Biography is a little like making compost…
After choosing a place in the garden, you begin to build a structure with varied organic materials: food scraps, grass clippings, leaves, cow manure (if you’re lucky), and straw are layered in a long, narrow mound left to transform through the seasons. If you practice BD gardening, you might add small pinches of five herbal preparations to enhance the process and create a bridge between earthly, biological, and cosmic forces.
In biography work we gather memories and experiences, both pleasant and painful, both digested and undigested, from life. We then place them in a life chart or map continuously adding old memories and new insights as they arise. These exercises are like the BD preps opening the activity to a spiritual dimension. As with compost once the foundation has been laid, even if you forget it at times, the process still continues.
When we remember the compost, we dig into it to test the warmth. We rub it between our fingers and smell what once was rotting turning into an almost sweet humus. We turn it over to mix it and bring air into it, then leave it to develop further. Once you begin biography work the process is in place even between workshops and exercises.
A memory, insight, or understanding emerges unexpectedly and we expose our life rhythms to the airy light of day, the mystery of night and to the wisdom of the cosmos. Looking at our life as though it is a film that we directed and starred in leads to a new richness in daily life. We draw out the details of our memories and share them with others who listen from a deep place of silence.
Biography a is process of transformation. As we turn over our memories and bring them into this conscious process, we release the extraordinary story that is our life.