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 2018 and what Tuulia and I did this past year in terms of organizing and leading Radical Honesty events. (I acknowledge that this newsletter is much longer than the ones Tuulia writes—and with far more statistics!)
I judge that in our relationship, Tuulia is the one who is more often looking ahead to her/our future (making plans, setting goals, etc.) while I more often look back to my/our past. Sometimes I see us as sitting back to back on a train with Tuulia facing forward and telling me about the things that are approaching and me facing backward telling her about the things we’d passed.
Anyway, I make myself quite happy looking back at 2018. We created a new website and new name for ourselves (Honesty Europe) that better reflected that it was both of us who were doing this work (not just Tuulia). We now do about 50/50 of the organizational things behind the scenes. And in the workshops the balance is more or less equal as well. A compliment I often enjoy hearing from workshop participants is that people judge the Tuulia and I facilitate together rather seamlessly and that our different styles somehow complement each other.
This year, our old trainee, Jakob Eichhorn, was certified as a RH trainer himself (and is now off leading his own workshops). And we welcomed two new trainees—Anna Haas & Sean Middleton—onto our team.
In 2018, we ran 21 Radical Honesty multi-day workshops. Of those, Tuulia and I facilitated 15 of them together. Of the other six, Tuulia led three on her own (in Finnish), two with Jakob and one with RH master trainer Taber Shadburne.
Of those 21 workshops, 10 were non-residential weekend workshops and 11 were longer residential retreats. Three of the residentials were 8-day intensive workshops (in Spain and Italy). Among the other 8 residentials, we led three at our cabins in Finland; three in Holland and one each in Austria and Greece.
We ran workshops in a total of eight countries in 2018 (Finland, Netherlands, Germany, U.K., Austria, Italy, Spain and Greece).
Of the 21 workshops, 13 of them were fully booked. Of the 8 that weren’t fully booked, 6 had three or fewer available spots in them. One had four available spots and one had five available spots.
Exactly 300 people attended our multi-day workshops. We had space for 322 people, which means 93% of the spots at our 21 workshops in 2018 were filled.
Among those 300 participants, at least 175 (58%) were female. In the three workshops that Tuulia led in the Finnish language, 80% of the participants were female. While interest in RH continues to grow in Finland, curiously much of that interest has remained among Finnish women.
Also “we” (together or Tuulia alone) led a number of RH evenings / full-day events for about 270 people.
In addition to the 21 workshops, Tuulia and I also co-organized the first RH Trainer’s Training ever to be held in Europe. One of the scariest things I did in 2018 was, at the beginning of the year in a video conference call, to tell Brad that I thought that the Trainer’s Training would be more effective if Taber, and not him, created the curriculum and took the main lead. I had imagined that Brad would be angry at me for suggesting that. Instead, to my surprise, he was agreeable and the result was a TT with 19 trainees that I judged went better than I’d expected!
Downsides to our workshops in 2018? Well, we had two people leave in the middle of workshops who felt the workshop hadn’t lived up to their expectations. (I’m not sure and I think we had four people leave our workshops in 2017.)
Another downer: A Finnish television journalist requested documenting a participant’s experience at one of our workshops. After discussing her idea, we invited her to film at the Summer Retreat. We informed the already-registered participants in advance about the documentarian’s project, telling them that if they didn’t want to be filmed they wouldn’t be. Several people (both among the participants and others) objected to this idea. I judge that we had initially handled that poorly. We decided to postpone the project. The documentarian come to a later workshop where people were told upon registering that the filmmaker would be present. That worked out well and the result was a 11-minute piece that aired on Finnish television. When the piece was put on YouTube, it was viewed something like 200,000 times in just a few days. (Someday I hope to add English subtitles to it.)
Other downers? While being happy about the number of our workshops that were full in 2018, this also meant that not everyone who wanted to attend could attend. Similarly, we simply weren’t able to lead all the workshops that we’d been invited to lead or had hoped to lead. We don’t like saying no to people who request that we come lead workshops in their cities, yet with our work and parenting schedules as they are, we chose not to fulfill all the requests.
Well, those are the downers for 2018 that come to mind as I look out at the frosted pine trees here at Lake Vaavu.
We experienced many, many more positives, mostly with experiencing and witnessing so many people express themselves far more openly and honestly and get over their shit and live happier lives. I especially made myself happy reading the dozens of post-workshop accounts of people having honest conversations with others in their lives (particularly with their parents) and getting to places of deeper connection, forgiveness and love.
I love doing this work and I love working with Tuulia (even if she likes working more hours in the week than I do). I had never thought I’d transform my life so much for the better as I have in the past 7 years. And I had never even contemplated that I would ever do such work where I can assist others to transform their lives. Yeah, I’m digging my life right now…
And we ended 2018 much the way we ended 2017: by attending two days of a couples tantra workshop and spending time cocooned here in the cabin in Finland’s winter wonderland.
So, that’s the end of the year report for 2018 for Honesty Europe.
Happy New Year! I hope to see and/or hear from you in 2019!
Love and hugs,
Pete (& Tuulia)