A Review of ENCT February 2013 Retreat
A Review of the February 2013 Retreat
Neither rain nor wind nor even flood-waters ! could stop the February ENCT participants from making it to their ‘Intimate Relationships: Returning to Love‘ Retreat. For me, it was one of the best ever, despite the logistical challenges of ferrying everyone in and out in 4WD’s!
What a week; while the weather did its unpredictable thing outside, we cosied up inside for some intensive, explorative, playful and sometimes very challenging work that left me alternately exhausted and exhilarated! From the feedback received, I’m glad to say we’d call it another ‘successful ENCT Retreat’, with most newcomers signing up to continue with the full program including empathy buddying, coaching, webinars and more, over the next 8 months.
Since a measure of ‘success’ in NVC is through ‘needs met‘ I thought you might enjoy seeing how I’d sum up the February 2013 Retreat, based on chats with participants and trainers, as well as my own memories of the experience. For fun, I’ve put some of the needs met in bold.
Balance: The intensity of learning, integrating and practice balanced by time spent connecting with the body, in motion and in stillness, in having non-verbal communication, silence and relaxation. People mentioned they especially enjoyed the balance between head and heart, internal connection and external connection, structure and flexibility, time spent in session and time spent in rest and integration.
Contribution: When I remember all the folks chatting, washing up and sweeping up after lunch I remember feeling happy and light. People enjoying giving, not out of any sense of obligation, but simply for the joy of it. I was touched by all the warm smiles, concern and caring I saw.
Intimacy: Moments of random closeness shared with another who was willing to be vulnerable and authentic were like food for my soul. What an honour to be present! A couple of times during the retreat I spent an hour or so with a participant who was in great pain, giving some personal empathy. What a joy for me to be able to help out in this way! It was also a joy for me to witness Shari and Linda doing the same with other participants. I have the reassurance of knowing that there is support available to any participants whenever it is needed. I love feeling confident that with our program no one will slip through the cracks. At an ENCT, for Shari, Linda and myself, creating safety for everyone is of paramount importance.
Empathy Buddy time: I heard several reports of big insights, transformation, and learning, coming from the daily Empathy Buddy sessions that took place every day after lunch. Some folks walked on the beach, while others sat in the garden, and all of them got heard. They each received the wonderful gift of having a human being give them complete attention and total acceptance while they expressed themselves, warts and all. Imagine the healing power of expressing something you’re really ashamed of, and it being totally accepted by another. It inspires me to write a koanish short poem:
In the rich earth of acceptance
Seeds of hope are planted
Watered by tears held in too long
Delicate scented flowers
– joy, self love and self esteem –
Blossom in the spring
Play and fun! Highlight for me? Going down to Tyagarah beach with everyone, sitting by the sea around a driftwood fire, playing guitar, making up songs, and watching the sun go down. The best was when everyone contributed a line summing up his or her experience that day in the ENCT. I made up the tune, and then we sang it together. We sang two versions, one country and one reggae — the reggae was the most loved!
Adventure: I especially enjoyed offering my session on ‘Setting Boundaries’ because I was exploring new territory as to where it fits in the NVC process. I see it as a strategy to meet the need for safety, whether physical, sexual, mental, emotional or spiritual. I also got more clarity around boundaries being a way of using force to protect, rather than punish.
Finally I remember the warm glow of inclusion that I felt at our last Saturday night dinner sitting with eight of my coachees who were all coming to the end of 9 months of coaching. Add to this the sense of belonging I got seeing all the tears and laughter the following morning when we expressed our gratitude, sang our Irish farewell song, and said our goodbyes. To hear the acknowledgement that I had actually made a real difference was like music to my ears. My cup of gratitude overflowed. I was left with a feeling of fullness and an anticipation to dive into my relationships and life with a renewed enthusiasm.
Sound like something you would enjoy? Register now at http://www.embodyingnvc.com/-register or give our administrator Merran a call on 0409 579 671 to find out more.
Dorset (Shari and Linda)