This is intended to be a daily record of the International Holistic Centres Gathering 2012 which is taking place at Finhorn in Scotland. It’s being written by me, Rachel Davey, representing The Haven at the Gathering.
Today is the last full day of the Centres Gathering. In some ways it feels like I have been here a long time, and at the same time it seems to have flown by!
It was also my birthday today, and I really appreciated celebrating in a completely different location. I am going to see the kids tomorrow, so I get a second celebration then, and a third when I am back in Canada and Toby gets back from China!
My special day started with a lovely walk through the woods to another small community about 15 minutes walk from where we are called Newbold House. We had time for a brief breakfast and then back to Cluny for the morning sessions. Before we started, instead of Happy Birthday to you I was serenaded with a Russian folk song from friends from the Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia. It was a real treat!
We started with the future of centres – what is our role in a changing world, and what major changes do we see happening in the future. Many other centres, like The Haven, are trying to find a balance between the essential work of bringing people together in groups, and also offering programs in other locations and using new technology to keep people connected. The second session was split in half and focussed on transition in the first half and fundraising in the second. It was very useful to share fundraising ideas with other centres and hear what they are doing.
During lunch we had our group photo (see below) and then straight back into afternoon sessions. The first was an experience of the ‘forum’ offered by ZEGG (Centre for Experimental Culture Design) in Germany. It was great to get out of our heads and into personal feelings and sharing. Then the last session was a lively discussion on Holistic Leadership and Conflict Resolution.
It’s been a jam packed five days, and I chose not to go to the ceilidh (Scottish country dancing) this evening, and instead pack and enjoy a sauna and a walk in the gardens.
The closing circle is tomorrow, and I have to leave before the end to catch my flight. I’ve enjoyed sharing my experience with you all, and thanks for reading and sending encouragement. I know that there will continue to be benefits for The Haven and partnerships with other centres as a result of this Gathering. I am excited at taking all this information back to Canada. And looking forward to a week of rest, relaxation and relatives!