Whirlwind and Calm
A letter to our very first participants
Whirlwind and Calm. These were my thoughts as we prepared to welcome you this last Monday, August 12th… as I searched for an errant duvet cover as the bangka approached the shore! I greeted you slightly out of breath, and definitely sweaty!
But you were gracious.
I could see you all, eager and hopeful, for a way forward. I was excited for you. I still am.
You all left with a plan, a purpose, and small, attainable steps in which to sustain your momentum.
Throughout our four days together, we were able to amass quite the Toolkit!
We practiced grounding, through breathing exercises, imagery, and attuning our senses to thing we could hear and feel. Our natural venues added to this experience.
We were also able to broaden our understanding of how our body, mind and feelings work, and thus influence us.
We worked on differentiating, as well as identifying our triggers; connecting them to coping mechanisms, and making sure that these coping mechanisms are flexible and transferable.
We learned about our core values; what drives us and how to distinguish between those that our own and those that we have embraced by default.
We learned how to check in with ourselves; tracking our sleep, as well as using Scaling to gauge not only where we are, but also to notice the differences or similarities of our moments.
We worked together, cooking along-side each other. Whether it be gathering herbs, chopping onions, or making the centerpiece bouquet, we learned that there is peace in working with our hands as we rested in our togetherness.
We learned to find peace through concentrating on things that we do. Making our lemongrass chains involved all our senses. We could feel the rough grass in our hands, we had to concentrate on the braiding, we could smell the scent unleash as the strands were bent and broken, and we could feel pleasure in seeing our work completed. And everyone of them different!
We learned to be attuned to our environment, exploring different venues and seeing things from different perspectives; discovering which venue fit us.
We developed nightly routines and debriefed for closure of each day.
And we learned to try new things; whether it be on the water with a kayak or paddle-board, or with a frying pan, or by acknowledging a long-forgotten thought or feeling.
We collected samples and reminders of things that worked for us, placing them in our Tactile Box.
You all did good.
Thank you for being our guinea pigs. We couldn’t have asked for a better group!
Martha and Udo