Shifting nature, shifting self, in winter wilderness
A cloud of white smoke forms in the cold air as I breathe. The trees are covered in snow, and to get drinking water we need to cut a hole in the 15 cm thick ice covering the lake. It is November, a mere 4 hr hike from the innermost part of Edsåsdalen, outside Åre. Karin, Niklas and myself have just arrived.
We are here to experience the program we have designed for leadership teams. To get our own first hand experience of our own program. A program to help leadership teams evolve, from the inside out to evolve their organisations from the inside out. A program made in a mix of nature, psychology, wildlife, cooking over open fire, the psychology of the relational organization, snow covered mountain tops and organizational emergence. We are here to experience our own program. And in this, the program itself evolves. Is born. Take shape. Three beautiful days of emergence have just begun.
The lake and its surroundings appear radically different from 4 months earlier, when we were here last time. Familiar, yet vastly different. In the light of this, we reflect on our own journey, the last 4 months. We are familiar. In many aspects the same. In many aspects vastly different. Being here again adds deep, reflective perspectives on being human. On creating this program. On growing businesses in harmony with the world.
The fire in the stove inside the cabin shapes an atmosphere of calm. Of origin. For thousands of years this is how people have cooked their food. Using open fire. I enjoy the sensation of getting warm, as the temperature in the cabin rises. It feels as if the sands of time runs backwards, and pictures of people in caves, huts and shelters come to me. The fire providing life.
Food does never taste better than in the wild. A simple, vegetarian dish, made in one pot. We eat, and reflect on the day. On our inner and outer experiences. How an outside journey really creates an inner journey. And it has been a day of insight, a day of play, a day of contemplation and dialogue.
The rest of the days flow in a beautiful rhythm through a set of opposites really enriching the life experience. Cold, warmth. Silence, intense dialogue. Movement, stillness. Hard winds, the safety inside the shelter we have brought up the mountain. Food eaten outdoors in the wild winter scene. Hunger. 85 degree sauna. -1 degree bath in the lake. Shelters along the hiking route, wide open wilderness views. In all of this we weave in practices, reflection, teaching, that provide a deepened learning experience on what it is to be human together. On how I see myself, others and the world. The nature experience does not only provides a reflective setting. It strengthens the insight and the depth. Practices are designed around the nature experience, to provide insights to bring home to the organisation.
The program grows on this journey. And so do we. As a team and as individuals. We feel an growing eagerness to get our first management team out here. To be enabled to give these beautiful gifts to others. To guide a leadership team both in wild nature and in inner growth, to evolve as individuals and team, to lead their organisation in more holistic, human centric ways. We have seen the astonishing effects in organisations we have worked with, and we know this is dynamite. For people, for profit and for planet.
We end our journey walking back to Edsåsdalen at dusk. The snow covered landscape shifts in dark blue, twinkling stars and footprints of wild animals having passed by. Animals with which we share this forest, these mountains. And the sense of being one with a larger whole grows.
The bus arrives at Undersåker two hours before our train departs. This gives us time to summarize and reflect over dinner in a hotel restaurant being open. Delicious food, white table cloths, linen napkins, a glass of wine, calm music. The contrast with the wild could not have been bigger. Still it feels as being two faces of the same experience. Both adding up to a marvelous experience in human growth.
In a couple of months we will be back here. Either with a management team, or to experience the second module of this year-long program ourselves. To also let that module emerge in the contexts in which it will be given. Right now we don’t need to know. But we do know that we look forward to it. With all our hearts. The calming sound of the train serves as our bedtime melody. Tomorrow morning we will wake up at home. Being slightly reborn. Thank you, wilderness. We will soon meet again.
Are you interested in the Leadership Program, Check it out HERE