Sustaining our Wellbeing and Values
Programme participant Maria Henry shares her experiences and thoughts on Session Five held in Christchurch and Hanmer Springs
The buzz is wearing off but the feeling of being alive still remains - LNZ Hanmer awakened every sense in my body and mind. Having arrived in Christchurch the night before I think I slept 12 hours in the whole three days! I didn’t want to miss a moment to soak in the people, place, aroha and connection (not to mention the hot pools) for a minute. My body didn’t thank me for it but has now made a full recovery.
Going into Session Five at Hanmer I had a real sense that a pivotal change would take place – a gut feeling that something special was going to happen – and I was right. I was given the tools to help my life journey – to grow as a person and therefore as a leader and certainly as a friend, parent and partner. To look inwards and truly take a look at how I could identify and achieve the vision I wanted to create for myself.
We started our Hanmer journey in Christchurch with a sobering yet fascinating tour of the destruction wrought by the earthquake of 2011. The utter devastation of Christchurch is painfully evident and the city feels like a tumbledown reflection of its former glory – waiting to be brought back to life but not too sure how or what that is going to look like. Kia kaha Christchurch is something we hear often but I know the people are already strong and the city and its people will work some magic and rebuild, as one of our guest speakers stated “with integrity”.
Our Friday session at PGC Wrightson involved guest speakers and I found these to be rewarding and thought provoking. The speakers were engaged and engaging and some crunchy conversations took place with each speaker happy to give their all and share personal stories and insights.
However, it was Saturday that proved to be the main event for me – work on self, ‘communing with nature’, body work and meditations – LNZ feels like a parallel universe – real but removed somehow from the machinations of day to day life – a real and rare opportunity to be authentic in a safe environment.
After a dip in the pools I thoroughly enjoyed the dinner challenge on Saturday night which was followed by singing and dancing. I believe there really is a feeling of being in a safe environment where it’s ok to sing and dance even if you weren’t made for the stage (still waiting for the call back!) – no one is judging.
The next day saw more performing – this time with role playing – placing humanity under scrutiny. I think most people thoroughly enjoyed this and everyone got into character and really engaged with the session. The group enjoyed a get together at lunchtime to share any issues and check in with each other – this was a very useful session.
Sadly our time ended all too quickly and we set about saying our farewells with much hugging and promises to connect in between sessions. The bus trip back to Christchurch was a very useful time for people to process, make any last connections and begin to think about re-engaging with the ‘other’ universe. I can’t believe we’ve only got four sessions left.