The Moonlit Path Podcast

The expansive soul with Francesca Mason Boring

November 19, 2021 Laure Porché Season 1 Episode 6
The Moonlit Path Podcast
The expansive soul with Francesca Mason Boring
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this very special 50min interview, teacher, author and elder Francesca Mason Boring shares with us her deep relationship with story, ancestors, textile, the Soul, and what she calls the universal indigenous field. Settle in for a real treat! 

You can find Francesca's schedule on her website:
I highly recommend going to one of her workshops if you have the chance ! 

For more about family constellations, you can listen to the previous episode.

Get notified when the Silken Mirror membership opens in 2023 :

Follow us on Instagram @moonlitpathchannel

This podcast is hosted by Laure Porché: You can follow me on Instagram @laureporche
If you're enjoying the podcast, consider sharing it or leaving a review on Apple Podcast :)

[00:00:00] Laure: Hi Francesca.

[00:00:01] Francesca: Hi Laure! How are you?

[00:00:05] Laure: I'm good. Thank you. I must say I'm quite selfishly, very happy to have you here for an hour. Cause we don't get to see each other very often.

[00:00:14] Francesca: Very nice. 

[00:00:15] Laure: So I'm going to open this, like I open it for everybody by asking you: what is your favorite story and what did that story do in your life? Or what does it say about you?

[00:00:28] Francesca: That question was such an invitation and created such a process for me because books and story are so much a part of my life. And I think, especially with books, what I found was this very interesting reaction. One of the things that you were wondering about was what is my favorite book?

[00:00:51] And I found that's like, who was your favorite lover? Do you really want to do that because there're all the rest of them. And so I really found this beautiful experience of thinking: I have so many favorites from childhood. I have favorites in my work that really informed me. I have a particular genre that is just an absolute wonderful escape.

[00:01:21] So I found that I really had such a difficult time saying aloud to the exclusion of others, what would be really my favorite. And so there are so many purposes. From childhood really having a father that read every night and growing up with that and having on my mother's side from indigenous traditions stories that had been in our family for thousands and thousands of years, and that related to the landscape that we could actually see, because we were one of the few native American tribes that was not actually displaced to the extreme that some people were.

[00:02:07] So the touch stones of the type of plant life, the type of animals, that was consistent in the stories that had been there generationally and the landscape that was present. So I had these two convergences of this introduction of story that gave it such a huge presence. And really, I thank you so much for the conversation and the journey, because it really was foundational in terms of being able to see such a big picture.

[00:02:47] So when I think of picture books and that you could just be drawn into all the details, but that they were also a part of the story, whether they were mentioned or not. And so eventually having the opportunity to work with family systems constellation, which I cannot believe my gratitude to have been doing this for so long.

[00:03:10] It really was just an echo of this beautiful journey with story as a child, looking into the landscape for what's here that isn't being mentioned. You know what is the part of this landscape that's really significant, but that somehow is not presented as central? And so it was just a really incredible thing to realize that from two different cultures, there was this convergence of story and the value. How essential it is, how essential it is to be able to learn sometimes really painful lessons in a way that's not humiliating.

[00:03:53] There is a distance if I'm looking at some character who was a little too inquisitive or to all of the different things that I've been at different points in my life, that story was just such a lovely way. And as I thought about your question, I realized that yes, my parents were very selective in the stories that I would hear at a particular time based upon what really needed to be developed.

[00:04:22] And so I find that it has become so much a part of my life, and were it not for your question I probably wouldn't have really ever looked at the depth of that. So thank you so much.

[00:04:38] Laure: Wow, you're gonna make me cry! I resonate so much with that. And it feels so rich to me because I was also raised, in a completely different setting, obviously, and culture, seeped in stories basically. I think I realized early on how important that is, but I haven't really understood the depth of it until very recently, where I understood what could transfer from me to other people through that upbringing and as you're telling this story I can feel it coming to me, when you're talking about this.

[00:05:12] And I'm also, I, the, the notion of having stories that relate to your surroundings I don't think I ever thought about that. The importance of the relationship between the environment and the stories that you hear. The notion of stories and culture and how different cultures have different metaphors, cause I remember you talking about that and I love that. So that's wonderful. And I wonder, cause that's the place of story in your life, right? And that's how it was kind of put into you. And then the place of story in your work? Cause I know , that's also a big subject.

[00:05:51] Francesca: Yeah, again, it's so integral to me. I think that story is one of the ways that even things like the history of constellation work and the people involved, which I think encourages facilitators. So family systems constellation in its current form, "à la" Hellinger is relatively new, especially as an introduction into Western thinking.

[00:06:20] So it's very familiar. Much of Hellinger his work began in South Africa influenced by the Zulu people that he had been impacted by, but to have this work that really has such an indigenous flavor be a good interface with Western psychology really expands the reach of the impact of this field knowing, and my sense is that story, and really sharing the adventure of those people who were daring to bring this work into the realm of things like Western psychology, helps to normalize it.

[00:07:08] And I hope it emboldens people so that when someone is a bit timid and they're not sure, could I introduce this in this particular venue or in this particular community, if they really have these stories behind them of the really heroic and bizarre experiences of those who were sort of the fore runners, then my hope is that those stories might come to mind.

[00:07:40] So that they could know that this worked just like everything in life. It's really just an evolution. Nothing that's real is static. And so if one can hear stories that encourage them to remember that, then my hope is always that it will give them the strength to be able to bear the ebb and flow of really bringing the work out into the world, but actually in whatever they do to know if it's raining today, it probably will not rain tomorrow.

[00:08:16] And if it does eventually it will stop. So the, the more we're able to anchor ourselves in story that has that ability to remind us of how temporal things are and how animated, how organic then I hope we're less inclined to worry. So I actually bring story almost ad nauseum when I'm doing training, when I'm working with people.

[00:08:44] And I know sometimes they look at me like, what does this have to do with my question? But I just know that having sat in that place myself, where I've listened to elders respond and people in my family, it really is a thing that I may not be able to relate to that story immediately, but it is directly or indirectly, it is relevant and it often is larger. It's larger than a very linear answer. Yeah. So sometimes with story there are implications in the answer that I really might not be able to language or that a person may not really be ready for, but in having the privilege to be with that person, I can have a sense: they really are positioned to be ready later for the larger answer that's included in story. If I were to have a honest assessment of their capacity and answer only in a linear way, it would often be a very small answer that really is adequate for today. 

[00:10:05] But knowing that people are always in the process of growth, my hope is that in using story, the answer will contain something that does include this linear, immediate aspect, but that also has lots of inferences so that if they choose to revisit it perhaps with you, or with me, people that grow up with story and reading, it may not be until years later that I have a particular story come to mind that is so relevant and some aspect that I never had considered. 

[00:10:44] Laure: I love that cause I remember in training all the stories that you told, I tell some of them always crediting you and crediting who you credited in my workshops. But this answer also reminds me of something that you used to say in training, which was: don't define something, unless you have to, because if you define it, you reduce it, you take away some of the dimensions that it can have. When you say it's a bird then it's a bird, and if you don't say it's a bird, it can be a bird, it can be flight, it could be freedom, it can be so many things.

[00:11:17] Francesca: Yeah.

[00:11:17] Laure: All those dimensions are then contained in the story that you gave as an answer, and the person can perceive the smaller dimension of the bird and then as it grows in them it suddenly can take flight and all the other layers.

[00:11:31] Francesca: Yeah. I love it. That's fun that you thought of that. I really love that and I think it's powerfully true.

[00:11:38] Laure: I was curious because so you've read, you've read, you've read many books and you've also, you've also written many books and one of them, which I love is Feather Medicine. And I seem to remember, maybe I made that up, but I seem to remember hearing you say in the times where we used to see each other more often, that you wrote it as a way to introduce Native people to constellation by using story so that it would be more familiar to them. And I don't know if I'm mistaken or did I make that up? Or did you actually say that?

[00:12:17] Francesca: Yeah, that was actually one of my intentions. That was part of my hope. It turned out that just like the stories that we read, they all have their own life, they all have their own identity . It's very funny almost as though they have their own vision and their own journey. And so what surprised me was that the application was just immediately general.

[00:12:42] So I thought because it was within a Native community, I thought that would be the point of relevance, but that wasn't the case. Of course, when someone is from a tribal background and they read it, there's a resonance. But again, that was before I began to identify what I often refer to as a universal indigenous field.

[00:13:05] And so that was a lovely thing for me to really begin to experience that these different elements of the indigenous are actually a part of humankind and our roots. It's relevant for everyone. And so, because those things include a reverence for family and an awareness of interface with ancestral forces and story and all of the other elements of human experience, there was really no separation between indigenous populations and what I now even hesitate to call non-indigenous populations. Because I sometimes say we all came from the tent. If we really look back far enough, everyone, all backgrounds have this connection to the earth. It was at one point unavoidable.

[00:14:08] Now for some people, it has to be very intentional. If someone lives in an urban environment, if they work inside of an office, if they have a very pressured commute and if they have very limited time, people have to be very intentional to have nature interface with their life. But at one point for all of us in our roots where we're from the land.

[00:14:33] And so we're all indigenous. So yes, that was interesting. My idea and what the book decided, those were quite different.

[00:14:43] Laure: Yeah. And that brings me back to what I was thinking earlier, because it's interesting that story can bridge. And I know you've worked with many communities, many different cultures and nationalities.

[00:14:55] And so there's two aspects. One is that Story, the concept of Story or the practice of Story can bridge between communities. Right. But then you also have to be careful because, depending on the culture the metaphors are completely different.

[00:15:13] Francesca: Yeah, I love the expression: " We were not all raised on the same fairytales" and that can be very true. And the metaphors, in one culture pubic hair can be a character. That is not transferable to all cultures. It really gives me a lot of humility if I am working with a different culture, different community to at least try first to educate myself, to see if there are areas that in speaking with, or in interfacing with people, what are the places that would be inappropriate or that would not translate at all?

[00:16:02] And then the other part is to really trust this field knowing, if something begins to emerge that is a support ,that may not be something in my own lexicon. So to really know that my frames of reference are certainly not exclusive, they're not the only definitions, they're not the only teachers.

[00:16:28] And so I think that that point of the differences in metaphors is really quite crucial. And even the subjective metaphor: for many cultures, an elk is not necessarily a metaphor. It's an elk. Or an ancestor is not necessarily a metaphor. It's an ancestor. And so I think that even the definition of metaphor can sometimes be offensive. If one culture or one community has a particular set of definitions, I have to be so careful not to impose my assumptions on what those perimeters are, what that represents. So for some cultures, not to say the name of someone who has died or ,any number of issues. To know that some people have metaphors that use the terms: "This is light, and this is dark". And some people have metaphors that say, "This is wet and this is dry".

[00:17:35] And so really is helpful if there's anyone in different communities with different definitions. If there's anyone who will be generous enough to take some time and perhaps have exchange to clarify the importance of story and how I could be careful, how I could be helpful. Yeah.

[00:18:00] Laure: I find, like in my relationship with metaphor, more and more everything to me is a metaphor like in my whole life, I see everything as metaphors, but I see also that it's not incompatible to have the knowledge or the understanding that something is real and it's also a metaphor and they can be two of the same time.

[00:18:21] Francesca: Yeah.

[00:18:21] Laure: And that took a while for me to get there, you know, it was hard to reconcile that idea at some point that you could have, for instance, if we're talking about working with certain type of beings, non-corporeal beings that they could be, they could be real and they could also be a metaphor for your own inner world in a way. 

[00:18:45] Yeah. And that's going in a completely different direction I was thinking about , but that just brought that to mind for some reason. But I remember it really struck me very strongly when you were talking about that in training that the differences in metaphor and to be really careful what metaphors you use with people.

[00:19:06] And I'm still very careful, not just in constellation, because I also use stories with people when I'm working with them in craniosacral or, you know, polarity therapy. And I'm always very careful with metaphors because I'm like: "this needs to be really very simple". I go to nature most of the time, because obviously here, unfortunately nature is metaphor for most people but I'm curious also to know, because I've had experiences with people where I'm working on them and I'm working on a specific thing in their bodies for instance, and I tell them what I think is a story about it. And they don't necessarily know that it's a story about it. It's just, I've warned them in advance. "I'm going to tell you some stories that maybe you'll think they don't have anything to do with anything, but...", and I can feel in their body things start moving immediately in a different direction.

[00:20:03] And I wonder if that's something that you've potentially used in constellation before, if that's, you know, if a constellation is stuck, for instance, is that something that you would use, just tell a story or...

[00:20:16] Francesca: Yeah, it has so many places. And I think that for instance, in constellation work, the point of impact is that the constellation itself, that particular tool, reveals to people what is a hidden - before that time- a hidden dynamic. It's not that it's unknown. It's not that it's not real, but it is not a part of the person's conscious awareness.

[00:20:47] And so with the constellation, there is this revelation of some dynamic that may be contained in the unconscious, but it is not yet conscious and now it is visible. At that point, a person may or may not have the capacity to convert what is visible into a conscious awareness. And so that's one of the places where I think it's very similar to classic storytelling, that there is no mandate that you must know the essence, the teaching of this story within five minutes time. It really is that once the story is there, whether it's the visibility of the story in a constellation, or it's a story that we tell that there is this kind of expanse of allowing that movement to happen, if and as the person is drawn to convert that into an understanding of conscious understanding.

[00:22:00] So I think story I use for a thousand reasons and a thousand ways. One is just even basically to calm people. If someone has a very difficult issue and their body is quaking, literally, they smell like sweat, they really are very visibly anxious, then there are times that I tell a story that may or may not relate to their situation. But it is really just something to anchor them, to perhaps lighten them a little bit.

[00:22:38] It could be that the story relates to their situation. So maybe it's an introduction of a gentler way to look at it. And also a way to look at a terrible, painful human experience as something that the context is: this is a human experience. So in a story, there are times that, again, you can introduce this expanse that has me not feel so isolated or so focal or so wrong or so victimized.

[00:23:15] If I really am able, in an unobtrusive way, to have someone suggest that as horrible as it is, this is something that is my part in, in a collective, my part in a family, my part in a community, my part in the world, so that I don't feel so isolated. That's one of the times when people sometimes look at me like : "what? What does that have to do with my issue?" So that storytelling, which is to hopefully normalize the person, perhaps depending upon their exposure to story can be very effective or minimally so. It helps those that are grounded in story. So if someone is very uncomfortable, usually the group is uncomfortable as well. So at least for those folks, it, it can serve as a touchstone. And again, when it's story, there's not a time limit. So the person or persons who think, "how is this relevant?", given time, that can change.

[00:24:26] Laure: Yeah, I love that. I wonder if you hear group stories, because I know you do hundreds of talking circles And over time, have you developed a way to kind of hear the story of the group as people are talking, that there's something that emerges?

[00:24:49] Francesca: Yeah. And I really appreciate that. I think that's part of the magic of circle technology. That it's not a secret because what very often happens is that there will be a collective thread. So in some places people may begin with : "did anyone have a dream?" and in those cases it can be that the cumulative story that emerges from that particular group is actually very cohesive. And I think that that's an advantage of actually including circle technology as primary, as really essential, that it's not an adjunct. It actually is the container for a training or for a group, because it does provide the opportunity for people in that circle to begin to actually feel in an embodied way this connectedness. So the rhythm of those things that are present for the people in that particular group, it can be incredibly specific that people years ago come from the same region or that people were actually descendant of folks that fought the same battles.

[00:26:17] The connections that appear in a group are really beautiful. And I actually tend not to call it synchronicity because the word synchronicity has an aspect of something random, but the more you work with circle technology, whether we understand the mechanics or not, what you begin to see is the specificity and just the efficience of this field technology that pulls people together who have a similar theme or a similar experience. It is very humbling. It's really encouraging because when there are fields that have a particular level of trauma, a particular level of pain, when it turns out that this field has decided that 80% of the people in that circle have within their framework, their personal experience or their family experience, the very same type of experience then people immediately are not alone.

[00:27:30] And this can be incredible. It can be that people that come from all over the country or all over the world, all happened to be descendants of people who were killed in mining accidents. The elegance of it is just astounding to me, but circle technology is so ancient, it's so fundamental, and I think it's important also to give credit that it is something that came from our ancestors, that it is very old. That it is a technology. And I remember one point someone came up to me and I had done just a regular workshop or circle, I was so stunned I couldn't even remember the context, but the person said: "I was so happy to see that you used uncle Bob" and I thought I don't have an uncle Bob. I don't know what's about uncle Bob. And so I said, "I'm sorry, I hope you could clarify, I don't really know about uncle Bob". And so the person said, "well, yes, that was developed in neuro-linguistic programming and it's the inclusion of storytelling. So I was so happy to see that you used uncle Bob". I said, "well, we didn't call him Bob, but my family has really been using this for centuries. So I'm really happy to hear that someone else is now using this because it's very helpful, very effective." So that's one of the things that I think, for myself as well, when I use those tools to be careful although I'm using it within the framework of constellation and it's effective, and I can say this is a tool that has application, for myself to really credit the roots for all of us, that this is very old. It's something that we inherited.

[00:29:17] It's part of our birthright. It's something that serves human beings. And so we have different modalities that are thankfully incorporating those. But I think that it's just out of respect that we can always say, this is beautiful. This is lovely that this modality has this space where it really is an effective partner to have a story with this modality. 

[00:29:47] So I think that the storytelling in a way there's a re-emergence of it because it does have such application. But I know at different times when I hear myself talking about it or doing it, then I think I have to be careful to really remember how old this is. And so know that even though I love it, even though it's effective I want to bring with me the memory, the respect for all of those storytellers, and then maybe that will improve my story a little bit too. Yeah.

[00:30:21] Laure: Yes. I feel that. Hail to my multiple writer ancestors and storytellers

[00:30:32] Francesca: Yeah.

[00:30:33] Laure: And all centuries back of oral tradition. Yeah. It's one long thread. 

[00:30:42] Francesca: Yeah.

[00:30:43] Laure: Which is, you know, anything that's thread related is related to story, it's obvious to me. And I, I wonder about that. I may be mistaken, but I think you have a history with textile as well from your family ancestrally, I seem to remember, and I certainly remember a blanket ceremony that we did that was by itself something that's around textile.

[00:31:10] Francesca: Yeah. I think the weaving, for a lot of native people weaving whether it's cloth or basketry or clothing that's made out of those fiber plant fiber. So it's kind of like cloth weaving connected to basket weaving. I think the weaving and the storytelling that the story for many people actually across the world, that's one of the things that sometimes is cross cultural, that the story is that spider taught weaving..

[00:31:46] And of course visually it makes sense. So yeah, and really for so many people, it's, it's one of the tragedies that technology, which of course it has a lot of benefits, I never want to throw the baby out with the bath water, but one of the things is that historically every part of weaving included people and this holds true for places that are involved in that still.

[00:32:11] Story was present during weaving because people are sitting together and talking. And so whether it was stitching or weaving that it very often was a collective activity and that people were telling stories. And so passing the story of what happened to so-and-so yesterday, but also the other places where it was a platform to bring in what was a collective story or what was the story that comes from that community.

[00:32:44] So for me fabric, fiber, I still have a cloth rug that one of my grandmother's made and knowing how she made it and the story that always goes with it is that even while she made that she was also knitting socks for people who were involved in the European theater in world war two.

[00:33:12] So there's this story upon story upon story. And so I've a very large family so it's going to be really difficult to think who gets this tattered piece of gathered cloth.

[00:33:29] For me, it really is so significant because she really had this incredible you could say unusual comfort with color. And so I think that that's one of the things that cloth and fiber it really provides something that helps the body.

[00:33:51] I think that scarves, those have been such a strange, incredible part of my life, the uses for them and the ways that I've known that there are times that someone gave me a scarf. It had huge meaning, and I might see a particular person and know that really it's essential that that fabric then goes to them.

[00:34:17] There's so much energy, so much story around every kind of fabric and everything that's created, that's made by people that they can't help, but their family goes into it, their heart goes into it. And, and I think that the cloth and the fabric it is very much like we have a term "story medicine", so there are a lot of times when, for many years when I had nieces or nephews that were born, I always made a quilt for them.

[00:34:49] And so I think that that's historically something that we often did that making something sitting with the intention of a good life. And that's really, again, as human beings, so much a part of what we did. With modernity, which turns out not to necessarily completely feed our needs as humans, we have so many pathologies that are relatively new in the numbers that they are. Isolation, a sense of isolation, for instance. There are so many different things like story, like working with fabric , and I'm very thankful there are people within the therapeutic arenas that are beginning to re-institute the healing impact of working with fiber, of being aware of the psychology of color.

[00:35:52] You know, being aware that if you look at nature and you look at the incredible variety, you can rarely find a place where it looks as though nature is in any way adverse to color. So I think that we have some pressures in different ways at times to minimize that kind of interface, that excitement. 

[00:36:18] And so, yeah, for me colors, fabrics, and I'm a very tactile person, but I think as humans we're made like that to feel how does something feel? And sometimes you can feel something in addition to the fabric, you know, how did that, how did that piece of fabric come to that person?

[00:36:39] Was it a gift? Do you also feel love? You know, is it there were just so many different aspects, so yes fabric and textile for me are really significant helpers. Really significant helpers. 

[00:36:57] Laure: And so what are the threads? You know, what are the metaphorical threads in your life that you weave.

[00:37:08] Francesca: That was also really, really wonderful to think about that. I think the stitches that I start with for sure are family and garden, nature. For me, those are really constants and they're essential. They are ever-present. There are so many things in life that might change and family, whether living or dead is fixed.

[00:37:39] So to have things that are fixed and then again, to have the other primary thread be nature, which says in every moment nothing is fixed, for me it's very helpful. Whatever's happening I can go to one or to the other, and there is in some ways, almost a contradiction or a tension between those two that something will always, be never changes, and the other that it will in every moment be different. And so I love that constellation work and those two particular foundational threads that weave together, that those really are kind of a mentor for being comfortable with paradox. When you were speaking about the more expanded inclusion of metaphor, so for one person in your group, it may be a metaphor, for one person in the group it may be only reality, and for someone else they're able to merge two. So to know that paradox, those two fibers exist within my heart simultaneously. And there's a paradox in that. And my multiculturalism is a paradox and they both exist within this body. And so to find a place where two divergent fields, two very opposing fields in some way historically, have really a good home is I think a good teacher.

[00:39:10] It really has me in a very personal, very experiential way, believe that if people have opposing forces in their life, that they seem not to be able to reconcile, my whole body, my whole knowing is an experience that says many things can be reconciled and really very functional in a way that you might not expect right now.

[00:39:42] But if you really feel drawn to this and you really feel drawn to this and they seem to be in total conflict, it may not be the only way of looking at it. So I love the paradox that's invited by the primary threads, I guess, in my life. And there are so many others. I would be making some piece of cloth or basketry forever and ever, and ever if I were to think about all of them, but I love being able to think of it like that. That was beautiful. 

[00:40:14] Laure: Oh, yeah. That's the image that I have for my own life and for the field too, I see it as a kind of a weave. I like that. I love that idea of paradox. There's some paradoxes. I feel that can be reconciled with grace.

[00:40:32] I remember being in a turmoil, I don't even remember what the paradox was actually, but I remember being in a turmoil about opposing beliefs in myself, completely going crazy about it. And then sitting on Mont St Michel, in the sacred place in France for several hours, just facing the sea and letting this be in myself.

[00:41:01] And then at some point, the paradox was still there, but grace happened. Oh yeah, that's completely compatible. I can hold both those things in my self.

[00:41:12] Francesca: Yeah. Yeah, yeah,

[00:41:14] Laure: So I love that idea of your main thread anchoring that idea that we are made of contradictions.

[00:41:20] And that it's fine. That it adds to the richness of who we are. I love that. All right. So I'm going to ask you my last question, because we're coming to the end. I could go on, keep you all day. Which is because all this talk, obviously for me at least is about soul, you know, it's story and it's thread, but it's actually really about soul. And so I wonder, cause I'm really curious about that in general for everybody. When do you feel closer to your own soul? And then when do you feel closer to other people's soul?

[00:42:03] Francesca: Yeah. Well, I love you mentioned that, because I think that that's the part of the conversation that there is something larger than us, there is something that is not as temporal that is perhaps more grounded in some ways. So I hope that I feel close to my soul most of the time. It's a course in evolution, but for me, that's my tie breaker. But I think that kind of also comes from... it's sort of parcel of the indigenous perspective that in that paradigm and that conditioning " Is it well with my soul?", that's actually the compass. And so I think that to always be in conversation with that really is in some ways, a mandate and bit by bit, it becomes more organic .

[00:43:05] Then there really is the essence of whatever amount of time I'm here on the earth that is the primary conversation: if I go this way or if I go that way does it serve my soul so that I can serve and support and learn from the souls of other people who are also walking on the earth right now. And I feel very close to people's souls because I'm aware that that soul is expansive. And as individuals, we may not always be able to contain or to hold or acknowledge everything that is represented in us, all of our history all of our vulnerabilities, all of our traumas, we may have concepts that say that we're limited that we're not really able to bear it or there are a lot of very disempowering definitions. I think that can come from our cognitive processing, but the soul knows that if I'm here everything has a place. There is nothing that is really too big because there is this expense. I see people as I don't know if they're containers for their soul or their soul is container for them, but I see people as so much more expansive.

[00:44:40] And in fact, it's sometimes might be almost a irritation or a contradiction because whatever someone's personal immediate situation, I don't ever see only that. And it can be very pressing when a person is really in the middle, you know, in the throes of difficulty, they have sometimes a perception that that's all that there is.

[00:45:06] But when I see the person as being an aspect or an expression of their soul, what I see in the same moment is this incredible container and this incredible capacity. So I can have someone who's falling apart in front of me, and they may think that they're falling apart and they may think that that's all that there is in the moment.

[00:45:31] But when I look and I see the whole of their soul, and I see all of the people standing behind them, just the thousands of individuals that had so many things happen in their life. And I know they're in their very blood and in their very bones, even if one doesn't want to consider the metaphor of ancestry as real, even physiologically what's represented in every person is so expansive.

[00:46:01] And so for me, it's that I'm looking at the soul of the person and I see this capacity and I see this huge strength that comes from ancestry, that comes from survival, that comes from all of the things that happen in not just one person's life, but all of those lives, when I see that then my soul is at ease.

[00:46:27] I feel such an ease about their ability to really weather, whatever it is that's happening. And I know sometimes it seems almost like a disconnect that someone is like, I'm in agony and it's not that that's not true, but when I look and I see the context, I see the wider landscape I can acknowledge that this is what's happening in this moment, in this person's mind.

[00:46:57] Because it's not even in their reality because within the soul, the reality is held in such a bigger context. But the truth is that within the person's mind their sense of disempowerment or their sense of their lack of capacity that momentary belief of that momentary experience is also real.

[00:47:22] But it's such a small part. What is actually standing with them at the same time is this incredible capacity that they have.

[00:47:33] Laure: Yeah. That's one of the most useful lessons that I've learned from you. And so I'm very glad that you're sharing it with whoever will listen to this. Well, thank you so much for doing this.

[00:47:53] Francesca: Really nice to see you. I think what you're carrying and what you're willing to share with people is beautiful and it will be really helpful. So thank you.

Growing up with stories from the land
Using stories to embolden people
Giving answers that unfold over time
We all come from the tent
Respecting cultures with metaphors
Stories as connection
Collective stories and Circle technology
How textile holds story
The threads of paradox
The expansive soul