Dear friends of YIP,
Greetings into the last days of December!
Half-way through the Winter Break by now, resting, rejuvenating, getting ready for what is coming next, we’re looking back at what happened during this last month of the year.
You can get a glimpse of how the courses were through the writings and creative expressions of the YIP participants. Starting with a reflection on the ancient wisdom(s) brought by Patricia McCabe during the Original Instructions week, moving onto the Personal Initiative with Reinoud Meijer, through the Study of Humankind took on by Geseke Lundgren and into the Storytelling week with Leonora and Jappe.
On top of all that, we closed the Inner Awareness block with a beautiful Open Mic evening in Tallevana, followed by a magical heartwarming Storytelling harvest by the fire, where we got to see each other in a new light.
It was a full, nourishing month that brought lots of light, joy, kindness, gratitude and appreciation that we’re taking onwards, as we’re already looking forward to what January and New Year has to bring ~ until next time!
Written by Adéla Honigová
In this newsletter you will find:
- Original Instructions written by Michael Chiunda
- Personal Initiative Week written by David Beeth
- Anthroposophy ~ the Study of Humankind written by Petra Oberfrank
- Storytelling written by Ultra-Violet Archer
- Learning Placements Update written by Christopher Becker
- Initiative Forum Update written by Pauline Wenzel
- Season Greetings written by Emma Claeys
with Patricia McCabe
There were so many nuggets of information during this course for me.
One thing that immediately caught my attention was how Patricia McCabe began and ended each class with an acknowledgement of different nations/forms of being that were in the room.
I know what you are probably thinking, if you are thinking Water, Fire and Plant nation then YES! If not, try and imagine how special that communion can be.
By the time we sat for class it would be dark, typical Swedish winters, but Patricia remained as radiant as the glorious sun.
The discussions were purposely crafted: ranging from her personal experiences to socio-political analysis of current global systems, all of which kept me intrigued. Specifically, we talked about how the human race has to work in relation and harmony with the rest of the earth.
As such, over the week Patricia showed how she as an Indigenous leader, and other leaders like herself, suggest solutions to today’s global challenge that can be and are rooted in inclusivity, rather than separation based on our ego as humans.
For a long time, the world’s indigenous peoples have played the role of custodians of understanding life for the next generations. Indigenous knowledge, wisdom and practises show how people can live in peace with all the natural lifeline and one another.
Indigineous peoples have survived by successfully managing and respecting the relationships between biological and cultural diversity. Patricia showed us how linear thinking in capitalism has contributed to the global pitfalls we face today and how an awareness of indigenous knowledge is resurfacing to help avoid complete global ecological and social collapse.
To conclude, the course reminded me of the different cultural lifestyles and activities that some people back home still take part in to honor the land, plants and animals.
Written by Michael Chiunda
with Reinoud Meijer
This week was aimed at getting a clearer idea of what our own personal initiatives might be, and how to make an idea into reality.
The personal initiative is one of the key aspects of the YIP curriculum. It is a chance for participants to really create something. It could be anything really, from “I am going to learn how to play the guitar”, to “I’m going to change the world.”
The course was lead by a man whos’ initiative we are living; Reinoud Meijer, co-founder of YIP.
Reinoud was the ideal contributor for this course. He has been there and done it when it comes to turning possibility into probability, and he has helped countless past yippies realize their ideas, and bring their initiatives to life.
We started with some exercises that were focused on giving us a clearer idea of who we are, what capabilities we have, what we would like to become, and what we need to get there. One question that came up was “what brings me joy?”, and I found this extremely helpful in deciding what I would want to do.
What followed was two days of exercises based around a question that we held in relation to our personal initiative. My question was “How can I change the way that I interact with people/ideas in a way that furthers my lifes work?”.
In the past, the only time I would work with a question is for a clear answer. Here I found that even though I cannot clearly answer the question, keeping the question can actually provide clarity in some strange, complex way.
Later in the week we ran a Pro-Action Cafe for four of the more established ideas, where we could collectively and through conversation establish what the purpose of the initiative is, what it may be missing and finally mapping out some next steps.
All of these exercises really helped my personal initiative come along, as it shifted from just an idea, into a vision. I feel that it is tangible now. I will follow the steps that I have laid out for myself, I know what it will look like and I believe it will work. So, I suppose that means the course fulfilled its purpose!
I personally found this course exhilerating and inspiring, and really felt that this was the reason I’m at YIP. To see everyone getting creative and imagining what they could accomplish, be it during the program or further down the line, was so energizing and beautiful.
Written by David Beeth
Anthroposophy – the Study of Humankind
with Geseke Lundgren
This week our topic was the growing wisdom of Humankind which is constantly developing.
We heard The Story of the Child Who Wants to Come to the Earth, which is a story what they tell in Waldorf kindergardens for every child’s birthday in the class.
We were challenged in a new way of the journey to be born. The idea was coming from the photographer Lennard Nillson, who started to make photographs with microscopes to show what is actually happening during the creation of a new child.
Birth is a miracle.
Then we went through the substantial years of human life to see what organs are developing in what year. What are the important steps of the child and how we can adjust to this development. We can think of a way that the childen are little seeds and we are preparing the ground for them to grow, they know what they want to become, we just need to let them show themself.
We learned about the importance of rythms, light and dark, summer and winter, day and night, breathing in and breathing out, life and death.
After the lecures we had excercies working with clay and drawing, discovering topics like our impact on others, from the ground up, using the growing forces to create a little child, the balance of sympathy and antipathy.
To hear other ways of creation, needs of nutritio and human development than we were taught in school before made the week really challenging for some people. I had some new personal realization from the week and I will carry this topic with myself to learn more about myself and other human beings.
Written by Petra Oberfrank
with Leonora and Jappe
Once upon a time, in a land far far away… in a mystical town called Järna, two traveling storytellers stumbled upon a community of young witches and wizards in training.
This group of 21 mages had for the past four months been studying a variety of magical arts, such as the mysteries of the soil, the energetic structure of the money system, how to transform ideas into action, and how to cast spells to ward away hungry mice from the Tallevana kitchen (just to name a few).
The two storytellers, weary from their travels, arrived on a dark and stormy night, and knocked on the door of the mage’s blue house, hoping to seek refuge from the cold rain. The mages agreed to let them stay on one condition: the travelers must teach them the art of spinning and weaving stories. A deal was made!
Throughout the next week, the storytellers imparted much wisdom upon their new friends. They showed the 21 mages how to conjure up stories out of thin air, how to locate or formulate the “bones” of a story (key plot points) upon which the “flesh” (descriptive details) would be able to rest.
Many games were played, awakening the inner child and Imagineer, best friend of stories, in all involved. Many fikas were had, awakening the sleepy and calming the riled with caffeine and herbal brews. And of course, many stories were told.
Through these tales of witches and princesses, kings and dragons, the mages began detangling narratives that linger on in both our stories and our culture – narratives that link beauty with morality, narratives that describe women as either prizes and love interests, or as evil temptresses and ugly witches.
The stories became a lens through which to view topics of masculinity, femininity, consent, and value, and some of the mages began experimenting with retelling old stories in new ways.
Come Friday night, the mages and the masters gathered together in a candle lit chamber in front of a blazing fire for an evening of storytelling and celebration. In groups of three, the mages took turns guiding their listeners on epic journeys of love, mystery, heartbreak, and triumph.
When the time came for the traveling storytellers to continue their own journeys elsewhere, they left the mages with a new magic to be fostered and practiced for lifetimes to come: the magic of storytelling.
Written by Ultra-Violet Archer
Learning Placements (Internships) Update
The internships or learning placements (according to the YIP slang) are an integral part of the YIP curriculum. Their intention is to give us Yippies the opportunity to go out into the world, meet new cultures, customs and narratives, while becoming active and working in change-making initiatives. Moreover, the internships will allow us to learn in a different way and to deepen our acquired knowledge from the previous months.
The learning placements will be from mid-March until mid-April, but we started the preparation process in September. Indeed, during September and October we had the time to reflect on our intentions for the internships and then to open up to all internship possibilities (new organizations as well as YIP partners). After having checked the feasibility and the willingness of the organizations, we had to make a choice. This was very exciting! From a variety of options the following collaborations were initiated: Open Source Arts in Leeds UK (https://opensourcearts.co.uk/), Sekem in Egypt (https://www.sekem.com/en/index/), Damanhur in Italy (http://www.damanhur.org/en), and Kufunda Learning Village in Zimbabwe (https://www.kufunda.org/).
After some team were finalized, Sam, Jiah, Dohyun, Michael, Jelmer and Bee are going to cross the channel in order to arrive in Leeds; Bianca, Damian, Wren, Ultra, Morgan, Emma, and Lilith will go to the foothills of the Italian Alpes; Pauline, Anna, David, Cecilia and Christopher will be taking off to the southern hemisphere to arrive in Zimbabwe; and finally, Mimi, Aaron and Petra will cross the Mediterranean sea to reach Egypt.
The more we plan, the more excited we become to begin this learning journey. If the main focus is on the time spent at that learning placement, it is worth noting that the entire preparation is a learning process in itself. Not only we are teambuilding, getting into contact with our hosts and informing ourselves on the projects, but we are also learning to budget, to integrate our skills to the host’s needs and to fundraise.
Speaking of fundraising, YIP is providing us with a certain amount of money to cover our transportation and accommodation costs for the internships. However, it is a “YIP tradition” that the money doesn’t cover all our expenses, thus inviting us to get creative in order to fill the needed gap for us to leave. In this regard this year is no different to others. Yet one big difference is that we have a record low amount to fundraise: only 3500€.
From these 3500€, 1000€ will be raised through selling apple juice from the apples of the Ytterjärna campus we picked in autumn. For the remaining 2500€ we want to reach out to you and ask for your support. Here is the link to our GoFundMe page if you are interested to learn more about the internships and if you want throw in a dime:
All your help will be very much appreciated.
In these times of uncertainties, it is difficult to plan and to project the feasibility of undertaking such a voyage. We are taking this into account and are taking all the necessary precautions. However, we want to believe in the possibility of being able to travel. We are trying not to be restricted by our limiting believes (fears), especially since we are living in extraordinary times where everything can rapidly change.
We will most definitely keep you updated about the preparations and, when the time has come, about our experiences in these organizations. Till then, thank you for your support.
Written by Christopher Becker
Initiative Forum Update
magine planning a big event in these times full of uncertainties, shifts and changes. This is the moment we face as YIP 13 regarding the planning of the Initiative Forum 2021.
We set ourselves a clear intention to anchor ourselves: we will host a beautiful event where people can come together, even if some aspects will be online. Especially in these times, coming together seems to be even more urgent and needed. We hope to create a platform of mutual learning, exploration, and exchange, where we can share our initiatives and find inspiration in each other. Moreover, we aim for a space where we listen to each other, to ourselves and to the world around us.
Currently we are in the mist of the organisational process of transforming our vision into the Initiative Forum 2021. Besides designing and elaborating the program of the event, we have the date and the theme as compass.
We warmly invite you to save the date:
Date: 3.3.- 7.3.2021
Initiative Forum 2021 theme: “Are you listening?”
Curious about how we are working together and what we are learning?
Within this process big questions started to arise: How to self-organise? How to plan and budget? How to engage everyone? How to make the Initiative Forum a space where everyone can see themselves?
As we dive deeper into these questions, the picture of the Forum becomes clearer. Step by step we are seeing more and more details and what is needed to create it. It is a big opportunity for us as a whole group to challenge ourselves, learning from each other and trying out new things that we have never done before.
To bring structure to this process, early on we joined different teams to best allocate our abilities. From these smaller groups emerged already a logo, a website, a first draft of the program and a first invitation e-mail. Each of us brings so many different qualities and passions, creating a very exciting atmosphere. Twice a week we come together and share in the whole group what we are working on, asking for feedback, and find more inspiration. We are talking about music events, merchandise, marketing campaigns and who we would like to invite as contributor. For these we use skills and technics we learned during the art of hosting course. It is an amazing learning process for all of us, and we are grateful for this possibility of designing our own event.
Many of our milestones are already achieved but there is still a lot of work ahead of us. We fully trust that everything will come together in the end. After the winter break, we will start with new energy, to create Initiative Forum 2021.
Written by Pauline Wenzel
Standing on a rock, dappled with moss,
While leaning against a tree, with its naked branches dancing in the wind. My eyes are following two wild swans, flying above the fjord.
The water is mirroring the clouds. One month now, this grey blanket has been covering us.
Above the soil, nature is slowing down, sleeping now. Lots is happening under the ground, just like us, while telling stories and exploring what is at the root.
We are holding each other.
The wind is cold,
but we feel warm inside.
The darkness is spaceless,
but we find light inside.
And then, when suddenly the clouds start to move, brightness stars to appear.
Only then, after feeling its absence, we feel the magic and importance of it’s existence.
As the solstice, the darkest day, has passed, this year is now coming to an end.
From now on, the days will slowly transform towards more light again.
Wishing you a meaningful end of 2020.
Wishing you openness, love and courage for the new year that’s about to rise.
Written by Emma Claeys
Food for Thought
“We are the grandchildren of the world, not the rulers.”
Patricia McCabe (Original Instruction)
“We are a strand in the Web of Life, what we do to the Web we do to ourselve.”
Patricia McCabe (Origina Instructions)
“If we don’t understand our roots and take them into account, it will be difficult to grow new plans.”
Geseke Lundgren (Antroposophy – the Study of Humandkind)
In the next Newsletter you can expect:
to read more about the first courses of the Community and Collaboration block, the progress of the Initiative forum and Learning Placement Fundrasing.