Winter Poly Wonderland 2019 Program
Morning Circle – Daily
Every morning at 9:30 AM we’ll gather for appreciations, announcements, and connection. Also, each person will have a brief opportunity (but not a requirement) to check in and share “where they are at.”
Going Deeper – Daily
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 – Daily
We’ll be using the ZEGG Forum daily to bring out what’s under the surface in our community. 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.
Sensual Space – Open Daily
The Sensual Space is a place for structured and unstructured education and exploration of sensual and sexual concepts and connections. This space is a resource for those who wish to make use of it; none of the core workshops will take place in the Sensual Space. There will be an orientation for people interested in the Sensual Space on Saturday evening.
Orientation and 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 building relationships. Here we will learn about each other, camp, and the land we will share for the coming weekend. 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
In this workshop, we will begin to lay the cultural groundwork for our time together at Winter Poly Wonderland. 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
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.” Let’s practice finding that sweet spot of mutual “yes” —through a series of juicy experiential exercises we’ll offer and/or request touch, negotiate the touch we want, and give verbal and nonverbal feedback on the touch we receive. This practice will serve us well in both sensual and non-sensual contexts, helping us find the space of mutually desired connection that is available with each person.
Polyamory 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 and Opening – Saturday Night
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 ask past participants to share about their sensual space experiences at past camps.
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 open for sexual connection.
Intimacy in Community – Sunday Morning
As human beings, we are social organisms with needs that extend far past our needs for food, sleep, and shelter; many of us share a need for Closeness. For intimacy. With discussion and experiential exercises, we will open up a space of authentic, emotionally intimate connection with ourselves and each other.
Poly Skill Share – Sunday Afternoon
New to polyamory? Got questions? “Old hand” at polyamory? Got answers? Join us for this daily skillshare on the promises and perils of diving into ethical, loving non-monogamy! At the Poly Skill Share, we will explore many techniques for enhancing our abilities to have rich, satisfying, and durable relationships. Topics may include communication skills, emotional intelligence, love languages, and much more.
Ecstatic Dance – Sunday Evening
“If you have a body, you are a dancer.”- Gabrielle Roth. Ecstatic Dance is a movement practice that leads us to open places in ourselves. It is a collective journey that sheds the layers of stress, judgment, and restriction to make space for inner clarity. Stillness. Motion. Intensity. Release. We invite all modes of expression and being in the space– from yoga, to meditation, to shaking, to rest. All bodies, movements, and sounds are welcome… as we find Ecstasy through Dance.
Authentic Relating Games – Sunday Evening
Who are you? Who am I? Who are we? In this high-energy, interactive workshop, we will play a number of games aimed at fostering a better understanding of ourselves and others. We will practicing honesty and authenticity with others, so that we can learn to be honest and authentic with ourselves. Our time together will develop our empathy, strengthen our community and relationships, and help us gain a better understanding of our true selves.
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 Winter Poly Wonderland? What will we create in our lives and communities?