Morgana’s DTL2012 Youth Reflection

The Week that Felt Like a Month
By: Morgana

I arrived with very little understanding of where I was and what I was supposed to do. But I was confident enough in myself and in my new employer that all would be well. Looking back I really had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into and it wasn’t until Wednesday morning when everyone had arrived and was sitting altogether for our first full circle together that I came to understand some of what was going to occur within the next few days.

I had the pleasure of being able to greet everyone outright as they arrived which was lots of fun and my only real job left to do until closing for the week. It was really exciting to be able to meet everybody right out of the gate. From there I was able to participate in the upcoming events. We started in a circle of course, and named some of the labels that we face in our day to day lives. website pic 1From the first few hours we were together the group demonstrated immense bravery by standing when they felt a label read out loud had been used to describe them. Then in small groups we discussed our “highest dreams”. Out of this exercise a theme of self-care became clear that followed the group strongly throughout the entire three days. To be perfectly honest by the end of the exercise I was exhausted by the excitement of the day so instead of heading to the fire I off to stumbled to bed.

On Wednesday we started with an opening circle to really understand what the Art of Hosting was all about. We did some world cafes and solved some of the world’s problems in a matter of hours then we were ready to get our hands dirty. This amounted to YMCA camp counselor “Scuba Steve” dragging everybody up and down a field for two hours which I am not ashamed to say I opted out of though the shrieks of laughter did make it sounds like some fun was being had. That night the fun continued with some fantastic performances by many of the group member and ended with the Macarena. Lovely.

Day three started with open space; a method of conversation that I really enjoyed. It was fascinating to watch how passionate people became talking about the issues they had chosen and the wisdom that others could share. I was so grateful that I could host my own little discussion on disabling labels in gender identity and sexual orientation. It was really an incredible conversation and I appreciate all who were involved. That afternoon we did some debriefing of the morning then sat while Violetta did an astounding job of condensing a years’ worth of information into 45 minutes. Then a process was proposed. A conversation was started that took people to a different place. The emotion in the room was tangible. Once again the group acted bravely some by practicing their self-care, some by holding space, and others by being in the circle. The experience brought up so much for so many people and that was the most amazing thing to see’ how one conversation between maybe 10 people affected a room of 50. Thank you to everybody who shared and to those who didn’t. The emotions of the afternoon did not affect the joviality of the evening however, as we dyed hair, watched movies and sang by the campfire well into the night.

website pic 1The last day went by so quickly it almost too difficult to remember. We had a really lovely closing ceremony hosted by Caitlin and then we said our last good byes some teary but mostly with lots of hugs. What I really saw throughout the entire experience was a group of people who are looking for ways to make the world a better place. Even if they were just there to chaperone they were there because they knew that the people they were chaperoning have such a desire to make beauty in the world. We talked a lot about being connected and staying connected and hopefully through lots of upcoming efforts by myself and Cathy that will be possible. I hope that everybody not just the youth but everybody takes home the theme of self-care and holds that close to their hearts. Because we are not lacking for force or passion let me tell you!! So let’s take care of ourselves so that we can continue to be generators, egde-walker, hospice workers and illuminators. For all the good and beauty that such a strong group can bring into reality.

The Story of DTL 2012

Cathy’s Weaving

Do you remember how we started so fiercely and sweetly, by LANDING and sharing our labels. We joined as a group to share our labels, which produced some heated reactions in the room when we named them. When we shared our labels, this act of sharing also linked us closer to one another.

Then we were asked to name our crossroads and our highest dreams, and those dreams were posted all over the room for the duration of the training. And then, the best part of our coming together that first night – we walked to the bonfire at the Grotto and burned our labels, even if it was hard for some of us to let these go…

Then do you remember how we moved into NAMING, which was filled with so much content, so much learning – our heads were full. We learned about the Art of Hosting, shared our gifts in the Gifts Cafe hosted by Abe, and talked about ways of connecting and linking with one another. Then the wonderful gift of a teach and Phyllis’ masterful chalk drawing, where we learned about the 2 loops theory. The 2 loops helped us understand the process of change and where at any one time we might stand in that process. Then we entered short teaches on living systems, 4-fold path, theory U and the chaordic path.

Then something peculiar happened where camp counselor Steve took us out and we got sunstroke, though Myron and I did manage to kick your butts in the balloon – 3-legged race. We came back after dinner and were taken through an earth-based meditation by Violetta. Some made art during the meditation, some wrote poems, some sat quietly in the meditation and connected our bodies to the earth.

Then we had open mic hosted by Myron … and who’s seen hoop work like Myron’s?

We gathered yesterday for the DEEP DIVE and had those amazing open space conversations in the morning hosted by Myron and Peter. It felt like there was a fire building with many of those conversations. Do you remember the afternoon and that beautiful wisdom and sharing of Deep Democracy? The take away there were the three things conflict requires: take your side fully, take the other side and take the neutral side. Then we did a group process and we lived this. Some people who needed to take care of themselves, left. To leave to do this takes great courage – as much as it does to stay. Some people stayed close and made art in the poet’s corner. WEBSITE PICTUREThe folks in the dreamroom practiced embodying their side, and then tried to play the role of the other side, to take that difficult role of the devil’s advocate, and of the neutral side. This was really about dropping in deeply to understand experiences in the room, to tap into so much truth and meaning making out of the deep feeling and perspectives shared in the room. So much gratitude to everyone who held the space, in the room, on the periphery, out of the room…

One group process always leads us to the next and we ended with two outstanding issues that could not be tackled in our time together:

  • the experience of the one who has no words or language for mental health, who cannot and does not access services because they cannot or will not identify with the language we use
  • the role of government, a ghost role in the room, and regulations, policies, funding structures that effect mental health access, services and programs for youth.

WEBSITE PICTUREThen we had a party, and there was a lot of blue hair, swimming, singing by the bonfire, watching movies late into the night. Some of us were still in the heavy process, still doing some heavy emotional and spiritual lifting; others were releasing, felt lighter and now have blue hair.

Our final day together, we applied the wisdom and knowledge we learned, to move into ACTION. We explored what it felt like to show up, to take that learning forward and apply it to our lives. Peter launched us into a ProAction Cafe that was animated, action-packed and allowed some of us to explore our next steps more deeply with the wisdom held in the room.

We had a beautiful closing circle held by Caitlin, did a lot of last minute contact information sharing and said our joyful and sometimes tear-filled goodbyes…

-Written by Cathy Dyer