Hannah Strange, Ruckus’s Training Director, just returned from a week long workshop on How to do Transformational Work, lead by Training for Change’s longtime director, George Lakey.
In working for social justice, many of us are held back from our true power to make change by limiting beliefs. "I am not the right person to lead this group." "Direct Action won’t help us make a difference in our community’s struggle." These beliefs are held in place by strong, often painful emotions. People can cling to their limiting beliefs as a way to stay comfortable, and avoid dealing with those powerful emotions.
As trainers, we have a choice – we can design trainings that allow people to continue to hide their power, or we can support participants to express the emotions that limit them. By letting the emotion out, people can loosen up and start to see a new perspective.
But expressing an emotion is not the end goal! Trainers need to provide opportunities for participants to practice new behaviors so they won’t fall back into the same trap. As Training for Change puts it, "In working with someone transformationally, the trainer actually follows the classic model of experiential learning: experience, reflect, generalize, apply."
I am excited about bringing some of this new perspective to The Ruckus Society. In a time in which so many of us feel despair about the state of the world, Ruckus’s gatherings can be supportive and inspiring places to access our power and move beyond limiting beliefs. I’ll work hard to make sure our trainings and Action Camps support transformational learning, in addition to sharing creative nonviolent Direct Action skills.
You can find out more about the training online at Training for Change’s website, http://trainingforchange.org/content/view/122/34/.