CURRENTLY OPEN ONLY FOR AGES 35 AND YOUNGER. We’ll collectively confront and address how radically powerful we actually are. We’ll gain a stronger connection to the meaning and purpose that pervades our very self-awareness. We’ll explore the layers that make up our different identities. We’ll move, worship, and create. Come prepared to sweat a little. (HG1)
I make no excuses. I am not a “new-agey” person. I don’t speak or act with a particularly “floaty” or grounded voice. I am somewhat flamboyant. I can be blunt, comically cynical and occasionally intense. I am also creative and intellectual. I take my time in speaking. This will, indeed, translate into a particular leadership style. I will ask a lot from participants in this workshop, and I'll have a box of tissues standing by. I aim towards respect, compassion and genuine connection, but some personalities may struggle with my way of being. So think for a few moments, before signing up, about whether the person I claim to be will help you in your journey given the person you claim to be. I have found that the experience of the workshop is often directly related to how well one resonates with its leader.
There are three concrete forms of existential meaning: life-purpose through storytelling, subjectivity through identity performance, and solidarity through ritual. In everyday lived experience, we are working on our existential meaning in terms of one or more of these. It is work. It is continuous. The three forms can be expressed as three basic questions: 1) What is the purpose of my life? 2) Who am I? 3) Where do I belong? Participants will spend the week answering all three questions in different ways. The questions are extremely broad and challenging in themselves. Expect to discover and remember things that could threaten who you think you are, or who you claim to be now.
THREE THREADS THROUGHOUT
1. Each day, we’ll move quite a bit using exercises usually drawn from Augusto Boal’s Games for Actors and Non-Actors. So please come to the workshop dressed in clothes that allows you comfortably to move around.
2. Each day, we will bring intention to the workshop first by establishing and then reevaluating ground rules. Then we will worship for 30 minutes. Each day, I will introduce a query while we worship that challenges us to think and to re-think different aspects of our self-awareness. Expect queries to be challenging and to require vulnerability.
3. Throughout the workshop, we will augment our “I Am Mosaics” by adding artistic representations of our struggles, our sources of support, and our communities. I hope we can put all this together in one big We Are Mosaic, realizing that we’ve constituted a community over this week and some solidarity to boot. I want to take a picture of it to send to all the participants after the gathering.
THEMES FOR EACH DAY
Day One: I Am Mosaic
Day Two: Stories of Selfhood
Day Three: Stories of Struggle and Purpose Part 1
Day Four: Stories of Struggle and Purpose Part 2
Day Five: Where do I belong?
*Participants don't need to bring anything, and they don't need to read anything ahead of time, but if you think you'll have a lot more to express, feel free to augment the options for expression by bringing along anything you like.
Art Supplies for drawing, coloring, making collages
8 by 11 paper and writing utensils
An easel and easel paper with markers for writing on the easel paper
A good camera with which to take a picture of our We Are Mosaic on the last day of the workshop (I can also just use my smart phone)
*Please be in touch if you'd like to participate but think you'll need extra support of one type or another.
About the leader :
I co-led a workshop about empowering youth for High School students during the 2010 Gathering. I have led classes exploring nonviolent communication (cnvc.org). I have led workshops at smaller Young Adult Friends gatherings. I led a workshop at my meeting, Wilmington Monthly Meeting (DE), on clerking and the business meeting process.
Through clearness committees and countless paths along a spiritual journey, I have discovered a few of my leadings and passions. They are service leadership, organizing, and “thought-art” (what I call scholarship). Specifically, I have wondered about how societies structure their meaning making (their culture) to legitimate certain ways of being. Before we can change the culture of violence in the United States, for example, we have to understand how and why it is so meaningful to so many people. I want to build the intellectual resources for culture shifts—for a different way of making meaning. As part of this effort, this workshop has been in the works for a long time. It is based on my recent graduate thesis. Speaking of life-purpose, this is mine.