Sharing about what it’s like to be young
We live in uncertain times of extremes, polarisation and fragmentation. People need each other more than ever. We need to work together, in mutual trust and solidarity. So let us realise that love is stronger then everything. Youth is a phase in which people are extra vulnerable. In this lifemap scenario younger and older generations reflect in an intuitive way how life is/was for them, in their youth. The landscapes, stickers and symbols inspire them to create an image of their youth on the poster. The poster becomes a temporary homebase, from which they tell each other their stories, while the others listen, with full attention. The intention of this scenario is to create a welcoming space for all to be fully present and share with each other from who they are.
The image shows the lifemap building blocks
A lifemap scenario and workshop for a self-chosen group of four. Each group member works with the lifemap building blocks shown in the image: the being young stickers, which are an extended version of the life stickers, the life symbols and a landscape poster which comes with a second symbol set with bigger stickers.
The overarching goal for this scenario
The overarching goal for this scenario is to offer a care-ful, playful approach for groups of young people and for intergenerational communication, to create moments of wholeness and joy.
Dedicated to young people
It is always a wonder to see how babies are born, children grow up and young people mature. This lifemap scenario is dedicated to young adults.
Every group member in a workshop fills in their own poster, in an intuitive and playful way. It feels like you are going on a journey in your own life. The life stickers contain a broad collection of life themes. The intention is, that they represent life as a whole, when you are/were young. The poster offers landscapes, which evoke thoughts, emotions, moods, beliefs, desires… Going through the landscapes, you can find the kind of environments you are looking for to position each of the key life themes you have selected. The bigger symbols add a personal touch to your poster and help you to immerse yourself in the process.
Life starts with a phase in which all people are dependent on others, in which they are open and vulnerable. During the individual mapping difficult and easy, sad and joyful, heavy and light, stormy and peaceful events surface. You reflect about people and conditions and their influence on you, whether you have experienced discord or harmony, distance or closeness, distrust or trust. Emotions can arise, so it is important to choose a space in which you feel comfortable and to take your time to fill in the poster and let everything sink in.
Can you imagine how it would be, when you would share your poster with others and tell your personal story to others? This is what lifemaps facilitate. No intimate details are shown on the poster, since the text stickers are at a conceptual level. Nobody can guess what you meant by your choice of landscapes. Telling your story means going through the life themes on the poster and using the chosen landscapes to elaborate on them. You don’t have to think up anything else or prepare for it. Each workshop programme will start with getting acquainted with the poster and practicing storytelling, using it. When you actually tell your story it will come naturally and flow easily. Have you ever told anyone the story of your youth? It will be a special event to experience how other people listen to you without interruption.
Children are unique individuals, from the moment they were born. In a civilised world older generations take responsibility to support, protect and empower them. Many adults will admit, of course, that they have made failures or did things which they regret, in hindsight, while raising their children or dealing with young people. But… this is not what this lifemap scenario is about. Every adult has been young once. This lifemap process leads them back to their youth. They get the same invitation: to fill in their poster, remembering how life was for them, when they were young. Intergenerational communication can suffer for the lack of level playingfield. Sharing an image of the reality of youth will create a clear ground to encounter each other.
Every workshop programme is tailor-made for a group, for example by working with a key question or a bringing in a certain context. The customisation of the lifemap scenario and the design of the workshop programme is done in cooperation with the young people themselves. A workshop will be hosted (or co-hosted) with someone who is profoundly familiar with what it means to be young, from life experience or from their own work. A host (or co-host) needs to be capable to hold the energy high and create a safe space for all.
Symbols are added to personalise the poster
A workshop programme starts with the individual exploration of the landscape poster and the personalisation of the poster with the images on the big stickers. A Zoom call follows with a short group introduction and questions and aswers about the poster, the process and how to choose text stickers. In a second round of individual work, people fill in the poster with text stickers. It is important, that they get enough time to do this, typically 1+ hours, to fully immerse in the process and create a filled-in poster that gives them a sense of completion. The next programme round is all about storytelling and listening to the stories told by others. Questions for the purpose of clarification and complementation are allowed; there is no discussion. This can take up 2 hours.
This lifemap scenario offers an experience. It can be part of a programme for youth or for an intergenerational event. For the mapping process individuals need to be in a spacious, relaxed and harmonious environment. Storytelling works well on Zoom. Additional benefit of Zoom is, that the stories can be recorded.
Personal safety and privacy
How the built-in lifemap process faciliates a safe environment for sharing and how personal information is protected during the workshop and in the presentation of the harvest will be discussed elaborately, in advance.