Web of Life

Unless you humans come back here to weave a web of courageous hearts, disciplined acts of service and sacred conversations, you will all wither away in the Great Forgetting.” 

Message of the Four Sisters of the Last Forest of Earth to humanity (Azul-Valérie Thomé)

Web of Life is a way to bring together people who are passionate about an equitable future for people and planet to co-create a sustainable and resilient community to better navigate the challenges of our time through a deeper and embodied connection to the natural world and to ourselves.

If you feel the pain of the disconnection between human beings and the natural world, and from our own bodies, I invite you to join us. Through body practices that weave together breath, movement, nature-based practices and the power of sound, I’m visioning an embodied community of the heart that I hope to be one node in a vast global and interconnected web of strong beacons of hope amid chaos and challenges.

It is time to change, and if we do not change, something stronger than us is going to do it for us.”

Arkan Lushwala

I’m inviting people to join a pilot programme which will run ongoing. You can join on a monthly basis for as little or as long as you would like. Please read on if you’d like to learn more, or see the joining options here.

Being embodied, being in relationship with Life

Can we collectively shift how we view and interact with both the natural world and with ourselves, so that nature, other human beings and our own bodies are no longer tools to be manipulated but instead to be cherished as precious and vital parts of the web of life, without which life cannot continue?

When practised by enough people… simple primordial activities can begin to change the world, body by body.

resmaa Menakem: my grandmother’s hands

Resmaa Menakem writes how the body is the only place where the mending of trauma can happen. The community I am visioning brings together nature-based approaches with a commitment to practising as a community how we can embody, and witness each other embodying, a way of interconnection that honours the whole of life. We could talk about this, read and write books about it, and debate it endlessly, yet the approach I would like to practise and share together is rooted in embodied practices to relate to the body, and to people and planet in what Martin Buber calls an “I-Thou” relationship knowing deep inside our blood, bones, breath and veins our mutual interdependence.

“You can’t Google wisdom. We find wisdom deep inside ourselves. The people we call indigenous live with that understanding that we are the water and the water is us, and what happens to you happens to me”

anita sanchez

Music, chant and sound as a window to remembering

I will be weaving into the project my experience of the power of music, chant and sound as a tool to remember what is often forgotten. Part of the offering is to share soundscapes that engage with the diversity of life on our planet, that both celebrate and inspire us to enter into relationship with nature. Another part of the offering involves drawing on ancient chant as a resource that I see as having powerful agency over the way we experience life as well as over life itself.

I find both music and nature and the interface between them are a deep resource for me in dealing with challenges. Music can help me to appreciate the natural world, and time outdoors is crucial for me in the process of composing. Hearing a soundscape, or taking a moment during the day to sing or chant is an opportunity to pause from the flow of daily life and to enter a space where time is suspended, where there is the possibility of heightened awareness of the environment around us. Here is an invitation to deeper presence with ourselves including the embodied, the intuitive and the imaginal. I see this reconnection as supportive to a re-framing of the way that we as human beings connect with the natural world as well as with each other. The symbiotic co-existence of diverse species in a healthy eco-system is a deep inspiration for me in terms of finding ways to live together in a healthy human society.

A co-creative journey

I will be holding this space to journey together with the awareness that it’s a co-creative journey. For me this means that I’m visioning a space where everyone can contribute to the group experience in a unique way. While you are free to participate as little or as much as you are comfortable with, I will be seeking actively to honour our individual experiences as a fundamental part of the journey together. I believe that resilience is a collective thing not just an individual one and in the power of group wisdom to emerge when we create space for it.

Using technology wisely – online connectivity to deepen our offline connectivity

I’m aware of the potential for the Internet both to connect and to divide, to distract as well as to focus, to share information and resources as well as to befuddle. I’m visioning this project as a hybrid experiment: can we manage to use the ‘worldwide web’ to support connection and interconnection, to support a remembering of the larger Web of Life while avoiding the dangers of distraction, overwhelm, disembodiment and information saturation? I have experienced during lockdown periods both the amazing capacity to connect and share embodied experiences with people throughout the world with a common purpose with the help of online technology, as well as the need to be discerning with the way and the quantity of how I use the Internet.

I am experimenting with live group sessions that aim to keep a healthy through continual invitations to check in with the body, a focus on the experiential in sessions. This project we will connect in a hybrid way that includes guided body practices which you are invited to work with in your own time, recordings which you can listen to offline, regular online gatherings and an ongoing discussion platform which are a chance to deepen into the practices and share our experiences. All elements of the programme are optional and you are encouraged to participate as much or as little as you feel able to. Both the online and the offline elements have a real focus on embodied practices – many people have found very powerful experiences to be possible in this way.

What exactly will be offered?

This is an evolving project. For the initial phase of Web of Life, you will have access to:

  • participatory group Zoom calls at least once a month to support a deeper connection to ourselves, the natural world, our bodies and communities, through body, breath and sound practices, music and sharing (subject to group consent, part or all of these will be recorded so that you can tune in later should you not make the live session
  • access to live/ recorded Bathing in Sound sessions online for deep relaxation to a musical soundscape
  • at least 2 new audio recordings from me per month (which you can stream or download for offline listening) including music and body practices to explore in your own time offline (some of these will invite you to spend time outdoors)
  • access to a secure and focused online community platform (optional) where you can interact with other community members in between sessions and/ or share about your experiences (without the distractions of most social media)
  • the option of meeting with others from the community (on or offline) for pair work and/ or small group sharing
  • access to streamable recordings of my music and the recordings of body practiices (a growing catalogue of both published and unpublished)
  • weekly curated content in the form of links to articles, posts, audio or video to complement our journey

Future plans include to grow this network by incorporating interviews and workshops with different people, as well as to offer the option to form optional sub-groups. I am visioning ways that a community interest model can develop from this work in order to touch the lives of young people, marginalised groups, and others who would benefit from this. Your participation in this project is supporting me to prioritise and develop this work further.

This project may be a good fit for you:

  • if you would like to deepen your connection with nature and the body
  • if you are curious about how music, sound and chant can be a resource for reconnection and deepening embodiment
  • if you would like to bring together spirituality and a sense of engaging with the world and its issues
  • if you sometimes or often feel the pain of the disconnection between human beings and the natural world, and from our own bodies, or if you think or care about this yet wonder why you don’t feel the pain of it
  • if you are drawn to the idea (and the reality of) a sustainable and resilient community to better navigate the challenges of our time through a deeper and embodied connection to the natural world and to ourselves
  • if you are feel a call to explore the power of collective practices and/ or the wisdom of a group when we tune in together
  • if you have an interest in learning from other people’s experiences and the way that this may differ or correspond with our own
  • if you believe that difficult emotions as well as easier ones may all bring important insights as part of the messiness of the organic process of life
  • if you have an openness to explore ‘blended learning’ with a combination of online and offline activities and offerings, exploring some of the offerings in your own time
  • if you are open to exploring the possibility that collective inner work can have a positive impact on the world
  • if you see the world’s challenges as requiring a deep shift in approach to face adequately
  • if you are open to seeing this collective journey as being like “broccoli seeds” that will require soil, planting, watering and attending to for a possible harvest. (Thanks to “Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures” for this image)

This project may not work so well for you:

  • if you are looking for a forum to discuss theories and solutions mainly in an intellectual or theoretical way
  • if you are looking for top-down answers and neatly packaged strategies from an expert without an interest in being part of a group journey
  • if you are highly sceptical about the value of giving time to pay more attention to the body
  • if you see the work we do inside ourselves as irrelevant to world issues and social justice
  • if you would struggle to make at least half an hour a week to engage
  • if you are likely to struggle to stay engaged should difficult emotions arise in yourself or in another community member
  • if you would struggle to seek/ find one-to-one support should you be triggered or overwhelmed by anything that comes up during the process (although the practices may be highly therapeutic, they are not a substitute for one-to-one therapy)

If you are in any way unsure if this is for you, I invite you to contact me.

How long am I committing to?

You are welcome to join us for as long or as short as you like. I believe you will get most out of the offering through working with our collective resources ongoing, however you are free to leave and cancel your membership whenever you like.

How much will it cost?

A monthly membership fee is requested to ensure that I can give this community the attention and love it deserves while earning a living wage. I’m visioning this with a community interest philosophy at its heart – should this project grow to an extent that it exceeds a living wage for the hours I put into it, I will be seeking to ‘pay this forward’.

To reflect the vast differences in means in our societies today, a wide sliding scale to enable people with different means to participate, is offered.

Monthly membership options range from £15 – 75 per month for the initial pilot programme. If you feel you need this community, I am open to exploring other options and other ways of exchange should this sliding scale still not be affordable. If you want to join at a different membership fee from the options below, please let me know. I’m aiming to ensure that everyone who needs this community is able to connect.

The opportunity to choose among several price options is an experiment. The vision for this project is to explore new models for connecting and supporting each other. Finding ways to maximise access to this project feels crucial in building a community that I hope to be diverse, committed to economic justice, and ready to explore new models for living in many different areas of life.

By paying the highest rate you can afford you are supporting me to hold and go further with this work and to continue to prioritise it, as well as to permit it to grow.

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