15 Feb 2017

TBA Retreat about Boundaries, Touch & Feeling

Submitted by tbw

In early February Jochem was a guest at the British TransBareAll Retreat. The TBA had an interesting weekend around the theme "Boundaries, Touch & Feeling". It was a challenging, and also a very pleasant weekend. On a personal level, the participants have got to know themselves a little bit better. And we have gained some new ideas for workshops!

The itenary of the British TBA Retreats is a bit different than of the Dutch TBW. This has to do mostly with the (much) longer travel times in the UK. It's very common that people have to travel 3 to 4 hours (or longer) to het to a TBA. A journey of two hours, which we in the Netherlands think is quite far, they consider "very close".

The TBA starts on Friday evening at half past 6 and they have dinner at half past 7. Later that evening they do a short introduction, so that all participants are introduced at least.
Because the British TBAs are so popular, they have set a rule that half of the participants are to be new people who haven't participated in a previous TBA. Otherwise, all TBAs would be crowded with "old friends", people who have experienced TBA before.

The actual content of the TBA itenary is on Saturday. In the morning we started with a nice workshop on different types of boundaries. These were divided into six categories: beliefs, legal, physical, psychological/emotional, relational and sexual. We were divided into six smaller groups and each group discussed one category. That was very interesting!
In a second round, each group discussed a situation, wherein one of these limits had been exceeded. The question always was: what would you do? We came up with many and great tips. Two general tips were: Speak up to the person who crosses your boundary. If necessary, ask for assistance, if you can't or dare not do this alone.

In the afternoon we did a fun workshop. We got unusual, funny, physical tasks, such as hold someone's foot, look someone in the eyes for 10 seconds, embrace someone, etc. The first question always was: do you want to execute this task, or not? We often laughed about these often a bit odd tasks...

Later in the afternoon it was time for a massage workshop. It was a relaxing head-neck-shoulder massage. At the beginning the question was asked whether there were people who only wanted to receive a massage or only wanted to give. Then everyone could find a massage partner, with whom it felt nice. We think this idea is so good that we have included this workshop in the programme for the upcoming TBW as well!

In the evening we had the traditional show & tell, where anyone who wanted to, could tell what they like about their own body. Each speaker was given just one minute, otherwise this will take endless with 20 participants...

On Sunday we didn't have a substantive content  anymore. But Jochem was asked to do a short meditation, for those who wanted to participate. That turned out to eight people, this early in the morning.

Then it was time again to pack, clean up and around lunchtime TBA was ended. It was a very nice, pleasant and interesting weekend! A must for everyone who wants to do a weekend across the borders.

The venue of TBA: St Michaels Centre in Hathersage.

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