Societal Work

History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.
- James Baldwin

The Journey of Restoration

Inner work, outer action

I have always believed that inner healing and awakening work is an essential compliment to outer activity and strategic projects. Without inner work the latter are often significantly compromised by reduced relational intelligence, reduced capacity for higher levels of insight, and actions that are unconsciously tainted by unintegrated layers of emotion stuck within us.


Healing Personal, Ancestral & Collective Trauma

On The Path to Peace

While personal and individual therapy/healing work will always be important it is time to also see a bigger picture and realise the extent to which we are living in unintegrated collective ‘trauma fields’ that:

– Have far more social, economic and health symptoms and consequences than we have previously realised

– Reduce the operational capacity of our collective nervous system, thus reducing the availability of the higher levels of intelligence we urgently need to address the global challenges we are facing

Hurts are carried down through generations until someone is ready to feel them. - Anon

 

Definition

We understand the essential nature of trauma to be energy that could not be and has not been processed and therefore stays stuck as frozen layers within our personal and collective structures.

By learning to work directly with these layers, we create together a journey of Restoration, allowing large amounts of core life energy, intelligence and relational capacity to be released.

 

 

 

Trauma – a tribute to our instinctual intelligence 

Energy that could not be processed occurs any time there are personal, familial or societal events (including natural disasters, war, displacements etc) during which we of necessity had to reduce the intensity of our experience – it was literally ‘too much’ for our nervous systems. It is a tribute to our instinctual intelligence and survival mechanisms that we got through such times. Yet with a more or less heavy cost and reduced ‘operating system’.

Typical Phases of group work

Phase One

To begin with, we engage with the core principles and practice of creating together a group vessel of Presence. This means building the individual and group capacity to bring unconditional and precise awareness and connection with the physical, emotional and mental processes happening within us. To become feelingly aware for instance of the multiple layers of fear, anger, grief and numbness that are within us, and to build the capacity to ‘host’ these without trying to change them or rationalise them away.

  1. In this phase we work very much with our personal material. We bring more and more precise, feeling awareness to whatever is happening in the moment in response to a topic or a question or the relational space with one or two other people or the group
  2. We learn to support each other to stay with real process, to reduce all the ways we have of necessity learnt to turn away
  3. We learn to articulate accurately and precisely what is happening inside us, and to distinguish between feeling and thinking. We also practice deepening our listening capacity – so that when you are speaking I listen to your words, but I also develop my ability to feel you more and more. To attune to your interior emotional world accurately
  4. This allows the ‘frozen’ parts of us to be brought back into a precise and safe relational space in such a way that the life energy within them starts to flow again through our mind/body
  5. This we call ‘developing subtle competencies’. These are innate within us. On the one hand we can practice them, and on the other they arise naturally in the course of the work
  6. We TAKE OUR TIME with this phase, because it creates the foundation for all work with collective trauma

Phase Two

As the vessel develops we begin to work also with the ancestral streams that we are born into, and whose imprints we carry deep in our minds/hearts/bodies

  1. We map our generational lines as far back as we know (at least parents and grandparents) and then we use the presencing and feeling capacities developed in the earlier phase to open ourselves to the energetic and emotional streams that we are carrying, that were never fully presenced before
  2. This allows people and events in our ancestral streams to be 'met' and felt as they may never have been
  3. This gradually releases some of the energy locked in these wider systemic structures, and also brings awareness to what we have living IN without really noticing

Phase Three

This work leads us naturally when the group is ready into the possibility of addressing more collective trauma These streams bring a new and quite different level of intensity to our work.

  1. This allows some of the deeply buried, invisible layers of our cultural and collective life to reveal themselves.
  2. As if we went into a very dark cave with a torch, or into the foundations of the buildings we live in, and then we begin to see, FEELINGLY, how much unprocessed energy is kept there, and experience the healing movement that can happen when we as a group can also ‘host’ these layers.

I am deeply moved and inspired  by his compassionate listening, and his ability to hold a space allowing  for both our personal and collective traumas and shadows to emerge  and to be integrated. He is totally dedicated and is a real master in this amazingly complex and transformative work.

Yuval Carmi Clincial psychologist, group facilitator, systemic constellation teacher, Jerusalem

Nicholas brings a rare tenderness, precision and humility to his work with individuals and groups. His recognition of the healing journey that many woman are on and his honouring of the feminine principle in both women and men, are both moving and inspiring.

Joey Walters Founder, Awakening Feminine Leaders

Nicholas is deeply wedded to his work. He is knowledgeable and passionate about intergenerational and collective trauma. I am a long established facilitator myself, but a willing and enthusiastic participant in Nicholas’s groups. I absolutely trust his integrity, skill and potency. “

Malcolm Stern Co-founder of “Alternatives”, London - psychotherapist & author

“Nicholas Janni is quite exceptional as a man leading transformational work at this time in the world. As a trusted colleague he is simply a joy to work with – because he has developed the capacity to focus and listen so intently, and with such perception, that profound change takes place. When he works with parties in conflict, they can begin to understand the feelings of the ‘other’, moving from the head to the heart. Supporting corporate clients, he can enable shifts in the level of consciousness in an entire room. This is transformational skill at the highest and most sophisticated level.”

Dr. Scilla Elworthy Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Author, Societal & Political Change Maker
The Olive Project 2019

Each of the cultures and the peoples of Israel, Palestine and Italy have a deep and ancient connection with the olive tree. In all three lands there are olive trees that are hundreds and in some cases thousands of years old.

We believe that the olive trees provide a unique platform through which the young generation of the three regions can connect deeply with their own land, heritage and ancestry, and go on to experience a strong bond with the deep richness and common humanity of each other’s cultures. -

 

 

 

 

The olive is one of the seven symbols of Judaism, and can be seen around the Menorah. The tree is mentioned many times in the bible with associations of blessings, fertility and health, its leaves symbolise peace and light.

Palestine has some of the world’s oldest olive trees, dating back 4,000 years. Some have been passed down for many generations through the same families and symbolise Palestinians’ history and connection with their land.

 

THE WORK OF THE PROJECT

Phase 1

10 high school students from each country will research their ancestral lines and culture through the relationship to the olive tree and the olive itself.

Their research will include

– The history of their country’s connection the olive tree.

– Dialogues with people who look after the trees

– Dialogues with parents and grandparents

– Gathering of archive photo and film material, songs and poetry

Each group will film as much as they can of their research work, discussions and, with the help of one teacher, will prepare a one-hour presentation of their findings. The presentation can include drama as well as audio/visual material.

 

Phase 2

All three groups will meet for a two to three-day workshop in Puglia.

– To share their presentations

– To work in groups to deepen their knowledge of each other’s cultures

– To begin work on one presentation that unites their three stories, documents how they have been touched and the lessons they have learnt

This meeting will be filmed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Puglia, with its 60 million olive trees, the civilization of Mediterranean olive oil generates a landscape of outstanding beauty, and a synthesis of a unique heritage in the panorama of world agriculture, one that tells a story dating back thousands of years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phase 3

All of the material of Phase 1 and 2 will be put together by a professional editor, supervised by Hadassa Degani and Nicholas Janni, to make a documentary that captures the journey the three groups have been on and the key messages and learnings that have emerged from their work.