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The power of touch

Touch is a powerful thing. It can be kind. It can be scary. It can be healing. In any way, it’s likely a big impact, in our lives and on our emotional state.

NOTE : this post will focus on the positive and importance of touch. It’s in no way meant to be dismissive of any bad experience, that may have left scars (which can hopefully be overcome with patience / kindness). It’s to promote all the good it can bring, when done respectfully & consensually.

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The power of presence and vulnerability

When was the last time you felt truly understood? When was the last time you felt deeply connected? When was the last time 200% of your attention was simply with one person, here and now?


In many ways, our modern Western society is constructed that it diametrically opposes crucial elements of our own human nature. The values and expectations that are being forced on people, contradict innate needs we have as a human being. The ever increasing focus on self, from constant “competition” to always “independent”, is our downfall and in first place to us as an individual, o the irony. We need to do more and we must do it all alone. We break away ourselves to only the cognitive. We narrowly limit “success” to what is quantifiable and have that definition rule -and often ruin- the world, as well as our lives. What is health? What is mental and emotional health?

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TALK – Reflections on well-being

October 2016, a travel to Scandinavia, hosting workshops and a talk about well-being at 2 Power Shift events, in Finland and Sweden respectively.  What follows is some of the material brought to participants.


While working on an international residential training in the youth climate movement about practical skills, the coordinator of Power Shift Finland send among the team an innocuous email asking for some input.  From sharing ideas and experience, over finding recognition, this became a conversation about team / project management and well-being.  Thus followed an invitation to be a workshop host, with the necessary support.  And given that Power Shift Sweden was only 1 week later, it was all too easy to host sessions there as well.  Starting point was twice the established validation workshop and then adding more / new content.

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Validation (well-being workshop)

Validation is a 90 minutes workshop about well-being.


Introduction and video of “validation”, followed by a creative process to see and appreciate people as they are.

In order to face our daunting task to make the world better, not only “product” but also process and people matter.  Movements mostly run on volunteers, who are diverse.  Therefore it’s important to recognise and voice the positive in people and (their) work.

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Prioritising well-being

Working on a just world is something that many people, including myself, are passionate about.  There’s so many things that need change, often with a sense of urgency.  We see this translated into e.g. a climate (justice) movement.  Fiercely we try to make change happen, but in reality that takes a long time, a very long time.  And we becomes a mirror of the world we try to change : notably also drop out, lock out, burn out, etc.

So what about well-being ?  Shouldn’t we start prioritising that ?

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