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Winter retreat in the Netherlands 30.11.-3.12!

Five things I learned while talking with Anna and Bernie…

“I really like leading the Couples retreats, Family & Friends retreat and 8-Day Intensives“, I shared with Anna, Bernie and Pete in our monthly catch up call.

“I also find the year-long Practitioner Program Pete and I created very rewarding. People get longer term practice and can embody the work in a more powerful way”.

“And can connect with others and themselves in a meaningful way”. I added.

I realized:
“Actually I like everything where people have a chance to continue the practice when they leave either with their loved one at home or with the new friends and community they joined in ”

Bernie asked me what retreats and workshops I don’t like leading so much.

A bit more tricky.
I enjoy all workshops and retreats I lead. When I sit in the circle with others I feel I land into some kind of deeper presence in my body and my surroundings.

I do not lead online weekend workshops or any longer online events as I find them more tiring for me and often less enjoyable.

And sometimes I am frustrated to meet a bunch of enthusiastic (or tricky) people in a weekend workshop doing great work and then they leave and we never hear from them again. They do not share in the follow up groups or take advantage of free events or the very active community group in facebook.

Or I might hear that they had lots of motivation to have honest conversations and make changes in their life. Then everyday life routines happened. And they dropped the plans and got into business as usual.

So I realized even more clearly while talking with Anna and Bernie that I want to create lasting results, connections and community.

I am less interested to do one off shorter events or coaching or therapy with people I did not meet in workshops or retreats (I do on the other hand find extremely useful and effective to do one or two follow up session after a workshop with a participant – many times more hot seat work to support the participant in their core topics).

I like this clarity!
Thank you for being there for me Bernie, Anna & Pete. ❤️

Another thing I also noticed is that I am mostly quite an upbeat person. When it was my turn to share I noticed thoughts of what is not going so well going fast through my head and I had far more energy and interest around what is going well.

I am often surprised when I hear Pete say about me that I don’t stop much with challenges and rather have an idea and go for it. I don’t worry so much about what could go wrong.

I think that’s mainly true.
And I still have a hard time seeing myself as that positive person.

My mother is quite a negative person. She sees quite a few things which are not good around her and things to consider or control. She shares more worries and dislikes than excitement and likes.

Of course she has her history for being that way.
I think as a child of an alcoholic and dysfunctional family.
Maybe she didn’t have to experience too big disappointments, maybe when she did not expect much.
And I don’t know all of her psyche and internal processes.

My father was in the camp of “do not stick out too much”.
“Work hard”, was one of the mantras in my family and many other families in the 70s and 80s.

He also told me that work does not need to always be fun and it is not always fun.
I disagree and I am still making an effort to shake that belief off.

Hakomi therapy which I am currently learning teaches that therapy can be easy and effortless.
That it can be fun for the therapist.
I like that a lot! (and do not always find offering therapy sessions fun)

Many times in workshops and retreats I do not make a conscious effort to say or do the right thing (and I want to admit that sometimes I do).

Leading workshops and retreats is work and when I am coaching a group I often do not feel like I am working. I stay present, notice what is happening in the person talking and others witnessing.

I notice what is happening in my body, emotions and thoughts which is giving me a lot of information about what is going on for me and for the group or a participant.

Afterwards I might feel heavy and tired in my eyes and body.
I often withdraw to have a moment alone or with Pete, and eat some of my meals outside of a big group.

During the sessions I am just there.
All this is to say: I like how I feel most of the time when I am facilitating a group.
I feel alive, curious and alert.

Going back to what I learned in the call with Anna, Bernie and Pete…

Here is my list of three things I have realized about myself

1. I want to keep doing what I enjoy the most.

I want to focus even on retreats and concepts which I find the most rewarding for me to lead and which are also giving the longer lasting results for the participants.

This is also what Pete and I call getting your money’s worth!

2. Creating community, real connections and friendships is important to me

I want to lead more and more events where people come with their loved ones and can continue the practice at home with them. I want us to actively offer exercise to do at home after the retreat. We already do this and I want to revamp the material and send more exercises and practical tips.

And I very much want to lead long programs and long retreats!
These are English and Finnish language annual Practitioner Program – maybe also one day a four or six months Couples Program in the future and longer retreats (8-day Intensive and 7 day Couples retreat) or summer camps where we ample time to connect deeply, make friends and practice buddies and create a community.

3. I love having my peers to share with and hear from

In “helping profession” I listen, witness and focus on others quite a lot.
I nourish myself by having spaces where I am a peer. Where I share about me without having a service role. I very much enjoy realizing things about me and others while sharing.

I have two of these sharing circles currently – already for a few years. One is with Anna, Bernie and Pete. Another is with Kasia, Micha and Pete. We established these sharing groups as a desire to regularly stay in touch and be supportive colleagues after Anna, Bernie, Kasia and Micha finished their traineeship with Pete & I and became certified trainers.

I consider them important friends and trusted colleagues. ☺️

I also have some friends where the sharing is about me and them, not a focus on the other.
Who mainly come to my mind are Riitta, Nea, Arjen, Albrecht and Kasia.

And two more ideas came to me:

4. Retreat for friends!

I want to establish a retreat where people will come with a friend or friends. So that is not about family or couples – it’s about making a friendship deeper and learning to use Radical Honesty tools to strengthen the connection and getting over quicker hurts and upsets.
And voicing wants!

The Honesty Gathering already works well for friends to join together and for making new friends. And I want to have besides the Gathering also a dedicated event to friends with exercises geared towards creating more understanding, connection, compassion and love. Talking about what they expect and want from each other. Maybe also friends can create joint plans or visions for the future. Vision statement for a friendship! ❤️

5. Private retreats – tailor made for your needs

I also eventually want to offer retreats built for your specific constellation and dynamics.
You can come with your whole family, workplace or team, friend group or as a couple (or two couples) to our place in Syvilla in Finland.

I want to ask you:
What have you learned about yourself lately?
What are you curious about in yourself?

Tuulia & Pete

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