Working at Embercombe is an adventure. One day you might watch a group of tough, savvy, scared inner-city teenagers arrive on a coach, and as the week rolls on you watch them drop into themselves, take steps in new directions, connect with the land and those smiles change from a jokey defensiveness to an awakening sense of wonder. Another day you’ll see people on the Journey programme eating quietly in the dining yurt: the deepest questions of their lives calling them to make the most significant changes they can. The Combe thrums with potential. And some days you just sit in the morning circle and listen to one anothers’ truth. You’re touched, you’re triggered, you laugh at someone’s joke, you share someone’s hurt. It’s just laid out there; people speaking simply and from the heart, then getting up and throwing themselves into another day. If you’ve spent any time there, you know: Embercombe’s special.
I’m part of a little group of whose role is to shepherd Embercombe’s soul. I might be sitting by a little fire in the water meadow with somebody who’s at the threshold, ready to dive deeper into life, and they just want a witness, a guide, the right words at the right time. We might call that “coaching” or “mentoring” but no word really does justice to what happens at those times. On other days I’ll be sitting in Centrefire with the other Council Chiefs, and we bring to life the ancient roots that underpin Embercombe and her philosophy, and we talk about the deeper questions that are surfacing within the charity and in the wider world, and we reaffirm our commitment to the Children’s Fire. I co-run an aspect of the Apprenticeship programme where we take those courageous women and men deeper into the connections with themselves and each other, forging the most significant year possible. Those are the kinds of things I do for this extraordinary charity.
Embercombe is taking bold steps into a challenging future. We’re a long way from a booming national economy; it’s not an easy sector to work in; and across the world there’s a growing inner crisis as people wake up to the unhealthy choices we’ve made and inherited, even as the outer crises of environmental devastation and social disintegration accelerate. Embercombe is an expression of hope at this difficult and exciting time, and it’s a clarion call. If you’ve ever been there – to a Friends’ Weekend; on a programme; at an event – never be fooled that things are happening effortlessly. There will be teams, experts and passionate people planning, creating, holding, digging, cleaning and manifesting everything that happens around you. For myself, it’s an honour to be part of that, doing my quiet, sacred work, watching the charity I love grow, change and thrive.Alexander has just moved to the Brighton Area and is available for coaching and mentoring. Please see http://www.transformational-journey.co.uk for more information.