An informal gathering of local Artidotees—of which the most recent happened on April 19, 2018 in Valleta, Malta.
There is no set agenda or program for these informal gatherings at the moment. My intention is simply to bring together like-hearted people who have a strong connection with The Artidote. I suspect that they would also find strong connections with each other. So far I’ve hosted 5 Meetups around the world (Boston, US | Nicosia, CY | Dublin, IE | Bangalore, IN | Valleta, MT). Each one has taught me so much about you, about me & what I can further do to strengthen this community & expand the positive impact it’s been having in our lives.
I’ve learned that each Meet-up will be slightly different depending on location, weather & number of Artidotees present. In Dublin, 6 people came together at a coffee shop. In Bangalore, surpassing all my expectations, 130 people crowded the restaurant. Due to the wonderful weather that day in Malta, we decided to meet outdoors. 20 Maltese Artidotees would come through.
The Little Big Things
A group convo blossomed. We spoke about the little things: how to say BREATHE in Maltese (hu nifs), what the people of Malta are like, how scary and awkward it can feel to come & meet a group of virtual strangers, taking dancing classes (burlesque) as a therapeutic way to build self-esteem and how to meditate in public without looking like a weirdo.
We spoke about the big things: the energy of love, the evolutionary value of pain, the mystery of death, living with mental illnesses and the country’s general perception on mental health. In essence, for 2 hrs we created a space of comfort where to have real & vulnerably honest conversations as well as silly chit-chat & laughter. And, of course, there were plenty of selfies and hugs in the end 🙂
I loved the fact that some Artidotees found someone to connect with beyond that moment. Perhaps some life-long friendships were planted that day. They also created a Facebook group where to keep in touch, share helpful resources and send updates on future meet-ups between themselves.