I recognized the eternal boy because I recognized the eternal girl in me.

The flying boys and flying girls, who live life as a marvelous adventure.

Which of course is a wonderful approach. Until we realize that those clever escapist and evasive strategies have stunted our growth. Whilst they may have worked at some point to keep us safe and functioning, they haven´t actually stopped us from falling.

Our healthy ´Innocent Sage´side (as Bill Ploktin in Wild Mind calls it) is rich in relationship with innocence, wisdom, humour, keen sensing and the great, transpersonal and universal mysteries of life. However if we get gripped by its shadow, we continue to float above the day to day realities and demands, challenging emotions and relationship responsibilities. And remain disconnected from ourselves and the life we are capable of living and contributing to.

This Peter is a successful business leader at a particular transition point in his life. Open minded and willing to experience different things, he signed up for our Earth Converse Solo Together in Mallorca. A multi-hour nature immersion, the core of which centres around 2 hours solitude and trust circle sharing. We call it a micro vision quest, as a taster of what humans have always done. To head out to nature, to seek answers within. For inspiration, connection and belonging.

In framing the experience, I invited the group to look through the lens of earth based models. Such as the Four Shields passed down to me by School of Lost Borders as well as Bill Plotkin´s Nature Based Map of the Psyche. A way of viewing nature´s cycles and transitions as our own. And how we are always been invited to move through change. As I talked, Peter identified himself still in the ´west´ shield of adolescence. Of not having matured into adulthood despite his external trappings and mature years.

Which of course, in itself, showed a tender level of self-awareness.

And he is not alone. Many a wise soul has lamented contemporary Western society´s refusal to grow up. It certainly has been one of the driving forces behind Bill Plotkin´s work, who I had the honour of interviewing on the Earth Converse Podcast. His view: that 80–90 percent of adults are ´uninitiated´. In that they have not done the work, the personal development and soul journey to discover their uniqueness and unique contribution to the world. As a consequence, as a collective we continue to inflict insufferable damage to people and planet, and limit our potential to revitalise our enchanted and endangered world.

Sitting there, on the forest floor, wrapped in layers protected against the Tramuntana mountain winter chill, Peter was grounded. What was his invitation to adulthood?

He returned after his 2 hours solitude, with a freshness in his face. Bringing back a flower, acorn and a twig of heather…and a list of points in his journal. In sharing his experience, he spoke of care. The longing to care for someone or something. To commit to taking care, of a partner, a child, a team, a project, the earth.

It never surprises me that this brief Solo Together experience can be so profound for so many.

I am not sure where Peter Pan will fly off to next. But I am convinced that he will take that precious experience with him in his heart. The sense that there is fun in maturing, in the caring. That there is a beautiful adventure to be had in stepping into a life to serve something larger than ourselves.

Thank you to Umut Yilman on Unsplash for the photo


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