Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth exchange
Venue: Bajari, Latvia
YE dates: 9—18 September 2022
Host organisation: Mindful Journeys
Participating countries: Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Greece, Latvia
Please read the info-pack
When it comes to human relationships, boundaries can get fluffy. We want to have great connections with those we care about (and sometimes also with those we don’t care about at all), we want to be liked and we want to feel like we belong. Up to the extent where we no longer respect our own needs and desires and lose touch with what is truly important.
Care and compassion for all human beings, but first and foremost – for ourselves.
ARE YOU HUNGRY?
As we live in an increasingly technology-focused, socially disconnected world, we’re touching each other much less than before. What some psychologists term “skin hunger” (also known as touch hunger) is a need for physical human contact.
Satisfying skin hunger requires to have meaningful physical contact with another person, and failing to observe the need for human touch can have profound emotional (less happiness, more loneliness, more likely to experience depression and stress, lower relationship satisfaction, mood and anxiety disorders, inability to express and interpret emotion, difficulty to create secure attachments with others), even physical (worse health and more immune disorders) consequences.
HUMAN BEINGS NEED TOUCH ALMOST AS POWERFULLY AS THEY NEED BASIC NECESSITIES LIKE FOOD AND WATER.
But let’s be honest – how many of us are receiving that touch on a daily basis? Touch that is consensual, caring and unconditional? How many of us actually know how to offer that touch to another?
It can be hard to stay conscious of our own personal needs and limitations, and sometimes even harder of those of another person. Welcome to Cuddlenation – a space and time to be true to ourselves, and (re)learning of giving and receiving physical touch with ease, love and respect.
HERE’S OUR INTENTION
With the project Cuddlenation, we wish to reach the following objectives:
▼ create a safe space for ourselves to explore consensual, respectful and loving touch
▼ to raise awareness of our own personal space and limits, learning to connect to one another in a deeply meaningful way
▼ to share different methods connected to mindful body movement and touch
▼ for each participant to be able to maintain their personal boundaries, having the tools and guidelines to evaluate what is healthy and needed
▼ to create a set of carefully crafted follow-up activities made to share the essence of Cuddlenation with locals in each partner country
In its very essence, the project Cuddlenation is an answer to the increasing pain we see all around us in our communities, in our environment, in our economy. The world has clearly shifted out of balance, and it is our wish and desire to support others in recreating that sense of inner trust and harmony within themselves. Because by feeling inner harmony, we also start to feel outer harmony with the nature, people, and matters of 21st century – we come to accept things as they are, people as they are, situations as they are, and by doing so, we can take unbiased action towards a better future, improved and more inclusive relationships, and sensible decisions in various fields of our life.
Care for planet is what drives this project, and so we also bring in the principles of Zero-Waste philosophy.
We reduce what we need, reuse as much as we can, send little to be recycled, and compost what we cannot. For this reason, we also ask you to take extra care for what you bring with you and how you show up in this project, limiting all waste both in terms of trash and unnecessary packaging, but also when using water, electricity and other resources of our planet.
Here is the perfect target group of young people that the project is designed for:
– struggling to form meaningful relationships, having difficulty to give and receive touch due to limiting beliefs and negative past experiences, or lacking social skills and the ability to express their affection,
– wanting to explore and set clear, healthy boundaries for improved personal and professional relationships,
– interested in practicing (or already practicing) mindful movement and body awareness, either through meditation or other awareness practices, – willing to use what they learn in YE back in their homes and organisations, – wish to meet like-minded peers that also faced similar negative and positive experiences, with whom to share and receive support,
– coming directly from partner organisations or wish to be involved in their activities.
We strongly suggest you to also think of how and if you will be able to bring something back to your organisation/community.