When nature is your host, and provides you with a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius in November, with the sun and the warm sea, the first thing you learn is to thank nature.
We have just returned from the beautiful Calabria, where we held the workshop "Learning from Nature - Transform Yourself". It was an experiential five day workshop, from October 31st to November 4th, 2016 in Tropea, Calabria, Southern Italy.
It was the third activity in our "Living Authentically - Learning Mobility for individuals" project within the European programme ERASMUS+ KA1 – Learning mobility of individuals, Mobility of staff in adult education.
The workshop was co-organized and run with our Italian partner Ms. Elena Franzini, Ph.D. (Aura Sviluppo Sostenibile /Aura Sustainable Development). This partnership is the consequence of meeting together at the European Grundtvig Learning Partnership “Enhancing systemic transformation and learning in times of chaos and crisis”, 2012-2014.
The workshop was attended by 18 participants from Italy, Hungary, Germany and Croatia.
"Transform Yourself -
Learning from Nature"
The main theme of this course was exploration of yourself in relation to nature. Daily “soul check-in”, journaling, having inner conversations, sharing and listening in coaching circles, taking inspiration from nature and transpersonal experiences were essential parts of this workshop.
With the use of observation, imagination, visualization, storytelling, improvisation, authentic movement of bodywork, silence and mindfulness techniques we discovered nature as an inspiration for our life and a way of living authentically together.
We started with exploring our attitude toward nature while we walked barefoot through an olive grove. Through meditation and visualization and mirroring in coaching circles participants learned from each other, we developed connections and open communications within the group. We gained an awareness of our presence here and now by framing our presence (taking a photo) and consciously choosing what was going to be framed.
During our "Learning from nature - Transform Yourself" workshop, our host Elena Franzini - Aura Sviluppo Sostenibile /Aura Sustainable Development invited the local cultural association Icre Spilinga to present its activities, to acquaint us with the treasures of Calabria. We visited Valle dei mulini - Valley of Mills and Il Santuario della Madonna della Fontana - Our Lady of the Fountain sanctuary.
Participants gained international experience, may have strengthened their international professional relations, played an active role in the professional community and gained organizational knowledge in organizations with a reputation in adult education for a new, sustainable economy and authentic living and collaborating.
This gathering has created an opportunity for the first international kick-off meeting of the new project "Restoring Resilience - Connect Nature and Self". The three partners of the project are: Rogers Foundation from Hungary, Aura Association from Italy and Isoropia, a small enterprise from Croatia, all working in the area of development and betterment of people and organizations.
Here are some testimonials from our event in Calabria.
A place to feel
Published November 1, 2016 during the workshop
"These days I am experimenting with a new way of feeling. The workshop I am attending is in nature: the teachers are trees and streams, the classrooms are trails and meadows, the companions are a working group coming from Croatia, Hungary and Germany merged with an Italian group with spontaneous simplicity.
In Calabria, in front of Stromboli on the Tyrrhenian coast within walking distance of Tropea, there is a special place. A property of a few hectares from which there is a breath taking view of the town Ciaramiti. The owner is a woman who 16 years ago chose to change her life and move here to live in the unconditional nature of a not simple land. Bravo Elena!
Here I had the opportunity to understand how it is possible to experience a new way of feeling. The connection with the earth, with the sun and sea with active new modes of perception. The days are getting longer despite it being the winter time, the hours expand and flow into each other. Inevitably I feel the quality of my being. And with no effort I get a clear perception of the here and now. Inevitably when you're immersed in spontaneous nature something inside turns and creates a feeling of well-being and peace that nourishes me deeply.
I can read dozens of books, attend innovative courses, meditate, be guided in visions, but I have never found a place like this to immediately reconnect with everything, thus, so simply and naturally.
Some thoughts about the course I have been attending these days. Thanks a lot to the organizers for inviting me and to every one who's attending it.