Dear friends of YIP,
Greetings from Yttejärna!
I hope you have all been well in this season of darker, colder days that invite cozy evenings with a cup of tea and a book.
Here, in YIP, we have been diving deeper into the inner awareness courses and working on the Initiative Forum preparations as the days turn shorter and grey with the winter solstice nearing.
November stared with the Movement course that challenged us by inviting us to examine and look at all the different posibilities and potentials of our relationship to our physical/emotional/… bodies and the connection between them.
After that, we had a week of giving and receiving feedback, changing perspectives, looking at things from different angles and in different (new) ways in order to transfer our portraits onto a canvas. We then closed this month with diving into our biographies through drawing, working with clay, sharing stories of our past and visioning the future at the end of the week, so that we could then transition into what’s coming next.
With December already on the go, we’re excited and looking forward to what is yet to come before we wrap up and close this block to go into our winter break.
Until next time ~
Written by Adéla Honigová
In this newsletter you will find:
- Transitioning form the Global Realities to the Inner Awareness by Samuel Hernandez
- Movement and Initiation by Mimi Matamoros
- Portrait Painting by Pauline Wenzel and Cecilia Pasolini
- Biography Work by Petra Oberfrank
- Creative Sessions
– Art Therapy by Emma Claeys
– Metal Work by
– Gardening by Bee Reinhold
- Initiative Forum Announcement by YIP13
- Upgrade on YIP14 Applications
Transition from Global Realities to Inner Awareness
The transition between global realities and the inner awareness in our courses is something I didn’t really feel.
I believe that the reason I didn’t notice a strong transition is because, as a person of color, global realities is a daily experience and, being that it is a daily experience, it is also a part of my inner work.
It’s important to note that if your inner work does not involve nor reflect on the harsh realities that are happening around the world, then you are choosing not to hear the cry of the Earth and its people.
That is a real privilege.
My reflection is not written to bash or offend anyone. I am speaking to both you and myself, with love. I also experience privilege and at times ignore the issues affecting our brothers and sisters around the world.
Here I am taking a moment to raise a concern that affects us all.
Mother Earth is crying.
People are crying.
If we aren’t connecting with the pain surrounding us and we refuse to change our behavior and not speak or take action against the injustices we see and hear around us, then maybe we should ask ourselves:
Is my inner work truly serving me?
Written by Samuel Hernandez
Movement and Initiation
with Justas Kučinskas and Severas Švedas
What is movement?
I would maybe start by saying it is exploring self through personal physical potential; adapting in the context of the surrounding environment, and in relation to another; and remembering the euphoric joy in the way one’s hand embraces a spoon or the gentle kiss that the heel gives the floor with every step.
However, I don’t believe the essence of movement can be understood in spoken or written language, therefore my job is very difficult since I have nothing but my words to communicate something that only meets truth when it is felt.
I cannot explain what movement is, but I can try to describe how movement practice has influenced the narratives I use to understand myself as a human being.
Before I was introduced to movement practice I did not know I was numb.
I did not know that touch is just as much influenced by the internal as it is by the external. That I am not the observer of my body, I am my body. Being numb in the body, not feeling the bones, the muscle, the skin, is in a way a tangible incarnation of numbness in the mind. How can I move if I cannot feel? How can my mind bend when my body is stagnant?
Is my body separate from my mind? Are they two? Two dancers perhaps? Swirling around each other in time with the waltz we name life. Who leads? Can we choose? If one is absent…
Before, when I told stories of my body I named it a vessel, like an oyster that holds a pearl (my soul).
Now, in my stories my body is a tree. Strong, yet willing to bend branches for the slightest wind; yielding to another. And my soul is the water running through its veins, the nutrient earth integrated through its trunk, and the sunlight dancing through every shimmering leaf. The water, earth, and sun breathe life into a seed and that breath becomes a tree.
For me, movement practice is so much more than a five day course.
Movement practice is an internal study, a way of living, of always being home because I know my body so well, that just being is enough for me to find comfort in the familiarity of my own skin.
I learn from my bones and my muscles that hold knowledge far beyond my conscious mind.
For me movement practice is falling in love with every fingertip, every vertebrae of my spine, and the potential that is living inside.
For me movement practice is humbling myself to the rhythm of the waltz, body and soul tightly wrapped in each other’s arms, gliding through space and time. For a moment both are one, led by the unified movement of the dance.
Written by Mimi Matamoros
with Rachel Ingvad
We started our portraits with a colorful background, each ones a different colour(s), everyone with the same instruction.
The next step was creating a shape of our face with the guideline of doing it from the center to the outside, rather than making an oval and filling it with our face parts.
We were observing the areas of light and shadows in our reference photos, trying to translate them onto the canvas.
This week brought to the group lots of frustration but also lots of joy.
One of the difficulties of this course was to trust that the process of painting was going to bring us a beautiful result in the end, no matter what the way of getting there was going to be. The journey towards a recognizable portrait included lots of moments where we couldn’t see ourselves, or even believe that we ever would.
Even when it was challenging to believe in the final result, we kept painting and throughout the week our portraits began to emerge.
At the end of the week I was stunned by watching all our works hanging on the wall.
Written by Cecilia Pasolini
This week started with a lot of excitement, unknown and curiosity.
What will come? How are we going to make the first strokes? How will we cover the expanse of white on the canvas? But then Monday came, we prepared with trousers inside out and funky shirts and Rachel just appeared.
Suddenly we found ourselves painting the background of our portrait in the brightest colours. Just start! That was the only instruction we got. And that created a freedom to stop overthinking and experience the joy of playing with colours.
One hour later the first head shapes appeared on the canvas. After every Fika break the paintings become more colourful. We gave feedback to each other and discussed where we could see light and shadow.
By the end of the first day I had experienced a roller-coaster of emotions; happiness, enjoyment, frustration, courage to try again and the patience to stay with the process. But mainly frustration and the strong desire to press a rewind button.
Over the next few days, we had to learn to overcome the fear of messing up our paintings. We brought in more colours to support us in being more playful and experimental. Appreciating the process of creating was an important lesson I learned this week.
We observed, learned from each other, criticised, and empowered each other to keep going. What is our first impression when one of us is entering the room? Can we see ourselves in the pictures we chose? Can we recognise ourselves in our paintings?
The motto was ‘if there is no beginning of a nose, we can´t help each other see where the nose should be.’ Noses, eyes, eyebrows, ears, lips – all were coming alive.
Sometimes we needed warm hugs, lovely words, and a good distance from our own paintings. Sometimes we needed an upside-down view to get a new perspective. Sometimes it was challenging to stop at the end of the day when we finally came into a flow.
From blue to green, from orange to purple and then back to blue. Some faces were seen in every single colour. One single stroke could change the whole painting, the whole look, and the whole personality.
And then day five came. And in the end the walls were covered with the most colourful, beautiful, and creative portraits of YIP 13.
Some were rich in details; some were more abstract, but each painting was clearly recognisable.
We stood back and appreciated our creations, celebrating the results of an intense and bonding week. Everyone around me full of new experiences and me being part of it.
Written by Pauline Wenzel
with Bára Filípková
In spite of not knowing much about Biography Work, I was excited for this week.
I like to dig deep in my life, explore whatever I find there, observe, and work with it.
In the structure of the week we had some theory in the mornings and an exercise each day. The tasks were connected to an expression, like drawing or making a sculpture from clay.
After lunch we shared what we discovered in the exercise in smaller groups.
Listening played a huge part in this game for every one of us.
To be able to fully listen to others, we need to stop our inner monolog, our memories and just be present, listen with all our senses for the other person who is talking.
We learned that we are not resposible for the story that others are telling, it stays in the middle of the circle.
For some people it was hard to make artistic expressions again after the portrait painting week, but others enjoyed that they could be more free and the end result didn’t need to be perfect.
During the week, I didn’t really know how to connect these exercises together, but at the end of the week I found out that all of them made sense together. They were even connected to the question which we brought up on the first day. We each ended up with a question for our life and a statement which we created through the daily tasks.
I enjoyed that we could have a full journey through our life just within one week. And of course there is always more to explore.
Written by Petra Oberfrank
Creative Sessions ~ Wednesday afternoons
Metalwork was a privilege. An absolute dream.
First things first.
I walked into the workshop and the coziest warmest feeling came over me. In past experiences I’ve known metal workshops often to be places filled with hard edges and harder people. Not here though.
This was obviously a place where students go and learn to love working with metals.
The instructor; Richard is a high energy person with an almost elf-like air about him. I have yet to bring an idea to him he couldn’t teach me to make reality.
His approach to teaching is what I long to see more often in the classroom. He sincerely cares about making dreams reality. Seeing possibilities in mishaps, and potential in flaws. Incredibly polite, he has a tendency to invite an individual into the unknown with a childlike sense of wonder.
In this course I truly felt the sky to be the limit.
The space is as conducive to dreaming as it is to learning. It can be hard to just throw yourself into something with little prior experience. If there is a space that could be considered perfect for that. It’s here.
Upon entry you’ll be greeted by a fairly large stump table with jewelry stations built in. The jewelry section is a fun place to dip a toe into the world of softer metals like copper and silver. Facilities included set ups for welding, filing, hammering, and sawing your jewlery.
As you progress further back you’ll begin to find some more heavy duty equipment. Several angle grinders, anvils set up on top of more logs, enough hammers for everyone, and finally… the forge!
This is to this day one of the most expressive pieces of machinery I’ve come across. The forge will tell you if you need to feed it more, cool it down, let it breath. It’s almost like caring for a child. If you listen; it will communicate it’s needs to you in a language you wouldn’t know you speak until you work with it.
While these are all amazing aspects of this course, the real lessons are as applicable to life as they are to the crafts. Things like patience, finding the balance between rough and delicate, setting up your station in a way you’ll understand it, as well as cleaning it all up when finished. I really could go on and on and on.
These lessons are irreplaceable. I truthfully couldn’t tell you of anywhere I’d have enjoyed spending creative sessions more, than in that little workshop, hammering away at a project.
Written by Damien Fifer
In the global realities block we spent a lot inside of our brains, so it was always a relief to go on Wednesdays outside and put our hands in the soil.
The soil became a good friend.
We planted garlic, took care of pumpkins, created compost and did magic to them. Planted dandelions, harvested potatoes, learned how to ferment… And we had always a lot of fun and were in awe of the plants and their home.
Every carrot was welcome and good as it was.
Today, in the time of supermarkets, where every veggie is shining, perfect and the same size, we kind of forget how the reality looks like and that even the wackiest carrot is tasty and valuable. Also the soil and their inhabitants brought us often to admiration and it made me so happy to see so many earth worms and to know that the soil is healthy.
All of this we did with Brigid, our wonderful gardener.
I wanted to say here again thank you Brigid, you brought me even closer to the earth.
Written by Bee Reinhold
Initiative Forum Announcement
We are YIP 13.
During this time of significant global upheaval and change, we have been in Sweden, studying a wide range of topics, all of which feel deeply relevant to this moment in humankind’s experience on Earth.
While undertaking this journey called YIP, there is a thread that we have noticed, which is woven into the curriculum, the setting, and this way of living in relation to others.
We have been learning to listen.
To really hear the beings around us.
To create spaces where conversations that matter can take place.
To connect to our deepest knowing and the stories we are holding inside of ourselves.
To listen to and honour the intelligence of our planet.
We want to share this with you.
We want you to be involved in these conversations and processes, because your gifts, your voice and your ears matter.
We need them now.
We have begun the process of imagining the Initiative Forum of 2021 into being, and while we are of course working with the uncertainty of this time, we are striving towards making it happen with both online and in-person elements.
More information is soon to follow, but until then…
Are you listening ?
Save the Date for our Initiative Forum titled ‘Are you listening?’
Mar. 3rd – Mar. 6th, 2020
To stay updated on the event go check out our website that will be launched Dec. 14, 2020, where you can sign up to the YIP13 Initiative Forum email list.
Hope to see you there!
Update on YIP14 Applications
Greetings from the YIP organising team.
We wanted to update our network and future YIP participants regarding applications for YIP14.
Given the current global circumstances, we have decided to communicate an update about applications for YIP14 (2021-2022) in January 2021.
If you are interested in applying, please click here to submit your email and you will be notified when applications open.
If you have any further questions, please write to [email protected]
Food for Thought
“That which is closest remains hidden; we don’t usually perceive the perceiver.” – Justas Kučinskas (Movement and Initiation)
“Would we move for the sake of moving itself?” – Justas Kučinskas (Movement and Initiation)
“Feeling seen is an essential experience that helps us find our place in the world.” – Bára Filípková (Biography Work)
“What would it look like if we were all connected and at home in our bodies?” – Naomi Richards (during the Movement week)
“We are a strand of the Web of Life. What we do to the Web we do to ourselves.” – Patricia McCabe (Original Instructions)
“How to be a human being that causes life to thrive?” – Patricia McCabe (Original Instructions)
~ Little Glimpse from by the Fjord ~
~ Looking forward ~
In the next newsletter you can expect to read more about:
- Original Instructions
- Personal Initiative Week
- Initiative Forum Update