Change the Story… Change the World…
“For peoples, generally, their story of the universe and the human role in the universe is their primary source of intelligibility and value. The deepest crises experienced by any society are those moments of chance when the story becomes inadequate for meeting the survival demands of a present situation.” – Thomas Berry
Are there certain individual and collective narratives and value structures that are no longer adequate for you and the kind of world your heart knows to be possible? Do you feel a new story alive in you, asking to be expressed? Are you ready to answer that call?
As human beings we are essentially operating systems that are informed by the familial, cultural, and global stories we grow up with. At the heart of these stories are the paradox’s that shape our world: birth and death, being and doing, inner and outer, heart and mind, masculine and feminine, chaos and order… How do we bridge these paradoxes in order to let go of the stories that no longer serve us so that we can open up to new ways of being in and engaging with the world around us?
About: Mythos is a transformational leadership program that explores the power of story and it’s ability to shape the reality we experience on an individual and collective level. This five week journey bridges, through group work and one-on-one sessions, the ancient practices of meditation, nature connection, rites of passage, contemplative dialog, and pilgrimage, with the cutting edge of regenerative community and leadership development, systems theory, integral theory, and adult developmental theory. The result is an entirely unique urban based transformational program which will deepen participants understanding of and relationship to self, Earth, and community while at the same time help to turn evolutionary insights into engaged holistic action in the world.
Participants: For adults in the New York City area who are 23 years of age and older who wish to explore the leading edge of their own development in an effort to more fully embody their gifts and path in the world.
Program Goals: The guiding impulse of evolution is to expand and evolve into deeper and broader expressions of beauty and complexity, which transcend and include all that has come before it. This impulse, found at the heart of our unfolding universe, is also found at the heart of our own development, both as individuals and as a collective. Therefore in this moment, filled with both crises and opportunity for our world, if we truly wish to reach our full potential the question becomes; how do we align with this evolutionary impulse in order to allow it’s fullest and truest expression to awaken in our lives and world?
The goal of Mythos is to offer the tools and space through which participants are able to align in deeper and fuller ways to their own evolutionary unfolding. With an emphasis on individual, group and leadership development in an urban setting we seek to enrich participants self-awareness while at the same time empower them with interior and exterior tools, skills and knowledge that will help them to turn their evolutionary insights into inspired action in the world.
Subjects, Themes and Experiential Theories Addressed: Deep ecology, regenerative community development, ecocentric awareness, contemplative practice and action, systems theory, leadership development, nature connection, local ecology, sustainability, ritual and rites of passage, adult development, group development and integral theory.
Program Structure: Over five weeks participants will be engaged in individual, one-on-one and group work. The foundation of the program is rooted in self-reflective experiential learning that caters to the diverse set of intelligence’s we as humans use to understand, learn and develop (see Harvard Professor Howard Gardner’s work): linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, naturalistic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
The arc of this five week program is structured on Otto Scharmer‘s (a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management) Theory U, which explores how individuals and groups can best tap into the creative impulse. The Theory U process incorporates three steps: letting go, sensing, and actualizing. This template also echo’s the ancient three fold structure of the rite of passage ceremony found in many different cultures across the planet; severance, threshold and reincorporation.
Each week will be devoted to a different theme that is connected to holistic human development. Using Ken Wilber’s four quadrant model and Bill Plotkin’s four shields of human nature template we will explore the human experience as it manifests through the interior and exterior of both individuals and the collectives. We will not only be addressing different theories around these topics but we will also be exploring various tools and practices which are useful in catalyzing healthy individual and group systems development.
For a visual and more detailed layout of the curriculum check out our Prezi.
Sunday, week 1: 3-5pm Brooklyn (group session)
Mid week individual sessions
Sunday, week 2: 3-5pm Brooklyn (group session)
Mid week individual sessions
Saturday, week 3: city pilgrimage sunrise to sunset
Sunday, week 3: 3-5pm Brooklyn (potentially optional group session)
Mid week individual sessions
Saturday, week 4: Leave NYC for upstate fast, full week, return following Sunday
Saturday, week 5: community dinner, stories and celebration
Group Sessions: “There are three ways to approach the mystery of the divine. The first practice is prayer. The second is meditation. And the third, and most important, is conversation.” -Rumi
Each Sunday participants will gather together from 3-5 pm for group work and reflective dialog. Individual experiences of the past weeks material will be shared, new materials will be introduced and certain topics will be explored through conversation. Group dialog, when approached in a safe and rooted space, can be used to harness the evolutionary intelligence of the group container and offer space through which group insight and creativity can flow freely. Through such experiences we are exposed to and reminded of the gifts and the nourishing power of the “We” space.
The Art of Pilgrimage: Informed by both our interior and exterior landscapes, the art of pilgrimage engages our somatic and sensory intelligence’s which when met with self-inquiry can open the door to shifts in awareness and fresh insight. On the third weekend of the program, the group will embark on a sunrise to sunset pilgrimage circumnavigating part or all of Manhattan’s 32 mile shoreline path. This walking meditation is based on the ancient pan cultural practice of pilgrimage, which is currently undergoing a massive renaissance across much of the world today.
Individual Sessions: Each Sunday participants will be introduced to new themes and self-reflective tools which they will be invited to explore throughout the following week on their own. During each week there will be time set aside for one-on-one sessions either in person or over the phone with the program facilitator. These sessions will offer each participant an opportunity to touch base about their own process and address any questions that may arise for them along the way.
Four Day Solo Fast in Nature: Leave NYC Saturday November 1st and return Sunday November 9th. The fast will be held at a contemplative Eco-farm in upstate New York. We encourage participants to spend as much of the fast as possible outside on the land, camping if possible, but if the weather does not permit, sleeping indoors will be an option as well.
The three weeks leading up to the fast are designed to stir and loosen the participants interior landscape in ways which will create a rich space for meaningful self-inquiry while in solitude on the land.
Where are you on your path? What have you not taken the time to grieve or honor in your experience? Where are you falling short? Where are you excelling? What are you ready to let go of? What are you ready to step into in yourself and in the world?
In a culture of distraction, there is little time or space to look at and feel such questions. Yet, are there any more important questions to be asking and exploring?
Such questions cannot be answered on a 10 minute walk or drive to and from work. They need to be opened up and allowed the time and space to breath. They need the attention and insight of our diverse set of intelligences and at times, they need the wisdom of the collective. It is through such work we can begin the process of uncovering the deeper possibilities of who we are and what we are capable of on an individual and collective level.
A note on Fasting: Fasting has been utilized through out human history in nearly every culture and tradition as a tool to connect with inner wisdom and insight. Much of our energy on a daily basis is used for digestion, so when food is removed from the equation, that energy is freed up and expressed through heightened sensory perception.
Fasting quiets the mind and body. It awakens our senses, and dreams and creates subtle shifts in our perspective allowing for deeper insights into our connection to self, Earth and community.
Reincorporation: This stage of the program is perhaps the most important: taking the insights and awareness cultivated through the program and turning it into regenerative action in the world. Further tools will be introduced and explored to assist participants in this process after the completion of the fast. During this time the group will also shape how they wish to support each other as the program ends and life continues. A one-on-one session will also be scheduled two months after the program wraps up as a way of checking-in and further supporting participants reincorporation.
One of the most important tools in this process has to do with community support and connection. One way to do this is through mentorship. Therefore we encourage participants, throughout the program, to explore the possibility of developing mentorship opportunities in ways that fit in with their day to day lives. Mentoring is an ancient educational tool that lies at the heart of a thriving community; it fosters transgenerational relationships that open up the door for wisdom and support to flow freely thus strengthening the community container.
Regenerative Community Development: Today we find ourselves in the heart of both a life threatening crises and a life giving opportunity. As we shed the old stories, world views and associated power structures that are no longer adequate for our collective wellbeing we naturally open the door to new stories and ways of engaging in the world. It is in this liminal space, betwixt and between, that we are offered the opportunity to dream a new world into being. Part of this process has to do with allowing ourselves the space to redefine the meaning and structure of community. As humans beings what do we need from community and what practices and structures are necessary within community to create a container which deepens our relationship to self, Earth, and others?
Along with catalyzing individual development, the intention of Mythos is to create an evolving community system that is fueled by it’s participants and expanded upon as the program grows, connecting broader and broader networks of like minded individuals to new and emerging expressions of community.
Pricing and Logistics: The tuition price for Mythos programs is $1,500. However, because we are launching our first NYC course we are offering the experience on a sliding scale from $750-$1,000 in exchange for a detailed debrief and feedback session at the end of the program. If need be long term payment plans and trades are also options.
Lead Facilitator: Weston Pew
Weston is the founder and director of Inner Wild and is also the creator of the Sacred Door Trail, a 175-mile interfaith pilgrimage trail located in southwestern MT, dedicated to spiritual unity and our connection to Earth and community. For the past 7 years his work has focused on rites of passage, pilgrimage and individual and group development which lead him to the creation of The Sacred Door Trail and Inner Wild. Currently he is helping to create an urban pilgrimage trail in New York City and is wrapping up a masters degree in experiential education through Prescott College.
For questions and registration contact Weston Pew (firstname.lastname@example.org).