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The Acceptance Philosophy

Acceptance is more than just a word to us, it is a way of perceiving, acting and living in the world. What we believe (and what the science shows) is that the degree to which someone feels safe & accepted in the world is the degree to which they can grow and contribute. We know that the best way to overcome issues of emotional intensity is through a deep, consistent practice of accepting one's own sensations & emotions, rather than fighting them. We also know that all humans have a deep yearning for community. A sense of belonging that often goes unmet in those that don't fit into traditional society.

To us, acceptance also means acknowledging the demonstrated truths of the world, rather than ignoring the knowledge and insight that is right before our eyes simply because it is inconvenient and isn't easy to accept. So we take a different approach here.

Building our buildings with the knowledge that a well designed building can literally extend life, bring people together and create communities. Tending the land with a knowledge of interconnectedness, and recognizing the symbiotic relationship between plants, animals and humans. Intentionally designing a cultural story that lifts us up, rather than promoting patterns that aren't sustainable or healthy.

By creating a space imbued with these values, where people can come to learn a different way of living, decompress, and feel deeply connected to nature & each other, we hope to make peoples lives just a little bit better.

We invite you to read more about our values, understand the thinking behind them and visit us to experience these values demonstrated for yourself. For most people that we serve, being in an intentionally designed, welcoming and truly accepting place is a welcome break from their every day lives.

Our Values

Acceptance

Acceptance (of ourselves and each other) is as fundamental a human need as food or water, and yet in today's society, it is lacking from so many people's lives. 

Connection

The science is clear: The more a person feels connected to themselves, their emotions, their community and their environment, the happier & healthier that person is. The more disconnected they are, the more they encounter pain & suffering.

Nature

Spending time in nature offers us an opportunity to reclaim something that many of us don’t even realize we have lost.  The science on this is extremely clear: the modern world, and the culture that built it, makes so many demands on our time and attention that many of us exist in a constant state of fight-or-flight.

Space

Having times for productive growth & learning is as important as times for space, relaxation & zero expectations. 

Architecture

The built environments that we live in have profound impacts on our day to day functioning. We assert that a well built, intentionally designed space has as much, if not more therapeutic value than the world's best therapists. Simply put: Spaces that are full of life enliven us, and spaces that feel dead produce literal death within.

Culture

The stories we have about what is right & wrong, what is good and bad, and what it means to be a failure or success determine the values & decisions we make in life. Intentionally designing those stories is not only smart, it is necessary for a healthy, functioning society.

Toroidal Design

Going beyond recycling, we aim to design systems that are self-regulating, highly resilient, and work within the resources provided to us on the land.

Demonstration

The best way to show an alternative model that you believe functions better than the existing norm is to demonstrate that model and provide contrast, then let people form their own conclusions from direct experience of both.

We Need Your Help

During the summer of 2017, we held camping & volunteer weekends at a location provided free-of-charge to Acceptance.  Over 100 individuals, primarily families, participated in those weekends, and the results that came to the participants were often profound.

We heard kids say things like "When I'm out here, I don't feel like I have Autism".

This year, we're continuing to offer camping activities at our temporary location in Centralia, WA, while we work to raise money to purchase a 20 acre parcel literally next to our current location so we can start building our permanent facilities. 

One of the big things we think that is missing in the current conversation around people that don't fit into the world (such as those on the autistic spectrum) is how the physical environment and space can affect them. I'm sure you've heard how restaurants and other public places are designed to maximize certain objectives (McDonalds uses bright colors to encourage you not to linger, Jazz music in bars increases tips, etc).

We're using those same principles, but optimizing for healing, space & relaxation. For example, according to the book "Welcome To Your World: How The Built Environment Shapes Our Lives", "One recent study of the learning progress of 751 pupils in classrooms in thirty-four different British schools identified six design parameters - color, choice, complexity, flexibility, light and connectivity - that significantly affect learning, and demonstrated that on average, built environmental factors impact a students learning by an astonishing 25%. The difference in learning between a student in the best designed classroom and one in the worst designed classroom was equal to the progress that a typical student makes over an entire academic year." 

We need your help to raise the $250,000 necessary to purchase the land and start to build our permanent facilities. Having permanent facilities will allow us to start conducting programs for children, teenagers & young adults, as well as weekend and week long programs for families. It will also allow for longer term stays, which means that we can start to offer internship programs to young adults & others that are looking to find their place in the world, as well as those that need a bit more time to relax, recharge and reconnect.

We'll also be able to offer employment, housing & a built-in sense of community to the people we serve. They'll work in the various parts of the retreat center, learning valuable skills, making friends, and contributing to the growth, relaxation and healing of our weekly participants.

Land Campaign

$4,680 of $250,000 raised
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Acceptance: A Transformational Place is a Washington State 501(c)(3) pending non-profit. Please consult with a tax professional if you have any questions about deducting your donation.