Dear Yippies and Shifters,
I left without saying goodbye to most of you. I am happy I did, though I would have loved to give each of you one of these big hugs. These days for me were an amazing experience and by not having ended them, it feels like it is not yet over.
Now I sit in this airplane, back in a hurried and impersonal surrounding. Going to Amsterdam to see my good friends in another transformative environment – and trying to look back, what do I take? What do I remember of these fast-paced days? What has happened?
When I arrived, I saw some old friends, people I have met and been in contact with since the last Initiative Forum or before. Some faces I knew that quickly became friends and many more unknown faces that made their way into my heart with an impressive speed.
What is it that has created such an unusually strong energy?
The mix of place, program, organizers, participants – with something. Hope?
I believe we all came to Ytterjärna with the intention, expectation that we would live some inspiring and energy-filled days. Is it the collective belief in an amazing experience that, together with the careful, caring planning and execution of the Yippies, created this?
Something like this. Or something else.
I sit here in this airplane and I hope not to kill magic through rationalizing. Hope to conserve the energy and carry it with me for another while as life goes on. Hope for me and all of you that we manage a transition into the other world that will allow to see this what happened not as a bubble, a dream, but as an example of how human beings may actually interact – sometimes.
I remember one conversation about what makes it possible for people at Initiative Forum to be so beautiful, from the inside (as from the outside). Is it maybe because it is a restricted space and time? We know that by the end of this week, ‘normal’ life resumes, so I will gather all positive energy for these days and spread only what shows appreciation. Maybe?
I remember other conversations about changemaking and transformation. Is it this human beauty that we want? Is this a surrounding, an environment that I could/would live in? Is it not edges that make life exciting and give a human being form?
I have with me now lots of questions about what changemaking and transformation means and how to create a space for it. Lots of questions that bring clarity to me.
I love, love, love these spaces where I can be who I am fully, open up, really trust the beings around me. They are so important and allow me to remember what really matters in my life, besides all the busy-ness, the representing, the masks.
But were we really our authentic selves? Were we not lacking our ‘ugly’ sides?
I think we counterbalanced. My usual life, though in an environment that is highly appreciative in comparison, involves lots of stress, comparison, self-judgement, outside judgement, pretentiousness, headthinking.
These days in Ytterjärna allowed my ‘pendulum’ to go the other way, show full appreciation, love, vulnerability, care, interest.
For this space that was created by an amazing crowd of people, this was possible.
And would we have stayed longer, would we have slept less, would we have gotten into a situation of scarcity – would we still have remained beautiful and a singing and dancing and loving community? Or would we have fallen back into the patterns of fear, ego before community, hero before host?
No, we haven’t gone through a transformation yet, I think. We are not there yet, not one of us. I think we are no example for a functioning community, yet.
When sitting and waiting for the train in Järna together with Giovanni, we were thinking about how the Yippies managed to prevent the Hero pattern this year. There were very few examples of teachers, saviours, ‘risen masters’. Few to look up to, though lots to learn from and with. To me, all contributors this year managed to not preach, not appear as if they ‘knew’. They were all fellow travellers on the road, they might just have travelled for more time and seen more places.
This, I think, is an achievement. A community of learners, teaching itself and each other. A collective of ‘imperfect’ individuals (though of course perfect as they are) that are aware and don’t aspire to perfection. So little pretentiousness, so little hiding behind words, titles, facades, superficiality.
Dear YIP students, dear Alumni, dear Organizers, dear people of the Kulturhuset and school – thank you! Thank you, very much. This, for me and I think many more, was a space of exploration, appreciation and transformation. It was a community space, which each individual could tailor to their needs. It was gracefully, humorously and authentically hosted.
Dear friends I made, thank you for the conversations, your appreciation, your openness, your words, smiles and hugs. I will write to many of you soon and I hope to hear back from you.
Finally, an invitation. Apart from the obvious: ‘Come to Sevilla!’, I would like to invite you to seek support if you want to start your initiatives. I have learned how much of a difference it makes, as Kiara pointed out, to have a group of mentors standing beside and behind you, support you in your project.
If you feel like developing an idea of yours and are not sure what steps to take, where to begin, how to work with the challenges, feel invited to connect.
I am learning to develop my skills as a project and process coach and facilitator. If I am able to support you, time and skill-wise, then I will be happy to do so.
If you are planning to start a project in Spain – even more so.
Maybe other initiative-takers would like to step up and offer their support as well. This way we could bring the energy of Initiative Forum into actual initiative.
Either way, so far my thoughts, ideas and appreciation.
Welcome Home, as we sometimes say!
Sending you lots of good stuff,