10 values to take away from the Poland exchange
Time to summarize what I believe was a very successful first exchange in Poland. Here is a (very subjective) list of 10 values to take away from this experience.
- Community. Our participants and their willingness to share, work, inspire and laugh absolutely exceeded my expectations. Though we come from different countries and cultures it was incredible to see the similarities of our jobs, everyday struggles and share inspiring plans for the future. It only took one week to change 16 strangers into a unified group.
- Being grounded. Our roots and using this time to learn not only about they methods but about ourselves. This was a time to rediscover our strengths, goals and hopes for the future. With that being said, we all agree that there is no looking into the future without going back to basics and tending to our foundation – the rock which we will be building on.
- Humor. Because I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard as when we played games at night during international night. Portuguese team – thank you!
- Personal growth. It was inspiring to see how willing participants were to expose themselves to the group, set personal goals and use this week to go after them! I saw so many of you (myself included) step so far outside of the comfort zone! We could have chosen to learn about just the method but we decided to use this time to the fullest and dig deep.
- Beauty. Of taking in the moment. Of being with nature. Of taking time off. Of the Masurian lake district in Poland. Of the horses. Of going with the flow. Of slowing down.
- Teamwork. And I know all the teams will agree here. Yes, we met a group of fantastic, new and inspiring people but we also had a change to bond with our home team and use this time to reconnect, plan future projects and just spend time together talking about nothing and everything.
- Leadership. This is the value that we worked on most through Horse Assisted Education. The power of this method is letting everyone design their own personal development experience while working on leadership skills. There is no „cheating” when working with an authentic animal that will see right through us. It is up to us to decide how we plan on cooperating and leading in any given situation.
- Authenticity. A topic we often came back to in regards to working with youth and the work we do on an everyday basis. Without authenticity we can’t expect trust. Without trust we can’t build lasting relations with others. Just as the horse can see through us so can the youth see right through up when we are not authentic and true to ourselves and our values.
- Courage. This obviously starts with the courage and determination to create projects like this one and travel the continent in order to meet strangers and change them into friends. Yes, we all do demanding, hard work that takes lots of courage. I get mine from the people that surround me and their willingness to improve everyday.
- Balance. It is hard to talk about work-life balance when you feel like your work is just a part of your life that you would not want to give up. Then it’s really just… living. Obviously in order to have balance you’ll need to be well grounded first however when you have balance you also have the ability to see all other aspects of you life: it’s beauty, it’s humor, the people in it, the opportunities it gives you and the courage to take risks and be authentic.
Now we take these values and put them to good use in our social projects.
Can’t wait for Slovenia in February!
Change starts VIA-ME.