Soul Fire Writing Retreat
Fri 16 Sept – Sun 18 Sept 2022
Start Bay, Slapton, Devon, UK
The Soul Fire Writing Retreat, co-run by Sophie Christophy and Max Hope, is a space for changemakers and activists to get together and reflect, imagine, and co-create. We have booked a fantastic venue in Devon – the Start Bay Centre – which is a short walk from the coast and a nature reserve. There will be writing, cooking and eating together. We will have fire and circles. We will offer two interconnected strands of activity, woven together: one carving out a space for individual and collective creativity and writing, and one to support healing and self-liberation work. The combination intends to bring us to our soul’s fire and most authentic expression. We will co-create a piece of writing that we can publish at the end of the weekend, something which speaks of our time together. We experimented with such a co-writing challenge at our first Soul Fire Writing Retreat (held in March 2022) and the final piece – a chain letter – can be found here.
For this retreat, we are taking inspiration from Mary Oliver (1935-2019), an American poet who has a reputation for work inspired by her connection to nature, poetry and prose, which is full of wonder, humour, and a profound reverence for the wild. Poems like The Journey, Wild Geese and The Summer Day are well-known as being transformational poems and are characterised by her tendency to ask deep and searching questions about ourselves, our life choices, and our soul’s purpose. Being inspired by Mary Oliver’s writing and life will inform aspects of the retreat, particularly being outdoors and in close proximity to the natural world, the way writing provocations will be offered and the themes of those provocations – such as inviting poetry, prose, playfulness, joy and sadness, and by invitations to slow down, to be in solitude, and to connect deeply with the wild.
THIS RETREAT IS NOW FULL BOOKED
Consent-Based Education 101, September – October 2022
I am excited to run the Consent-Based Education course again this year, starting in September. The course will have two parts: 6 online sessions via Zoom over 6 weeks, and a weekend in-person workshop at the end. It is an introduction and launch pad for those seeking to better understand, integrate and practice in consent-based ways.
What is the course about?
As family culture and education seeks to evolve beyond the traditional patriarchal, authoritarian model, and people make the choice to live together in more respectful, authentic and socially just ways that acknowledge the personhood and agency of children, essential questions come up as to what this means for our relationship with ourselves and others, and our outlook and interaction with the world around us. How can we be with ourselves and the children in our lives in a new way?
Consent-Based Education is a response to this tension. What happens when authoritarianism/patriarchy, the basis of all our existing systems, is stripped away, and we become more curious and individually empowered in our own lives, and desire this space for the children in our lives too? What does it look like to move beyond patriarchy, power-over and coercion, to embrace our own personal power, agency and autonomy, and question the education and social norms and values that we’ve experienced until now? What does consent mean to us, and how does it relate to experiencing authenticity, integrity, self-actualisation and healthy, honest relationships?
Who is this course for: This course is designed for parents and people who live and/or work together with children, who want to explore and go deeper into their understanding and practice of Consent-Based Education, for their own personal development and practice, to support their own and others life-long learning and growing in a consent-based way.
This might include: Unschoolers, feminist/social/environmental justice/decolonising oriented parents and educators, founders and facilitators of self-directed and consent-based education settings, home educators interested in children’s rights.
The online component of the course is made up of the following six sessions:
Session 1: What is Patriarchy, its impact and effect?
Session 2: Breaking Cycles – the Process of Change
Session 3: What is Consent-Based Education?
Session 4: Love and Relationships, Boundaries and Freedom
Session 5: Living and Learning, Creativity and Flow
Session 6: The Bigger Picture
Each session will last for two hours, and include the following:
Agreement making (how we are going to work and play together),
Me sharing on the theme of the session,
Chance for reflection, questions and deepening the inquiry,
Exploring putting the theory into practice,
The time and dates for the online sessions are as follows:
Time: 7-9pm (GMT)
Tuesday 6th September
Tuesday 13th September
Tuesday 20th September
Tuesday 27th September
Tuesday 4th October
Tuesday 11th October
Following the Zoom calls is an in person weekend, which will be a chance to meet, consolidate what has been covered on the Zoom calls, and go further in helping you to experience and learn practices key to consent-based education. The weekend will be held in Furneux Pelham, East Hertfordshire.
The two days will include:
Day 1: Stepping in to my Power: This work is activism, and it requires activism spirit and energy to have a chance to come to life. In order to do this, and to hold a new shape of consent-based education, we need to become aware of our own energy and power to do this work. This ability is also crucial to our experience of consent-based education and self-direction. We need to learn how to care for ourselves, as activists, and how to support our own healing journeys. This day will be focused on the physical and emotional experience of this, and will be a deep breath of oxygen to the embers of your own power and activist nature.
Day 2: Practical Tools: On day two we will explore and practice together practical tools that support the creation of a consent-based education. This will include: how to hold a meeting (can be adapted for a meeting of 2 people up to a meeting of a group), conflict navigation, setting up a consent-based ‘frame’, how to share and make risk management agreements, boundaries and identity work.
The in person workshop days will be held in a consent-based and self-directed way, similar to how we hold the day at the Cabin and the Lodge.
Dates for the Weekend Workshop:
Saturday 29th October and Sunday 30th
Communication during the course:
Once booked on to the course and before we begin, I will add you to a private Facebook group, which we will use for the duration of the course, to share the resources that lead in to each session, to use as a community space, and to post links for the Zoom calls. Before each session, a set of resources are shared for you to explore in whatever way you want to.
An important note about the transformational nature of the course:
This course has a transformational quality to it. It is designed through the lens and path of my own journey, practice and experience, which has been profoundly transformative and impactful to every part of my life. Every time I have run this course cycle so far, it has been a positive disruptor, has had a deep impact on my life, and been catalystic of change. This has included the ending of important relationships, changes in family relationships, personal growth, loss, grief, the emergence of new things, experience of self-actualisation and deep personal and spiritual alignment. I have witnessed this also happen in the lives of those that have taken part. You will be encouraged to manage your participation in the course in the way that you feel ready for and is right for you, however it is important that in booking on to the course you do so knowingly of the impact it may have, and that change may be catalysed as a result.
There are two options for booking this course. You can book just the online part, or the online part and the in person weekend.
For online: £288
For online and the weekend: £468
Please note: Breakfast and lunch is included on Saturday and Sunday for the in-person weekend, and there will be an option to join for dinner on the Saturday night. Overnight accommodation is not included, please ask if you need advice on local options.
This is a small group course, with a maximum of 20 spaces available.
If you would like to book or have any questions about the course (including around payment plans or access needs regarding the course cost), please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org