops and common rooms creating experiences with 300 people expressing over 200 words in response to the film! It has created alot to sit and reflect on and I will try to distill it here.
I simply asked the attendees to sit quietly and watch the we recently made about one year spent engaging with nature in the sussex woodland, then I asked them, “what comes up for you? Is there any kind of ‘felt’ response you would like to share?
This turned into some of the most meaningful conversational experiences I have ever had, often about half way through the hour long conversation I would ask, “is there anyone in here who wouldn’t ordinarily speak up in a group but has something on their mind?’ Often this was the most powerful voice in the room. I remember one young woman who travelled 3 hours to be there spoke about anxiety and through tears and apologies she spoke that she felt ‘peace’ and I felt her manifest that powerful peace for the room to experience with her — very special indeed!
As people spoke their responses I scribbled it on a canvas board, lit up in a spotlight that made their responses the most important thing in the room. As the room eased into the conversation I asked people to come and write their own words on the board, and a final invitation just after the conversation if they hadn’t managed to say in front of everyone else!
These are over 200 words and phrases that followed. I could point out which one came up most frequently but that I feel Is a disservice to the authenticity and diversity that we experienced.
I believe health and strength comes through diversity. I was happy to see statements and questions, practical and emotional. Sentences and solitary words but most of all I was pleased to see ‘the dark side words’ the proof of honesty in the room. Words and phrases like resentment, balance, the real me, anxiety from not addressing the truth, ambiguously spiritual, childish play, confusion are among my favourite in the attempt to put words to this human experience. * the full list is at the bottom of this article!
If we are going to fully engage with life we need to be honest about what we are experiencing and I am proud to say that we experienced a lot throughout the course of this tour.
So instead of me curating, I invite you to look through the words yourself, to let them marinate and then to download the film and see if you can add something new to this creation.