One year ago Angela Jia Zheng went on a two-wheeled journey around the big island of Hawai’i. As she made her way across volcanoes she also traversed inner landscapes, met her vulnerabilities and discovered a hidden resilience. This is her personal story of searching, finding and learning how to ride this experience we call ‘life’.
Grief and death are an inevitable part of life and yet, in most western countries they are accompanied by a pervasive silence. This week's storyteller, Kiri Bear shared how she broke that silence and what she learned along the way. Warning - there wasn't a dry eye in the house so maybe avoid listening to this one in public!
Adam Ben Hickman shares his raw delight for natural building. We cover straw, timber, permaculture, and his connection to the land. His enthusiasm is infectious and inspiring. His story prompted a discussion of how we live out our values in our homes and how we might move towards being more sustainable within them.
Peter Gleeson, the Dumbledore of ConFest, takes us to a joyful world full of whistling, harmonic singing, spontaneous choir and love processions.
"Performance has the capacity to transform people [...] but you have to allow the change to happen and see that you can become a more complete person by integrating into your life the ingredients that have always been there in your ancestors' lives. We come from a culture where everyone sang, everyone danced, that was what made them the community they were."
This story is a reflection on the experience of being a member of The Weekly Service written by Convenor and Member, Kirsty Moegerlein.Read more
What does it mean to really be here? To belong to this country, this city, and this neighbourhood? Jess Huon, Meryl Karlson and Kirsty Moegerlein open up this complex subject through three stories of place. A beautiful, raw and honest conversation followed, at our first outdoor service by the Merri Creek.
Story 1 – this country
Insight Meditation Teacher, Jess Huon, speaks of her relationship to Australia, and how she returned after many years of learning to relax in unsettling places, to reckon with her birth place.
Story 2 - this city
Positive Ageing & Wellbeing Consultant, Meryl Karlson, hails from northern NSW. She left the comfort of 'love, peace and brown rice' to pursue bigger things, here in Melbourne. She questions how we might meet places on their own terms and what support we can offer each other in our common displacement.
Story 3 – this neighbourhood
Designer and one of the leads of the Weekly Service, Kirsty Moegerlein, explores her uneasy relationship with Northcote through a love letter to the suburb she currently calls home.
Exploring the endless feeling of longing for more. Exploring the insatiable thirst for connection, while feeling deeply disconnected. Exploring feelings of not being seen or heard, despite being so talkative and expressive.
Bea tells her story of finally meeting herself through a program of spiral work and embodied astrology. Over the past year, she has become aware of the 'overgrown garden' of her mind, the compulsive triggers and reactions leading to uncontrolled explosions and degraded relationships.
She has been doing some internal weeding, confronted deep fears and enabled a significant shift to help her feel at ease.
Bea talks us through her take on relationship to self, and relationship to other. 'Each relationship is transformative', when you look at it through this lens.
The forth season of The Weekly Service kicked off this week with a story of hope from Cam Elliott. Cam is a songwriter, facilitator, writer, and co-founder of The Weekly Service.
Cam courageously leads us into the cavernous depths of human fragility, madness, anxiety, and hopelessness and lights up the darkness with humour, beauty and hope.
Cam breaks a thousand taboos and makes us feel whole in the process. It's a truly remarkable story and a privilege to listen to. Make sure you listen to the end to hear one of Cam's songs of hope, 'The Sirens and the Lighthouse'.
Claire Dunn, author and experiencer of 'My Year Without Matches' tells the story behind the book.
Living 'wild' on a 100 acre block in northern NSW for a year, Claire's story reveals the necessity of connection to country, to rediscover an emotional and spiritual balance so distant from our every day busyness.
Flipping between rage, anger, ecstasy, grief, love and self-doubt, this awesome journey shows the importance of developing baseline practices that allow life to flow through us.
'The soil is like an extension of my body, and anything that feeds it feeds me'. Kat Lavers at The Weekly Service.
Inspired by a sparrow eating a worm in her garden 10 years ago, and the subsequent thought 'where does my food come from', Kat now cultivates 300 kilos of vegetables a year on a tiny patch of land in Northcote.
With Matt Wicking's beautiful live music at the service, including the song 'Vanishing Point', Kat tells her story of connecting with earth and herself through gardening and permaculture.
Inspired by books like 'The Biggest Estate of Earth' by Bill Gammage and 'Dark Emu' by Bruce Pascoe, Kat's work in her garden has meditative and philosophical dimensions, which makes the garden live in her physically and metaphorically.
A beautiful story from a lady showing the world we can reimagine our connection to the earth, and our passion for it, smack bang in the middle of a city. This is an environmentalism that must have a strong voice.
Caitlyn Cook is a Tantra-inspired facilitator, coach and writer and founder of The SexyLove Project. Caitlyn shares her intimate story of how she found Tantra, what Tantra means and the key ways it's transformed her world.
From clinical depression, anxiety and disordered eating to self-love, adventure and sex-positivity, her story spans the transformation of her body, bedroom, and life.
'How do we walk with each other in these times of struggle?'.
That's probably one of the most important questions we can ponder in this moment. Sarah Pant, psychotherapist and wonderful human, talks to us about conflict and how the tensions of diversity may lead to creativity and beauty.
Sarah highlights the choices we all have during conflict: keep struggling on, go backwards and close our hearts; or move forward in community and grow.
Yes, yes, we all think we do the latter...and when life treats us well, when we're at our best, we are all capable of if.
But in my news feed right now, I see a lot of 'othering' of my demographic (extremely privileged, university educated, richest 5% of the planet) vs those who are moving towards 'Brump' (Brexit, Trump, etc.).
That doesn't feel like we're walking with anyone except our own kind. This is a lesson I personally need to heed.
Check out Sarah's insightful and highly relevant talk on dancing with diversity.
Hermann Paulenz is a passionate urban gardener and apiarist. Herman shares at The Weekly Service how beekeeping has helped him harvest more than delicious honey. Hermann's hobby has taken him on an unexpected journey of character development and led to the cultivation of patience and gentleness.
A fun and hugely interactive service where we explore collectively how to find a hobby that helps you build a character trait you want to improve on!
Trevor Paton is both a Christian brother and a science teacher. He is the director of the Glenburn Centre for Spirituality and Ecology, a retreat and learning space for people to explore the spiritual and ecological dimensions of their lives and ''reflect on what it means to be human in an evolving universe'' (www.edmundrice.org/glenburn.html ).
Trevor reflects on the mystery that is the self in a fast changing world. He speaks from an open heart and shares with us pearls of wisdom, poetry and silence.
"You have within you the same kind of wisdom that enabled the supernova to do what it did and to seed the universe with life giving elements. We have inherited that deep creativity ... and if it comes from the heart it can be trusted. When one searches and looks, what comes from the heart often isn't linguistic, it's not someone giving you words, it's the deep experience of our instinctive wisdom."
Few people pull themselves back from the destruction wreaked by drug addiction. Fewer still have the strength and courage to openly share the guilt, shame and sadness they experienced in such a public forum. But this is exactly how Jimmy rescued himself - by sharing his whole self - the radiant beauty and dark ugliness - with others and forging connections that were stronger than his addiction. His lesson is relevant for all of us for we all feel the ache of disconnection, we just numb it in different ways.
Check out Jimmy and Luke's fabulous project The Men's Collective:
"I am here to explore the mystery and wonder of existence through love. Love of myself through consciousness and wellbeing. Love of others through connection, conversation and compassion. Love of my planet and universe and all the beings and objects they contain through understanding my context, through creation, contribution and compassion."
Adam Murray's daily mantra.
Adam tells three beautiful, heart-wrenching and deeply personal stories of life situations that left him feeling pain, angst and utterly lost. His crisis of a marriage failing, then wrenching his identity apart through losing his job, is told in a way that connects directly to our humanity. A pain we all know and viscerally feel as we live out our lives.
But we have a huge opportunity through our inevitable crises, and this story eloquently shows how Adam's resilience is nurtured through self-care, community and reflection.
2 years on from this personal trauma, Adam is using his clean slate to reimagine how he wants to live, what he wants to do, and who he wants to be. Told with humility ('37, single and bald'), grace and humour, this is a story to listen to at the beginning of every week.
If you're going through something similar, or know that you will at some point in your life, Adam points to The Good Life Project's 'Immersion' program:
And the book Antifragile by Nasim Taleb:
Annie Bolitho has a flair for bringing out the beauty in everyday things and particularly so in her exploration of ritual, grief and uncertainty. A topic like grief is seldom explored possibly because of the fear that we won't be able to handle what surfaces. Annie guided us through the depths with humility, grace, wisdom, and gentleness. It felt like she held the audience in a warm embrace.
The beautiful poem Annie and Lina share in the podcast is called 'On Losing a House' by Mary Oliver and is well worth a few reads. Annie would also like to share these articles with you - one is called 'How to make grief less awkward' and the other is called 'Grief in the Digital Age'.
This week Caroline Buisson shares meaningful moments that led her to explore resilience. Her story demonstrates her deep belief that resilience is all about relationships. Listen to her incredibly honest and raw account of her early life as a young girl, the severe car accident she had at 32 and her slow but fruitful recovery.
Caroline is a cherished member of The Weekly Service leadership team – we feel so blessed to have such a courageous and wise woman as part of our core.
Luke, a wonderful human being who helps people and organisations tell their story, talks to The Weekly Service about his 'Dear Self' project.
Refusing to define himself through experiences he had from an early age, Luke has been on a journey to create a narrative of 'yes, I can do that'.
His 'Dear Self' project daily exposes Luke's vulnerabilities and real self, which is both a process of self awareness and personal growth, and inspires others to reveal their authentic selves to the world. This 'idea with heart' at The Weekly Service explores this concept in depth, and gives an insight into the magic that is Luke Hockley.
You can follow Luke's 'Dear Self' project here
Find out more about Luke and his work here
To go deeper, Luke recommends listening to Joseph Campbell's 'The Power of Myth' Podcasts