A participants perspective: Seven Ways to Think Differently last September

by Wenderlynn Bagnall

I’ve spent weeks trying to find the ‘courage’ to write this blog to tell you about my journey with Looby and others on the 7 Ways To Think Differently course in September 2014. I’m quite capable of writing but for me, writing about my experience was difficult. I’m not sure if it was because I couldn’t find my muse, if I couldn’t be bothered or if my memory just failed me. There is one other thing it could be and I believe this may be the true reason: my vulnerability.

exploring in a treeI have lived most of my life believing that only the elite can achieve amazing things, that I will not be anything special and leave any kind of legacy that would make a difference. Over the last several years I have begun to change this view of myself. How have I done this? By introducing Permaculture to my life, using the ethics and principles and by meeting Looby.

So what’s the relevance of my vulnerability? The relevance is how its intensity had changed and the acceptance of it.

Brene Brown encourages us to honour our vulnerability. To allow ourselves to “be seen, really seen” . To be vulnerable is to be strong. She explains that “vulnerability is the core of shame and fear, but that it also the birthplace of creativity, love, joy, and gratitude. To be vulnerable is to be beautiful”.

I found myself being able to change my frame and enjoy the creatively and playfulness of our sessions. Like an onion, each day a different way of thinking peeled away my thoughts, exposing something new, a new experience, a new emotion, but with a freshness and vibrancy.

I found these new ways of thinking helped reinforce my Permaculture thinking. Looby’s 7 Ways To Think Differently are a healthy recipe for adapting the way you think, feel and live.  I was excited at the thought of discovering a new tool that I could use to change how I see myself.

Fire side sessionsThe biggest struggle for me was Systems Thinking. I was thinking in a linear way and not about the diversity of systems we come across every day, from our own bodies to the communities we live in. The activities helped me to understand and reinforced my awareness of how important systems are and how we need them to function as individuals and as a planet.

We are all connected in a much bigger way than perhaps some of us realise. Our thinking shouldn’t just go as far as our own homes or gardens, but as far away as the ice caps or the Amazon. For some of us, denial that we are responding negatively to the planet, our life support mechanism or that another’s actions don’t affect us, is not thinking in systems.

The course touches on the workings of Joanna Macy’s “The Work That Reconnects”. Learning to give gratitude for the things around us can help us see things with new eyes and help to change perspective on the current paradigms.

Trusting in ourselves and others to make the changes we want to see is imperative. Closing our eyes and being guided in the dark by others, allows our senses to open up to what’s around us, connecting even deeper to nature.

My time on Looby’s course opened up another door. Fun, laughter and sincerity juxtaposed with new ways of thinking opened the door to a new found clarity and new-found friendships.

I now use Looby’s book to help keep my thoughts close to me of what I have learned. I recommend reading the book before you go on the course, in fact it will inspire you to do just that!

The next 7 ways to Think Differently course is on 4-8th March 2015, you can find out more details on the course page.

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