The Essence: My Experience at Knowmads by Josephine Meijer
Knowmads is an alternative business school. More than that it’s an experience, one that’s different
for each individual. For me, it brought out what was already present but needed to be believed in
more. It gave me trust and confidence. A kick in the butt to go after what I want. And when I did, I
got a whole lot more than I’d expected.
Just do it
I came to Knowmads to learn about workshop design and facilitation. I wanted to be a professional
facilitator – to work with groups of people to guide them in a thought process – but I didn’t know the path to get me there. Knowmads was a playground where the staff and my tribe-members were always
ready to encourage me to play; to try things out. When I did, I discovered just how passionate I am
about designing and facilitating creative processes that allow people to embark on a journey of
thinking, sharing, reflection, and connection. I also discovered that the skills I need were already
present in me. My path to being a facilitator was created simply by doing it.
Dive in deep
With its focus on connection, self-reflection and vulnerability, Knowmads asks you to dive in deep, if
you dare. Several experiences in the first weeks made me realize I wouldn’t just be focusing on
becoming a facilitator. I would have to facilitate myself too, creating a much-needed process for
myself. A process that would take me further along my personal journey of self-acceptance and help
me connect better to my body. My mid-term presentation was the perfect occasion to challenge
myself. In an intimate setting, I shared the inner demons I was up against. This exposure turned out to
be key in disarming them. It also became the fuel for my (ongoing) project in which I facilitate a safe
environment for women to explore the topic of body- and self-acceptance.
Falling in love
Perhaps the most unexpected turn of events was falling in love. ‘How does that have to do with
Knowmads,’ you wonder? The easy answer is that I met him there :). The more elaborate answer has
to do with the (figurative) mirrors my time at Knowmads provided. One thing I saw in the reflection
was how I tried to keep myself ‘safe’ from love. Falling in love means being vulnerable, letting go of
control, allowing the other to come close to all the demons. Things I had, for a long time, found
easier to avoid. But the beauty of Knowmads is that ‘avoidance’ in itself becomes difficult. By the
time graduation came around, I was in love.
Knowmads teaches people about all the different dimensions of connection. How to truly listen to
the other. And yourself. About the different ways to express. But to me the most important lesson of
all was nothing new: the knowledge that all that we are is already enough.
Read more about my process and project on Seen by Phine and on Facebook: @seenbyphine.
Josephine Meijer – Tribe 15 alumna