connection before content: Here, Obáfémi sets the tone for open exchange, safety and mutual respect by making brief contact with individual participants, telling the story of his spiritual journey, clarifying logistics of the day, how the retreat functions as the kickoff event for the OLA16 Movement, and inviting everyone to participate fully.
introductions: To emphasize the importance of collective thought and ideation, and to dissolve any imagined barrier between leader and participant, each person briefly introduces himself or herself. This affirms the importance of each individual as a unique contributor to the group’s collective wisdom, which will be tested extensively throughout the OLA16 adventure.
increasing awareness: The OLA16 journey begins with a challenge.In this workshop segment, Obáfémi combines scientific data, storytelling and group discussion to outline the world’s problems. Special attention is given to the relationship between the economy, the environment, politics and human culture. This is where participants come face-to-face with the array of unintended consequences that result from the consumer economy, including our present society’s isolation from nature, our loss of humanity and most importantly, our lack of spiritual maturity. This segment is the reality check. It helps us come to grips with the severity of the world’s desperate need for change.
emotional association: Deep within each of us is the longing to live a life of significance, to make a meaningful contribution. The ability to triumph over mediocrity, however, depends on one’s ability to identify personal passion and embrace the hero within. During this segment, Obáfémi taps the archetypal forces within mythology and personal narrative to awaken the participants’ most heartfelt aspirations and intuitive understanding of their personal truths. This segment invokes our irresistible will to leave a legacy.
perceived self-efficacy: The reluctant hero represents our conditioned compulsion to be ordinary, to just fit in. Most of us are not comfortable being heroes. We do not usually feel worthy of the call to action and change. In this segment, Obáfémi uses interactive exercises to reinforce participants’ belief in their ability to change their own behavior, learned or inherent. More precisely, the elements of personal change are broken down into smaller and smaller parts and participants are guided to see the many ways in which they are already practicing everyday heroism. The thousands of actions and practices that we all undertake form who we are and how we want to be in the world. Over time, repeated small actions scale up and become 2nd nature. Gradually, Òrìsà Lifestyle is achieved.
motivation to act: WIIFM? (What’s in it for me?) Obáfémi has helped more than 50 thousand people make personal rituals that represent small actions that have big impact on their lives. The benefits have been as diverse and as the people who have made individual Agreements: After years of failed attempts, Jaime quit smoking once and for all to ensure more time with his grandchildren. Olajitare is using green cleaning supplies because she knows the EPA recently determined that the air quality INSIDE American homes is worse than the air OUTSIDE. Add to that the fact that she knows the run off from green cleansers will not be harmful to the sacred rivers and ocean and she feels the benefit is tremendous. What you will get out of it will depend on who you are and what your values are.
agreement: The longest journey begins with a single step, in this case an agreement. Money, for example, has no intrinsic worth. It is paper printed at the mint. We literally MAKE money. Its value is based entirely upon our collective agreement. Imagine what will happen when millions of people deliberately take on actions and practices that are aligned with the highest aspirations of Òrìsà Lifestyle. In this way, Òrìsà Lifestyle Agreements will help us create 16 generations of sustainable culture.
skills development: With our Òrìsà Lifestyle Agreements made, now we are ready to roll up our sleeves and plan a grassroots campaign to reach andmobilize our communities around real life concerns and opportunities. Participants will practice one-on-one conversations, public speaking and design communications platforms for creating strategic alliances with local organizations and related activities.
creating opportunities to act: In south Texas, a group of participants joined forces with the neighborhood school to participate in the creation of a micro-society, wherein the students learned ways to make sustainable culture part of everything from the post office to the supermarket. Osuntoki, who is the president of her neighborhood association, took advantage of the opportunity to create a much needed recycling program. This segment of the retreat will use small group activities to cull collective knowledge about what already exists in your community to create opportunities to act in accordance with your Òrìsà Lifestyle Agreement and invite others to do the same.
responding to demand: As you might imagine, once you start to show up in this new capacity, Òrìsà consciousness will gradually become contagious. People will be curious and will want to know more, as well as get involved. This segment will use scenario mapping to help you plan out your best responses to the community's increased demand for Òrìsà Lifestyle Agreements.
facilitating change: Òrìsà Lifestyle Agreements are intended to create small, but significant change, which means many things to people inside and outside the Òrìsà community. More significantly, change can be very challenging because it makes people feel vulnerable. Human identity is deeply connected to familiarity. When we create change - even positive change - many people feel threatened. During this segment of the retreat, we will explore best practices of change management in order to make the experience fruitful, as well as compassionate for all involved.
celebrating successes: During this segment, you will learn more about the "OLA16 Help Desk." Following the OLA16 Retreat, you are encouraged to participate in four weeks of hour-long conference calls. Each call will be organized around a theme that supports organizational benchmarks. Designed to facilitate peer-to-peer education and support, the calls will invite participants to troubleshoot common problems and celebrate our collective success with creating a powerful global movement to reclaim our future.
commitment before closure: What gets measured gets done. This segment of the retreat invites each participant to affirm her or his OLA16, as well as make one commitment to the group. This serves as both accountability and encouragement.
Dates: October 31-November 1, 2015
Location: Oakland, CA
Tuition: $399 (Register 3 and the 4th attends for FREE)
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION ENDS AUGUST 1, 2015
ALL REGISTRATION ENDS OCTOBER 1, 2015
Now is the time to integrate Orisa Lifestyle into how we heal trauma, lead organizations and build community! Join us as we focus on the relationship between African spirituality and the human services. We will discover collaborative and practical ways to live the medicine that will heal our lives and the lives of those we serve.