On the 5th of September I will once again go to Alice Springs. I am in the fortunate position to be able to run workshops, twice yearly, in the Red Centre of Australia.
I love it out there. The desert, the red earth, the rocks, the big sky. The rawness of a country that is so very old. When I walk, cycle or drive through it, or sit at a camp fire or somewhere on a rock, a deep silence comes over me. I sink into the land, meditation and silence.
The land is not just old from a geological point of view, it’s also been settled for many, many thousands of years. The original inhabitants, the aborigines of Australia, have over the millennia developed a remarkable resilience in living and surviving on this harsh country. They also have developed a philosophy, a wisdom, a spiritual tradition that is very connected to the earth, as well as an incredible and highly sophisticated social system. There are still remnants of this past out there and you can feel it in spite of the tragedy a lot of these people are living in these days. The impact of European settlement, combined with the accompanied welfare system, has left many of them institutionalised, disempowered, and some stuck in alcoholism.
So, when you go to Alice Springs, this is what’s right in your face when you walk through the town. It is a first impression many people cannot handle. However, when you lift your head and look beyond the rooftops, you get a view of the spectacular MacDonnell ranges. Also, when you dive into the community a little bit more you’ll discover a group of beautiful and interesting people.
The land is not all romantic. The silence can be challenged by flies crawling over your face, dingos barking in the night, extreme heat and dust storms to name but a few.
Out there you meet the contrast of life. The highs and the lows.
Now, you might wonder what is so special about me running workshops in Alice Springs. Can’t a local do this?
The work I do, which I lovingly call Ocean*, has its roots in a model called Family Constellation. It is a combination of traditional wisdom and rituals, modern family therapy and systemic thinking. The originator, Bert Hellinger, developed it after living with the Zulus in South Africa for 12 years. I have taken his original form further, and included Organisational Constellation, a Solution-Focused approach, presence and my experience of 30 odd years in personal growth and meditation.
It is not just that my work is unique. The workshops I run out there gain power through the depth of the land. In addition, the sincerity of the people, who have come to these workshops over the years and grown together, makes them even more special.
This is why on the weekend of the 6th and 7th September 2014 I am running another of these workshops in Alice Springs. For more information download the flyer.
* Ocean stands for ‘Organisational constellation – effective analysis of networks’.