Leaving my home country at the age of seventeen made me feel like I was living away for a large part of my life. Being permanently away has the benefit of introducing unfamiliar perspectives and, for me, a deepening side-effect of a long-lasting search for home. In time, this search has settled into a feeling of being at home in my journey – that out of the multiple places, relations and identities that define my existence, some sort of wholeness is emerging. Journeying is how I’ve come to think of this aspect of my life: a practice in navigating the questions that arise from living without the certainties of the naturalised and normal.

For Jeppe, it has become second nature to say: 'Yes! And...'

Andrew Taggart, philosophical counsellor

It is not only a physical location or point of view that changes on a journey, parts of us change too – because we are all made up of the wider relations that delineate our lives, we change with the places, circumstances or perspectives we encounter. This is both exciting and unnerving as it challenges our ideas about who we are. To me, journeying means learning to navigate inner and outer change without running aground.

In times when things are changing very fast it can seem vital to find something to hold on to so that we don’t feel threatened by change. We identify with particular people or places, and we carry certain assumptions with us across different contexts which make the world what it is to each of us. When those relations or beliefs we hold closest are at risk our whole view of the world is affected.

And at the same time, it feels as if the world needs to change. We know that our lifestyles, embedded in a world of rampant overconsumption, are damaging whole ecologies and entire species, those whose lives grind away for the provision of cheap goods, the earth herself. But it can be hard to see how the necessary changes can happen without being all encompassing and frightening, and sometimes we’re stuck in the middle between desiring and dreading change.

It seems to me that if we are interested in changing anything – whether we want to change the world, society or ourselves – we have to start with addressing the ways of seeing that have made the world, society and ourselves what they are. To begin by understanding why we understand ourselves and the world in the ways we do. We also need to surrender our tendencies to justify and protect our own opinions.

Because change lies beyond what currently is, we cannot know exactly what we are changing into. We cannot step out of ourselves and take control of the whole process. Control is often counter-productive. This means that practicing the skills that help us change – and respond to change without recoiling from it – is perhaps more important than our destination. The practice of those skills is what I call journeying.

Journeying as a practice has helped me to begin sketch a map and assemble a compass for navigating uncertainty and change. Through different encounters, conversations, observations and collaborations, I have developed an open framework, a set of conceptual tools, and a vocabulary for exploring and finding meaning in personal and collective transitions. I have abridged this frame in this note and continue to develop these ideas in the reflections I call Refigurations.

By attending to the motifs and narratives that make sense of our journey in the world we get to know our selves a little better, we learn to navigate new areas and circumstances that were previously uncharted. I speak both with individuals and organisations about this and always welcome new conversations.

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