On June 16, 2016, CARP Austria hosted their very first STEP UP session. They were first introduced to STEP UP in April when CARP America’s International Liaison, Nina Urbonya, visited and presented on STEP UP. CARP Austria liked it so much that they immediately asked for materials to facilitate sessions on their own. Through a special STEP UP webinar training hosted by CARP America over the last few weeks, several international CARP chapters have been able to experience all of the STEP UP sessions and receive the necessary training to facilitate it in their own communities.
Akio Friesacher, along with other members from his team, attended the sessions and just hosted his very first STEP UP session. 14people attended including one new guest, Elias, that he invited from his university.
Akio chose to facilitate the session on the principle, “We all ultimately want to experience joy” because of a realization he had during one of the webinar sessions. Through listening to the facilitator, Justin, overcoming his own complaints, Akio also discovered how to overcome his “hidden complaints” and how turn them into something productive. Through the facilitator training he received, Akio felt prepared and confident to lead the session in front of a group of people.
Akio’s Time in the Spotlight
Akio began his session with a quote from the Divine Principle: “Joy is created through pursuing our original desire to do good. We can only experience eternal happiness when we are totally liberated from ignorance.” Akio emphasized that certain blocks (such as ignorance, complaints, judgement, and accusations) help us to avoid our responsibility and prevent us from fulfilling our “original desire.” However, by being aware of our ignorance, we can make an intentional effort to get unstuck. If our motivation is rooted in our original desire for joy, then these blocks can have no effect on us.
The best way to gain experience is to ‘just do it.’ In presenting STEP UP, Akio found it difficult to make sure every participant was engaged and could share among the group. He reflected that he can improve his skills by giving more attention to each participant and ensure that their issues are heard and understood next time.
*By the time this article was published, CARP Austria actually held their second STEP UP session! They are on a roll and we wish them the best in all future sessions!
Host Your Own STEP UP Session!
If you are interested in hosting your own STEP UP session, please reach out to Nina Urbonya at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to get you started.