Conscious people connecting
The origin of Onemeall
In 2010, a technology lawyer, a storyteller, a marketing specialist and I sat down at a table for a conversation and a meal. At the core of our conversation lay a shared belief in the power and potential that sits in the middle of a table when people in their element consciously connect over a meal.
This meal followed a series of phone calls, skype chats and joyful conversations in person. Each of us with a passion for the planet, a keen interest in change-making, a love of good food and memorable experiences of new ideas bubbling, alchemically up during conversations over food.
The name Onemeall, or One-Me-All, seemed to captured perfectly the essence of the project we envisaged although we weren’t clear on exactly what shape it would take. But we shared an intention that the foundation of the project would be a meal in which we sit down to consciously connect with each other and food, an experience which reminds us of our interconnectedness that we are in fact one, me and all.
The evolution of Onemeall
As a collective and collaborative project we discussed numerous ways to put the concept of One-me-all into practice. We wanted the connection over food in person to be somehow reflected in an online presence. We felt strongly that there is such possibility in the intersection of ancient wisdom and practice and new technology.
Reflecting a key challenges (in my experience) of collective projects, once the project moved beyond the initial developmental phase and required action, inevitably different members of the collective had varying levels of capacity. At the time we moved from talk to action, I had the most capacity and the clearest way I could see of evolving Onemeall at the stage was to integrate it into the start-up community I was a part of at the time. Then as I began a conversation with Melissa Billington, founder of the Powa Centre, about an integrated well-being and co-working space, it made sense to host a series of Onemeall lunches there.
And so for the latter part of 2010 and most of 2011, each month we would host a Onemeall lunch at Powa. People would bring two salad ingredients and an intention to connect. Sometimes there would be just a handful of us, other times, a larger group. Always good connections were made and occasionally they gave rise to the possibility of collaboration.
The practice of Onemeall
It is now November 2012 and I’ve yet to schedule in a Onemeall. Mostly because for the majority of this year I’ve been preoccupied by getting to know Peka Peka in addition to my work for Urban Harvest, continuing the clothing and founding Biomimicry Aotearoa, so Onemeall has become (or continued to be) more of a practice than an event.
In searching for a way to best articulate this practice, I’ve come back to the brandstory written for Onemeall by the very talented Stephanie Pietkiewvicz, she has perfectly captured what continues to lie at the centre of Onemeall’s table. In the new year , there will likely be more event-like Onemealls at Peka Peka and in town. In the meantime I continue to experience them, in my own way with family, friends and colleagues on a daily basis. And my hope is that next time you sit down at a table for a meal with family, you bear this in mind and heart…
Start with what you do every day
It’s the moment when we sit down to eat with those we love…
It’s the conversations we have around a table.
It’s the food we share.
It’s the joy we feel, connected with those we love,
the table we’ve set,
the music we’ve chosen the magic of all our senses,
our bodies and our minds united and nurtured.
If we could transfer that simple daily joy– the gratitude we have for our dearest friends and our daily bread– into conversations of care,
in communities of commitment to little actions we all promise to make, we would all help heal the planet (and ourselves) whole again.
If we all, every time we eat, begin with a new kind of intent – a thanksgiving and a healing ‘prayer’,
then we’d be so tuned in, no longer alone, but all one,
focused and feeling our united ability to help our earth heal herself.