Hope for Our World:
Reflections on the 2022 Transformational Presence Global Leadership Gathering
Guest Blog by Jo Boniszewski and Vincent Sark
After 18 months of planning and preparations, Opening Day of the 2022 Transformational Presence Global Leadership Gathering at Kapellerput in The Netherlands came at last! It was amazing to finally be together again as a community in “real life” instead of on screen! There were 79 in-person participants from 13 countries and 67 more participants joining us in the At Home Gathering. Together we set out on a three-day journey together on the theme “A New Beginning: Transformational Presence in a New Era.”
The journey begins…
In our Opening Ceremony on Friday morning 17 June, we formed a huge infinity symbol stretching from one end of our large plenary space to the other. This infinity symbol represented not only our connection with each other in the room, but also our connection with all those who joined us in the At Home Gathering, the entire TP global community, and all those people around the world whose lives have been touched by Transformational Presence.
Three primary questions shaped our exploration on Day 1:
- What is the New Era? What defines it?
- What does the New Era want from Transformational Presence?
- What is the New Era asking for from you?
We took advantage of the fantastic (if hot!) weather and the beautiful grounds of Kapellerput by spending as much time as we could outside. Katarina Cars (Sweden) and Marie Dancourt-Cavanagh (Belgium) led us in a “Sculpture and Nature Walk” exercise to help us begin to define this New Era for the world and what that means for Transformational Presence, for us as a community, and for us as individuals.
After lunch, Alan Seale (USA) led us in the dedication of the new Seale Foundation Labyrinth, built especially as a support for Transformational Presence work at Kapellerput. We walked the labyrinth together as a community, taking the morning’s explorations deeper. It was incredibly moving to witness 79 people from 13 countries immersed in silence for this meditative walk together. Such, a beautiful metaphor for what could be possible in our world. From the labyrinth experience, participants partnered up for reflective walks in the surrounding nature. The day’s program wrapped up with a “Leading from Your Edge” exercise led by Paolo Morley-Fletcher (Italy) and Caroline Veerman (The Netherlands). We closed the day by exploring the leadership stretch or edge we were each being invited to cross in this New Era.
And then there was our first surprise celebration…
As the doors of our plenary room opened, a big surprise awaited us! A glass of wine, a speech, a song, a laugh and a tear to celebrate Gabriella van Rooij (The Netherlands) for who she is and for all of the extraordinary ways she has supported Transformational Presence, our community, and many of us personally over the last 17 years. On behalf of the global community, Joanna Zawada (Poland) offered a touching spoken tribute. Karla Wieringa (The Netherlands) presented Gabriella with a beautiful “Wise Woman of Transformational Presence” sculpture she had carved from stone. Katarina Cars (Sweden) presented a beautiful photobook full of warm memories from various workshops and events over the years. Finally, in song, Alan and Katarina, along with Johnathon Pape (USA) at the piano, opened our hearts even more with the most amazing rendition of “The Prayer”, the song made famous by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli!
Journeying into Day 2…
Saturday came, and our journey together was fully underway! Our guiding questions for Day 2:
- What is the New-Era Future waiting for you?
- Where do you feel called to grow, develop, and/or serve?
- What gifts do you feel called to bring to this New Era?
- What does Transformational Presence look like when it is fully manifested in your world?
Together with the graduates taking part in the At Home Gathering, we had an immensely rich and full day of discoveries and insights. Patryk Lange and Joanna Zawada, both from Poland, led us in a discovery through Time & Space Sensing, exploring our own New-Era futures. A key question: What is the invitation from your world and your own future, and what is that invitation asking of you?
Elina Akola (Finland) and Marie Dancourt-Cavanagh (Belgium) then invited us to explore what areas of life we were being called to develop within ourselves or serve in the New Era. Areas such as Business & Corporate, Consciousness & Spirituality, Government, Healthcare, Mentoring & Coaching, any many more, were available for “visiting” and discovery throughout the plenary room.
After lunch, seven Transformational Presence leaders led rich exploration sessions using different TP tools and frameworks. The middle of the afternoon offered a relaxed open-space time for participants to use as they pleased: a coaching walk, silent time in nature, partner coaching on what is emerging, exploring possible collaborations, a siesta, or something else. The choice was ours!
Coming back to the plenary room in the late afternoon, we transitioned into the end of the day with a “Learning Forward” exploration led by Katarina Cars (Sweden) and Sander van Eekelen (The Netherlands). The topic: If we want to grow, develop, serve, and bring our gifts to the New-Era future, what do we need to leave behind, and what is important to carry forward?
Janne de Bruin (The Netherlands) helped us integrate the day with a light-hearted and spontaneous invitation to dance! The energy was high, the love was full, the laughter and smiles abundant.
And then… a party to remember for a long time to come!
What an evening it was! A big party to celebrate Alan Seale and all he has meant for us and for Transformational Presence over the last many years. As we walked out of the plenary space, we were greeted by an amazing fanfare from a traditional Dutch brass band. Many more graduates from across Europe, some who have been a part of this community from the beginning, joined us for the party.
Donja de Groot, Barbara Kerstens and Judy Schnitger-Zwinkels, all from The Netherlands, were our program organisers and hosts for the evening. Judy offered a moving tribute to Alan. Karla Wieringa presented him with a breath-taking “Flame” sculpture that she had carved from selenite on behalf of the community. Katarina Cars presented Alan with an impressive photobook filled with tributes from graduates around the world. Barbara Kerstens offered another beautiful spoken word tribute to Gabriella. The evening continued with more song and music and dance. For some of us, the celebration flowed into the wee hours of the morning!
And then on into day 3…
As Sunday dawned, we moved into the last stage of our journey and our final morning together. We were guided in this last phase by four questions:
- What is traveling with you from Days 1 and 2?
- What is your role and what are your gifts to bring forward in the New Era?
- How will you nurture and manifest those gifts?
- What are your next steps?
Alan Seale kicked-off the day for us by sharing his current journey of transition from teaching to more mentoring, coaching, writing, and speaking, and inviting us to sense into what is next for each of us as members of the Transformational Presence community. He led us in a powerful group process based on three touchstone prompts for navigating uncertainty and recognizing possibility, both individually and collectively:
- I am…
- I trust…
- I invite…
Vincent Sark (The Netherlands) and Joanna Zawada (Poland) then led us in the last exercise of the Gathering—a profound Dialogue Carousel exploring four themes: Clarity, Courage, Compassion, and Support. This dialogue empowered each of us to step fully into our own potential, to bring our gifts to the New-Era future, and to a New Era in Transformational Presence.
At last, it was time to say goodbye…
Before we knew it, it was time for our Closing Ceremony. Stepping into the infinity shape, we connected once more not only with each other, but with all graduates and all those touched by Transformational Presence world-wide. Group by group, we symbolically stepped out into the world until it was time to invite Alan Seale and Gabriella van Rooij to step out of the roles that they have had in our community for the last 17 years and embrace their new roles going forward.
The Global Gathering wave carries us next to Poland!
Finally, 2022 Gathering Co-Chairs Jo Boniszewski and Vincent Sark, both from The Netherlands, handed a symbolic baton representing the Global Gathering over to Joanna Zawada and Patryk Lange from Poland to host our next Global Leadership Gathering in 2024. We are excited to add a fourth host country after The Netherlands, the United States, and Costa Rica. Watch coming issues of the TP News for announcements of dates and location!
Now, two weeks later, we look back with overflowing hearts and deep appreciation on three days of loving connection, rich exploration and insights, laughter, tears, song, dance and celebration. Thank you to ALL who were there in person. Thank you to ALL who were with us in heart and spirit. It was YOU that made the 2022 Global Gathering a very special and meaningful occasion.
With joy and gratitude, on behalf of the Core Committee,
Jo Boniszewski & Vincent Sark (The Netherlands), Co-Chairs
Core Committee Members: Katarina Cars (Sweden), Marie Dancourt-Cavanagh (Belgium), Patryk Lange (Poland), Gabriella van Rooij (The Netherlands), Alan Seale (US), Gabriella Tichelea (Romania), Caroline Veerman (The Netherlands)
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