Ecoevolutionaries

Featured

Companioning you on a Spiritual journey, to pioneer deep change in Self and Society. Our experiential programs combine Spirituality and Sustainability, nourishing you on this sacred life journey.

Formats include workshops, retreats, one on one companioning and holistic education programs.
We cross-pollinate:

The personal – healing past trauma, understanding personality, developing self awareness, identifying and liberating unique potential and Soul purpose,
The Ecological Self – learning to live consciously, knowing that we are part of the whole sacred web of life,
Values – comparing our needs and wants, developing critical awareness of our cultural habituations,
Conscious living in daily life – taking our self awareness and Soul purpose into life to co-create a socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling world.

Modalities:
Breathwork
Voice Dialogue
Dream work
Enneagram
Sandtray & Symbol work
Process work
Bioenergetics
Wildheartfulness
Integrative processes: Journaling, Drawing, Movement, Earthart

Underpinned by:
Jungian Transpersonal Psychology
Ecopsychology
Deep Ecology
Buddhism
Education for Sustainability

They are all connected. We are all connected.
Join us and start co-creating the world you want today.
Phone: Jill Nolan on 0488391080.
Email: Astrid Miller astridmiller1@gmail.com

‘Jill and Astrid’s Evolutionary Workshops are vital to anyone wanting to engage in social, spiritual and environmental discourse…I can attest to the professional, passionate, inspired and uplifting qualities brought to the group experience by these two talented ‘agents-of-change’.
Peter Adams, Founder/Director Windgrove Centre, Tasmania.

The Possibility of Eden

I want to live in a State of possibility, awe and wonder, and that could be Tasmania if we say yes to an Eden Project right here.
I’ve heard this idea mooted before, but this time according to Mathew Groom, it’s destined for Macquarie Point. I’ve visited Eden a couple of times. It is utterly amazing and in terms of Ecotourism and Education it is world-class. So if this proposal is indeed real, we need to seize the opportunity with both hands now, because an Eden Project in Tasmania would be as transformative as MONA. This is the intergenerational future I want for this State. Any other makers?

Brain-child of Entrepreneur Tim Smit in 2001 and the result of countless collaborators, Cornwall’s Eden Project has risen from the ravaged bowels of an exhausted clay pit to become a world-renowned educational catalyst for change.

Part financed by the European Union, over 1 million people visit the Eden Project each year, to learn, imagine, create and collaborate. With a population of over 4.5 billion people on Tasmania’s doorstep in the Asia Pacific, who knows what attention our own Eden Project might attract?

The 21st century presents enormous challenges for society: food and energy security, clean air, clean water, population growth, growing inequality and all ratcheted up by climate change. It could all seem like doom and gloom. Yet in the UK, the Eden Project has become an exemplar of possibility. It doesn’t profess to have all the answers, but it does celebrate the myriad ways in which our world supports us, demonstrates what a great future might look like, inspires us to re-imagine, collaborate and action our imaginings and brings people and planet just that bit closer.

We’ve all seen the MONA effect in Tasmania, now lets experience the Eden effect.

Let’s make it happen
Astrid
0488391080

Welcome Dinner Project

Out of the trusting crucible of community emerges the fecundity of possibilities.
And that’s where Jill and I have been over the last couple of days as we facilitated a retreat on the Tasman Peninsula, for coordinators of the Welcome Dinner Project for asylum seekers. They gathered from all points of the Australian compass to collaborate on an Ecoevolutionaries Wildheartfulness Journey at Windgrove.

Our doorway was Jungian Symbol work and the threshold our dreams, imagination, creativity, an eclectic library of figurines, Peter’s beautiful and sacred art and of course, wild Nature. The earthly purpose Jung gave for remedying our Human separation from Nature was not to ‘save’ Nature, but to let Nature affect us, enabling healing of HumaNature. We spent the last morning on Roaring Beach co-creating Earth Art with the abundance of flotsam and jetsam washed up through the endless sweep of the great Southern Ocean. It was an opportunity to integrate, clarify and make conscious our unique giftedness for ourselves and for our work in the world.

Sometimes we’re asked why we do this sort of work? It’s simple really. Journeywork is a refuge in the river of daily life that re-balances our little boat and realigns our inner compass and is vital if we are to create a different future.

Thanks to Penny Elsley for catalysing, Peter Adams for opening beautiful Windgrove and enabling, Zaki Haidari for courage and to all the WDP coordinators for saying a big yes!
Gratitude to you all in blessed unrest, Jill & Astrid

Buddha at the kitchen sink

Some years ago when I was finishing off a Postgraduate degree in Education for Sustainability, I wrote a lengthy paper entitled; Cultivating the Ecological Self using Experiential learning. What a mouth-full eh! Totally locked into my left brain bias, I laboured over it for weeks. Soon after submitting the paper I met up with a group of my peers who I share a Jungian background with, to continue our experiential practice.

The first process was Sandtray work. No sooner had I touched the sand when I was inextricably drawn into the Sandtray itself and so quite naturally I climbed in. No words do this experience justice.

Silent and in awe I simply was.
Without words I knew that everything is connected. There is no separation. No Me, only We or Web. Eventually a mantra emerged, Earth Body Body Earth, Earth Body Body Earth, Earth Body Body Earth….A slow drumming of embodied knowing.

After staying suspended in this ‘not-knowing/knowing’ for some time, I climbed out of the tray. Sensing something big, my IPhone crazy buddy had taken a snap of me and whilst I still have the blurry photographic ‘proof’ of this experience, I have something far more precious. I have a deeply profound and embodied knowingness that in life and death there is no separation.

I drove home realising that weeks of academic work trying to articulate the potential of experiential work to open the doorway to Oneness, had been delivered to me, or through me, quite literally on a tray. I know it’s not the only way we can experience this sort of thing, but that’s how it was in that one moment for me.

The urge to grasp this transpersonal experience and linger in the light was really tantalising. Like many of us, I’ve done plenty of cushion sitting in pursuit of the Sacred. And yet in my heart of hearts I’ve also had a sense of the sacred being me and in life, and that all I really need to do is be love. And that love is simply energy, and we can tune-in or not.

And in all honestly, despite numerous academic accolades, that’s all I really know for sure now. It’s not quite a thesis but there it is; no separation, Be love, Earth Body Body Earth. I could never know this intellectually and so that’s the blessing and necessity of experiential work. Yet the seduction of personality and ego to take flight to the light is often immense. Who wants to do the dishes when bliss is on the menu? Mrs Buddha never got a mention.

However as always, everyday life served up the necessary call and the next day I flew to Sydney where my precious Mum had just had a major stroke. And the gift for me and maybe for her was that I went there fully present to Love, without fear of death and dying. I went with sadness and compassion about the challenges, the painfulness and difficulties for her of the dying process and for me. But also with an embodied knowingness that there is no separation, there is only Love. I had five full weeks of life and death with my Mum, and what a time of challenges and blessings it was.

Immediately after, I had another opportunity to companion someone through the dying process. Again I felt the embodied knowingness of that transpersonal experience, palpably, fearlessly anchoring me in life. And together with an extended community of Love, that next seven months was the biggest gift in my life so far, a daily practice of bringing death to life and life to death. Spirit and matter; wedded through the practice of living.

So what a mystery it all is and how contradictory it seems at times.
But what I have learnt is that life is our meditation; the rough and tumble, blessing and curse, solitude and community, light and shadow of every-day living. And that the real gift is in knowing that the seemingly ordinary is actually extraordinary. At the end of our day it’s as simple and as complex as Love.
Astrid

Sacred Heart Leaders

Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn says that the next Buddha will be a Sangha (Community) and I think we met them yesterday when Jill and I took a group of 14 Theology and Ministry students for a day on kunanyi (Mt Wellington).

Just six months into an innovative new class being pioneered by Eamonn Pollard from Sacred Heart College, the fourteen and fifteen year olds shone as a remarkable group because of their connectedness. The uniqueness of each person was obvious, but what was even more palpable was the synergy of what these young people are bringing to life collectively.

Our theme for the day was relationship and together we unravelled our web of hot chocolate, practiced mindfulness and explored thresholds and emerging edges.
As I looked around the circle at the end of the day what I saw was a bursting of possibility, and potentially a new way of being in the world, of Interbeing. That’s really the heart of our work at Ecoevolutionaries, training to Interbe and here it was being reflected back to me through these vibrant young leaders. I’m left with an abiding sense of active hope and even more of an inkling of what is already emerging.

Thanks to everyone and to Matt Conolan again, we love your inspired teaching and to you Eamonn, for a new transformative teaching narrative.
Gratitude, Jill & Astrid

Swinburne Uni Champions

Recently Jill, Peter Adams and I collaborated in running an experiential learning day for the 2013/14 cohort of Swinburne Sustainability Champions. The diverse group of VET educators was in Tasmania to conclude their year-long study program with Melbourne’s National Centre for Sustainability at Swinburne University of Technology.

Once again Peter opened his beautiful home, Windgrove, to host the event.

Jill and I introduced the Sustainability Champions to the core of our Ecoevolutionaries work in which we ask, ‘Change yourself or change the world’? We believe we need to do both, to look at our inner and outer nature. Without a sure foundation of conscious self-awareness about our attitudes, values, unexamined assumptions, personality and impacts of child wounding, despite our very best intentions, we risk perpetuating old behaviors which really don’t serve us or Earth well.

Whilst systems’ thinking has become synonymous with sustainability education, we rarely put ourselves into the sustainability equation and examine who we are in the greater system of life and examine our unconscious behavioral motivations. Our work at Ecoevolutionaries embraces a rich cross pollination of experiential practices designed to plumb these behavioral depths. Once brought to light these insights and ‘knowings’ can become the wellspring of conscious action in the world. Exploring our inner nature through story, myth, metaphor, symbols and critical self-reflection can offer us a new foundation for life, as we transition to a socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling world.

Another precious part of the day was the Gaia Walk, with Peter introducing people to this new interactive walk at Windgrove.

With the aid of beautifully illustrated signage that will soon be in place, the coastal walk records the 4.6 billion year evolutionary history of our planetary home. Walking this sacred path enables participants to get a felt sense of our evolutionary unfolding. The last few steps of the Gaia walk are humbling, as they alert us to the extraordinary brevity of human presence on Earth, which sits in stark juxtaposition to our profound impacts to life on Earth.

It was a rich day for all of us and we were really touched by the willingness of people to engage with an experiential style of learning that was new to many. It was also beautiful to see the compassion and connectedness of the Swinburne Champions with one another, which was so obvious throughout the day.

Thank you to you all, gratitude, Astrid and Jill

I want to thank you three for welcoming us to Windgrove and providing a very enriching afternoon last Friday. Many participants commented to me that the Windgrove ‘experience’ was the most valuable and insightful time during our visit to Tasmania. Personally I thought it was simply magnificent and so aligned with what this course is about. – Gitanjali Bedi, Swinburne Sustainability Champions Course Co-Ordinator, Melbourne.

Our educational challenge

I’ve been reading Edmund O’Sullivan’s terrific book recently, Transformative Learning, Educational Vision for the 21st Centuary

What he speaks about and what resonates again and again for me is this: that our educational challenge right now is to bring ourselves to a sustained level of consciousness about the social and ecological fabric of life and to hold this consciousness at the heart of our cultural minds – not just for a day or a peak experience, a workshop or weekend; but rather to embody this conscious awareness as the very fabric of who and what we are.

Then, when we wake up on a crisp and chilly winter morning and pull that woollen jumper over our head, we have no doubt about the complexity and simplicity of relationships we share. We recognize this jumper intimately as sheep, as sun, soil and grass, rain, wind, artisan, lamb and teacher and we experience a felt sense of gratitude, connection and the breath of kith and kin on our very cheek. And we do this again and again, throughout our day and throughout our lives and this knowing will guide and nourish our Earth and Human relationships into the future.

Edmund O’Sullivan describes transformative learning as learning which involves experiencing a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thought, feelings & actions. It is a shift of consciousness that dramatically & irreversibly alters our way of being in the world. Such a shift involves our understanding of ourselves & our self-locations; our relationships with other humans & with the natural world; our understanding of relations of power in interlocking structures of class, race & gender; our body awareness, our visions of alternative approaches to living; & our sense of possibilities for social justice, peace & personal joy.

This is our work and our wonderment.
Astrid

Solo day

I’ve just come home after another blessed four day retreat at Windgrove.
The Solo day broke bright with possibility as the participants disappeared into the blue grey dawn. Why is it that when we slow down and spend mindful time in the natural world that our creativity bubbles up? Earthart is assembled, poetry is written and drawings emerge, as if from some deep and sustaining wellspring.
All I really know is that it happens, consistently.

Fairy wren arrives.
He drops in like a blue jewel,
light as a tiny kite.
Shadow dancer along the limb.
Mrs Wren skips sideways,
tinkling with joy.
Shrill with life…………

Death is no small thing.
A roaring silence,
a pin-drop of tsunami proportions,
a stillness of explosive impact.
One lifelong moment.

Thanks again to all who journey, Astrid

The Sacred Feminine

The Feminine in dynamic relationship with the Masculine is necessary for the transformation of human consciousness that we so desperately need in our world today. This is the great work for all those men and women who want a very different future for all children and the generations to come.

The Great Mother or Sacred Feminine archetype resides within the psyche of all human beings. She is calling us today in her myriad forms, asking us to hear her voice of loving wisdom in our dreams and visions and to see her image in all of life. The great spiritual task for modern human beings is to once again ‘know’ this Divine Feminine presence within all of creation and within our own souls as we bring these qualities to life. Compassion, intuition, co-creation, relatedness, empathy, fertility, sensuality, nurturance…

This is vitally important work for both women and men. Only then can we manifest the healing qualities of the Feminine, bringing us into balance and overcoming the divisions which separate us from our true selves, from other human beings, and from Earth.

Do hope you’ll join us for this exciting exploration at Windgrove, see you there, Jill

Symbols at Windgrove

Symbols, sign posts to the unconscious, the deep rich soup of potential.
As we drove down the rutted soggy track to Windgrove last Saturday, the sun suddenly emerged from the dull fug of a storm stained sky to grace our arrival. What a bold symbol for the beginning of our time together, illumination, life, emergence, light and dark, surprise…We gathered to journey, to strengthen community, to wake-up to who and what we are, to cultivate our Ecological Selves and work consciously for change.
Precious and vital work!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

Integration

Dear fellow Journeyers,

Firstly we want to thankyou all for the time we shared at beautiful Windgrove over Easter. Each one of you precious people, with your unique contribution co-created a rich time for us all.

As mentioned, going back into the world and our daily lives can be challenging, after sharing deeply with others. There can be a sense of being on a high and feeling very optimistic and clear about the next steps at the end of a retreat, only to be sabotaged by our enculturation (both inner and outer) when we return home/work. To support this transition we are offering each of you one follow-up integration session so please negotiate a time soon.

We will also be organising another potluck gathering to continue building our community of practicing Ecoevolutionaries. See you there!

Love to you all, Jill & Astrid

Envisioning an ecological future

What is true prosperity? The dominant unexamined assumption of our modern culture is that health, happiness and wellbeing come primarily from economic wealth and consumption. Consequently, economic growth and continued consumption are the major concerns of government, and a large proportion of the population.

Contrast this with life in Costa Rica, which ranks first in the world on the Happy Planet Index, www.happyplanetindex.org. Costa Rica generates 99% of its electricity renewably, its people are amongst the happiest in the world, they live longer than people in the USA and consume about a quarter of USA consumption.

How can we create a socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling world? Ultimately it is about the kind of world we want to create for our children, our grandchildren and generations to come. What kind of ancestors do we want to be?

Evolutionaries (people who align their passion, their unique gifts and their purpose, with the evolutionary impulse) know that focussing energy on what is wrong tends to strengthen the object of attention. We urgently need to create a new uplifting vision for the future. Let’s make Tasmania the exemplar model.

We are called to envision a radically different way of life, and to powerfully, courageously and joyfully, take the steps to bring our vision to fruition. Like Martin Luther King, we need a dream, a dream that is for the benefit of all beings, and to keep that vision before us as we take action. What sort of ancestor do you want to be? What brings you alive? What are you already doing to create change? What are your ideas, poems of inspiration, questions?

Jill

Wildmindfulness at Windgrove

Wildmindfulness – Earth, Spirit, Action weekend at Windgrove

…within the liminal space of silence, is the voice of mystery…the threshold of our emergent future

David Orr says…the difference between a future ranging from outright catastrophe to the evolution of global civilization moving toward justice and sustainability will come down to our capacity to understand ourselves fully at all levels…

Courage, creativity & community… cultivated as we align inner and outer nature, purpose with passion, and experience an embodied knowing of our interbeing…a life-long dance woven by the ecological, the evolutionary & the egoic…

Earth, Spirit, Action

A day on the mountain with spiritual teacher John P Milton

A day on the mountain with John P Milton 20/11/12

Seventeen of us came together for an experiential learning day on Kunanyi (Mount Wellington), with John P Milton…how will our unique threads & community connectedness weave us?…what do we envision for our future?…what are the steps we need to take?…what does this community want?..what does earth and all her members need?…what sort of ancestors do we want to be?

John Milton says…the next great opening of an ecological worldview will have to be an internal one…

Lost…Stand still. The trees ahead & bushes beside you are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, and you must treat it as a powerful stranger, must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here. No two trees are the same to Raven. No two branches are the same to Wren. If what a tree or bush does is lost on you, you are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you…by David Wagner