New Culture New Years 2018-19 Program
Morning Circle – Daily
Every morning at 9:00 AM we’ll gather for appreciations, announcements, and connection.
Going Deeper – Multiple presenters
Over the years we’ve been building a culture that supports intimacy by teaching skills for healthy boundaries, handling painful emotions, holding space for others’ process, and so on. Now it’s time to take it to the next level. When the need arises to give difficult feedback or address something that’s getting in the way of getting close to another person, many times we still let it go, not wanting to ruin a happy moment or create a rift. But in reality, we’re keeping ourselves from intimacy when we could have it. When we’re willing to tell another person what’s keeping us from getting closer, we actually get closer.
In the “Going Deeper” spaces, we’ll have a chance to share difficult truths, intimate appreciations, and vulnerable parts or ourselves. Let’s get beyond this kind of sharing being an extraordinary experience, to where it’s an ordinary everyday thing. Every day we deepen our connections. Consider the possibility that we have no idea who our closest friends could be once we start sharing at this level. We have no idea what could happen when we really give our relationships our deepest attention.
ZEGG Forum – the Forum Team, Daily
Forum (http://www.zegg-forum.org/index_en.phtml) was created at ZEGG, an intentional community in Germany, and its sister communities as a way of promoting transparency and mutual understanding among community members. ZEGG members found that decision-making meetings often got derailed because of emotional conflicts and undercurrents that were not known to or understood by all. In Forum, each individual’s experience could be seen and understood, leading to greater empathy and creativity in the community. Now, many residential and non-residential intentional communities have adopted Forum as a way to maintain ongoing connection, intimacy and understanding.
The goal of Forum is to reveal what is alive but not known to all. The community sits in a circle, forming a stage for one person at a time to stand and show what is true for them. Facilitators may assist the person (or “presenter”) to reveal themselves more deeply. Afterward, community members may offer reflections, or “mirrors,” on what they saw.
One of the gifts of ZEGG Forum is that it allows us a space to appreciate every perspective without taking it on as “truth.” Every voice has its own poignancy, its own wisdom, its own truth, that does not negate the wisdom and truth of other perspectives. Allowing all voices to surface and be known can lead to a profound and unexpected integration within a community. We tend to think that events leading to painful experiences and conflicts are bad, because they feel bad in the moment. However, when we open ourselves and compassionately witness what is happening for everyone, these experiences can be gateways to greater closeness, understanding, and love. When conflict emerges, whether or not we are in a formal Forum space, we can choose to listen in this way. This deep listening sustains and nurtures community life and relationships.
Orientation & Connection – Friday Evening
Let’s find out who’s here and what we have to offer each other! We’ll spend much of the time moving around, meeting new folks and deepening existing relationships. Here we will learn about each other, camp, and the land we will share for the coming week. Participants can engage with the group and get quick, direct feedback on issues they care about. We’ll also have time to go deeper in one-on-one connections. This is a quick, fun, easy way to lay the groundwork for our time together, get a sense of the group and the facilities, and get to know each other!
Snuggle Party – Friday Night
Together, we will open up a playground to explore consensual, platonic touch in community. Nurturing touch has been shown to release compounds (i.e. oxytocin) which help lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, and contribute to feelings of connection and emotional well-being. No one is required to touch another person in this workshop; you’re welcome to talk, cuddle, read a book, or observe– observation is full participation.
Opening Circle, Pod Creation, & Intention Setting – Saturday Morning
Indigo, Dawson, & Michael
In this workshop, we will begin to lay the cultural groundwork for our time together at New Culture New Year’s. We will discuss our intentions for the event, meet & connect with our “pods” or family groups, and make space for all the wondrous things that camp may bring!
Boundaries: Finding the Sweet Spot – Saturday Morning Sarah Taub
Mmm, that glorious moment when we are giving exactly what our partner wants to be receiving! Sometimes we find that “sweet spot” spontaneously—but more often, we find it through clear communication and feedback. How many of us say “yes” to things we don’t actually want out of guilt or a fear of losing connection? In many ways, “no” is the most daring and intimate response possible – if I can hear your “no”, I can trust your “yes.” In this workshop, we will practice finding the sweet spot of mutual “yes”– through a series of juicy, experiential exercises.
Relationships Without Drama – Saturday Afternoon
What would relationship, family, community be like if everyone realized that their feelings were theirs to channel as they chose? What if every surge of emotion was seen as an invitation to connect with their deepest self and rise to a new level of awareness and love? What if our happiness no longer depended on others? The more we do our own personal work, the more available and loving we are in the moment. We no longer cling to rules and impose agreements that we hope will keep our intimates from triggering painful emotions in us; we welcome those emotions, work through them, and delight in our connections whatever form they might take.
Safe, Sexy Sex – Saturday Evening
With open conversation, sharing, and demos, we’ll explore how to have enjoyable, *safe* sex, not just “safer” sex. We’ll cover the most up-to-date, scientifically and medically sound information about sexual health, as well as specific techniques, brands, and concepts that allow responsible sex while maximizing pleasure and intimacy. Finally, we will put our knowledge into action by practicing the “Safe Sex Elevator Speech,” which helps set the stage for safe, fun, sexual connections!
Sensual Space Orientation – Saturday Evening
The Sensual Space is a warm and inviting space to explore Connection & Intimacy by engaging all of the senses. This is a space to lounge together after spending the day learning communication and intimacy tools – the perfect place to practice communication and share affection in a relaxed and sex positive atmosphere. We will give an introduction to the space and we will practice the “Safe Sex Elevator Speech.”
Sensual Space Opening – Saturday Night
Sarah Taub & Harold Kornylak
After the Sensual Space Orientation, those who wish will proceed to the Sensual Space for its official opening. All are invited to explore the Sensual Space – the opening activities will be sensual but nonsexual, and the Sensual Space Team will create a clear transition when the space becomes an open space for connection.
Tools for Building Sustainable Intimacy – Sunday Morning
Connecting with another can be a co-creative, synergistic, and downright delicious experience, if both you and the other person are a “YES!” Sharing explicit, verbal boundaries helps minimize confusion and suffering, maximize clarity and joy, and cultivate sustainable intimacy. In this experiential workshop, we will practice sharing explicit, verbal touch boundaries and agreements. We’ll explore giving and receiving on-going consent in connection. And finally, we will cover some important communication pitfalls, and ways to identify when we are mis-communicating, mis-reading, or mis-sing the mark in connection!
Autonomy – Sunday Afternoon Roving One
Authentic Relating Games – Sunday Evening
Temple of Oracles – Monday Evening Dahlia Morgan
Bring your chosen divination tools, or come and ask a question or two about what 2019 holds in store for you. The temple of oracles is a container to explore with curiosity other forms of divination, or to offer your own form for others to enjoy.
Transforming Relationship Stories With Courage and Compassion – Tuesday Afternoon
Inspired by the work of Brené Brown, this workshop offers us an opportunity to investigate the relationship stories we create. Working with a partner, we’ll bring our stories into conscious awareness, and then consider whether our stories match up with our intentions for the relationship. This exploration opens up new possibilities and allows us to rewrite our stories in a way that brings more compassion and fulfillment into our connections with others.
Music Improvisation Jam and Workshop – Tuesday Afternoon Ryan Taylor
Music is a language – a form of communication – and, therefore, is yet another avenue we can use to relate with one another. In this event, we will explore the intertwined processes of expression and listening. This is an opportunity to investigate your inner world and share what you find through the medium of musical improvisation. We will try a few facilitated experiments and then enjoy some free-form artistic collaboration. Together, the participants will co-create a nonjudgmental space of exploration. Bring yourself, your favorite instruments, and your sense of humor. No prior experience required!
Love Ceremony – Tuesday Evening
Allow us to invite you into a series of partnered and group interactions that will celebrate the divine in you and in your fellow participants. Beginning with ritually honoring one another, we will open up to emotional and physical intimacy. This love ceremony will focus on emotional intimacy, with the option to share loving, nurturing touch. All participants are always “at choice” to modify the interactions so that they are comfortable with them, or simply to witness.
Closing Circle – Wednesday Afternoon
As our time together comes to a close, we will connect, reflect, say goodbye, and prepare to re-enter the mainstream world. What gifts will we bring with us from New Culture New Year’s? What will we create in our lives and communities?