We are very thankful for the funding of our Serenity Fest event held on November 26th at the Harrison Memorial Cultural Centre in Crawford Bay. It was a truly magical event that was both fun, participatory and educational.

It started at 4 pm with a session of Self -Reflexology that allowed people to learn more about the interconnectedness of different parts of their bodies. For some, this was the first time that they heard about this simple yet effective way of improving one’s health. The audience was mixed, younger, middle age to quite old. We were happy to see some children diligently pressing the soles of their feet and discovering the deeper connections. The following session of Chi Kung was also enthusiastically followed and people commented how much fresh energy they felt from these exercises. The sound healing session that included several gongs, crystal bowls and Tibetan healing bowls was simply amazing and took participants into very deep inner places.

The collaborative art project was a huge success with both young and old audiences. It was touching to see the children getting quieter and quieter as they were becoming more and more absorbed in the process of painting. Some of the older people were pleasantly surprised that painting can be such an “easy” and also “pleasurable” activity. It was obvious that many were working through their inner barriers and long held beliefs of how “hard it is to paint”. The end result was also a surprise – a bold and beautiful piece of collaborative art that will soon grace the wall of the building.

The event had a good natural flow, was well planned and organized. We have approached some local healers to present their modalities and we mostly got an enthusiastic response. Presentations were interesting and captivated peoples’s interest. Because the concept was of an “open house” from 4 – 10 pm, the audiences were coming in and out. The art project went on during the entire event.

Our main challenge was in the initial stages of envisioning and planning the event. It was a challenge to decide on the format of the event and what should be included and in what sequence. Once we have decided on the vision, things became much easier. Then, the next hurdle was when some people got involved only to cancel their participation few days later. We learned that it is not always super easy to work with volunteer energy as people promise something but then change their mind. We have learned that “maybe” is much worse than a straight “no”. A “maybe” is confusing, steal valuable time from organizers. We learned that a simple “no” is much kinder and usually some “yes” people are always just around the corner, willing to help. There were 4 core people involved in organizing.

The process was good and the resulting piece of art is beautiful. At the end we took a quick vote with our audience, whether or not we should considering offering similar events in the future. The answer was a loud resounding “yes”! We are therefore encouraged to organize these sort of participatory events in the future on a more regular basis. It was your financial support that made our “trial event” possible and we wish to express our gratitude to your organization.
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