Trauma Transformation in Community
International Training with Kosha Joubert and Giselle Charbonnier, June 23 – 27 2018 in Findhorn, Scottland. This training is organized by GEN – Global Ecovillage Network.
Our lives and relationships are often unconsciously shaped by trauma – lingering remnants of deeply distressing experiences in our personal and collective histories. In this training, we take a step towards the freedom of awareness and choice, learning skills for recognition, prevention, co-regulation and integration of trauma within our communities.
Trauma is frozen life force – in order to melt back into the river of life it needs the compassionate witnessing presence of the other.
The Nexus conference – The art of impact in a fragmented world
Thomas Hübl visited the 4th annual NEXUS USA Summit 2018 in February in Washington D.C. Nexus connects the financial, intellectual, creative and social capital of the young generation in an action-oriented, solutions-focused and safe space. It aims to inspire learning and collaboration between a uniquely powerful network of peers.
Thomas was one of the keynote speaker at the conference and offered a workshop and a meditation where he deepened his approach to the art of impact in a fragmented world. In his workshop, Thomas shared mystical principles that deepened participant understanding of their own impulse to create authentic impact in the world and how best to relate to the most challenging situations at one’s growing edge. He shared awareness tools and practices to build competencies as we explored cultural change and the connection to innovation and leadership which impact social structure.
Pocket Groups Report
The Pocket Groups are at the heart of the Pocket Project and are supervisioned and guided by senior students of Thomas, Nicholas Janni and Hilorie Baer. To give you an impression into the nature of the Pocket Groups and their ongoing development and a deeper insight in the work, here is what Nicholas Janni wants to share with you.
We have said from the beginning that there are two types of Pocket group:
- Groups that conduct research into the historical, intergenerational and cultural foundations of a region’s trauma imprints
- Groups that intend to conduct process work with the energetics of collective trauma in a context of healing and restoration
The two of course sometimes overlap, and the forming of Pocket groups in different parts of the world is naturally a slow and emergent process.
This is in no small part due to the fact that, while many people have a natural desire to work with collective trauma, and indeed may already have significant facilitation experience, we are discovering through the Teaching that Thomas brings, with its unique marriage of timeless mystical wisdom and cutting-edge psychology, that in many respects a whole new paradigm and a whole new set of competencies are unfolding. And that these are exactly what give the Pocket Project its very particular depth and potential.
To date groups have been established and/or are forming in Argentina, Israel, USA, Germany and the UK.
I myself facilitate the Israel and UK groups, as well as a group in a country that at present cannot be named for security reasons. One of the most significant things I can report is that, even in the Israel group which has been meeting for well over a year now, we are edging our way gradually and carefully towards collective trauma work. We have begun, also in the UK group, to engage some intergenerational work, but the key focus is on building the Presencing capacity and coherence of the group. What this means essentially is building the individual and group capacity to feel ourselves, each other, our lineages and more directly through our nervous systems, as opposed to our cognitive or imagination functions.
And here we must have the patience and tenacity go step by step by step, so that as we begin to turn towards the intensity of bigger collective trauma fields we are ready to face and host them in our individual and group ‘body’ as precisely and spaciously as possible. In fact, we discover along the way that all desire to be somewhere else or ‘further ahead’ in the process is itself exactly one of the symptoms of the underlying trauma fields on which our cultures sit.
We are preparing now for the final in person part of our one-year training – six days with Thomas in Israel at the end of April. We are confident that after this meeting the way forward for many of the global Pocket groups will also become clearer.
We all engage this work with great commitment, joy and humility, taking our part in this magnificent healing project, which is in itself a part of the bigger project and challenge that humanity finds itself in at this epochal time in our evolution.
Pocket Project core team member
Conference on Institutional Change
Resonance, Institutional pathologies and collective Trauma
Impressions form the 4th Witten Conference on Institutional Change
As part of the Pocket Project volunteer group and PhD. students, Lukas Herrmann and Adrian Wagner presented their recent research in the context of collective trauma integration at the fourth Witten Conference on Institutional Change. Can institutions become pathological? What are pathologies in institutions and how do they relate to collective trauma? At the fourth Witten Institutional Change conference on Institutional Pathologies from 1st to 2nd February 2018 a heterogeneous group of scholars, researchers and practitioners came together to find answers to such questions. Prof. Matthias Kettner and Dr. Kerrin Jacobs began with an introduction of the medical model of pathology in medicine and how such a model could be translated and slightly modified for institutions. A lively debate erupted due to the high diversity of disciplines such as medicine, psychology, political science, organizational studies, management, philosophy and sociology. The difficulty to choose amongst the different topics in the parallel sessions was a proof of the quality of the multi-layered content.
Particularly relevant for the work of the pocket project is the new theory of resonance by sociologist Hartmut Rosa. In the tradition of the critical theory he explained in his lecture the underlying acceleration mechanisms of our late modern capitalist systems. In his opinion the underlying forces are understood through a “triple A engine”: Acceleration, appropriation and activation. Acceleration is triggered through innovation and technology because of the inherent need of capitalism to grow. Similar to a bicycle that is stabilized through movement, capitalism needs to move faster to not slow down and collapse.
The ideology of neoliberalism and market mechanism in addition are more and more embedded in our society leading towards the appropriation of the cultural and other sector of society. In addition, human and environmental resources are activated, resulting in burnout and ecological destruction. Rosa, one of the most important contemporary sociologists in Germany, pointed out that talking about climate change, or the idea of slowing down seems insufficient. “We have been talking about climate change for 40 years, and we are still flying more every year” he said. His conclusion is to look at deeper societal dynamics, shifting away from the classical critical theory, and including a phenomenological perspective.
One possible path to new solution is his recent work about a sociology of resonance. While slowing down will be almost impossible in our complex societies the question is more how to tune in and come into resonance. Resonance, for Rosa is a practice beyond rational, economic ideology and therefore needed in a fragmented world. Where resonance is lost, alienation takes over, a common feeling in our modernized and technologically governed worlds. Interestingly, Rosa also named trauma as one of the barriers to the experience of resonance. In a parallel session particularly focusing on collective trauma, Kerrin Jacobs gave a phenomenological overview on loneliness and the social roots of the phenomena. Subsequently, Lukas Herrmann (who is currently working on his PhD with Prof. Kazuma Matoba related to the pocket project) shifted the perspective to an organizational level looking athow generative fields and the hidden potential of collective traumata can be accessed.
In addition, Adrian Wagner, also PhD student of Prof. Matoba, showed how from a societal perspective how collective trauma can be perceived as the underlying cause for pathological institutions and how the integration through practices such as conscious social witnessing are fundamental in relation to the global transformation towards sustainability. In a dialogue with the participants, such as Jacob Dahl Rendtorff from Copenhagen Business School, the topic of collective trauma was not only discussed intellectually but also a resonance field emerged showing the need and possibility of transdisciplinary research in the future.
Photos with kind permission from Heikki J. Koskinen, Docent of Theoretical Philosophy, Ph.D., University Researcher, Member of the Centre of Excellence, Reason and Religious Recognition (Academy of Finland)
Partnership between the Pocket Project and the Global Ecovillage Network
The partnership agreement between the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and the Pocket Project was officially signed in November 2017. The cooperation has been successfully under way since the beginning of 2017, as GEN and the Pocket Projected joined efforts in a crowd-funding campaign which raised a total of 19.979€ and enabled seven candidates to join the Pocket Training, who otherwise could not have participated for financial reasons. The candidates have leadership roles in their homeland communities in the DR Congo, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Colombia and Palestine.
Further endeavors of the cooperation are:
- GEN and PP will collaborate on developing a training for ‘Trauma-informed Community Regeneration’ in order to support community resilience. GEN and PP will also collaborate on developing a ‘First Aid Trauma Relief’ training, empowering people to act in acute situations in crisis
- GEN and PP will collaborate on coordinating electronic devices gifting and distribution to community leaders in vulnerable regions from the GEN network areas
- GEN will advise and support the PP in the process of reaching UN Consultative Status
- PP and GEN will host events together in order to raise awareness and to deepen the understanding of the nature of collective and intergenerational trauma, and its multiple effects in our culture
Interview with Neema on the Pocket Training
My name is Neema. I was born in a remote mountainous region of Eastern DRC. I contracted polio at the age of two, but with my Mom’s support, I became the first handicapped woman from my tribe to graduate from university. Later, I worked as chief advisor to the Minister of Gender and Family. It is my passion to work alongside my Congolese sisters at the grassroots level, to lift them into a different future. I founded the Maman Shujaa (Hero Women) movement, which has spawned a number of transformative programs for women, girls, and their communities. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in the Pocket Project training through a scholarship where many people interested in the Pocket Project donated for me. If you want to know more about our work in Congo, you can visit our website at www.HeroWomenRising.org.
How was the first part of the training for you?
In the beginning I really didn’t understand that we were talking about spiritual things. The discussion was about the impact of such things as the holocaust in Germany, their work with Israel and Palestine. I was able to relate to the type of suffering and trauma being discussed, because we are still living these things today. Our country was colonized in such a way that by using Christianity, women were and still are considered weak, obliged to serve men. We are wives and mothers ending up as servants to the young sons in our own homes.
The real impact of my work through the years has been to use our various programs as vehicles to bring women from all tribes and backgrounds together in an effort to reshape the current and future realities for women and our communities. Thomas was great to always answer my questions, to help me get on track with the historic trauma that has been suffered, and which contributes to our present reality. I began to consider and actually felt myself being equipped to introduce the topic of spiritual and psychological healing into the discussion of our gatherings in order to change the cultural paradigm in our communities.
What has changed for you since that time? What is the deepest impact that you notice in your life through the training?
I have learned that a lot of what has shaped who I am has developed through the various traumatic situations I have experienced in my life. Now, I understand myself clearer: for instance my unquenchable passion, energy, and desire to change the realities for other women in Congo. On the negative side, I am sometimes too forceful. I sometimes forget that others don’t perceive things how I do.
So what has changed is that now I understand why I am different and how I am different. This understanding allows me now to go into a situation considering whether or not I can have some positive impact. If I think I do not, I just become quiet for the time.
Are there any concrete projects or attempts that you are involved in?
I haven’t created “projects” in this regard; it is just the nature of my work: 24/7 with my Congolese community. All are traumatized. It is our day to day intention to lift ourselves out of the mire of wrong thinking and into the light of who we really are in essence.
Is there a message that you have for our Pocket Project Community?
First of all, I want to thank all of you who gave a donation that enabled me to participate in this powerful training. It has been so insightful and illuminating for me, supporting me as well as my community on its way to healing.
I invite those who are interested to come to Congo to work with us and to experience my work with my Congolese community. If you like, please contact me at Neema@HeroWomenRising.org.
Amman, October 12th-14th 2017
6th Annual Conference on Transgenerational Trauma hosted by Common Bond Institute (CBI)
Nicholas Janni, core team member of the Pocket Project, attended the 6th Annual Conference on Transgenerational Trauma in Amman on 12- 14 October 2017. About 80 people attended the conference, 16 being presenters. One of the presenters was the impressive Myron Eshowksy. Born mostly deaf into an Orthodox Jewish family, Myron ran away aged 12 and has forged a deep connection with indigenous and shamanic healers, bringing that wisdom into all the areas he works in. For bios of presenters, please see: www.cbiworld.org/conferences/tt/bios/
The 75-minute presentation that Nicholas gave on The Pocket Project, attended by about 40 people, was well received. The Pocket Project brings a special depth in perspective and practice to the table, and the conference was an opportunity for people to get a taste of this. Nicholas was also able to make some strong contributions from a mystical perspective to group circle and discussion sessions.
Many engaging and engaged conversations were had with the other participants, including inspiring accounts of really excellent, often courageous work being done ‘on the ground’ in challenging circumstances. Nicholas was particularly touched by the eagerness for new perspectives from the young Muslim women in attendance. There is a good possibility that Nicholas will assist with, if not lead, a local Pocket Training group with some of the young Muslim social workers and medical students.
Jordan itself has 2,000,000 Syrian refugees, and CBI, the conference organisers, are involved with a number of initiatives in the region. In the week following the conference they ran several two-day trainings for local people, as well as working in one of the women’s refugee centres.