(Re)*Rooting Circles

A new monthly circle with Wendy Wuyts (wereldwoud

using structures (storytelling, from deep ecology, relational ecotherapy)

to connect with other souls who want to dig into the memories of landscapes to learn more about themselves and the place. 

Belgian circles (2021)

This initiative is done under the wings of Robur op Den Eik 

Dutch version “Wortel-wijs” started in February 2021 (but already full)

The English circles started in March 2021 (but also full).

Future circles (2022)

Belgian circles: under consideration.

A Norwegian circle (in English) would start in early winter.

Please contact me for more information.

Introduction: Where did you take root? 
 

In the past, people were born wherever they would grow up. Being born then meant rooting. Between man ‘and the earth that saw him come into the world’, an almost corporeal bond had grown. There was not only a relationship between the individual and the community, but also a relationship on an even deeper level between the individual and the ancestral soil, the region from which one came. Now most people are not born at home. Now people do not live in the same place. And that is ok. Nevertheless, one often sees that people like to say where they live and where they come from. These are two of the first questions people ask a new acquaintance. 

Loneliness is not about being alone, but having the feeling of not belonging. One reason may be that you don’t know where exactly your roots are. Maybe you belong to different places, like me, because you have lived in different places and have given to and taken from that place and the people there (knowledge, energy, money…). 

A healing journey: rediscovering your roots 
 

For years, I have been working with two passions, or two ‘medicines’: storytelling and storydoing. After years of living in Thailand and Japan, I returned to Belgium at the end of February 2020. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, I stayed longer than I had expected in my ‘heimat’: the Kempen. I myself was on the verge of a nervous breakdown: the workload in Japan had worn me down. I then applied my two medicines to myself while re-rooting in Belgium.

Last year, I wrote and shared mostly my own retellings of Flemish folk tales, European fairy tales and Japanese myths on my Instagram account or my blog Wood Wide Web Stories, often inspired by observations during forest baths and other nature experiences. Through these experiences, I deepened my journey and rediscovered Flemish nature: its beauty, but also its problems. I sought refuge in retellings of old stories, old enough to contain a certain wisdom. By working with those stories, even rewriting them and calibrating them to my own experiences and observations, I found grounding, solace and comfort and got to know my authentic self better. 

My quest is not yet over: such journeys are spiral-shaped. In this second year, I want to take others with me. I am going to organise monthly meetings, where we think about what a postheroic story or retelling can mean for our Belgian landscapes, where we can dream and share together.

So, I am looking for like-minded souls in Belgium (or who rooted in Belgium before), who would like to meet online on a monthly basis and explore their creative energy and critical reflections through forest bathing, writing and/or drawing. 

In this experience, I combine my two medicines to dig out with you what we can learn from the old stories of our region/regions to stand firm in the present and the future, regardless of ecological, social and personal crises. This means that together – for each participant – we are going to find out which ancient region/regions we belong to today. 

When will it take place? 
  • 22 February to 22 December 2021 + 1 follow-up in 2022
  • 10 monthly online sessions of ca. 2 hours 
  • Dates: Fourth Monday of the month, except July 
  • Time: 19.00-21.30 hrs. 
  • 1 online follow-up session in 2022
  • possibly a physical meeting with forest baths and creative work during a weekend or midweek in a beautiful location in Belgium,

First circle (Monday February 22): introduction to ecolinguistics,  the introduction of the program and the analysis of a retelling of a folkstory I wrote for the Nature of City Festival 

The (temporary) goal? 

A journey never ends and some effects of such connections and processes are sometimes only visible after a long time, but after ten months we want some ‘tangible’ gifts that we can share with others in the next dreamtime. I hope that every participant will have rewritten or ‘redrawn’ at least one Belgian folk tale – which touches him/her/x, perhaps because it comes from his or her region where he/she/x is rooting , or sees parallels with places he/she/x has rooted before, or because its essence touches him/her/x – into a postheroic story. 

I am also curious about other goals to weave into this project: if you are engaged in a quest or project around creativity, place, connection between traditional ecological knowledge and a more sustainable future for your community and/or yourself… there is certainly room for that.   

What are we going to do?

Each session consists of a welcome, an introduction and a short sentence (20 min.). 

In the second part, we look back on the past month. What did you experience? What is bothering you? What has made you happy? What have you learned about the nature around you? We pass on (the virtual) talking stick so that everyone can briefly share their story with the circle (30 min.). 

The third part is more technical. I do a short knowledge transfer, sharing some of the storytelling. Each session also has a theme. Provisional monthly themes are ‘structure of a heroines journey’, basic ecolinguistics, women in supporting roles (e.g. the belly goddess, the seer), descent into the underworld… Afterwards you also get the chance to ask questions or share comments (30 min.). 

After a break (10 min.) we do an individual creative exercise (20 min.) and have a group reflection (20 min.). 

I call the last part ‘wisdom of the circle’. In the first session I ask for example which local old story appeals to you and why (20 min.). 

At the end I give ‘homework’ for the next month: an invitation you can try outside and a short creative task. So this experience is more than just the monthly meetings. 

A group of maximum 7 people:
Language: English 

If there are more than 7 registrations per language group, we will consider organising a second time. 

Included in the price: 
  • content and guidance via monthly zoom and email
  • monthly: pdf with ideas, inspiration and invitations 
  • creative vibes, a new ‘tribe’ and other ‘things’ that are priceless

Not included:
physical meeting

Cost: 

Price per session: € 12

If you register for all 10 sessions: € 90

The ticket price should not be a barrier (contact us via the contact form).

Part of the money is for the charity of Robur op Den Eik vzw.

The other part is for a zoom subscription and the volunteer contributions. 

Subscription: 

Please subscribe via the contact form

Participants send the money to the account of Robur op Den Eik vzw at least two days in advance to receive the zoom link. Communication: month + “rerooting” + e-mail address 

Robur op Den Eik vzw

IBAN: BE82 5230 8087 7968

BIC: TRIOBEBB

Vekenveld 11

2550 Kontich

Belgium

What is Robur op Den Eik vzw? 

Robur op Den Eik (www.roburopdeneik.org), a charity recognised by the King Baudouin Foundation, is a place of CONNECTION, through rest, nature, healing and creativity, specifically for people suffering from burnout and for the prevention of burnout. Nature plays a decisive role. The Robur hobbit-like silence house wants to be a healing presence in a small-scale, modest way (can be done under supervision!). As a meeting place where people can share together, Den Eik supports the web of connectedness. Robur also wants to be a place for artists: finally writing that book, finishing that CD, etc. Creativity is also a necessity of life that has to do with rest, nature and healing.

In addition, there is a strong ecological aspect. Robur calls for awareness in the choices we make, including in the use of (drinking) water and electricity. Because we need less than we often think.

What is wood wide web stories?

In September 2018 Wendy Wuyts started https://woodwidewebstories.com/  and since then she has been blogging about getting inspired by/ finding solace or grounding in forests (even when you are living abroad). When she lived for some years in Japan, she felt very stressed and lonely, but the practice of forest therapy (and the training to become a guide) helped her to cope with my unrootedness. She built an intimate relationship with some trees at the same hike and the kumazasa tea bamboo plant in a park. It was not always easy. Wendy believes that writing about this also helped her to process it even deeper. 

In 2020 she decided to make it less an individual-oriented project to broaden the impact of the forest based stories and she started to invite volunteers from around the world to share one (or more) blogs with a personal story or a retelling of a forest folklore/fairytale about a special forest in their region/country. This new project aims to even open it up even more.

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