On my flight back from the 10th anniversary of The Do Lectures in Wales, still digesting and savouring all the insights, I started reading the Brain Pickings newsletter by the brilliant Maria Popova. The theme of the newsletter was communication featuring Ursula K. Le Guin on the magic of real human conversation. Do you believe in synchronicities?!?!
With the words of Maria Popova: “Every act of communication is an act of tremendous courage in which we give ourselves over to two parallel possibilities: the possibility of planting into another mind a seed sprouted in ours and watching it blossom into a breathtaking flower of mutual understanding; and the possibility of being wholly misunderstood, reduced to a withering weed.” When I arrived at Cardigan Bay, a sunny field overlooking the bay was there to welcome us into possibilities and, at the same time, asking us to surrender to the beauty of those conversations just a person away.
Why this experience was so magic for me? Because, like Ursula Le Guin said is "something other than mere information being transmitted — something more intangible yet more real. It is, a relationship between speaker and hearer. It is a continuous interchange between two consciousnesses." I found indeed a place where curiosity leads to encouragement and exchanges.
Elle Luna opened the event reminding us of the shoulds that keep us from ourselves. So often we keep ourselves prisoners of our own limitations and self-doubt forgetting that the key to free us is in the power of owing our own stories.
What is the effect of these stories on our own human condition? And how can we be more human? By listening to those stories we tell and are told. By lifting our consciousness not only on what it is said but also on the context. By remaining curious and asking for directions when we get lost. Telling is Listening (U. Le Guin). Listening to the emotions that continuously inform our creating and forging new stories.
It seems grandiose and too big of an adventure for us to grasp. Yet, as Alastair Humphreys said, there are small micro-adventures that can set us in motion on the path of freedom. What is that little thing that scares you? That is your adventure! You do not need to change the world or go climb the Everest. Do that little thing that connects you to the wilderness within you and outside of you.
Katie Elliott shared the power of making tiny, positive changes and committing to them long-term to see extraordinary results. A true inspiration to make being human a little bit easier.
When Ben Branson shared his personal story and how that led full circle back to where all started, tears came into my eyes. Tears of knowing that sometimes, when we venture out to save the world, actually we are trying to save ourselves and what matters to us…even when we run away from it in search of freedom or a new identity.
Tears again when Dearbhla Reynoldsnbsp talked about being a black sheep and how we become so independent even rebels just as a way to protect ourselves from being misunderstood even more. In building up our independent selves we give up all the power a black sheep has…I myself had (I still am) to learn how to claim back my own power and honour the paradox of being many and multitudes.
In Wales we connected around the campfire of life. A rare gift when attending to conferences where too often the centre of those "connections" become roles, titles and business achievements. We shared our unique stories and found creative joy out of what happens to us. We can always create joy even after a late stage breast cancer diagnosis that led Kristin Hallenga to “glitter a turd” and found CoppaFeel.
You know how obsessed I am in re-defining business as a journey of humankind development and collective growth. Business becomes then a human experience of shaping the world through our stories. It is a path of profound transformation. Each step we take, on this path of growing our businesses, is a step into our own becoming. When Tina Roth -Eisenber (AKA Swissmiss) stood on stage talking about how taking care of her heart and re-focusing on her soul’s journey shaped the way she does business all the cells into my body did a happy dance.
Giles Duley closed this extraordinary experience with a talk that transformed me. I cannot express in which ways yet, but I know something is brewing inside of me. Whether small or big, we can all do something to be part of creating change. With Legacy of War, with his life, Giles thought the only lesson worth remembering…love is unbreakable!
I can’t possibly list all the speakers and the experiences that they gifted us with. What I know is that the power of their talks, music, art is amplified by all those who listened. This is the strength of a community that goes away transformed.
Ten years ago, Clare and David Hieatt started the Do Lectures with a simple aim: To gather together the world’s Doers – disruptors and change makers, experts and pioneers – to share their stories, and encourage others to go and Do.
I think they did it! The proof is my first time ever singing…forever grateful to James Sills who made the miracle.
Now it’s time to Do heART!