Finding Bearings about Place

Guest Blogger: Ellen van Dongen

I feel that I can find my bearings concerning ‘place’, now. It is connected to my Lifemaps work and Integral City.

Place is part of Integral City’s Master Code. I am deeply touched and humbled by the importance and generative power of the Master Code. For me it is a beautiful expression for living a life in Oneness.

You could say, that the whole of the Lifemaps.NL framework of posters and stickers is my Lifemaps Book 1 (like the Integral City Book 1). You can choose many overlays, paths or processes to work with Lifemaps. The 4 core lifemaps are compasses for the 4 core themes: being your true self, following your life’s purpose, living your life as a personal creator and being a conscious entrepreneur. They are developed from and for the individual perspective (I, IT – subtle as well as material). The collective aspects I want to work with in groups, to complement these lifemaps, are: WEconomy + New Business Models, and place making, place caring + the Master Code.

What is the Connection to my Work?

Integral City for me first came with inspiration: being with Marilyn, listening to the story of the bees and the human hive and the four voices. I could recognize it as an important integral framework for assessment and mapping as well. From that time on I have felt, that Integral City had a place in my life. Over the last few years I always enjoyed our monthly community of practice zoom calls. I was/am curious about the source/sources and the underlying process in our systemic constellations. I see the potential of our space-holding work. I really feel involved and included. What I did not have yet was a direct point of connection into me and my work. This came last July, when I was finalizing the four big lifemaps: Being yourselfFollowing your missionLiving as a personal creator and Conscious business. Note: you can have a peek at to get an impression of how these lifemaps look.

Discovering place

I was developing a set of icons which could represent key aspects and principles of creation. For me Life = creation & evolution. Everyone of us is a creator. We all co-­create with one another and with Life. In my experience one of these aspects is: knowing where you are. Related to creation, this means, that when you know where you are – and you are completely there (present, but also present on that spot), in the now – your creations will have strong roots and will flourish. The symbol for this is:

After having developed the set of symbols, and after having developed the lifemap Living as a personal creator, my last test and validation was: working with this lifemap myself -going through the whole experience and finding out whether everything I needed in my process as well as in the content was provided for. So, I was choosing stickers and laying out my life’s journey on the poster. I was reflecting about what my creations could show me about my function as a personal creator. The last step in this lifemap is to look at the set of creation icons to assess where and which principles and aspects I had experienced in my life. And there was the icon meaning: knowing where you are. At that moment I saw, that this was about place, I and that I had been wondering about this for a long time.

Place connects my work with lifemaps to Integral City and vice versa

With this I have found what connects me and my work to Integral City. To follow my intuition, inquire about/into place, find the meaning of place… Find and answer questions like:

  • do we have an in-built GPS and if so why and how?
  • What is the connection to the four directions: N, E, S, W?
  • What is the energy signature of a place and what is the meaning of it?
  • What is a source and what is the relationship between place and source?
  • What are places of power?

I therefore find it really great, that the lifemaps have shown me this connection. To complete the fun…. there is also a connection between the lifemaps and Integral City now, to be implemented. The four lifemaps do not explicitly include place, yet. So, I will see to it, that it will be embedded in them, in the near future.

I want my work to be about finding new integral, sustainable and conscious ways to be yourself, to live and work together. I personally will work with the lifemaps from the “I” perspective (coaches are using them for group work within organizations). And I will work with New Business Models and Integral City to cover the “WE”. The circle is round for me now, as we say it in Dutch.

About the Author:

HI I am the Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc. and Chief Blogger. Working with cities and eco-regions, I ‘meshwork’ or weave people, purpose, priorities, profits, programs and processes to align contexts, grow capacity and develop strategies for sustainability and resilience in the Integral City. You can read more details about me here

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