Guest Blogger: Anonymous
Setting the scene
I have taken a short holiday from my home in the country near Utrecht to stay in Amsterdam for a few days. Here are extracts from my journal of several of my experiences during that stay to intimately connect to Place.
The night before. Many people per square meter. Nice facades. Very old pipes bring the water into and from the houses. In bed, I immediately could find a connection to the earth. I was surprised; I did not expect that.
In the morning. I went out to get breakfast somewhere. The restaurant next to the Van Gogh museum looked inviting. It was almost empty, with a lot of glass, and the sun was shining through. Soon, I am enjoying a French breakfast. I am pondering… In the center, it is much about the business of tourism. Organized and offered in a professional and good-humoured way. I feel an observer. The sky is blue with white clouds, but looks like it is ‘at another level’, not part of this man-made environment. There is a lot of intelligence in this place.
The waiter, who has brought me my breakfast, asks me what I am writing about. I tell him, that I am on a walk through the city, observing and sensing, finding every next step intuitively. That this is an experiment in my inquiry into the meaning of ‘place’. That I have been inspired by what Cherie Beck, in our Integral City group, is doing in/for Washington DC. That I want to walk towards the Dam and the monument -an obelisk -to find out what I am sensing on that spot. …
I decide to go to the Dam and find a church nearby as well. It is quiet for a Saturday in the summer season. While I am walking I come into contact with the memory of the systemic constellation Marilyn and Diana Claire did in Amsterdam (in 2013). I saw the face of Tatiana Glad of the Impact Hub Amsterdam. It is a short flashback. I get the feeling, that this constellation wants to be continued.
I am walking and encountering women who are observers, like me. Also, here in the center of the city, it is easy to connect to the earth. Since I started walking my heart is ticking louder than before. I arrive at the Dam. The Hare Krishna monks are putting up stalls for the Festival of Chariots. My tour around the monument does not give me any special sensation. I sense some energy between chakra 2 and 5.
I decide to go to the Nieuwe Kerk first, at 100 meters from the monument. It is a famous church. I sense and feel proudness of everything that has been accomplished here. Originality is the word that comes up. An organ recital there will start in half an hour.
In the church, I take off my shoes (with rubber soles) to feel the earth. First some internal heat needs to go. So, I let it go. I affirm that I do not want this experience to be about me as an individual, not about my personality. I affirm who I am. My borders are clear and as wide as I would like. My mission is clear. I know I am able to sense the difference between something about me and other sensations.
Heavenly music is a text that hangs on a board in front of the very big and beautiful organ. I see and feel an enormous white angel, that encompasses the church. In fact (in hindsight) her belly is this church. The connection with the earth in the church does not feel as strong as elsewhere. I can sense, that this is a place of spirituality. Again, my heart is ticking louder than normal. I get a feel of myself standing with both feet on the earth and with my upper body in the skies. Tears come into my eyes. THIS IS MY PLACE. Place in another sense, than used before -more a position. I am clearly on an inquiry into PLACE.
I get the idea, that the waiter (who paid for my breakfast) could earn money by organizing group walks like I am doing now. I will send him an email with this idea. I can see how this could be an emerging practice of Integral City work, too. The words that come with it, meant for me as a person, are: you have to do the work yourself. The emphasis is on work. Could this emerging practice become a way in which people can find their place? I am now feeling my chakras’ 5, 6 and 7. So I sensed the lower chakras at the monument and the higher chakras in the church. And in both places, my heart beat louder. Does the word ‘yourself’ mean that this is my work because of the fact that my heart is open? This is something that comes up while I am typing this in on my iPad from the notes on paper.
I am following the different rhythms and sound of the organ music. For myself I voice the affirmation that I may be healed/cured in this place.
Today, the sun comes through the clouds and my eyes fall on the text on the wall: rejoice. What does the earth say at this moment? I love you. Yes, I know……. But: besides the obvious…. I am receiving (conceiving?) you. Now I can feel the lower part of my body.
After the concert has finished I go to the monument again, but do not get additional information. About a kilometer away, on the route to my weekend address, I eat noodles with vegetables in a Chinese take-away. A little further on I am passing a little photographer’s shop with an old lady in it. I decide to ask her to make new photos for my passport. She helps me relax -I am not good at posing. When I am paying for the photos we have a little conversation about people helping each other.
My last location on the way back is the Kiloshop, which sells second hand clothing from the seventies and eighties. My niece worked there, but not anymore, so I found, when I arrived there. By that time, I was beginning to feel tired. I had been on the road for 5 hours. I decided to just walk from here, and relax. I bought some carrot cake in a social enterprise called My Aunt’s Cakes. …
The following day I just wanted to relax. When I was walking towards the Amsterdam Forest, a large park, I felt it would be a good idea to realign with the people. Though I had had a lot of contact with people, the day before, this was when I was walking as an observer and as a representative of [some energy in the systemic constellation related to Amsterdam’s future that wants to continue]?
The Master Code, is what I feel, while writing this down. Today I was walking as me. I felt myself go from small to big and vice versa – in the area of life where everybody is compared with each other, constantly. I saw “others” as many very rich people and many big big cars. I felt myself becoming very critical and felt how a lot in this world was wrong. At the same time, I saw many innovative initiatives and ‘small’ people doing great things for the world. My thoughts and emotions went from the one to the other extreme [of the Master Code].
I went back, packed my things and got the tram to the station. When I was waiting for the train to take me home, this process came to an equilibrium, when I realized that It was necessary for me to accept everything as it is, including myself. That it was not necessary for me to let myself drift on these tendencies to judge.
There was another insight. I have always wanted to have an overview. I have profited a lot from my capacity to have a helicopter-view. But it is just impossible to have an overview of the world, even of a part of this city, or a group of people, even of somebody else’s life [all those aspects of the Master Code].
I felt a sensation of deep peace coming up in me as I realized that what is effective for me now is to be fully present in the moment, to be with what is, and trust that this is enough and that this is exactly the right place to be and do my work, that my work, here and now, will exactly be the right work for me. In fact, I am now considering myself someone who does regular inquiries about place/Place/PLACE.
This blog series continues a celebration of the launch of Book 2 in the Integral City Book Series: Integral City Inquiry & Action: Designing Impact for the Human Hive.
In this blog series, Guest Bloggers from the Integral City Community of Practice explore how each is living the practices of Placecaring & Placemaking.
The series includes: