Richmond Vale

Heather: What does it mean to be 'Poor'?

Heather: What does it mean to be 'Poor'?
I have been lucky enough in my life to have travelled and lived in many different countries and worked with many different organisations. I have seen poverty in every place that I have been, whether it was in my own country, Scotland or where I am living now in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. When I look at it, being poor has a different meaning dependent on where you are, but the feeling is the same no matter where you go. According to the United Nations, poverty is fundamentally 'a violation of human dignity'. It is, I feel the best way of explaining both how and why people are poor and how our perceptions of people can create poverty. [caption id="attachment_12129" align="alignleft" width="300"] Heather: Let's share all we have! When I was young, before my concept of rich and poor was formed, I went to school in an area that was considered to be 'poor' by Scottish standards. I saw children at school that had clothes with holes in them and who came to school in non-matching shoes. I didn't know what this meant until I was a lot older because as a child you don't appreciate the difference between you and your peers. When we create the difference, the us and them, that is when we take away a level of dignity. In Edinburgh, I...
Continue reading
  1754 Hits
Richmond Vale

Embracing the New by Juliana

Embracing the New by Juliana
By Juliana, new student, CCC Team #15 “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life and in change there is power.” - Alan Cohen This quote very much resonates with a decision I made a little over a year ago. Movement and change have been two constants in my life since, no pun intended. Just recently, I’ve learnt that the word courage is a derivative of the Latin coraticum, which could be translated as “action from the heart”. And this has made a whole difference on how I see my decision as being a courageous one. Because the decision to leave what was no longer meaningful had no rationale involved, it could only have come from my heart! And boy, this is freedom!! This is how I have come to be involved in projects based on a lot of courage and meet people who have also been acting from their hearts. This same movement has brought me to Richmond Vale Academy, located in one of the poorest islands of the Caribbean, to be a part of the Climate Compliance team for the next six months. Eleven of us, coming from...
Continue reading
  1104 Hits
Richmond Vale

One Day out of My Life as a Working Student by Michelle

One Day out of My Life as a Working Student by Michelle
With this blog I want to share one of my days with you. This way you get a look inside. Tuesday 14 February 2017: I woke up at 6 o'clock in the morning. Today is laundry day, which I started early because I need to dry my sheets before evening. There is a schedule and everybody has one day a week to do laundry. I planned to bring Jack and Spirit to the field below, near the beach. But when I got outside I saw a small yellow airplane flying very low. Today they're opening the new airport so I assumed it was because of that. Because I wasn't sure how the horses would react I decided to wait. In the meantime I went to "the fruit forest" to cut some Moringa. I brought it to all four horses and hung with them until they were finished eating. [caption id="attachment_10456" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Star fruit trees Meanwhile the airplane was gone so I took the halters and went to Jack and Spirit. I called them and they came to the gate. They were very polite and focusing on me so I put the halter on and walked them outside. When I started walking I noticed that I had just started walking instead of first asking the horse to come. So that was already a good lesson to start with...
Continue reading
  1131 Hits
Richmond Vale

Communication with horses

Communication with horses
Most of the time when people communicate with horses it's just one-way. People do speak but mostly fail at listening. When you want to accomplish something with your horse without force it's important that you can understand each other. Communication is speaking and listening. Stina told me that it’s important to take time, wait and listen. Think about what's going on in his mind, where is his attention? To understand what the horse is saying you don’t need much knowledge of horses. Just some good sense and lots of interest will manage. Be curious, when you focus on details it becomes very interesting. It's like communication with people. How often aren't we just listening to confirm our own thoughts instead of being interested in what's going on in someone else's mind? Now I become more aware of how often I ask something while the horse is still processing or focused on something else. Stina taught me that it's not that the horse doesn’t want to listen. It’s just that he can't hear you. When the horse is distracted, wait wait wait. If necessary ask for his attention and then ask your question. Repeat this every time you ask something while the horse is distracted or isn't reacting directly. You also will notice that the horse tells a lot himself, mostly when you are not aware. He...
Continue reading
  1174 Hits
Richmond Vale

Compassion

Compassion
I have been working with Stina and practicing "basic" exercises with her four horses: Jack, Spirit, Elena and Magic. Through this it has become more and more clear that there are just a few essentials to build up a real connection with horses. These are: lots of fun, be open minded, enjoy every single step, and be full of life. But the harder I try, the further it goes. I think this happens because we learned to stop listening to our true selves. We all have different kinds of needs. Sometimes there is a need missing and there appears a feeling of displeasure. A long time ago people started teaching each other to get rid of this feeling as soon as possible. That's why I think our mind (ego) is ingenious to come up with all kinds of strategies. It's an external process what makes us dependent, it can easily come and go. It makes us vulnerable because we aren't in control of it. To accomplish what I think is needed is awareness. To develop awareness you need lots of compassion. Compassion is an internal process. It's about allowing everything that’s going on inside to happen. To me it means that it's okay to feel displeasure, just feel it. It’s okay to invent strategies, just let them pass. You even can practice strategies, just be aware of...
Continue reading
  1410 Hits
Richmond Vale

Leadership and Mother Courage

Leadership and Mother Courage
Dear Reader , In the coming weeks we will share appetizers from the fascinating studies in the 18 months Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder Program. The 18 months teams have been running at the Academy since 2012 and more than 50 people have joined. Today's study piece is from the section of Leadership , specifically the task "Leading and managing the project". Enjoy! Kind regards Stina Herberg Director Richmond Vale Academy Leadership [caption id="attachment_9297" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The director exercising her leadership skills Good leadership is a straightforward thing. Bad leadership is probably easier to accomplish, especially when you have some power, meaning the means to punish people, when they do not obey orders. Bossing people around may look like efficient leadership , but does not accomplish anything in the long run, only a growing resistance and opposition towards the so-called leadership. Good and bad leadership A clever Chinese, I guess it was Mao Tse-Tsung, once made a telling picture of good and bad leadership , which is here passed on from memory; the good leader does not walk far ahead of the people showing himself off as somebody special you should admire and telling everybody unrealistically how to behave and act. On the other hand, he does not walk behind the people shouting and gesticulating with his arms either. This is not leadership at all, it is...
Continue reading
  1149 Hits
Richmond Vale

What is Charisma?

What is Charisma?
Dear Reader, We like to share with you another appetizer from the fascinating studies in the 18 months Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder Program . This week's topis is from the subject Leadership Intelligence. This subject contains topics like Leadership, The Brain, Building Charisma and Charismatic People. Enjoy and please just write to me if you have any question in regards to One World University, the overall program or the specific curriculum elements. Kind regards Stina HerbergDirector Richmond Vale Academy Module: Leadership IntelligenceSection: Building CharismaTitle: What is CharismaWording: The task is for you to consider what charisma is, why it is worth building charisma, what personal skills you would need to train and finally to make out a plan for yourself. People can be charismatic in many different ways. Often the understanding of charisma is that it is something a person either has or does NOT have – and then there is nothing more to do. We do not agree in this way of looking at charisma. We find that each of us can build our own charisma and that we can decide how we want to do it. There is no final answer on how, each of us can use our natural talents, our enthusiasm, abilities, energy, body and soul, in short, all of it. There are people who use their charisma to gain power to...
Continue reading
  1470 Hits
Richmond Vale

Awareness

Awareness
I came to St. Vincent horse school because I want to learn how to develop a real connection with my horses. After just one week I have learned already so much! I have two miniature horses. Every day I spend lots of time with them to provide in their needs, but I'm missing something. The first lesson with Stina was all about social behaviour and politeness. When I met her horses I saw something I had never seen before. Very polite and well-mannered horses but still pure and natural. Not drilled by training but more like they had a lovely nurturing with very clear boundaries. The perfect environment where everybody is allowed to speak but also listens. So I realized my minis aren't polite at all, they behave like spoiled kids. To accomplish this kind of environment you need a whole new mindset. You can't use ego, productivity and focusing on results. You need the whole process to grow and for that you need awareness. To develop awareness it's important you learn to listen to your intuition. Your intuition can tell you exactly what your boundaries are, what you need and how you can react in a very clear and peaceful way. But this is not so easy. My mind is struggling because my ego really wants to interfere. The biggest challenge for me is, even...
Continue reading
  1374 Hits