Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Bridging Personal Growth and Social Change

Who cares for the care-givers?

When social entrepreneur Aaron Pereora was named a Fellow with the Ashoka organization – a worldwide network of more than 3,000 change makers leading positive social change – he was struck by how many of his peers struggled with their own well-being and the effect this struggle had on their work. Having completed an extensive sabbatical himself after serving as co-founder of CanadaHelps and Vartana, Aaron knew the transformative effect of personal development. From this experience, he and several colleagues created the Wellbeing Project to connect inner work with social change. Co-creators of the three-year pilot project include leading organizations in their respective fields: Ashoka, Esalen Institute, the Fetzer Institute, and Synergos.

“We see that a profound key to the success of the many important social movements is supporting more deeply the well being of the individuals driving the movements,” said Aaron.

Last month Esalen welcomed the first cohort of 20 social entrepreneurs participating in the Wellbeing Project. These individuals are leading change in areas such as education, healthcare, microcredit for low-income communities, and human rights. The 18-month program includes additional retreats in Spain and Ireland as well as an individualized program, peer calls, and access to Wisdom Teachers. The two following cohort retreats will be held in Mexico, India, and Esalen. Ultimately, the goal is to share learnings from these experiences with the larger social change community in order to catalyze a larger shift in the field’s culture to one that embraces and supports inner work.

“The Wellbeing curriculum supports inner emotional exploration, personal processing, somatic sensing, and integration of contemplative tools like journaling, meditation, and movement practices,” said Cheryl Fraenzl, director of Programs at Esalen. “Delivering a comprehensive Esalen legacy curriculum will have powerful implications for the work that social entrepreneurs do and the tens of millions of people whose lives they touch. What will be equally as intriguing will be the information generated from the comprehensive research and data collection accompanying this project. This research will help us truly understand the impact of personal well being on social transformation.” The Fetzer Institute is leading the research component of the project to help measure its effectiveness.

The second of three cohort groups will kick off in January 2016 and participants will be scholars chosen from multiple social change organizations including Ashoka, Synergos, Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and the Schwab Foundation in partnership with World Economic Forum. At the completion of the three-year project, a total of 60 Fellows will have participated in the program. More than 30 learning partners worldwide will also have joined the conversation regarding the potential implications for the world of social change.

Partnerships, like the one with the Wellbeing Project, are made possible in part by the support of the Friends of Esalen Fund.

Learn more about the Wellbeing Project at http://www.wellbeing-project.org.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Bridging Personal Growth and Social Change

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop

Who cares for the care-givers?

When social entrepreneur Aaron Pereora was named a Fellow with the Ashoka organization – a worldwide network of more than 3,000 change makers leading positive social change – he was struck by how many of his peers struggled with their own well-being and the effect this struggle had on their work. Having completed an extensive sabbatical himself after serving as co-founder of CanadaHelps and Vartana, Aaron knew the transformative effect of personal development. From this experience, he and several colleagues created the Wellbeing Project to connect inner work with social change. Co-creators of the three-year pilot project include leading organizations in their respective fields: Ashoka, Esalen Institute, the Fetzer Institute, and Synergos.

“We see that a profound key to the success of the many important social movements is supporting more deeply the well being of the individuals driving the movements,” said Aaron.

Last month Esalen welcomed the first cohort of 20 social entrepreneurs participating in the Wellbeing Project. These individuals are leading change in areas such as education, healthcare, microcredit for low-income communities, and human rights. The 18-month program includes additional retreats in Spain and Ireland as well as an individualized program, peer calls, and access to Wisdom Teachers. The two following cohort retreats will be held in Mexico, India, and Esalen. Ultimately, the goal is to share learnings from these experiences with the larger social change community in order to catalyze a larger shift in the field’s culture to one that embraces and supports inner work.

“The Wellbeing curriculum supports inner emotional exploration, personal processing, somatic sensing, and integration of contemplative tools like journaling, meditation, and movement practices,” said Cheryl Fraenzl, director of Programs at Esalen. “Delivering a comprehensive Esalen legacy curriculum will have powerful implications for the work that social entrepreneurs do and the tens of millions of people whose lives they touch. What will be equally as intriguing will be the information generated from the comprehensive research and data collection accompanying this project. This research will help us truly understand the impact of personal well being on social transformation.” The Fetzer Institute is leading the research component of the project to help measure its effectiveness.

The second of three cohort groups will kick off in January 2016 and participants will be scholars chosen from multiple social change organizations including Ashoka, Synergos, Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and the Schwab Foundation in partnership with World Economic Forum. At the completion of the three-year project, a total of 60 Fellows will have participated in the program. More than 30 learning partners worldwide will also have joined the conversation regarding the potential implications for the world of social change.

Partnerships, like the one with the Wellbeing Project, are made possible in part by the support of the Friends of Esalen Fund.

Learn more about the Wellbeing Project at http://www.wellbeing-project.org.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Bridging Personal Growth and Social Change

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About

Esalen Team

Bridging Personal Growth and Social Change

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