We Shine Togehter_Ana Filipa dos Santos Lopes From an insatiable desire for belonging to nourishing cultures of care and kinship A poetic exploration of CitzensLab Learning Journey Our starting ground We were coming with the sense of an undeniable need for change. Deeply feeling the reality of living in a world of extraction, domination causing pain, suffering and injustice. A world increasingly divided and polarised, where no one feels good enough. A world where inferiority and superiority reign by being hard wired into our systems; where a culture of distraction and numbing win out. Wishing to see beyond the lies we’re told by governments and media, the urban myths that stick and move beyond the constriction of borders that are our own or imposed. Wishing to break the patterns of mind over body superiority. Amongst this, the insatiable desire for belonging. Sensing there are many people living and operating against these flows. Knowing that how we relate and react is a matter of choice and urgency. Hungry to practise something else in pursuit of overcoming the powerful forces of the current status quo. And so this was the backdrop to the CitizensLab Learning Journey, a space where we can first cultivate ourselves, our own personal transformation so we can co-create and contribute to a commons of democracy that lead to radical changes of governance. Molly Costello_The Power is You The Power is Me What we've been practising We’ve been practising slowing down, greeting vulnerability, tending to the changes within us while stoking our courage for change. Curious about lineage, histories and the layers of our identities. Activating our bodies, remembering our bodies are a barometer of powerful sensation. Finding ways to express our culture, our identities and our experiences – beyond our heads – but through song, dance, movement, art, poetry – in ways that feel authentic and liberatory for us. We have been epxerimenting with activating our multiple intelligences through body wisdom, music, poetry, drawing. Our experience together The act of committing to being together each season through a year-long journey was bountiful. We traversed spaces for silence, spaces for ritual, spaces to be heard and to listen as a contribution to healing. Spaces of stillness and movement, physically and emotionally and spiritually. With brave trepidation embracing the messy and uncomfortable reality of our lives and our world. Learning to be curious about what makes us uncomfortable, becoming more accustomed to explore darkness and trust the unknown. Together we practised breaking our own patterns of mind over body superiority, a muscle with much room to be nurtured and strengthened. These spaces and practices are disarmingly simple; it’s easy to overlook them and yet so counter-cultural. They allow us to hold space to work generativity with conflict, across divides and across generations. Throughout our journey we practised and amplified some of what we most desired. And through this journey we had a little test of our collective power. We are left with a longing for more – wondering about the potential of this at a cultural scale. What happens when you release the joy of the collective? But we’re still scared of and learning about the barometers of our bodies and the full power, the life force we have. What lies ahead of us What keeps us moving is the land we’re headed towards. One where we are more intimate with life in all its diverse forms. A world where we’re turning down the intensity of stimulus and distraction and turning up the intensity of connection. A world where the quality of presence is an act of change. Where radical acts of joy infect and ripple through our cultures. Where we’ve reclaimed our connection and relationship to our bodies. The art of expressing our authentic self is an act of power and liberation shared by many. A world where the full potential of the collective life force is unleashed. A world where cultures of care and kinship flourish and are seen as the vital foundations of nurturing a healthy and thriving democracy. Like a slow fermenting kimchi, it will take time for the full effects to be felt and tasted in each of us and beyond. Percolating and infusing in each of us in different and surprising ways. What´s next? If this resonates and you want to explore this more, sign up to our online event on 1st Feb 2023 to explore how we can embed more of this in our lives and work! Read more about the CLab journey and our learnings to design such a process.