Report on the first training for facilitators of
Living Values Activities for Young Offenders,
1-6th April, Gold Coast, Australia
The training also focused significantly on the importance of highly effective facilitation and listening skills to support youth as they go through the lessons. The trainers main challenge during the training was that the young offenders book contains so many wonderful lessons it was not easy to select which ones should be used in the training!
On day six the participants created plans for applying the program in both Australia and Bali.Some of the comments received from participants:
“Broadening my understanding of Living Values to a very different level.”
“This training consolidated what I already knew about Living Values and reinforced the format and methods, it provided a huge leap in the creative ways in which it could be applied beyond the school situation.”
“Every aspect has helped to revitalise my enthusiasm.”
“The entire sessions were fantastic, I am so grateful for what I learned here. This training is so inspirational and maintains the values throughout.”
As the Focal Point for Australia we can say that the workshop was a success from every point of view. We learned so much from witnessing the facilitation skills of a Lead Trainer and so much more about the opportunities that Living Values has as a potential for change in the world.
While a six day workshop is a challenge for attendance to have the depth of the sessions, opportunity to engage in role playing, group breakouts and really engage the material we do not see how it would be possible to do the workshop in less time and have the same full benefit as we experienced.
We would encourage all associates and focal points to consider this workshop, perhaps on a regional basis, for the rejuvenation of facilitators.
There are so many applications where LVAYO could be applied and we would encourage a review of the name to widen the possibilities for it allows us to address 'real life' challenges not just for Young Offenders but all areas where people are in crisis both young and old. This program takes Living Values to a completely new level where it truly becomes a dynamic tool for human development.
LVAYO already provides a solid basis and framework for a Community Values manual that will help people everywhere. Is this where we should be putting out focus?
The Law of Attraction
So why don’t I have enough money? Why do I have ill health? Why are my relationships unsatisfactory?
“As I sow, so shall I reap”
I wonder if there are still people who believe that there is an alternative possibility to this statement. Because for an alternative to be true would require a complete restructuring of the laws of nature, for no matter what action I choose in any moment I set in a place a stream of reactions. Equally the feeling I hold in any moment will bring me the result of my attitude, even writing this short article will release certain consequences. That is known as the Law of Cause and Effect and it is closely connected to the Law of Attraction. What I feel at the deepest level of my being (often referred to as the unconscious mind) shapes my reactions and perceptions and that will determine what I attract into my experience.
So, if we assume that there is validity to the last statement let’s see how far we can play with the Law of Attraction. If what I reap is the result of what I sow, would it not mean then that I am responsible for ‘my crop’ – the quantity, the quality and if my sowing was related to my behavior then it follows that my life circumstances, are directly related to that behavior. What I put out at a feeling Ievel, I get back. That is a bit challenging isn’t it?
So why don’t I have enough money or good health? Why are my relationships uncertain? If the Law of Attraction is true then all of these situations are of my own making and there must come a time when I have to be willing to assume responsibility for what is happening. I am either at the effect of something, or I am creating it. Am I a victim or am I experiencing the results of dropping pebbles in the pond of my life, returning as ripples on the surface of my life? Stay with me for a moment and I will share because in the experiment of my life I can assure you that I have found this to be true, so I fully accept responsibility for my creation and there is only one person who can change it, me.
How do I harness the power of the Law of Attraction and make it work for me. Firstly by recognizing that this Law operates like all fundamental laws, without judgment, it is not personal and is certainly not vindictive. It is simply an unbiased natural response mechanism – a GPS system by which my life is reflected back to me. This provides me with a means of truly coming to understand the deeper levels of my emotions and it is a means by which, if I choose I can understand what it is to be happy and fulfilled. I just have to be willing to bring awareness to what I am being shown in every moment. The Law of Attraction is a moment by moment demonstration of my emotional projections. Notice it is not what I think, it is what I feel. The mind is not the engine here, it is the observer. I only have to notice what feeling is present that creates a parking space where I want it or doesn’t, the bank has no queue, a friend calls when I need help, I get cut off in traffic, I receive a kind word or helping hand, the simplest things in an unending flow are what build our total life experience, that eventually shape what we believe.
Taking personal responsibility is the first step and this includes the acceptance that yes, I have many emotions that I want to ignore or disown. It’s much easier to project them than to feel them and own them; after all being human does take practice. Yet if I don’t start to change now I will not have any benefit in the future. So how do I change and harness the beauty of this Law?
If I accept the benefit of the Law of Attraction, how might I live more consciously? What tools might I engage to help me navigate my life, aid me to be more aware? Why not start with basic human values, that was how it started for me. These values when applied in my life provide my opportunity to make corrective choices away from what might have been my inherited behavioral response from my past and genetic patterning. There are many beacons or Values – we all recognize them, even if we don’t always apply them – they are how we would like to be treated and they are inherent, seeded in each of us. Remember, “As I sow, so shall I reap”. Here are some of the most common ones…Peace, Love, Respect, Tolerance, Responsibility, Cooperation, Honesty, Humility, Happiness, Simplicity, Freedom, and Unity. Imagine for one moment if these values were present in every interaction in your home, in the workplace, schools, and the community.
These Values as I apply them in my life immediately create a change, a new dynamic in my Law of Attraction. I am simply getting back what I put out, and so is everyone else, because “I deserve” it, a simple dynamic of Cause and Effect. There is no mystery here, no magic; it is just simple common sense. Imagine a world where everyone understood and lived in the understanding of how they create their own experience, and they truly lived their values, not for anyone else, but for themselves, the collective effect would change everything.
Living Values Australia
Man in the Mirror by Laura Re
“I’m starting with the man in the mirror,
I’m asking him to change his ways,
and no message could have been any clearer,
IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE, TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF AND MAKE THE CHANGE!” Michael Jackson
It’s no wonder that Living Values Education found me with this being my favorite song! The message is not only clear, it’s true, and it’s been said again and again…”Be the change you want to see in the world!” So why aren’t we getting it? We hear it, we all nod and say, “Yes, that sounds and feels true” but how many of us still look outside of ourselves and seek change ‘out there’? Maybe the message is clear, but the ‘how to?’ is not. How do we ‘Be the change?” What if the ‘how to?’ was as clear as the message itself?
When I first immersed myself in living values in a back to back workshop marathon, I never would have imagined I would have such fun, experience such a freedom of expression and engage in joyful activities of self-exploration and be radically transformed at the same time! I was used to personal development workshops being serious business.
The pearls of wisdom weaved throughout the entire program and the realisations sparked permanent change within myself. I was awakened to the power of simplicity, the beauty of unity and the grace of humility. The core values such as peace, respect and honesty are not discussed as definitions and intellectual ideas, but are lived through experiential activities, games and creative reflection tools. You are really living them, not just talking about them.
When I arrived home after having been immersed in the workshop for a week, I instantly noticed a shift in the way I communicated with my two girls, aged 6 and 2. I felt an intimate connection with them as if we were on the same level. I had always regarded them as little people, but never truly saw the world through their eyes. I became aware of all the subtleties of what it must feel like to be that height, that age and have that quality of innocence and newness in everything they experience. I knew what they longed for most and knew exactly what they needed in order to communicate and interact with the world. It was remarkably strange but incredibly beautiful to truly feel from their perspective the non-verbal ways adults can either nurture our little ones or rob them of experiencing the fullest in every moment. Remarkably, a year after the workshop and this initial shift in perception, I am still finding that I am in that free, innocent and connected place with my girls!
We all want to see a peaceful world, we all want to see our leaders and politicians hold honesty and integrity, and we all want our loved ones to be happy. We cannot see though that we are expecting peace, honesty, integrity and happiness to be reflected back to us, instead of simply being concerned with how we can reflect those values into the world. Are we truly at peace when we are running late for work and stuck in traffic? Are we able to be honest right now about how we live in integrity each day? Do we wake up each day and feel the quality of happiness that we are living in our authenticity and following our heart’s desires? If we feel frustration, limitation, impatience, and intolerance with ourselves, how do we expect to see it ‘out there’?
Living Values calls us to be radically honest with ourselves and how we respond to everyday situations. It is like the values are rekindled within and they are the keys which enable us to face and overcome the challenges of daily life. The workshops provide such a deep infusion of how to respond with values at the heart of every decision, that it is undeniably noticeable when they are temporarily absent. It is really feeling the difference in the body and state of being when we choose arrogance over humility, conflict over peace, disrespect over respect, complexity over simplicity and inauthenticity over honesty. We come to see that the choice really is ours and how it feels not to respond in a loving way. It is like time slows down and one can see the path they are choosing to go down. Therefore when one stands at a crossroad in their life, it is in their power to choose which road to take – the one that leads us to love and loving experiences or the one that takes us down the opposing path. Through the teachings of Living Values we learn that this choice can be both empowering and incredibly profound.
Living Values has not only transformed my internal world, but has directly impacted my whole family, from my partner, my children, to my extended family and friends around me. It has been through them seeing the change in me that sparked their curiosity and affected the choices they are making. “HOW TO BE?” the change that you want to see in the world is now loud and clear, available and attainable, and it’s as simple as starting with The Man in the Mirror.
Living Values - a baby boomer's dream come true? by Norid Krausz
Have you ever wanted to “give back”? And then have you got bogged down in “but how?” There seem to be so many needs – in our own community, in our own country, in our own region – from the very small needs for blankets and food by the people down the road, to the very large needs for houses and infrastructure at the latest site of devastation from a tsunami or an earthquake. Where on earth to begin? Well, right here, in our own heads and hearts! Who’d have thought? It’s called Living Values Education.
I first read about this in the Living Now magazine I like so much and I was intrigued enough to learn more. So I signed up for a workshop and spent the weekend learning about this program. The world is full of the most amazing things and this certainly has to be one of them.
Here is a quote from the Living Values Education International website:
“Living Values Education was initially developed by educators for educators in consultation with the Education Cluster of UNICEF, New York, and the Brahma Kumaris. Twenty educators from five continents met at UNICEF Headquarters in New York in August of 1996 to discuss the needs of children around the world, their experiences of working with values, and how educators can integrate values to better prepare students for lifelong learning. Using Living Values: A Guidebook and the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a framework, the global educators identified and agreed upon the purpose and aims of values-based education worldwide — in both developed and developing countries.”
What is even more amazing to me is that I can be part of this education program, and the way I see it, this is a tiny (but giant) step towards world peace.
You know the saying “give a person a fish and they’ll eat for one day, but teach a person how to fish and they can provide for themselves for ever”. Well, to me, this Living Values Education is in the same footy field. Bear with me while I draw this rather long bow.
If harmony prevails in a country or a region, then war cannot flourish. If harmony prevails in a community then infrastructure can be built by that community (rather than for). Bringing it closer to home, if harmony prevails in a school, bullying simply drops away – no need for stern measures or punishment (which is in itself a form of bullying).*
I believe that we attract what we focus on – and if the focus is on selfishness and disrespect – then we have wars, arguments, boundary disputes with our neighbours and so on. Equally, if the focus is on respect, tolerance, freedom, cooperation, responsibility then we can ultimately live in harmony because fear and all its horrible relatives have been shown the door.
We don’t mean to focus on disrespect etc. it just kind of happens in our society – but these Values will bring about a change in focus. The great thing about this course (yes, back to the course I just did) is that it does not impose anything on the participants – it seeks simply to reveal what is already inside us, to give us tools to access the loveliness that is in us all. Think about it – really, really – which one feels better – to assist someone, somehow, or to hate, slander, sledge or hurt someone in some way? Unfortunately we often give in to our baser instincts and it may feel powerful and exhilarating for a moment, but that quickly gives way to what I call emotional indigestion – feeling pretty yucky inside. I personally prefer the feeling I get from assisting, from giving, and I bet you do too.
The Living Values course works on the personal level first, and then enables you, if you wish, to take it to the wider community and involve others in this different way of being and thinking – or should I say – this truly human way of being.
There are two websites to visit. The International one and the Australian one. If you’re a baby boomer like me, who now has the time and the resources to follow the dream of “giving back” then this may be your dream come true!
* The Values Education is for all individuals and communities at all levels. So it will benefit your local school, your own business, your own self or the people of Indonesia, war torn Sudan or anywhere else you can imagine. As I see it, this is world peace, one person at a time – from the ground up. Exciting!
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