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Winter retreat in the Netherlands 30.11.-3.12!

Our 2020 & 2021 Reflections

Dear radically honest friend,

This is Pete. Tuulia usually writes these newsletters. Over the past few days, while Tuulia and I have huddled and cuddled here in our candlelit log cabin beside frozen Lake Vaavu in Finland, I’ve been thinking back on 2020 and 2021 and what Tuulia and I did these past two years in terms of organizing and leading Radical Honesty events.

[I copy/pasted the above paragraph from what I wrote for post-2018 and post-2019 newsletters. All the above information is again relevant with just the years being different.]

In the past, a bulk of my year-end newsletters involved me reporting on the statistics of our Honesty Europe in-person workshops and retreats. This time, you’ll find those stats at the end of this letter. 


Did you hear that there’s been a pandemic in the past couple of years? No? Well, there was! 

By the end of 2020, I was unenthusiastic about reflecting on a year in which dealing with the various aspects of how the pandemic affected our work was the major theme. I was ready for 2020 to be over and didn’t bother to write a year-end newsletter. Little did I realize then that 2021 would be quite similar to the previous year. So, this annual end-of-the-year reflection covers both of those years and how I judge our work both suffered (cancelled workshops!) and thrived (online events for people who otherwise socially isolated!) during the pandemic.

Online events

The biggest theme for me of doing my work in the pandemic era was the switch to leading groups online during times of lockdowns. I was glad to have been able to still offer this work to people despite periods of not being able to do so in person. I had been skeptical about leading groups online and found, ultimately, that Tuulia and I could be quite effective doing so and that people got quite a lot out of participating in our online events.

In the past two years, we’ve led online more than 20 free webinars, more than a dozen Lunchtime Honesty Hours, six one-day Couples Workshops, two weekend workshops, five 4-week courses, more than 90 mediation mornings and a variety of one-day and half-day events.

When the first lockdown hit in March 2020, I was alone in my apartment with my teenaged son. Like many others, I was feeling isolated and wanted to remain in contact. So, one morning in mid-March, I hosted a Dancing Alone Together video dance party for people from the community of folks who have attended our workshops. We danced for about 45 minutes and then had a round of sharing where each person checked in with how they were doing at the moment.

I and others enjoyed the dance party so much that I organized another one the following morning, and then the following morning and so on. We danced together for 20 straight mornings! I then got a little burned out on doing it every day. So, I then began having more down time in between dance parties. We’ve now done more than 60 of them, with more than 150 different dancers having shaken their asses on our virtual dance floor! Without the lockdown, I doubt I would have ever considered organizing such a thing as an online dance party. Now, I love them being a regular part of my life.

At the same time, I don’t want to live my life online. It’s a reason why I still have never owned a smartphone (which I love to brag about). I want to interact with people in person and live my life less via staring at a screen and more being in nature (the Finnish woods!). So, while I liked that Tuulia and I could support people via online video events during the past two years, my passion is still to facilitate people in real life.

In-person events

Despite having had to cancel or reschedule various events due to the pandemic, I’m quite happy that we still led a number of in-person workshops and retreats. And, more so, to the best of my knowledge, no one brought to any of these events—or left with—the Covid-19 virus! (Somehow, I’m proud of that, even if the result might have been just down to dumb luck.)

Some highlights include the first-ever RH Friends & Family Retreat. The focus was on parents and adult children doing their work together at the retreat to deal with their shit from the past and relate to each other in healthier ways. I was quite touched by the work I witnessed at that retreat and am looking forward to this being an annual event on our calendar! (Next one: 13-17 July 2022 in Finland)

Another highlight was our second Honesty Gathering retreat with more than 40 people attending. I love the concept of having concurrent workshop sessions happening that people could pick and choose from. Or they could choose to attend none and just chill under the trees or beside the lake with other honesty freaks. This is another retreat that I’m excited about being an annual event. (Next one: 12-16 September 2022 near Berlin)

Trainee Program

Our Trainee Program has remained quite active in the past couple of years. In October 2020, Bernie Reingruber—who had worked assisted us in workshops for about a year—was certified as an RH Trainer and is now off leading his own RH events. Tuulia and I are very happy for you, Bernie!

From late 2020 and through 2021, RH Trainer Candidates Micha Küchler and Chelsea Workman were in our Trainee Program and assisted us in many workshops as part of their path towards becoming RH Trainers. We wish you well, Micha and Chelsea!

Now, for 2022, in our Trainee program are Hannah Schrems, Michaela Weichselbaum and Kasia Mitschke. Welcome, you three!

I like how our Trainee Program has been functioning. I enjoy working with Trainer Candidates intensively for a year or so as they transition from being workshop participants to filling more the role of leading RH workshops.


Throughout 2020 and 2021, whenever Tuulia and I discussed our relationship as business partners and workshop co-leaders, we regularly agreed that we’re both very happy and satisfied with how we work together when leading groups of people. I judge we are quite amazing as a facilitating team and am proud of the thousands(!) of hours we spent leading workshops together to get where we are.

One bit of unsatisfaction for us: the amount of work we want to do. In very general terms: “lazy” Pete wants Tuulia to work less while “workaholic” Tuulia wants Pete to work more. Though, that has shifted for the better in recent years and, I judge, becoming less of an issue for us.

Another challenge for us: I don’t always complete work tasks by when I say I will—and then Tuulia gets triggered by that. Even this newsletter that you’re now reading, I had said I would finish writing days ago. (Though, on the other side of the cabin, Tuulia seems cool with when I’m now completing it.)

In the past couple of years, Chelsea Workman has been working behind the scenes for us, which has lessened the burden on the amount of work that Tuulia and I had been doing (and the amount of conflict between me and Tuulia about me missing deadlines!). Thanks, Chelsea!

Somatic Experiencing

In August 2020, I completed my three-year Somatic Experiencing training and am now a certified S.E. practitioner, about which I’m quite happy and proud. Since then, I’ve enjoyed leading clients in 1:1 Somatic Experiencing sessions, using this body-based practiced to support people to heal from their traumas. I judge I’m good at it and am feeling increasingly more comfortable in the role of an S.E. practitioner and I like the tools that S.E. has provided for me when working with people in our workshops.

Radical Honesty Institute

In April 2018, Tuulia and I helped form a Board that was entrusted with the task of preparing Radical Honesty (as an organization) for when Brad Blanton, the founder and owner of Radical Honesty, would retire (or die). In the ensuing years, the Board took on an increasing amount of responsibility for both running the everyday operation of the RH organization as well as creating a vision for its future.

A major goal for us ten Board members was to purchase the assets of RH from Brad. This process seemed to me long and arduous, especially since the ten of us seemed at times to have ten different visions for any such future organization! Our discussions among each other and with Brad were quite a roller coaster ride for me. At various points, Tuulia wanted to drop out of the whole project while I wanted to continue; at other times, our roles reversed. At another point, Brad told us Board members to fuck off and threatened to find some other party to purchase RH.

Ultimately, in late 2021, Tuulia and I and eight other RH Trainers happily came to an agreement with each other and with Brad to purchase the assets of RH from him and create the Radical Honesty Institute. I’m quite proud of the work we Board members have done over the past few years to transition from what essentially had been a one-man show for 25+ years to being more of a collective operation with a plan for bringing the practice of Radical Honesty into more people’s lives in the years to come. And I love knowing now that Brad can happily retire and/or die with RH still going strong!

Retreat center?

In early 2021, the property and summer cabins that border our own land in Finland were put up for sale. While our attempt to purchase the place was unsuccessful, it set off a series of events that led to me and Tuulia to ponder the thought of us living in a place where we can host retreats year-round. 

As for what exactly such a place would entail, Tuulia and I have seemed to have many shared ideas while also many opposing ideas. Would this involve the creation of a residential community? Or would we live by ourselves? Would the location be deep in the woods? Or would it be in a town? And so on.

Well, after many discussions between us, at the moment I’m feeling quite energized and confident about us soon owning retreat center. In just the past 24 hours, some concrete developments have taken place that seem to have brought this whole idea/plan/vision into much sharper focus. I’m already making myself excited by thinking that one year from now, when write a newsletter I recapping Honesty Europe’s 2022, I will be reporting on this vision having become a reality! Stay tuned!

So, that’s the end of the year report for 2020 & 2021 for Honesty Europe.

Happy New Year! I hope to see and/or hear from you in 2022!

Love and hugs,
Pete (& Tuulia)


(Personally, my favorite part of the year-end newsletters!)

Number of in-person, multi-day Honesty Europe workshops per year

2018: 21
2019: 19
2020: 17
2021: 17

Number of those that Tuulia & Pete led together per year

2018: 15
2019: 15
2020: 15
2021: 13

Tuulia-only workshops per year

2018: Three in Finnish, two with Jakob, one with Taber
2019: Two in Finnish, one with Anna, one with Sean
2020: One in Finnish, one with Bernie
2021: Three in Finnish, one with Bernie

Types of workshops per year

2018: 10 weekend workshops, 8 retreats, 3 8-day Intensives
2019: 10 weekend workshops, 7 retreats, 2 8-day Intensives
2020: 8 weekend workshops, 6 retreats, 3 8-day Intensives
2021: 7 weekend workshops, 7 retreats, 3 8-day Intensives

Number of countries per year

2018: 8 countries (Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Spain, Greece, U.K. and Italy)
2019: 8 countries (Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Spain, Greece and Switzerland)
2021: 5 countries (Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Spain)
2021: 6 countries (Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Spain and Switzerland)

Number of fully-booked per year

2018: 13 / 21
2019: 12 / 19
2020: 7 / 17
2021: 12/ 17

Number of people attended / number of spots available / percentage of filled spots

2018: 300 / 322 / 93.2%
2019: 277 / 300 / 92.3%
2020: 242 / 267 / 90.6%
2021: 245 / 272 / 90.0%

Female-to-male ratio per 100 participants2018:  58:42
2019:  55:45
2020:  63:37
2021:  59:41

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