Feedback from Participants:
Where to start. It was a youth exchange, but didn’t really feel like one. I came without expectations, and when I got to find out there’s nothing scheduled, I thought for a second to myself “what am I actually doing here?!” I was thinking, there’s nothing for me to learn here, and I’m just wasting my time. I gave it a shot anyway and tried to participate the fullest. The best thing about an empty timetable is that people will fill it up with their own stuff. Even though the participants were not trainers nor professionals in any similar field, I always felt engaged in the activities, because it came from a good place and good intention. The way I perceived, this space generates a curiosity in people, which opens the door for learning, overcoming and development. By the way, there were plenty of opportunities to do some physical work, which is a good time to self-reflect, and you see the result immediately. Also, some might be surprised how fun it can get with good company. All these things created such bonds between people that I personally haven’t experienced on a YE before. In spite of all the inconveniences of living so remote, I have zero regrets of coming to the project.
It is a bit challenging to put into words what was happening during this youth exchange. Quite a time has passed since we had left Hopeland and I am still under it’s effect. I am journaling my thoughts and feelings, cause it is still happening. I have participated in other exchanges before, but none of them can be compared to this one. We had all the responsibility for our own growth and healing.
I had tough days getting out of my own spiral and connecting with what was going on and I had relapses.
We were sharing our needs and at one point these needs met and we could help each other healing.
You know the feeling as well I am sure, that with some people it is so easy to connect instantly, but you feel not belonging to some, or even intimidated in the beginning and day by day you know more, you connect deeper and then we had this beautiful community.
What I feel was important that we could interfere in practical workshops, like the eco-building or when we cleaned a piece of land in the village. We could become intimate with each other, like in the massage workshop, we could experience sharing, sharing tasks, thoughts, food, fun moments, music and rhythm and our own ways of art. I felt touched in unexpected moments, ground breaking. Thank you for that.
Trust the process!
If I could bring home just one sentence from Hopeland, that would be it. The experience of this thought accompanied the ten days I spent there.
Arriving at my first Youth Exchange, I couldn’t imagine how it would work: without a leader, without organized programs, without an exact schedule…
And, surprisingly, it worked!
Slowly and with its ups and downs but the process started!
And each day, we had people to prepare breakfast and cook dinner, do the shopping and hold a workshop, organize the beach day or the program for the night.
Trust the process!
I experienced something very similar during the tasks and exercises of the workshops. What if I follow the instructions? I was shocked to realize that if I let the control out of my hand, and just do what I have to do, then something (or maybe somebody) guides me – and it works!
Trust the process!
I had to warn myself again and again – but it got better and better in those ten days. Even when it came to everyday cooking or a coaching method which was totally new for me – for example family constellation -, or hitchhiking back to the camp from the beach at night.
Every single experience of this journey can be a new source of willpower that I can go back to when I have to warn myself again: Trust the process!
Krisztina Táboriné Soós
Personal paths within the jungle of a community
Whether I admit it or not, even if consciously I believe and know that I am the only person who can and should take ownership for my own development and happiness, a little me is still clinging to the idea that I can receive the necessary steps, the sought answers and the needed support to solve my current big questions of life from others, from some kind of external source.
I went to the project, Out of Spiral with the subconscious hope that I will be provided with THE knowledge, that there are people who know and can answer my questions. What a silly thing to hope for…
Already the first days I had to realize that Out of Spiral is not gonna be a project that will be easy peasy, in the comfort zone, having some nice relaxing, full of learning time.
I found it challenging and intriguing for myself not to try to be in control of the external things as much as I had done in similar community settings, but turn this capacity of creating order, being persistent and consistent towards my inner self and inner process. It was interesting to seek a balance between taking part in the common processes, activities, and challenges while taking ownership of my own learning and development during these 10-12 days while being out of my normal daily routine.
I found and observed my less responsible reactions towards the external happenings when my complaints have been rising. I met my inner rebel, who seeks problems instead of solutions. I argued with my sarcastic and judgemental self to figure out what triggers her… Moreover, I had a handful of new realizations about what I am capable of, about honesty and straightforwardness towards myself and to others. I found it surprising how much I am still wanting, needing to belong to others even by paying the price of not belonging to myself and not being true to myself. So often it still feels “easier” to keep my truth hidden and silent…
But I also tapped into my own power to create my own learning process, to push myself out of my comfort zone when nobody else is doing it, and create a program that serves my needs. I challenged myself to say out loud the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings for others and to not shut myself up just to please other people’s feelings. And I found an acceptive and supportive space for that! I found people, who are there for each other, who each are walking their own paths, fighting their own dragons. And it was beautiful. It was beautiful to equilibrate between being part of a community and being myself. Between being supported and being the support for others. Between listening to others, feeling empathy for their challenges, but staying centered and connected to my life. This process made me feel a lot of gratitude for my own path and encouraged me in many ways to take more ownership for leading myself and so being better bit by bit to others and the world.