Retreat Sustainability of Self

Breathe some fresh air. Smell the flowers. Feel the warm sun on your skin. Get yourself back together. Retain your integrity.

We need to Sustain our Selves in order to make change happen.


When you are a responsible global citizen, chances are you are actively fighting for humanity, justice, equality and sustainability.

You speak out and you act on your values. You know that what you do and say matters. But people resist, criticize or even threaten you. In your daily life and work you want to implement these values as much as possible, but you also want to be safe and sane.


How do you deal with conflict and resistance without becoming drained?


How do you protect yourself from physical and verbal attacks, whilst keeping your integrity?
How do you work together, when allies are criticizing each other?

You believe in your ideals, and there are so many things you want and need to do, but these conflicts and criticism causes chaos in your mind, in your body, and in your soul.

You know that sustaining your self will make you stronger.
Eating healthy home made food is good for you.
Meditation and fresh air are good for you.
Yoga and martial arts are good for you.

Instead of it feeling good, it sometimes feels like yet another demand on your screaming to-do list.
It isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either. It’s about creating your own system, in which you thrive best. A system with tools that gives you overview and that makes sense: What is natural for you? What gives you energy and nutrition? What do your body and mind actually need in order to achieve your ideals?


When you recognize that the world needs change,
you are probably a sensitive person.

Sensitivity is good.


But sensitivity can also cause you to be overwhelmed and unstable. For sensitive people conflict, chaos and criticism come in even harder. You want to stay open to diverse perspectives, and you also need to stay open, so you can sense what you can do for the people in need. But that also allows an overflow of critical messages to come in. Realizing all the things you have to do to have an impact on the world, doesn’t make it any easier. Sometimes you want to shut your senses off, so you can stay true to yourself and take care of your self. But you told yourself to be strong. It’s a challenging dance: tracking other people’s needs and desires, and remembering to take care of your own needs and desires.

The difficulty of integrity and balance is getting all the pieces together in one whole.

A great deal of the messages of how to deal with chaos and criticism deny the paradoxical nature of wholeness. One size fits all. Simple blueprints. Step-by-step-plans. Those solutions don’t work, because they deny reality. So we get frustrated. It gets more difficult to think clear and do what we want to do and we feel more overwhelmed.

Truth can be layered and paradoxical.


Deep down, you like the paradoxical challenges of life too. You enjoy exploring the depth and complexity of the world. Even though at times it’s confusing and chaotic, truth is also your driving force.


You think too much, you’re too idealistic, you’re difficult, it’s your own fault.

We’ve heard those messages over and over again. We too have been overwhelmed. We’ve also felt lost. Like everybody else, we got off track. We’ve listened to lots of statements and advices that weren’t right for us. We wanted to give up too. But we’ve embraced the paradoxes in our lives: idealism and realism, an empathetic heart and a critical mind, being organized and chaotic. We want to prevent responsible global citizens from giving up. We want them to actualize their ideals, but still take care of themselves. Because we need them.

Not being effective in the good goals you want to achieve, can make you feel frustrated and demotivated. You become stressed and tired. The last thing you want to do is cook healthy, workout regularly and take time to sit down and reflect on your ideals and effectiveness. You just want to crash. But you know that when you crash, you will never have an impact and create changes in the world, so you continue working in a scattered and unsustainable way.

We believe you should develop your own self-sustaining system in an organic way. So it feels like a second skin, not like a straight-jacket. We can help you develop a system that grows with your changing being and life. Adapting to your surroundings and receiving the right nutrition and energy.

 

Sustainability of Self is a retreat for responsible global citizens who challenge the status quo and work to create changes in the world, but who are struggling to sustain them selves.

In the retreat you will develop your own flexible framework to restore your integrity and balance. One that provides you energy and motivation. One that helps you stay safe and sane. A personal system that gives you tools to protect yourself and get focus and overview, so you can be effective to realize your ideals.

When your work is scattered or stressed, when you need to defend yourself emotionally and physically from people, you obviously lose energy and it gets difficult to get things done. Not getting things done, means not being effective, and this gives a nagging feeling of powerlessness. 

Too much pressure on you and your system will make your system crash and make you even less effective. What most people don’t realize, is that they don’t have enough flexibility in their system and don’t have the right tools for their system. In the retreat we have several modules that give you input to create a system that protects and sustains you.

Another important part of this retreat is finding ways to work together.

Not only do we need to sustain our selves, but we also need allies in a society that has become more hostile and violent, especially to those who work on changing the status quo. If you want to share your project for feedback or partners, if you are looking for setting up a project together, or if you just want to brainstorm on an issue, let us know. We’ll provide take that into the program as well.

What a retreat could look like

You arrive at ease on Thursday evening and slowly get yourself comfortable. Enjoy a healthy dinner and some dialogue with other participants, alongside some inspiring music. On Friday and Saturday we will be working on the various modules you’ve chosen. Sunday morning we will put it all together into one whole system, for you to take home and to keep developing and adjusting it to your needs.

Possible modules of the retreat

// Map out your values and ideals

Explore what really drives you deeply and how your values guide you to your ideals. Brainstorm on your ideals and future scenarios. Discover diverse perspectives on your values and ideals through interaction with others.

// Discover your potential and gain focus

Realize how your body and mind are fundamental to discovering your potential, focus and effectiveness through the basics of martial arts and yoga.

// How to have difficult discussions on sensitive topics

Discover the rational, emotional and energetic aspects of difficult discussions. You will learn how act and respond in heated discussions ways and how to stop people from wiggling their way out of confrontational discussions.

// Learn how to deal with energy vampires and energy leaks

Understand about the dynamics of interaction and clarify who and what nourishes and drains you, so you become more resilient to criticism, conflicts, and other nagging messages.

// Learn how to deal with physical and verbal attacks

Learn Martial Arts techniques and strategies that help you deal with physical and verbal attacks, during protests or other potential dangerous situations, so you stay calm in conflict situations.

// Gain practical insights on power and (non-)violence

Gain insights about the real dynamic of power, like how power shifts and takes control, and where there is real power. Learn about the myths, misconceptions and practical truths about non-violence and violence.

// Connect to your natural cycles of change

Nature and life are cyclic. Our body has a cyclic rhythm, a woman’s menstrual calendar is cyclic, and seasons are cyclic. Integrate these cycles in your daily life and work. Learn how your natural cycles deepen and empower change and creativity.

// Tap into your innate creativity

Explore how you can find inspiration and be creative through your different senses. Gain insight in different moods and change you go through in a creative process. Brew synergetic plans alone or with others, so you can have an impact with your values and ideals.

// Explore your intuitive expression of self

Learn how to express yourself in different ways, from the different layers inside of you. Find the expressions that come to you naturally. Experiment with different art forms. Find the ways of expressing yourself with ease.

// Getting things done through creating your own system

Learn about how systems work and how you can get things done by keeping overview and structuring tasks and ideas, whether it’s managing a big project or ‘just’ getting into healthier habits. Step by step you’ll create a flexible system that helps you deal with continuous change and overwhelm.

How to join the retreat

We organize the retreat by request. There are 2 possibilities:

  • When you already have a group of people: request an invoice by filling out and sending this form.
  • When you don’t have a group, but want to participate in the retreat: sign up for the interested mailinglist.
    We will keep you updated on the latest news, and we will inform you when there are enough participants who are interested in a retreat. We will send you a document to find out your needs and send everybody from the interested list a retreat proposal. You’re not obligated to anything when you sign up for the mailinglist and you receive a proposal.


Price

Price structure: 395 euro for 6 people for 3 days.

When you are with less people the price per person is higher, if you are with more the costs are lower. Same applies to amount of days: less days the price is lower, more days, the price is higher. After filling out the form, we will send you an invoice with the exact prices.

What’s included:

  • Modules for your personal Sustainability of Self system
  • Individual & group sessions
  • Basics of martial arts and yoga
  • Story telling and dialogue
  • Creative, mental and reflection exercises
  • Guidance from 3 dedicated facilitators
  • Needed materials

What’s not included:

Accommodation & food Due to different needs of privacy, space, location, accessibility, days of the program and urgency we decided not to choose  accommodation ourselves beforehand. The group that requests a retreat arranges and covers their own accommodation for the whole group and the facilitators. Of course, we can arrange accommodation for you and we will send you an extra pricing overview.

 

About your guiding facilitators

Because reality has so many layers and people learn with different senses, you need input from diverse backgrounds to create your own organic system. Fenanda asked Charles and Shishani to share their expertise and experience on the retreat. All three of us teach from our own lived experiences, backed up with extensive education.


Real people, real experiences, realistic solutions.

 

Fenanda Jacobs is an ethics consultant, teacher and trainer. She’s the owner of Mira Mero and guides people in their work for social justice and sustainability. Her talent is to explore different perspectives on an issue, dig up underlying values and ideals, and connect these values. She loves making (and eating) healthy all-you-can-eat sweets and snacks. She trains in Kung Fu regularly and is following an intensive 4 year yoga teacher course.

 

 

 

Charles Johnson is an experienced martial artist, systems thinker, lawyer, and visual artist. He is a master in guiding others to guard them selves and their space, how to think and act holistically and strategically in business and life development whilst retaining integrity. Recently he took the path of becoming a musician. When he takes a break from his guitar practice, he enjoys his weakness for local dark beers.

 

 

 

Shishani Vranckx is a traveling musician, anthropologist and musicologist. Shishani is gifted with the art of connecting people to each other, making them feel at home and showing people the great potential of their creative self. Everybody has a creative self. When she is not busy loving people, she enjoys making pumpkin soup, taking walks, doing yoga and cuddling kittens. She has initiated various art projects and enjoys creating new ideas.

 

 

 

We know you constantly try to look at all sides. So do we.

We also know how difficult it is to take action when you look at all sides. Our method of a natural growth for your holistic system helps you in several ways:

  • Creating an overview, when everything is scattered.
  • Retaining focus, without losing sight of other important aspects.
  • Giving you clarity on your own purpose and what really matters to you.
  • Actualizing your ideals and values, and becoming more effective and meaningful.
  • Strengthening your sensitivity and senses.
  • Gaining confidence and calmness by overviewing of the whole and the pieces.
  • Getting motivation and perseverance to continue your path the way you want to.


Creating a whole from a diversity of perspectives is our specialty.

Different cultures allow different perspectives. All three of us have lived and worked in different cultures, like Namibia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, the United States and South-Korea. In these work and life experiences, we had to learn how to deal with differences and changes, and that made us who we are now: responsible global citizens who want to help other responsible global citizens. Because we believe it is possible to create changes and sustain your self.


The retreat Sustainability of Self is ideal for:

  • Responsible global citizens who want to contribute to society, and create changes in the most optimal and inspiring way.
  • Activists in social justice issues who get physical and verbal threats from people resisting their work.
  • Professionals working on social justice or environmental issues who have to deal with resistance, criticism and conflicts.
  • Health minded people, who are interested in a healthy and ethical lifestyle, with yoga, martial arts and good food.
  • Idealists looking for a stronger articulation of their potential, values and ideals, and transforming it into their life and work.


A participant’s experience of the retreat Sustainability of Self

Before I was doubting if I would attend the retreat, but in March I finally did. I hoped to learn about how to appear stronger in discussions and how I could be balanced in general.

During the retreat balance was a reoccurring theme: during stretching and martial arts, during discussing the daily, monthly and seasonal cycles, with determining the values in my life, etc. We had a nice alternation between movement and thinking. I’ve learned much more than I’ve hoped for. I listen to my body better, I’m also more aware of what I want and what I need. I also gained more insight in myself.

 


Join us at our retreat Sustainability of Self

 

  • We have a group of people: request an invoice by filling out and sending this form.
  • I don’t have a group, but want to participate in the retreat: sign up for the interested mailinglist.
    We will keep you updated on the latest news, and we will inform you when there are enough participants who are interested in a retreat. We will send you a document to find out your needs and send everybody from the interested list a retreat proposal. You’re not obligated to anything when you sign up for the mailinglist and you receive a proposal.

 

Get together with people who share the ideals of justice, sustainability and equality. Delve into those values together. See opportunities for the future. Be creative and make changes. Express and explore to brew plans alone or together. Find your potential, energy and focus.

If you can sustain your self, you can help others.

Breathe and take a step back, so you can take two steps forward.


What this retreat is not:

We are very aware of our expertise and feel responsible for what we do and say. We are however not psychologists and we are not trained to deal with psychological problems. This doesn’t mean you can’t come if you have psychological problems, but the retreat is not the place to find professional psychological services.


Frequently Asked Questions

// Could you arrange the accommodation?

Yes, we would be happy to arrange the accommodation for you? In the registration form you can fill in what your needs are, and we will look for several accommodations. This service is not included in the price of the retreat, and we will have to send you and extra invoice for this service.

// Are there any private bedrooms and bathrooms?

This depends on the accommodation you chose. Groups can choose their own accommodation, or let us arrange accommodation for you, based on your needs.

// Are men also welcome, to learn about the (menstrual) cycles?

Men are definitely welcome. We think men will benefit from knowing about the female cycle, to understand the women in their lives, and how society is set-up mostly from a male perspective. And actually, often it is men who acknowledge the existence of the ever-changing cycle of women, and can help women accept it. Also there will be group sessions with men and women separately.

// I’m not physically fit, is that a problem?

The martial arts and yoga exercises are not difficult, you don’t need any experience in yoga or martial arts, and you don’t need to be physically fit. We will be teaching the basics. But when in doubt, please consult your doctor, and inform us as well.

// I’m on a special diet, is it possible to follow that diet at the retreat?

Yes, it is possible to continue your special diet. If we will be organizing your accommodation, mention your specific needs on the registration form.

 

Join us at our retreat Sustainability of Self 

  • We have a group of people: request an invoice by filling out and sending this form.
  • I don’t have a group, but want to participate in the retreat: sign up for the interested mailinglist.
    We will keep you updated on the latest news, and we will inform you when there are enough participants who are interested in a retreat. We will send you a document to find out your needs and send everybody from the interested list a retreat proposal. You’re not obligated to anything when you sign up for the mailinglist and you receive a proposal.

 

 

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