Creations 9: Soulfulness – A Gathering

On Saturday 11 March I curated and hosted a gathering on Soulfulness. We began our day at the wonderful St Ethelburga’s Centre for peace and reconciliation. It was an absolutely superb venue. We were very fortunate to have access to both the tent and the nave as well as the outside court yard. The story,values and vision of St Ethelburga’s is really inspiring, and well worth discovering. The beauty and peace of the venue was so tangible and if you are looking to host an event in London or keen to explore the place and one of the courses or events they host then I would highly recommend it.

It was a very soulful start to the day with a relaxed opening and arrival over coffee and lost of delicious home baked goodies.

Brian Draper lead our time together in the morning, leading 2 sessions based on some of the themes, content and practices in his excellent book ‘Soulfulness‘.

It was a really enriching and deeply profound morning. Brian is a master curator, leader, guide and facilitator and blended the content of his book with creating spaces for silence, reflection, discussion and exploring helpful model’s and practices to enable our days, hours and minutes to be more soulful. I love Chapter 8 of his brilliant book where Brian asks a superb series of questions about what it means to be ‘soulful’ and to truly live soulfully. The book is worth it for this chapter alone!

For me the essence of Soulfulness is how do we find, and then live out of our true and full identity. Where do we and how can we find the soul in our relationships, vocations, passions and fullness of life?

I would highly recommend Brian Draper to curate/lead retreats, team days and for speaking. His regular email series for Advent and Lent as well as his Spring Saunters and Ode’s to Autumn are all worth thinking about engaging with.

As a way into lunch the brilliant Jo Herbert shared some thoughts on how we can eat soulfully and more consciously and intentionally be thankful for our food and mindful of its journey, who prepared it and how we need to waste less and eat better.

Our Lunch was a delicious Algerian Stew and the most delicious and best couscous I think I have ever tasted. It was prepared and provided by the excellent Concord Cafe, part of the National Algerian Centre. The Cafe works on the principal of preparing food that would otherwise go to waste, a similar principal to the real junk food movement.

In the afternoon we ventured out and people had the choice of either A City Labyrinth led by Matt Valler or a trip to The Tate Modern to engage with Art soulfully. Matt’s City of London Labyrinth is a really insightful and profound experience. He’s developed this tour out of doing what he calls a ‘City Hack’ to uncover the stories of a place and how our stories interact with them as we walk in and around the places. There will be more tours and more City Hacks coming up, do check them out.

It was brilliant to end the day in Ye Olde London and continue lots of conversations over some great ales.

I’m thankful to all of the contributors for their excellent content and contributions, and to all who attended, participated and really entered into the day. It was a really soulful day. Eating and drinking together, reflecting on Brian’s content, the interactive experiences and a great end of the day in the pub.

I really enjoyed bringing this event together. It confirmed for me my desire to cultivate and create community and shared experiences. The Half Moon Gig, Music Club, Lent book group , Men’s group and this event highlight my love for gatherings. They are the things that bring soul and enable me to create and outwork something soulful.

I wrote a song during my FAWM challenge in February called ‘Battle for Soul‘ The end refrain of the song simply say’s ‘I want to be more soulful’. In all aspects of my life, may I pursue and live with Soul, to be more intentionally soulful.




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