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Jochem Post number 25952 Posted: 3rd November 2019     Subject: 2e meeting disability: Recognition combines strengths
Recognition combines strengths: together strong
2nd online meeting PFI-NL Disability Network successful

Why this network?
We started this second meeting at the beginning. Why did we start this network for heathens and pagans with a disability?

The answer is simple: because we know that many pagans and heathens with a disability or chronic illness run into walls. Because it is very frustrating if you can't access the meeting that you really wanted to go to. Because you can be very lonely in the middle of the circle, sitting on a chair, while everyone is dancing around you. Because it is uncomfortable if youíre following the ritual only half, because you canít hear the speaker(s) well enough. Because it is very painful if others donít understand what you need to feel safe at an event.

Together strong!
We think it is important that heathens and pagans with a disability can share their experiences among themselves. It's so nice to rant to people who understand what you're going through, because they have similar experiences. The well-known "warm bath of recognition".

We also think it is important to share our own solutions with each other. Others may have found simple, brilliant solutions to a problem that you had not thought of yourself. By sharing this with each other we can learn from each other. In this way we prevent that each of us is constantly reinventing the wheel.

Finally, we think it is important that we stand strong together. Together we are much more powerful than each of us alone. Together we can change things (much) more easily within our covens, groups and/or organisations. We all benefit from that!

How to reach people?
We may want all sorts of things, but we need to come into contact with others. How can we do this in a way that is sustainable for all of us? Because we all have a disability ourselves, so our energy is limited. In addition, each of us has a job and/or a busy social life.

We all know that personal contact works better than written contact. Direct online contact, such as these online meetings, also feels different than being with someone in the same room.
But we also know that many people with disabilities have limited energy. Having a disability or chronic illness often costs a lot of energy, and living with a disability often costs extra energy, because our society generally is not accessible enough.

Online and physical
That is why we for the time being will continue these online meetings, especially for those for whom travelling is challenging. We get a lot of power and a positive boost from these meetings ourselves. Others deserve that as well! So we hope that more people will join these meetings.

In the meantime, of course, we will continue our conversations on the (Dutch part of the) PFI forum. The topics are well read, also those from a bit longer ago. So people are interested in these discussions! We hope that more people will become more actively involved in these conversations.

Furthermore, we will investigate whether we can organise physical meetings next year. Meetings for pagans and heathens with a disability or chronic illness, and meetings about living with a disability in relation to paganism and heathenry.

Next meeting
Tuesday 26 November 2019, from 20:30 to 22:00. Do you want to participate? Please sign up at Soleil: (After signing up you will receive the online address of the meeting.)
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