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Program

Winter Poly Wonderland 2017 Program

Morning Circle – daily

Every morning at 9:00 AM we’ll gather for appreciations, announcements, and connection.  Also, each person will have a brief opportunity (but not a requirement) to check in and share “where they are at.”

Poly Skill Share – daily

New to polyamory?  Got questions?  “Old hand” at polyamory?  Got answers?  Join us for this daily skillshare on the promises and perils of diving into ethical, loving non-monogamy! Poly Skill Share will explore many techniques for enhancing our abilities to have rich, satisfying, and durable relationships. Topics will include communication skills, emotional intelligence, love languages, and much more.

Community Sharing Circle – daily

We’ll be using the ZEGG Forum daily to bring out what’s under the surface in our community.  Forum (http://www.zegg-forum.org/index_en.phtml) was created at ZEGG, an intentional community in Germany, and its sister communities as a way of promoting transparency and mutual understanding among community members.  ZEGG members found that decision-making meetings often got derailed because of emotional conflicts and undercurrents that were not known to or understood by all.  In Forum, each individual’s experience could be seen and understood, leading to greater empathy and creativity in the community.  Now, many residential and non-residential intentional communities have adopted Forum as a way to maintain ongoing connection, intimacy and understanding.

The goal of Forum is to reveal what is alive but not known to all.  The community sits in a circle, forming a stage for one person at a time to stand and show what is true for them.  Facilitators may assist the person (or “presenter”) to reveal themselves more deeply.  Afterward, community members may offer reflections, or “mirrors,” on what they saw.

One of the gifts of ZEGG Forum is that it allows us a space to appreciate every perspective without taking it on as “truth.” Every voice has its own poignancy, its own wisdom, its own truth, that does not negate the wisdom and truth of other perspectives. Allowing all voices to surface and be known can lead to a profound and unexpected integration within a community. We tend to think that events leading to painful experiences and conflicts are bad, because they feel bad in the moment. However, when we open ourselves and compassionately witness what is happening for everyone, these experiences can be gateways to greater closeness, understanding, and love. When conflict emerges, whether or not we are in a formal Forum space, we can choose to listen in this way.  This deep listening sustains and nurtures community life and relationships.

Adult Playspace – Daily

The Playspace is a place for structured and unstructured education and exploration of sensual and sexual issues.  This space is a resource for those who wish to make use of it; none of the core workshops will take place in the Playspace.  There will be an orientation for people interested in using the Playspace on Saturday evening.

Orientation – Daily

The orientation is a brief but effective introduction to the “culture of consent” that underlies most successful poly relationships and helps create the sense of safety and freedom that characterizes all of our events. Required for all campers on the day they arrive; open to all attendees each day.

Orientation and Connection – Friday, January 27

Sarah Taub
Who are the people at this gathering?  Some of us are excited and nervous newbies, some of us are working through many issues related to polyamory and some of us have arrived at a place of ease in our alternative practices.  We’ll spend much of the time moving around, meeting new folks and deepening existing relationships.  Let’s find out who’s here and what we have to offer each other!

The Enneagram Applied to Relationships – Saturday, January 28

Audrey Ichida
This workshop combines information on the spiritual teaching and personality model, The Enneagram, with exercises to enhance and integrate your learning. Specific aspects about the Enneagram that will be included, are the Harmonic styles, and the Instincts. The information and exercises in this workshop will help enhance your ability to communicate during difficult conversations with your loved ones. The three Instincts help explain important personality patterns that are highly influential in relationship dynamics. The Enneagram helps us understand the commonalities and uniqueness of each person. It affirms our continuity as humans and honors the preciousness of each individual life. It is a powerful model for understanding self and others, and cultivating deep compassion for both.

Boundaries for a Poly World – Saturday, January 28

Sarah Taub
Mmm, that glorious moment when we are giving exactly what our partner wants to be receiving! Sometimes we find that “sweet spot” spontaneously—but more often, we find it through clear communication and feedback.  How many of us say “yes” to things we don’t actually want out of guilt or a fear of losing connection?  In many ways, “no” is the most daring and intimate response possible – if I can hear your “no”, I can trust your “yes.”  Let’s practice finding that sweet spot of mutual “yes” —through a series of juicy experiential exercises we’ll offer and/or request touch, negotiate the touch we want, and give verbal and nonverbal feedback on the touch we receive.  This practice will serve us well in both sensual and non-sensual contexts, helping us find the space of mutually desired connection that is available with each person.

Playspace Orientation and Opening – Saturday, January 28

Annie Hopson
The Playspace is a warm and inviting space to explore Connection & Intimacy by engaging all of the senses. This is a space to lounge together after spending the day learning communication and intimacy tools – the perfect place to practice communication and share affection in a relaxed and sex positive atmosphere.  We will give an introduction to the space and we will practice the “Safe Sex Elevator Speech.”

After the Playspace Orientation, those who wish will proceed to the Playspace for its official opening.  All are invited to explore the Playspace – the opening activities will be sensual but nonsexual, and the Playspace Team will create a clear transition when the space becomes open for sexual connection.

Polyamory as a Path to Personal Growth – Sunday, January 29

Michael Rios
How can we deal with the storms of emotion that seem to follow connections of great joy? What does it take to create a relationship that is supportive and appreciative for both partners? What would relationships with others be like if we really were “our own best friend”? The more we do our own personal growth work, which is really about learning to fall in love with ourselves, the more available and loving we become. We no longer approach our partners from a place of need, but from a place of appreciation. Painful emotions become opportunities instead of threats, and positive feelings can come without fear of loss. We are able to take delight in our connections whatever form they might take.  The insights and techniques that are shared in this workshop are drawn from many sources, including the facilitators’ polyamorous paths, Eastern spirituality, and hard science. Join us as we discover how we can come to a place of power and choice in how our lives and relationships unfold.

Dance Aflame – Sunday, January 29

Indigo Dawn

There lives inside of you an ever-burning flame; a noiseless song that your body sings. Have you ever stopped to listen? In this workshop, we will listen deeply to ourselves and others. We will craft dances that exist to be felt, rather than performed. We will play, express, and connect through movement.  We will blaze like dancing flames.

Authentic Relating Games – Sunday, January 29

Indigo Dawn, Dawson Driver
Who are you? Who am I? Who are we? In this high-energy, interactive workshop, we’ll find out more about the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of everyone present.  We will play a number of games aimed at fostering a better understanding of ourselves and others.  We’ll explore curiosity and transparency as attitudes and practices that support healthy relationships, whether with lovers, friends, co-workers, or community members.  We will practicing honesty and authenticity with others, so that we can learn to be honest and authentic with ourselves.  Our time together will develop our empathy, strengthen our community and relationships, and help us gain a better understanding of our true selves.

The Five Senses – Sunday, January 29

Indigo Dawn

“There is no such thing as reality; only perception.” — Unknown

We experience the world through the lens of our senses.  The flash of a crimson leaf.  The burbling of the creek.  The scent of woodsmoke.  In this workshop, we will cultivate deep surrender through sensory stimulation.  We will activate each major sense in isolation– Smell, Sight, Taste, Sound, and Touch– and savor the sheer bliss of sensation.

Jealousy and Envy: Our Fierce Friends Monday, January 30

Sarah Taub

It’s late at night, and your partner is with someone else.  Your feelings are driving you up the wall – angry, lonely, anxious, you name it.  You think, “Am I a bad poly person for feeling this way? Should I suppress these feelings and pretend nothing is wrong?”
The answer to both questions is an emphatic “No!”  Many loving, intimate, open-hearted polyamorists have these painful feelings, and the two worst ways to deal with them are to act them out or to suppress them until they explode.  Jealousy and envy, our fierce friends, have so much to teach us – they are signs of deeper needs not being met.  But we must be wise in our dealings with them – when jealousy and envy arise, the stories they tell us are usually false or misleading, and they encourage actions that will not get us what we long for.  When welcomed skillfully, they are gateways into our deepest desires, and they enable us to take active steps toward a more loving and joyful existence. 
In this experiential workshop, we’ll learn the difference between envy and jealousy.  We’ll cover the different types of jealousy and the issues that give rise to each type.  And we’ll practice tools for uncovering and addressing the needs that give rise to these painful emotions.

Completion Circle – Monday, January 30

As our time together comes to a close, we will connect, reflect, say goodbye, and prepare to re-enter the mainstream world.  What gifts will we bring with us from Winter Poly Wonderland?  What will we create in our lives and communities?

Open Sessions – Monday, January 30

Join in as the group uses Open Space Technology to organize concurrent events inspired by your own passions and interests. Open Sessions are an opportunity for campers to convene dialogue groups on topics they’ve been wanting to explore, or create group massages, or do a music jam together, or much more. Participants are free to move from session to session, honoring their instincts and natural enthusiasm.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology