Inner Exploration

Dear Friends of YIP,

Whilst the days are getting shorter and darker here in Ytterjärna, we are enlightening our inner fires in the middle of the Inner Awareness block. Winter has fully arrived. Candle lights, warm cups of tea, bonfires behind Tallevana and the first Christmas carols during morning singing are inviting in the light and warmth.

We wrapped up the Global Realities block with a week around Imagining the Initiative Festival which sparked a lot of excitement for the coming month. After a refreshing Autumn Break the Yippies started the Inner Awareness courses with a week on “The Evolution of Consciousness” looking at body and mind. The following week, we kick started the Personal Initiative which will be present throughout the next months. Now we are halfway through the inner exploration courses with a week on “The Study of Humankind”.

With December on the go, we are excited for what will come in the next weeks before we go off into our winter break.

In this newsletter you will find:

  • Imagining Initiative Festival by Rike Altmann
  • Evolution of Consciousness: Exploring Mind and Body – by Simon Bauke, Anika Jensen and Tessa Ruitenbeek
  • Personal Initiative Week by Matara Scott
  • Study of Humankind by Edda Richter 
  • Applications for YIP15 are open!

Photo by Pippin Ibell

Imagining Initiative Festival

Imagining Initiative Festival – A week of excitement.

What is calling you to action?

What is present in you and wants to come out?

Where do you see a world waiting to be born?

And where do you see a world dying?

What is alive and what do you wish to see alive?

Our week on the Initiative Festival was filled with all of these questions and more. We took a deep dive into a process of planning, organizing and deciding. We imagined the atmosphere of our festival by remembering what we had taken away from the conferences and festivals we had participated in, and asked ourselves what feeling we wanted our participants to come home with from our event.

This week was so full of big dreams and visions, so many sparking ideas, long discussions and voting. We distributed many different tasks and everyone started to realize how much work it is to organize a great festival completely by ourselves. “If you can set up the Initiative Festival, you have all the skills needed to start your own business!”.

Fortunately, we had a few people who put into practice the skills we had learned in the Art of Hosting week. They guided us through this process of first steps in various sessions, bringing us a good deal closer to our vision of the Initiative Festival 2022.

The longest decision-making process that week was finding the exact date. We had a lot of discussions, going  back and forth, but in the end we made a decision, and I’m really happy to be able to announce it here:

Save the date!

The Lighthouse Festival

01/03/2022 – 05/03/2022

We will send more information soon, so be on the lookout!

By Rike Altmann

Photo by Janne Bierens

Evolution of Consciousness: Exploring Mind & Body

Original Instructions

“In one hour”, I say to myself as I close my eyes in concentration, “I want to weave a narrative that describes the magic of the afternoons that were hosted by Patricia Mccabe (also known as Woman Stands Shining) in such way that our parents, brothers and friends all over the world can get at least a bit of the inspiration that she sparked in us during the first week of YIP’s Inner Awareness Week.

By the time we all gather in the Hive, it’s already dark outside. We say a prayer for the water and ask it to listen to us, then light the candle in the middle of our circle. After we see Patricia on the big screen do the same from Turtle Island (the place that most of the world calls North America now). We listen to the song she sings to invite the spirits to support us. Over the course of four afternoons, Woman Stands Shining brings us on a journey that feels true, deep and far beyond the land of the analytical thinking mind. By describing the traditions and ancient ways of societies on Turtle Island before the aggressive colonization by Europeans, she brought a deep realization of the fact that our Western culture is maybe the most “widespread” and therefore possibly considered the most successful culture in that aspect, but it is for sure not the “best” culture. The highly intellectual westerners did not totally understand the wisdom lived and shared through dance, songs and other rituals of the first nation’s people. In the eyes of the colonizers, the people living on the “new land they discovered” were “childlke, primitive and plainly stupid”. Using these kinds of words as a general description, combined with the notion of the Catholic Church that one is allowed to make subjects of those who are not of the “one true faith”, there was a conceived justification for enslaving and killing tens of thousands of peoples and their cultures. Patricia Mccabe’s grandparents were kidnapped (which was legally allowed) and put in Dutch Missionary’s Reformative Boarding Schools. Here they would be educated and intentionally made to feel so disgusted about their own culture that they wish to never to return to it. “It worked!” Patricia says. Two generations later, already an adult, Patricia returned and reconnected with the culture of her ancestors. Seeing that she is one of the only ones left holding the wisdom of so many generations, she feels a deep urge to share with the world, and wishes to change the narratives that have been accepted as fact in our modern-day society.

Thank you Patricia for opening our eyes, minds and hearts to look at life in another way and inspiring us to connect with the elements around us.

By Anika Jensen & Simon Bauke


For the week about Evolution of Consciousness: Exploring Mind and Body, we were joined in the mornings by Justas and Donata from Movement Vilnius. On the main stage in the Kulturhuset we explored the infinite possibilities for moving our bodies. We did a large variety of exercises, like locomotion, quadrupling, arm swinging, spine stretching, and more.

While struggling to copy Justas’ complex arm swinging combinations, we discovered how awareness is not only present in our mind, but through our entire body.

On Wednesday we dived into the philosophy behind movement by looking at the movement perspective in context of the physical/fitness culture. Justas shared with us his hypothesis that the current physical culture disconnects us from our bodies. In the present day, we no longer experience the movements that made us develop as human beings. As hunter-gatherers, we made complex, non-linear movements every day in order to survive. However, the current world doesn’t ask for complicated, highly variable movements. Stereotypical, machine-like movements are all we need to do our day-to-day activities. In the current physical culture, the body is considered as something inferior, an object that can be trained and pushed to perform certain tasks. Instead of trusting that our body knows best what it’s possibilities are and where it’s limits lie, we push it with our mind. But our body is not a machine and we should use movement to get to know ourselves, instead of overcoming ourselves.

I enjoyed the week a lot, because it helped me to feel more connected to my body, and it was very inspiring to see how everyone moves in their own beautiful way. 

So, put on your running shoes, go outside, run, jump, skip, crawl, swing your arms, do whatever you feel like and enjoy! Explore the joy of moving, and keep moving!

By Tessa van Ruitenbeek

Photo by Tazin Akter

Personal Initiative Week

Remembering the ‘chamos’ scale from the Art of Hosting, this week started off with chaos in the name of corona, as unexpected flocks of penguins, chickens and hawks descended on Tallevana. The poorly penguins and confused chickens were separated from the healthy hawks, as physical division forced the group to function in a way that protected the health of the collective. Working in the realm of complexity, the team were forced to resort to carrying out the planned sessions both on zoom and in person to meet the needs of all of the yippies. Yet despite the initial madness, I can confirm that YIP14 made it through the week with minimal damage and a newfound sense of what it means to be in community, stretching and moulding our productive capacities when others need support and care.

The whole week was led by our very own Reinoud, with contributions from others on the team including Annie, Janne and Isabel. Each offering their unique wisdoms on the process of starting an “initiative”, whilst simultaneously supporting us on a more personal level with our individual ideas. In the mornings, the team along with a handful of hawks gathered around a screen of penguins and chickens to listen to a biographical overview of Reinoud’s own experience with starting initiatives, including the one we are all familiar with, the Youth Initiative Program. To support these morning lectures were several after-fika workshops, including the questions game with Janne, the flow game with Isabel, the generative interview with Reinoud and biography work with Annie. The intention for these sessions was to gain a deeper understanding of why certain questions are arising at this point in our lives, what is their function and how can we work with them in a meaningful way?

 Speaking from my personal journey through the initiative week, I began feeling lost and unsure with the topics that I was carrying. I held onto one that felt too private, another one too external and unfamiliar, until finally deciding on a topic which not only interested me on a personal level but also felt safe for me to explore at this point in my life. Speaking to others, I recognised the diversity in the process of choosing to narrow down and focus our interest – some being certain in their decision from the start, whilst others felt inundated by the vastness of options. We were given the question to ponder: what am I yearning to learn more about in light of self-discovery and my contribution to life? For me, this question highlights the importance of balancing the internal and external realities of the self. How can I present an initiative to the world which offers something to others, but also feels true to myself and my own biography?

Looking at the world outside of YIP, this week gave me a sense of confidence to begin an initiative, not just here, but also when I finish the course. Allowing us to look critically at the world, to notice where difficulties occur and to think creatively about how these things can shift into new forms. This is a capacity that I aspire to bring with me throughout YIP and forward into the rest of my life.

By Matara Scott

Yippies with Marcel de Leu Photo by Reinoud Meijer

The Study of Humankind

Last week we dived into the anthroposophical view of the human being together with Marcel de Leuw. “The study of human kind” was our topic in which I got a good overview of the basics of anthroposophy and Waldorf education. “Don’t believe me, but see if you can think it” Marcel told us several times to encourage us to think and not simply believe everything to find our own truth. First of all, our contributor spoke about two basic thoughts of Steiner. The first is that there is a physical world – the world we humans live in, and a non-physical, or so called spiritual world. The second thought is about re-incarnation or rebirth.

Where was the human being before they were born? We talked about this topic on Monday morning. This was accompanied by a beautiful colorful blackboard picture so that we Yippies could better grasp the thought of reincarnation.

The next days we talked mainly about the development of the human being between birth and the 21st year of life, which is divided into steps of seven. Between 0-7 years we imitate our environment, our parents, siblings, teachers. From 7-14 years we’re following our environment and find our connection with the world, and between 14 and 21 years we test the relationships we have with our parents, teachers, etc, and to try ourselves out, so to find our “I”. This is the view of the four folded man that consists of the “I”, the astral, etheric and physical body, which develops in the first 21 years. In addition, we spoke about the threefolded man, made up of body, spirit and soul and went into more detail about how the soul can develop harmoniously. This can happen when there is a balance between the doing and the thinking, and when these parts are balanced our soul can evolve and there is a good balance for self-education.

 Marcel also shared his knowledge on other topics, such as the four different temperaments, the characteristics of the days of the week and related behaviors, what happens to us humans during sleep and much more. I enjoyed this week with Marcel de Leuw very much and I will keep it in good memory. Above all, I liked the anecdotes that he told us in such a beautiful way. His stories made things tangible and often made us grin or fill the Hive with hearty laughter.

By Edda Richter


Warm greetings from snowy Ytterjärna! 

We are very excited to announce that applications for the 15th edition of YIP are now open! Thank you to those who have been waiting patiently. 

The current restrictions on travel and the ever-changing nature of the rules and situation presents a challenge we all need to navigate to the best of our abilities. We acknowledge the reality of the current situation around the COVID-19 pandemic and will not turn a blind eye to it, but we still choose to design for the future and education we wish to see and be part of.

Constant change is part of the YIP ‘DNA’, and each year has always been different than the one before and has offered a unique experience. The core of our effort is to offer a space for deep exploration of what it means to be authentically yourself and in service of the collective.

So please keep an open mind and heart for changes and adaptations, help us spread the word about YIP and get excited for what YIP15 will have to offer!

With gratitude, 

YIP Organising Team