Vision Quest Café- Book Club for a More Beautiful World discussion

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The More Beautiful World > Taking practical steps to bring our dreams into reality

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message 1: by Lorna (last edited Sep 14, 2020 10:04AM) (new)

Lorna | 7 comments I've recently dipped into the book again and found this passage in chapter 12 Naivete:

'Paradoxically, the path to achieve the impossible consists of many practical steps, each of them possible. Many pragmatic steps, each of which we know how to do, add up to something we did not. We know how to walk; we just don’t have a map. So I am not suggesting we forgo the practical, the doable. It is that the practical is not enough unless put in service to the impractical.'

This paragraph reminds me of Olivia saying that she didnt know where this book group was going to go but yet she followed the urge to set up all the same.

As someone who has struggled with bridging the gap between my dreams of a eutopian community and the individualistic society I've grown up in, this paragraph really spoke to me. The idea of breaking down what appears to be an impossible feat into doable tasks is something I'd been used to doing in project management roles. Bizarrely I'd never considered that this same principle could be applied to making a dream life a reality. How strange that I would see such skills only to be used for employment purposes and not for realising dreams that could contribute to the birthing of a new way of life on earth. The question of how deep our societal conditioning really goes naturally arises here.

I left England in 2015 to travel Asia because I could see only one model of living which was to work my best years in a highly stressful environment, separated from those I loved in order to pay for a house that would be far from my dream living model and live out my old years there.

Since returning to England last month I've been focusing on the question 'what can I do now to get me closer to that dream way of living?'. The actual question that came into my mind was 'if I were to be given a huge amount of money tomorrow would I be in a position to know what to so with it?'. Somehow this question triggered a response as it felt empowering and took the pressure off it being an impossible or pointless task. So it's very timely to come across this paragraph right now about taking practical steps that we know how to do but without a map.

In response to this question, I've been:

1. Drawing a spider diagram (you know the ones where you write a question in the middle and write all your ideas down as offshoots from it).

2. Drawing a (very) rough map of what the community I'd like to create would include. I can see there will be many iterations!

3. Listing the stages and costs involved in the design and implementation phases which is a lot of guess work at the moment. Through this what came up was quite a few places where doing research could potentially save money, avoid wrong decisions and develop new skills so that money is used where experts are needed.

4. Researching the things that 3 highlighted.

Point 4 is something I'd like to say a bit more on in case there are useful things for others. This includes working through the Free Permaculture course www.freepermaculture.com . The week 2 exercise Design Your Own Paradise again came up at the right time, so provided a brilliant structure to get those dreams down on paper and to become more tangible.

I've also been watching a beautiful video series of how the Lammas ecovillage in Wales was conceived of and established www.livinginthefuture.org/episodes The series spans many years and shows the difficulties the Lammas community, as well as other communities and individuals came up against in their bids to live differently and encouragingly how they were overcome by perseverance. There is a wealth of information in the series with offshoots to go and explore.

I then found www.beingsomewhere.net which a lovely website from Simon and Jasmine Dale who built the gorgeous hobbit home you might have seen that's pretty famous as part of Lammas. They spell out in simple terms the process of planning and building such a house and make it clear that this is very much possible for most people to do themselves- the exact opposite of what many eco-building websites will tell you because they want to sell you their services instead. I've just ordered the book Permaculture Design Companion by Jasmine Dale so I'll see how I get on with it.

I have no idea if my dream way of living will transpire from these steps, and I am trying to balance keeping it light and pressure free while also sharing what I'm doing with friends and family which brings it that little more into tangible reality.

I'm interested to hear what steps others here have been taking or could take to bring you closer to your dream?


message 2: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Grundy | 33 comments Mod
Lorna wrote: "I've recently dipped into the book again and found this passage in chapter 12 Naivete:

'Paradoxically, the path to achieve the impossible consists of many practical steps, each of them possible. ..."


Hi Lorna!

Yes, I totally resonated with that part of the book too! It is so absolutely true that we need to just take little baby step after little baby step towards our dreams. In my experience, this can be incredibly hard sometimes! I had to read that paragraph various times.

I feel like when we receive a vision of what it is that we wan to create, it feels so delicious that we want it right away! It´s like a distant mountain that you need to traverse miles and miles and take many steps to reach. But at the same time, you can feel it even though you´re not on it.

Or the vision can seem too big, the mountain too high, for us to possibly be able to reach it. This is where I get frustrated and overwhelmed and often end up doing nothing.

Now I´m beginning to take the pressure off myself and just do what I can day by day to make me feel good and satisfied.

I remember the statue of Adiyogi at the Isha yoga centre. One of the volunteers told me how when Sadguru told them he wanted a massive iron Adiyogi they had absolutely no idea how they were going to do it. They said they were using technology and modelling programme to see how it could be done but not even that could figure it out. Then Sadguru said something like ´can you make a small square of iron?´. To which, they all said yes. So he just said, well you just keep constructing it with little squares of iron.´

Or in other words- take small, practical and pragmatic steps!

Charles Eisenstein- author and yogi in one! ;)

I also make a lot of spider diagrams and brain storm a lot when I want to get my vision out. I used to make vision books where I stuck in pictures of things that in some way represented what I wanted.

In fact, when I got back from my first big trip away when I was around 23 (which has been a big break away from that life that you also chose to step away from), I made a book with pictures of where I had been, along with a short phrase of why I was grateful for that moment in the picture or what it represented for me. Then I started to stick in pictures for the future, make spider diagrams with words and colours etc. I found it to be really healing and helped me let go of the previous chapter and step in the new one.

I also think it´s really important to surround yourself with inspiration and be in contact with like-minded people. Like people in this book club I hope hehe.

Thanks a lot for the links too! I´m interested to see what the Heather Jo Flores Design Your Own Paradise is about!

Thanks so much for such a nutritious and enriching comment :)


message 3: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Grundy | 33 comments Mod
Lorna wrote: "I've recently dipped into the book again and found this passage in chapter 12 Naivete:

'Paradoxically, the path to achieve the impossible consists of many practical steps, each of them possible. ..."


aFertile Edges: Regenerating Land, Culture, and Hope

I´ve have just come across a passage in the book 'Fertile Edges' that is written by Permaculture Magazine Editor Maddy Harland.
It´s a beautiful passage that is actually taken from another book (another possible book club read!).

It speaks of the power of community, of strength in numbers, of raising each other up. I think that we can achieve so much more when we are in community with others going the same direction.

I think it's the same with our dreams- we need to surround ourselves with people and inspiration- be it in-person or online or even reading a book. We have to put ourselves in fertile soil, even if that means a change of friendship group, city or country. We got to find out tribe, our flock of geese going in the same direction :)

Here´s the extract:

'Lessons from Geese: (pg37)

As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird following. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 70% more flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can go further and get where they are going quicker and easier because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the 'lifting power' of the bird immediately in front.

lesson: if we have a much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.'


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