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‘Profound, Fundamental Experiences’ at Adventures in Clean


When someone books on the same event two years running, it seems logical to infer they must have got something good out of it the first time. So, when Kay booked on Adventures in Clean for the second year in a row, we caught up with her to ask her about her first experience, and what’s she’s hoping for from the second…

So, Kay, why did you attend Adventures in Clean in 2022?

Because I'm so interested in clean, and it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. I'd done some training in Clean Language with Annemiek van Helsdingen and I wanted to really deepen that knowledge - and how could I turn down the opportunity to spend some time with the world's leading practitioners and teachers in clean?

So, what was it like?

It was a multi-dimensional, a kind of multi-level experience, because there are different elements to it…

There’s the whole welcome and the culture which is largely down to Caitlin and Shaun. They set the context and the environment and it’s very welcoming, accepting and non-judgmental. There's a total lack of awkwardness. I quite often feel quite socially inept, like, “Am I going to say the right thing? I don't know who to talk to….” And because of the way the culture was set, I didn't feel that there. I felt very welcome, accepted. 

And right from the beginning, it's established - in a very nice way – that you need to take responsibility for yourself, as in “Whatever you need to get out of these days, make sure you get it.” And that's quite empowering. Because if you think about it, we're the only people who can tell what we need. I found that very useful, incredibly powerful learning, just to really embed that within my system, “I'm the one who knows what I need, and what I want. All I need to do is notice, pay attention.” 

And there was a lot of flexibility. You can choose who to work with at different points – and there are different kinds of experience: one-to-one, Clean Space, Inner Child, group work, the whirly gig – lots of experiences to take advantage of. Again, it's up to you to find which ones you want to try. There's so much on offer. And it was so inspiring to be with such amazing facilitators; to observe how they operate was incredible. 

And then there are the other participants - because we can observe each other's sessions. And that is also multi-level, because you can observe technique, how this facilitator is doing what they're doing, and you can see what's happening for the individual. And there are times when that may have an impact for yourself, as well. Because what's true for one person can be true for someone else – in a different way, perhaps.

I didn't go with any expectations. But when I got there, I decided I would take advantage of the opportunity and use it for me, and my own development. Having done that, I was able to have profound fundamental experiences – in a safe space. This doesn’t mean I didn’t go to difficult places, but safe in that there were experienced facilitators and psychotherapists who can bring you back. Of course, they can't guarantee your reactions and you might be triggered by something in your own or other people’s stuff, but in a way being triggered is useful. Because it shows you something that you need to sort out, you've got something to work on here. That’s another benefit of working with other people and observing what's happening with them.

So, there are the different elements - the learning, observing technique, and seeing world class facilitators and how they're doing stuff, so I can learn for my own technique. And then the other side of it is what happens for you as an individual and what you get from it for your own development. 

Did you go on the whirly gig?

Yes, I was working on owning my own space, and having the right to do that - having the right to be alive in the world, and to occupy my space. I'd got to the point where I developed some metaphors about having my space, and where my space was. And my question when I went on the whirly gig was, “What happens to my space when I'm in different places? Where's my space. Do I lose my space?” And I found, as I moved in loads of different directions on the whirly gig, that my space just came with me. 

What was it like having other people observing you?

It was fine. I've done a lot of my own work already, so I'm used to going into psychoactive spaces. And one of the ground rules, that we were told very clearly by Caitlin, was, “If you observe somebody having a session, don't talk to them about it afterwards.”  So, if you're having coffee, you don't say, “I noticed what happened in your session”, or “I felt really bad for you” – or anything like that. This means you know that whatever experience you have within that session is contained. 

And you don’t have to do really deep stuff, I chose to, because, what's the point of being somewhere like that, if you don’t? I knew I had profound issues to work on – and what better place to do it? There are infinite possibilities of what you can explore, and what you can learn, and what you can experience. And it's all there laid out for you to take advantage of. I mean, you could go and, not exactly sit in the corner, but just observe. You must have one session, but you could just go and sit and watch other people and not really take that much from it. Or you can just dive in. 

What happened afterwards? Did it make any difference?

My immediate answer is, “Yes, definitely.” Of course, quite a lot of it is unconscious. So, you don't necessarily notice - the cause and effect isn't necessarily obvious. But I think I have achieved a greater sense of ease and calm as a result of those sessions at Adventures in Clean - and a sense of owning my own identity and owning the responsibility. 

I've got quite a complex medical history, so I've always been somebody who's taken charge of my health, but this took it to another level in terms of awareness and noticing. And during the event and afterwards, I felt much less like I needed to justify myself. Basically, what I said on the first day was, “I want to feel welcome to be alive in the world.” I had a sense that I was trespassing in the world, that I wasn't really allowed to be here. And I left with a feeling that I own my own space. 

And more than that. I can welcome other people to my space. And now I'm going through the process of setting up some support groups. And I don't know whether I would be doing this work if I hadn't been there. I'm literally just doing pilot group work sessions where I'm using Soul-based coaching techniques and Clean Language.

And you’ve signed up for Adventures in Clean 2023. What are you hoping to get from attending again?

I booked to go again because I just want to keep learning, learning, learning. I still feel like I'm at the beginning of my clean journey. It’s about two and a half years since I really started seriously learning clean with Annemiek. I am now certified as a Soul-based coach, I do one-to-one facilitation with people and transformation packages, I love working with people individually. And I recognize that there's still so much to learn. There's so much depth, there's so much nuance, there's so much more subtlety. And I just want to absorb all this through time with the experts. I don't have an intention for next time; I'll wait and see where I am nearer the time. By then there might be all kinds of things I want to work on. 

So how would you sum up what you got from the Adventures experience?

When you asked me that, I immediately thought, “It's about owning my sense of self.” It's almost like it's an invitation to use all your own resources for yourself. And that’s something we often don't do; we're busy sort of just living and doing, and we kind of forget that we’ve all got these incredible resources. So, it was like an invitation to accept yourself, and, and really own that sense of self as well. I definitely recommend it. For anybody who's interested in clean, it's the place to be. I am so full of gratitude to have had that opportunity to attend. 

You can reach Kay at https://www.robinsonconsultants.com/kay-robinson/

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About Marian Way

Marian Way's avatar

A highly skilled facilitator and trainer, Marian, who founded Clean Learning in 2001, has developed and delivered training across the world. She is the author of Clean Approaches for Coaches, co-author, with James Lawley, of Insights in Space and co-author, with Caitlin Walker, of So you want to be… #DramaFree.

Marian is an expert Clean facilitator, an adept modeller, a programme writer and an inspirational trainer. She has a natural ability to model existing structures, find the connections between them and design new ways for people to learn. Marian was a leading innovator within the Weight Watchers organisation, which included developing the “points” strategy, a local idea that went on to become a global innovation. She is a director of both Clean Learning and Training Attention CIC, world leaders in clean applications for corporate, educational and community development. She designs our programmes and workbooks, leads workshops and teaches on all our courses. She’s trained people in Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Japan and the USA. Marian is also a recognised Clean Assessor.

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