This year, I started the new year with a workshop by Jan Jacob Stam at The Hellinger Institute. The workshop characterised by it’s open nature to explore the past, the emerging future, saying goodbye and welcoming the new. And how and why do we do all that really?

The Institute is in the north of The Netherlands in the town Groningen, the town I studied in years ago.  As I ventured up north, the temperature dropped fast and within just two hours I was seeing snow and the government had given off ‘code orange’ for the northern provinces in Holland. Code orange meaning; ‘please do not leave the house if you can at all help it’. I made it to my hotel safely but weather was getting worse and the next morning would prove a challenge to get to the workshop at all. I made it and, for 2 days, for the people who made it to the workshop, we were closed in by cold weather, snow and very slippery roads.

Inside the walls of the Institute, however, we explored and rose above ‘being stuck’. Delving into questions on the past and the future. Jan Jacob Stam spoke about the difference between both the ‘planned future’; actively creating a forward moving-reality into the future and the ‘emerging future’; a contrary flow of movement coming at us from the future. And so where do the two movements meet?

He continued with the Greeks, had two words for time; Kronos, referring to the quantitative aspect of time. Continuous, measurable and an aspect of time we are familiar with. The other word for time, Kairos refers to time’s discontinuous, qualitative aspect.  It is the time of the right moment. In modern Greek ‘Kairos’ translates into ‘opportunity’.

The first is more about the planned future. What are my plans, how would I like to see things moving forward and what am I going to do to reach this? The latter is different and asks us to be courageous and to recognise that exact moment when something is finished and to step in (and step up) when the right opportunity presents itself – and we know often great opportunities only pass by once.

So where will we find the courage to recognise it and to join? And remind ourselves that saying goodbye to the old and new opportunities both come together in the present moment.

Being in the centre of Groningen was a blast from the past. I retrieved  something of myself there, the sound of the church bells playing maybe. And the music is telling me:  The journey I create(d) is good and sometimes it is also good to take a risk (again), dive into that adventure to transform and not know what you will receive in return. Prepared to do this in 2016.

So I am curious to know: where will your plans meet the unknown this year?

Happy New Year all!