The International Youth Initiative Program (YIP) is a 10 month residential societal entrepreneurship training for 18-28 years olds based in Sweden. It offers a holistic educational program that expands global understanding and personal awareness. YIP aims to strengthen young people’s capacity to take personal and collective initiative in the face of current global realities.
Up to 40 participants learn, create and organize alongside experts, facilitators and innovators. YIP’s curriculum provides a platform for young people to expand their understanding, develop their fullest potential and find their authentic tasks in society and the world.
The term “societal entrepreneur” as used by YIP describes people and initiatives that base their actions in service of society and understand the world as one interconnected living organism. This paradigm points to the interconnectedness of global systems and new ways of working toward a more equitable world. Through allowing young people to explore this paradigm and with it face and develop themselves and society, YIP seeks to support these young people to become leaders of a new, more sustainable and integrated lifestyle and future. More ...
HOW ARE YOU FEELING? NOURISHING TOUCHES /// May 4, 2021/in 2021, Children & Families // LILIPOH
By: Nancy Blanning
It is fascinating when we begin to listen to what we say in common figures of speech. Many of these phrases have reference to physical sensing. We reference sight when we say, “Oh, I see!” We mean we understand something, which invokes a different kind of seeing that does not involve our physical eyes. We can sense a plea for help without using our physical ears. We can feel touched by a kind word or sympathetic expression on someone’s face without using physical touch through our skin. There are many inner, intangible experiences we have in ways related to the physical sense world. It is as though the physical avenue of sensing is lifted up to a higher, more subtle level where our inner lives are activated in their own exploration of an interior world of feelings. It is well-validated when the physical senses are offered satisfying, reassuring sensations on the outside of the body, the feelings within our inner landscape feel reassured and nourished, too.
We all need touch. The sensation of touch is one of the first and most important experiences a human being has in feeling the uterine contractions during birth. This squeezing massages and tones up the baby’s system to get ready to take on the world of light, sound, temperature, smell, and taste. Babies feel calmed by being swaddled—wrapped up really tightly and snuggly in a blanket, so they can feel a secure boundary enclosing them. Rudolf Steiner described with touch we have not only a physical encounter with the outer world but also, and more importantly, an inner experience within which affirms for us where the world stops and where our own selves begin. Feeling the boundary of our skin makes us feel secure. A child once verbalized this to me. I was applying a band aid to his small, bleeding wound. The child said (in so many words), “Oh, good! Now all my good stuff is safe inside me. It won’t run out.” The barrier of the band aid offered repair to the shield of security. Our skin holds together the reassurance of our physical wholeness. Feeling physically whole, we translate that into emotional wholeness. We need regular, reassuring reminders through touch that our whole-nesses are intact.
In our extraordinary time of COVID-19, our usual opportunity for sensory experience is deprived, especially in the domain of touch. This is a problem. If left unacknowledged and unattended, it becomes a kind of sensory starvation. This deprivation can result in rough, aggressive behaviors, and wildness on the one hand. If unsatisfied for too long, the starving person withdraws and begins to fade away. If the usual sources for touch such as active, physical, colliding play with other children, hugs from teachers and friends, and the usual bumping and encountering with classmates are missing, the caring grownups in the children’s private, home lives have to get playful, get physical, and get rowdy if the appetite for touch is big. We have to give an intentional enriched touch diet to our children to keep them happily in their skin.
Think of all the ways we touch in our families. We know our children’s tolerance for touch and will gauge the intensity of our play accordingly. Rough-housing is potent sensory food. Lots of touch, squeezing, rolling, colliding, pressing, hugging, massaging, and so on open the doors to getting wound up so the child can wind down with a feeling of satisfaction. Here I am. I feel myself. I am all in one piece. I am whole. I feel secure and satisfied. At bath time, washing the child with a firm scrub of the wash cloth is an opportunity. Drying the child off vigorously with a towel after the bath is another great one. Our children let us know where their thresholds lie between what feels good and what is too much. We adjust accordingly.
Something which may seem surprising is to learn firm touch—oftentimes firmer than we would guess—is more comforting and reassuring than light touch. We can experiment on ourselves to confirm this. Start at your shoulder and slowly squeeze with your other hand all the way down the arm to the hand and fingers. Do this one time rather softly and gently. Then repeat this with firmer pressure. Most people find the firmer pressure more satisfying and relaxing than the softer touch. Keep increasing pressure until you find your own level of pressure that feels good. Partners can do this for each other. Adults need touch, too.
To take this a step further, we can make a sandwich of family members stacking on the floor with cushions or pillows in between us, the last grownup on top applying body pressure to everyone below. Everyone can get a good squashing with a lot of laughter filling the air as well.
Appreciating firm, squeezing touch is true for children, too. Years ago a teacher in our school was away from the class for several weeks. The young, inexperienced assistant was left with the class. The afternoons were bedlam. I went into to help and was astonished by two boys I knew well, wrestling at the back of the room in a most indecorous way. My teacher’s ire flared up and commanded they stop the wrestling right that minute. They complied, but no one was happy.
The next day I returned after thinking about this situation. My wiser self knew the boys were not trying to be disruptive. The deprivation of their beloved teacher was leaving everyone feeling insecure and untethered. The reassurance of his hand shake, the touch of his gaze, the warmth of his voice were all missing. The children were touch-deprived in all these subtle ways.
I approached the boys differently this day. I invited them to come into the hallway with me, assuring them they were not in trouble. I sat them each down on a chair and, one after the other, I gave them a firm squeeze treatment on their limbs, even down to squeezing fingers and toes. We had barely begun when the first little boy said, “This is what I have been waiting for!” and then puddled down into his chair with a relaxed body and look of contentment and calm on his face. His wrestling partner showed the same relieved response.
In this time, we are all deprived, grownups as well. We need to be able to touch and to be touched. We will all be changed in ways we cannot predict by this big disruption to our lives. We can bolster each other up, however, by being attentive to touch and to nourishing our other senses, too. We can touch with the warmth and invitation in voice. We can appreciate and reassure with the touch of our eyes. We can nourish our hearing with music—real human voice in singing, especially. We can touch one another’s hearts in reading stories of the goodness people share in trying times. All these things can lift us as we make these heavy times merrier through our touching companionship with one another.
The BDA staff team and BDA board have been gathering in deep conversations and holding particular sensitivity to the ongoing uncertainties and circumstances still facing our world this year, including the needs of the biodynamic communities we serve, and the meaningful and intensive work of unification of the BDA and Demeter USA. Given these dynamic times, we have determined that it will be in the best interest of the health of this emerging organization and the biodynamic ecosystem as a whole not to host a conference in 2021.
We know how important it is to come together as a community, and we understand how disappointing this will be to many. The uncertainties of this past year have challenged us all in many ways, including confronting some of our core assumptions. In some ways, these experiences have evolved our ways of gathering and celebrating and may provide for new and creative possibilities as we consider future in-person conferences. As we are in the midst of taking on the intricate work of unification, we are embracing and exploring how this process allows for new ideas about what we do, how we do it, and how we collaborate and co-create. As an organization, we are continuously striving to sense, observe, and develop understandings about how we can best serve the spirit of the biodynamic movement holistically. We hope in this hiatus to focus on innovative and fresh approaches and strategies that will best serve and help our community engage, learn, and connect, as well as to think deeply and generatively about how conferences might look in the future.
We hear and feel the strong need to find opportunities for connection with others who are also working with biodynamic agriculture. Even though we will not host a conference this year, we look forward to offering courses and salons and ways to connect with one another as the year progresses. Moreover, we encourage you to contact the regional biodynamic group nearest you to help you connect and become involved in activities closer to home. We also look forward to sharing information about any new groups forming; please let us know of any such efforts so we may help spread the word.
We also want to honor all the energy and enthusiasm of the communities in the Colorado region and to lift up the work being done there in addition to underscoring what it means to farm, garden, and steward within the region’s beautiful and diverse landscapes. We will be thinking more about how to do that, and appreciate any ideas or suggestions.
Please know the door is open to you to connect with all of us here about how our conferences may evolve as we look toward 2022, 2023, and the celebratory 100th anniversary of the Agriculture Course in 2024 by emailing email@example.com.
Registration is Now Open for the World Association of Puppetry and Storytelling Arts virtual Summer Conference Periphery Within Center!
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Dear community, The lilacs! The honeysuckle!The sweetest smells of spring swirl about us as we shift gears now that our spring semester has drawn to a close. The maypole has been danced, the gardens await, the spring rains are finally upon us. What does spring bring where you are? With love, Thoreau College ... more ...
Camphill Village Minnesota is a life-sharing, residential community of fifty people, including adults who have disabilities. Our lives, work and celebrations are woven into the rhythms of nature found in the rolling hills, sparkling waterways, and prairie grasslands of Central Minnesota. Our community is deeply rooted in the belief that every individual, regardless of limitations, is an independent, spiritual being. Each person is part of the fabric of Community experience and is worthy of recognition, respect and honor.
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Thoreau College is a microcollege in Viroqua, Wisconsin where artists and activists from ages 18 to 46 live and learn together in an intentional community. Thoreau College is working to create immersive, impactful, personalized higher education that is also financially accessible. More ...
MOVING FORMS/DYNAMIC BALANCE (APRIL 9 2021 - JULY 3 2021) -- Richard Erdman, Michael Howard, Henry Klimovicz, Jason Middlebrook, Martina Angela Müller, George Quasha, Patrick Stolfo, Thorn Zay
This show draws together a selection of contemporary sculptures inspired by the transcendent power of elemental processes in nature and their gestural manifestations all around us, as well as inner processes of meditative investigations into the lawfulness of metamorphosis, of musical, planetary and cosmic influences as they play out in life on this earth. At the core of the creative process of these sculptures is the response by the artists to mighty displays of forces active in the geological, plant and fluid atmospheric world as well as reverberations of inner movements, contemplative journeys and how they are expressed in form. The viewer will encounter metamorphic sequences, the musical undulations of lines and shapes, the juxtaposition of the organic versus geometry, questioning, cautiously approaching form scripts of a search for the divine.
All sculptures in this exhibit were created over the course of the last thirty years, most however are more recent. Metal, wood, stone, clay and cardboard are the main materials used by the artists.
LIGHTFORMS GALLERY & ART CENTER -- 743 Columbia Street, Hudson, NY 12534 United States -- More ...
Sophia Institute offers a variety of programs, courses, publications and other resources to anyone interested in Anthroposophy and Waldorf/Steiner inspired education. Currently there are students from all over the world enrolled in the Sophia Institute online courses. Sophia Institute publications are available worldwide. The Sophia Institute newsletter and blog provide insights and information concerning the work of Anthroposophical initiatives, Waldorf/Steiner Schools, the Camphill Movement, and related endeavors. More ...