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Catalyzing Collective Strength into Collective Action: Hope and Healing at Hollyhock 

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I feel a responsibility to turn away from despair, which for me has always been a paralytic emotion, driving me to disconnection rather than action. But I am coming to learn that hope is not just an emotion, but rather a practice and a responsibility. And the best way I have found to cultivate hope is to spend time on the land with other people who feel as passionate about making a difference in their communities as I do. That is why I first came to Hollyhock and why I keep coming back; the extraordinary people who generously share their enthusiasm, insights, and relational presence each season. 

Throughout my conversations at Hollyhock this year, it is clear that many are feeling the strain of navigating the multifaceted challenges that seem to be an ever-increasing reality. My experience is no exception! Temperatures continue to rise globally, while extreme weather events have become the norm. Food banks are feeling the strain of exponential rise in families seeking support to meet basic needs. And our existing institutions seem less and less able to respond to address these rising crises. 

It’s more clear to me than ever that creating spaces where individuals can come together is key. It’s about bringing unique perspectives and life experience to converge, not just for solutioning, but also for rest, joy, and healing in community. These collaborative environments become incubators for creativity, innovation, and, most importantly, understanding. In the face of the global polycrisis, this understanding becomes the foundation for effective and sustainable solutions.

The necessity for such communities is accentuated by the urgency of the issues we face. The global polycrisis demands swift and thoughtful responses that can only arise from collaborative intelligence. When people from various backgrounds come together, their collective knowledge becomes a force capable of tackling challenges that transcend the boundaries of individual expertise.

It is not enough to bring together a whole range of people, we also need environments where people can be their whole selves, and practice learning with intelligences that go beyond what lies solely in the mind. This is why Hollyhock focuses on a whole-person approach to programming, we seek to bring people together to connect with land; address and resolve societal and personal burn-out, identify and organize against individual and social inequity.

Hollyhock programs are:

  • Experiential: A whole-person approach grounded in somatic, mindful, and arts-based practice
  • Relational: Interactive expert and peer-to-peer learning is facilitated to foster deep relationships that last well beyond the program
  • Applied: Practical problem-solving to advance your work; draw on your real-world experiences for learning; a sandbox for practicing skills
  • Land-based: Whether in person or online, the wisdom of the land is integrated

We understand that learning in a group experience refers not only to bringing people together, but assembling the different parts of our wisdom that rise tending our whole selves; body, spirit and mind. 

As we look to the future and the unknowns it holds, let us continue to recognize the strength inherent in places where complexity and nuance are embraced. Learning communities serve as essential hubs where the diversity of human experience converges, providing the necessary depth and interconnectedness to confront the intricacies of our world. In doing so, we equip ourselves to face the complexities of our global polycrisis with resilience, understanding, and a collaborative spirit.

Hollyhock is a place where collective strength is catalyzed into collection action. Join us in 2024 to find, share, and deepen powerful ways of thinking and being.

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