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TWO MORE couples fit into the fantastic Couples retreat by a lake in Finland 7-13 August!
Honesty Europe's Radical Honesty weekend workshop in Linz, Austria group photo

I get paid for being me and for being present

I am now in Austria! After postponing the workshops twice earlier this year due to Covid, I’m finally here.

And I’m making myself happy about that. I notice warmth in my chest and a smile on my face.

Pete and I have been leading workshops in Austria since 2017. Many of the people who participated in our first workshop here are still around and active in Austria’s Radical Honesty community.

Bernie, Hannah, Michaela, Mona, Simon and Annie as well as Csaba in Budapest.

We travel to Austria rather than lead more workshops closer to home so we can support the Austrian RH community and help it to grow. We also want to support our Trainees – Chelsea, Hannah and Michaela – by having them assist us in our workshops on their home turf.

We want to spend time with Bernie who trained with us and is now a certified Radical Honesty trainer running his own workshops and events in Vienna and other parts of Austria.

Plus, Pete and I both love Vienna: the grand cafes, the music, the art museums, the buildings, Hundertwasser and the history.

Being in Austria also means the start for our weekend workshop season. During the summer, we led several residential retreats at our cabins in Finland as well as a couple in Germany. We led one 8-Day Intensive Retreat during the summer. This past June our summertime 8-day was in Breetz, Germany; next year: in Sulkava, Finland.

Last weekend, we had a workshop in Linz, Austria and the weekend before in Amsterdam. In a few days, we will kick off an Advanced weekend in Vienna. This time, I will co-lead with Bernie and Chelsea will assist us.

I have enjoyed meeting new people and seeing them get into Radical Honesty! I think weekend workshops are a great introduction to Radical Honesty and to kick off the practice. I find such weekends are a place to connect and get to know like-minded honesty fans.

Nevertheless, sometimes I find leading weekend workshops tough for me. Some participants are resistant, others don’t like the language. Some want to escape tricky situations by physically leaving or mentally checking out. Some project on to me their mother / father / teachers / employers or any other authority figure. Others express their anger to me or blame me. Sometimes I just feel tired or even personally attacked. Even if I trust their trigger isn’t really about me, I might make myself hurt or sad or angry.

When I get triggered and something is moving me, I want to express that and share it with the others in the workshop. Not because I want to use the workshop to process my own stuff, but to be authentic and show myself in the way I invite the participants to show themselves. I want to be a human among other humans rather than hide behind some teacher or authority role. And sometimes I would rather hide. Sometimes I feel embarrassed for having expressed my anger or showed how I had been moved.

If a situation has been tricky for me, I also deal with it in the work supervision sessions I do with a wise and experienced therapist. With her, I look at my early wounds and triggers and get to understand myself and others a bit more, and dive into different frameworks which might be helpful to understand some behaviors and phenomena.

And the great stuff far outweighs the challenges for me. Every time (at least, so far).

I’m now thinking of the participants who are willing to jump in even when they are scared or worried. The participants who share their personal struggles with others, the moments when we just witness and stay present with someone’s tears / worries / anger, the times when people express appreciation and compassion, the messages later after someone has opened themselves up to their parents, partners or friends after the workshop and felt connection and being heard and seen.

I love this stuff. I love the vulnerability, the rawness–being real.

I love that I am more or less the same person at work as I am outside of work.

No boss or organization is asking me to be this way or that way. No one is imposing on me a dress code or a behavior code.

I get paid to show up, be present, use my skills, share my experience and–essentially–be myself.

How is your job for you?

Are you yourself at work or do you play a role?

If you judge that you do hide and pretend at work, are you willing to show more of yourself?

What are your fear and worries of showing yourself?

Tuulia (& Pete)
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