Within the realms of Natural Human Communication (the theme of this Y-TOP Gathering), there are many areas to be explored. We are automatically practicing all kinds of communication just by being here, being together and alone, and in nature. But, in order to grasp this theme as deep and fully as possible, there is a need to break it down into steps. After all, how can we be able to communicate with the world or even with people closely surrounding us, when we don’t know how to communicate with and within ourselves properly?
Firstly, the day was opened with a Y-TOP tradition: a Song of the Day. Afterwards, throughout the day, we did many activities that focused on the first (out of three) topics of Natural Human Communication: communication with the self. Concepts such as Innernet and Me-dia were introduced. Phones were used, not as a distraction of the process, but as a tool to show the effect of having a phone, while trying to take selfies. Not regular selfies, but ‘inner’ selfies: selfies of the true you.
The participants got to discover themselves by dissecting the layers of their personalities, the layers of their ‘inner onions’, while asking questions about who they are. We got to learn how we respond in different situations. How do things internal to you, such as your heartbeat, calmness and openness, vary between situations like being in a library, working out, and receiving respectful gestures from others?
Digging deep into your own identity can be intense, so the British dinner (consisting of burgers and sweet potato fries) was very welcome. For the evening, the Sun room (i.e. the dining room) was turned into a British/American/Canadian diner hall, complete with neatly dressed waiters and all, but lacking the roller skates out of safety precautions.
The day was closed with the first round of Open Mind Passions of the year, where several participants (and Youth Assistants) spoke about something that they are passionate about, from theater to self-awareness. The day was ended with a movie night: the movie Inside Out was a light, amusing way of looking into how personalities are formed.
Impressions: Flore I thought this day was very well thought-over and very deep. Especially the onion-layered ‘me’ exercise was very interesting. It was hard to discover what we had to do exactly, other than simply draw ourselves as an onion, but to leave it open and free for interpretation like that was exactly what made it interesting. I discovered that it didn’t really matter whether I did the exercise as others did, because my own process helped me in my own way to discover and communicate with myself.