There I was, reading for the last time the instructions before departing. It was Friday midday and I was on my way to Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan; home to indigenous tribes, great food, world renowned winter resorts and Japan’s agricultural center. Excitement would define better my state at the moment, because I have been looking forward for this retreat for quite some time. It was time to experience the Superorganic life.
I have always believed and practiced a natural simple and lifestyle, because I was certain that going back to our roots was the answer for some of the problems that Humanity face in this fast changing word. I wanted to meet people with similar viewpoints, and be part of a community that support these initiatives; people that share the same passion and like to spread out the benefits of practice a conscious and mindful lifestyle.
Where the connections and clicks happened
As I arrived to the airport, I met up with 15 people that were going to share the weekend getaway experience with me. Most of us did not know each other, but we all knew at least one person who invited us to join. As we waited for our bus, we started talking to each other and I could see how
instant connections were made. People were clicking very fast. Just couple of minutes were needed to learn about the projects and life experiences of the rest of attendees.
The following 2-hour ride was a good chance to get to know those stories deeply. We were all talking about our projects, our life’s, our ideas and it was very easy to see that we all share interests and life visions. It was a group of very diverse people that have some strong similarities that brought us together. It was hard to combine the exciting conversations with the breathtaking view of Hokkaido. A good part of our trip was watched closely by the impressive Mount Yotei, which is locally known as Ezo Fuji due to its resemblance with Mount Fuji and the ancient name given to the island of Hokkaido.
The beginning of the journey
After settling down in the place where we will live for the following 3 days, it was time for our first dinner; a gracefully organized outdoors BBQ. As a welcome ceremony and opening of the SO camp experience, we were introduced briefly to the goals and agenda for the following days. Rika, CEO & Founder of Superorganics, narrated the creation journey of the project and the philosophy of the SO Camp. While enjoying the amazing organic BBQ dinner, we had a chance to meet the rest of the
attendees. Expectations were shared during the rest of the night, because everybody was very excited about the kick off session the next morning.
If yoga was not on our list of favorite-things-to-do, after our morning yoga session on the rooftop, with Mount Yotei as the perfect background for the practice, yoga training certainly became the favorite of many of us. With couple of deep breaths, we were all surrounded by the early morning silence while smooth rays of light bathe our faces as the sun rose. The peace felt after our group practice was an excellent initiation for a day full of energy and learning; a discovery journey fueled by a tasty and functional organic breakfast.
During the day we were introduced to the concept of Superorganic in many diverse ways. From field visits to real experiences shared by experts. These activities were meant for us to see the world in a different way, understand things from another perspective. Thinking outside of the box. The organic farming visit was the most experiential because we could feel, taste, do and see that one of the most important values in organic farming is respect; respect towards the plants which feed us, the environment where we grow them, and of course, respect for the consumers. As the day went by, we could slowly grasp the idea that Superorganic was a concept broader than food, it was a lifestyle that potentially includes all our activities in a day to day basis.
Deep diving into a new lifestyle
By the end of the afternoon, the most challenging part of the experience was taking place. We participate of presentations of experts that shared with us their experience and their way of understanding the Superorganic lifestyle. During a 2-hour creative workshop we had to envision what this new lifestyle would look like in our community and to find creative solutions based on the Superorganic principles. We worked hand to hand sharing our insights from the SO camp and spreading our personal values and ideas. The whole experience had been so eye-opening that we were very excited and engaged with the discussion and the creative process.
When the workshop was finalized, and once we have heard the proposals and ideas of the teams, everybody had a very clear idea of how we want to integrate the Superorganic values in our daily lives. The workshop and sharing process helped us to go from knowing 1 or 2 organic products in the supermarket, to be fully certain of what it means to live by the guiding principles:
Follow your instinct
Be a giver
The power of a supportive community
The closing dinner felt like a graduation ceremony for many of us. During the weekend we had gotten so many experiences and heard so many stories and ideas which were an inspiration to continue our learning journey in to the Superorganic lifestyle. As many of us felt, the journey was going to be a lot easier and enjoyable since now we have a community that share visions and will support each other projects and initiatives. The SO camp became a hub where projects were starting to take form, promoted by talented people that have passion for addressing social and environmental issues.
These are the kind of life changing experiences that are worth having during a lifetime. It is never lo late to do positive changes in our lives and the lives of the ones around us. The SO camp was a good example of how powerful communities can be when solving problems, if they work together for a common purpose. And it all started by one idea that now is spreading and improving our life journey.
Writer: Jhoana Rosales from Ecuador
Vertmonde – Electronic waste recycling in Ecuador
ーEntrepreneur, environmentalist and with a profound admiration for life which is expressed through her photography work. Jhoanna Rosales, is the founder of the first recycling plant specialized in the treatment of electronic waste in Ecuador. Environmental Engineer by profession, she considers that current consumption patterns make waste a growing and harmful problem; but at the same time an area with great potential for employment generation and environmental innovation.