Connecting local responses around the world
On February 17-19, Belcompetence ventured out onto yet another road to spreading the “taste” of SALT and CLCP in Belgium: We conducted our first training in English! We convened at a beautiful venue: the co-working spaces of Transforma Bxl in Evere. The energy in the place proved to be highly conducive to co-creating a fabulous learning experience for all.
And what a wholesome experience it was! Participants came from all walks of life and from different parts of the world (not unlike other SALT initiation sessions). They were welcomed with food, smiles and inspirational words (quotes were posted on the walls, and participants were invited to gather around the ones that spoke to them most and strike up a conversation. As usual, we started out by getting to know each other on a different level. The stories around the personal items that people brought or the images they chose revealed their beautiful, vulnerable self. The stage was set for working with each other in an authentic, open and honest way.
We had planned on explaining the essence of SALT by showing Jean-Louis’ video from the What Makes us Human? Book launch in Ferney-Voltaire. However, we felt that the participants after the introductory exercise were well on their way to understanding that essence. Instead, we invited everyone to plaster themselves with labels, labels they have received or adopted themselves over the years. After walking around with them, discovering each other’s labels, feeling their weight and limitations, participants stripped them off and got a feel for what it means to be free of them.
The following day, after fortifying themselves with croissants and coffee, participants shared their stories of strength, which further contributed to heart-to-heart bonding. The depth of sharing was palpable as some of these words, used to describe one another in their strengths, reflect: “courage, compassion, deep sense of perception, alignment, seeking authenticity, generous, humble, “eyes-alive”, tenacity, drive, uniqueness, idealism, intuition, “a giver”, curiosity, alchemy, “soft determination”, “ability in letting go and confidence in letting come”...
Later that same day, participants thought of a community which they were a part of and where they could be an agent of positive change. We managed to create two slightly distinct types of communities, and off they were to creating their dreams. One dreamed of a workplace of “love unfolding”, the other dreamed of a community of enablers of self-growth, responsibility and holistic health.
We had prepared and printed out a fabulously worked out program to guide us throughout the two days. However, it quickly became apparent that we simply had to go with the flow. Participants became so engaged in their tasks, be it storytelling, dream building or having lunch together :) that we found it counter-intuitive to strap them into a time schedule. And that is what was needed. It gave each of us the space to explore, go deeper, truly understand what it means to be human and to be human together.
Different points of view, cultural nuances, contextual differences all were brought to light and honored throughout the two days. And that is what made it rich, so rich that at by Sunday evening, no one had the urge to go home. Even though we were physically tired, everyone was buzzing with a different energy, the energy of knowing that if we dream together, we can achieve something together and create a better world. One of the participant’s closing words was: “The world would be such a beautiful place if everyone had the chance to go through such an experience!”
“How does SALT differ from other approaches?” asks a participant. The question is bounced back into the group, and here are some of the responses: "it’s about bringing the human in the room" ... "here, the content is the community" ... "the heart is present, which creates expansion" ... "our humanity is addressed and honored" … "the facilitator is transformed: we strip off labels, the facilitator shifts from being solely an expert to showing up as a human being", or "SALT gives us permission to allow the shared expression of humanity"
And we are reminded of Hervé Guidou, a French facilitator, and his now famous quote: “Collective intelligence is the answer, the facilitator is the question” :)
“Gratitude” just about sums it up - a wonderful experience it was!