“A path to our Inner Child” – Self-awareness Training in Klaffer, Austria

In the last week of March, as Easter approached, an exceptional opportunity arose for three young people from Transylvania to participate in a unique journey. From March 24th to 31st, they embarked on a journey towards their inner child. Our team of three embarked on this self-awareness journey to Klaffer, a small Austrian village, to participate in the SOULFUL: a path to embrace your Inner Child training organized by our partner Kinderfreunde. Read on for their report.

The journey wasn’t without its hiccups, but we managed to turn the long wait to our advantage. Before our training, we explored the beautiful downtown of the capital, rich in classical buildings.

Arriving in Klaffer, in the beautiful venue of Mühlviertel, after enjoying a warm dinner, we immediately began getting to know each other in a playful way. We ended the long day with rest, acquainting ourselves with our temporary home.

We started the first day by getting to know each other on a deeper level, aiming to become a real team for smooth collaborative work. In addition to games, we gained some basic psychological knowledge, focusing on self-awareness and connecting with our inner child through artistic and communicative activities. The group quickly bonded, as shared board games and conversations became a familiar routine after meals.

The second day focused on exploring the sources of our everyday behaviors and manifestations based on the theories of psychologist Eric Berne, and we examined the roles we play in different life situations. We quickly put theory into practice by creating short plays, and in the afternoon, we delved into one of the most unconventional trends in literature: the Dadaism of the 20th century. The emphasis here was also on experiential learning, so we immediately engaged in entertaining creations.

One of the highlights of the training was the cultural evening, where participants from eight countries had the opportunity to introduce the group to the food, customs, dances, and backgrounds of their own countries. Our team provided a taste of Romanian, Hungarian, and Szekler cultures, which naturally included dancing and toasting.

On the third day, another art form took center stage: the art of photography, which allowed us to become writers and poets again for a short time. During our improvised exhibition, we got a glimpse into the wonderful world of Vivian Maier’s photographs. In addition to the continuous team-building and self-awareness exploration, the afternoon was spent deepening our relationships and tuning into each other, during which we indulged in “positive gossip” divided into small groups.

“Fun is a serious thing.” This was the motto of the fourth day, which allowed us to fly back to a happy childhood, reliving the joy and curiosity of being a child, which still lies deep within us. We rediscovered the pleasure of small things, such as blowing bubbles, and then playing our favorite childhood games again. In the afternoon, we participated in a special program as we visited the Villa ingenious, Museum of Perception.

By Friday, we could consider ourselves a tightly knit team, so we were tasked with putting together our own play, which was performed at the end of the day. In our performance, we tried to summarize the activities and lessons of the week in a humorous, playful, and occasionally deep way, which we also formulated during the evaluation on the last full day.

With a heavy heart, we bid farewell to Klaffer on Sunday, which had become our home over the past week, as it was also a spiritual journey that enriched us with unforgettable experiences and memories. Close relationships were formed as we quickly tuned into each other while trying to connect with ourselves, our inner voices, and, most importantly, with the sincere, liberated, curious, and playful child within us.