This blog was originally written for Knowmads Business School Amsterdam.
#4 How a tribe can allow vulnerability
One of the deepest fears I can have is to be vulnerable, and half of the time I am not even aware of this subconscious fear. When breaking through these barriers, I can suddenly feel myself landing, grounding. As if not being true to yourself makes everything seem clouded, because you don’t allow all of your feelings. When a part of yourself is being ignored, this can feel scary and mysterious, if you cannot see through something, it can make you feel a bit unstable. How can you be a whole human being while missing/ignoring a part?
Having been at Knowmads for a little longer, I witnessed some changes starting to happen. People are hugging, touching more and longer, staying over longer and seem to be more at ease with each other. To me, it seems that to go deep into a journey you have to be vulnerable, you have to unfold parts of yourself. Because the moment you crack, break down and surrender, more of your amazing light can shine through the cracks in your being. Being in a small group and having lots of contact time can provide a safe space to discover your boundaries, deepest fears and biggest dreams. You can truly learn how to live with yourself, through learning how to live with others.
I think being together as a Knowmads family allows more vulnerability to flow.
This vulnerability allows us to grow. Grow from our core energy, the life energy that we receive when being born in this world. This energy wants us to explore freely, without being held back by our own beliefs of what maybe our friends, family or colleague or anyone will think of us when we’ll follow this energy. It is the same careless freedom we see in children, the same freedom we watch dissipate as time goes by and people grow up.
Before I went to art school, I tried the conventional path, studying at a big university. Being in formal education, in a big University building, I felt incredibly alienated. Sitting, thinking and writing in a group of 500 people in a big lecture hall made me feel so disconnected to the people around me and to myself. Maybe this happened because the surroundings or this way of being educated just is not right for me. But when I found a smaller school, my art school in Breda, I studied amongst a small group of people, allowing me to create strong bonds. I could be vulnerable; I could develop myself because I was safe in this small group.
This is what is always freeing me the most, being vulnerable, held and taking a step forward by knowing myself in a different and new way every time. Tearing down the wall of fear that prevents me from growing into the person I know I can be, in the presence of a supportive and holding community.
This is why I think having a tribe while studying (and in general, in our wild and colourful lives) seems very essential to me. To me, this is one of the most empowering and important aspects of education, and at Knowmads, the tribe is central, it is where everything comes together and everyone is invited to open themselves, be vulnerable, and to grow into their next selves!