Here you can read in detail what happens in our workshops.
During a Radical Honesty weekend workshop, we learn the difference between noticing and imagining. What we notice about each other, what we notice in our own bodies, and what we notice going through our minds. We also pay attention attention to the stories and judgements we create from our noticings.
We use the weekend workshop as a space where we can experiment with a different way of being—allowing ourselves to be who we are and expressing aloud what is going on in our minds and bodies.
A weeekend workshop begins on Friday evening (usually at around 18:00 or 18:30) and concludes on Sunday afternnoon (usually at 17:00).
On Friday evening, we start to get to know each other by sharing the things that we pretend to do or that we’re afraid of or are worried about. We also make some agreements about how we will work together during the weekend.
On Saturday, we do paired and group exercises, directed conversations, some teaching (arising from the exercises and conversations), some body movement and we introduce the hot seat work. We also get into the language of resentments and appreciations and focus on the difference between noticing and imagining.
On Sunday, we continue with more exercises, autogenic relaxation meditation, clarifying any unfinished issues between participants (including anger and appreciation). We do hot seat work and couples work (if so desired). We discuss how to complete incomplete business in our lives. We then finish the day with a round resentments and appreciations.
After the workshop, to continue the practice and keep the community going, we have online group to share, receive/give support, ask questions and ask for advice.
Because of the nature of the group being together day and night, at our retreats we have a chance to dive a bit deeper. We organize our retreats in beautiful locations to enchance the exprience.
We generally start the morning at 8:00 with body movement or yoga followed by meditation. Then, after eating breakfast, we have a group session for about four hours. Then we eat lunch and have a longer afternoon break. At about 17:00, we meet again for a group session and work until dinner time. After dinner we sometimes watch a movie, organize a dance party or just hang out together in smaller groups or on our own.
At the retreats, we do paired exercises, group exercises, Gestalt hot seat work, process with others, and ask for what we want. Some of the exercises we do are ones we don’t do in the weekend workshops.
Experience Finnish sauna and cabin life
Every year, we host several RH retreats in our traditional Finnish cabins by a lake surrounded by a lush pine forest. The location is rather secluded (we rarely see other people during our stay). During the breaks, participants can enjoy walking in the forests, swimming in the lake, rowing a boat and/or connecting with other participants. Our menus include Finnish foods like Karelian pies, jams made from wild blueberries (picked from the nearby blueberry patches) and risotto made with wild black chanterelles (picked from the surrounding forests). Each evening, our traditional, wood-heated sauna—large enough to accommodate our entire group—will be heated for our usage. The sauna sits just a few meters from the lake making plunging into the lake water rather convenient.
Zandvoort by the sea
In Holland, we have retreats in the seaside town of Zandvoort (near Amsterdam) in a lovely and cozy villa decorated in Mediterranean style and colors. Among the retreats we organize in Zandvoort is our annual Life Purpose workshop in the winter.
Greece: Half workshop / half holiday in the sun
In the summer, we also have a weeklong retreat on the Pelion penninsula in Greece. Our host is the Kalikalos holistic center whose vision is: “A world where authentic community and sustainable living are the foundation of all aspects of our society.” Participants get to practice Radical Honesty and experience being part of the Kalikalos community. We consider our retreats in Greece—with one 4-hour workshop session per day—to be half workshop / half holiday.
Each morning, before breakfast, we’ll do an (optional) session of yoga and meditation. Then at 08:30, we’ll eat breakfast. After breakfast, from 09:30 till 13:30, we’ll come together for our Radical Honesty group session. The sessions will include an introduction to Radical Honesty; a deeper dive into RH; and learning through theory, discussions, sharing and exercises on how to be radically honest. We’ll do group and paired exercises as well as hot seat work.
At 13:30, we’ll break for lunch. After lunch, we’ll be free to hike through the lush green forest, lay on a white sandy beach, swim in the Aegean Sea, chill at the village tavernas, lounge in the hammocks, talk amongst ourselves, etc. Then we’ll garden, cook and eat dinner together.
Dinner will be served at 20:00 and after eating, we can talk, dance, sing, drink, play and hang out. We can practice being radically honest with each other and converse about how we can live our lives in love and in contribution to others.
The ultimate Radical Honesty experience is the 8-day Intensive Retreat. We call this retreat a transformational workshop, as real intimacy and connection happens when we share our fears and worries, tell the story of our lives and talk about our sexual history and what we like and don’t like about our bodies.
We will begin each day with about 30 minutes of body movement and 20 minutes of meditation, followed by breakfast and a morning session of teaching, group conversations and paired exercises. We will then have a healthy lunch and an afternoon break. After the break, we will continue working with “hot seat” work, teaching, meditation, movement or dancing, and more paired and small group exercises. At around 20:00, we’ll eat dinner.
After dinner, one by one, each person will spend about 45 minutes telling the whole story of his or her life. By the time the workshop has ended, each participant will have heard everyone else’s life story and will have told their own. Each person will also receive a copy of the video recording of them telling their story to use later to start conversations with parents, (ex-)spouses, siblings, lovers and friends with whom they have unfinished business in life.
On about the fifth day, we’ll all get naked. One at a time we’ll stand in front of the group and talk about what we like and don’t like about our body. We’ll also tell our sexual histories: when we first discovered we were a sexual being, when we first masturbated, whether we prefer doing it with men or women or vegetables or minerals, how many partners of each gender we’ve had sex with, our favorite and least favorite sexual experiences and so on. Though we’ll probably get embarrassed, with good coaching and complete sharing of the truth and support from the group we will face our shame/fears/taboos—and get over them.
People often presume this will be some sort of “sexy” experience. Usually, the experience is anything but sexy. Mostly it’s about embarrassment and shame and suffering more than pleasure—and about how avoidance of all those aspects often controls our lives. (And quite often, the participants who were the most frightened of this exercise are the very ones who benefit the most from it!)
Then, together, we’ll review the videos of our naked work. Each person will take a turn sitting next to the screen and observing his/her video and receiving feedback about it. The process of watching oneself on television, naked, while talking about his/her sex life can be a more confrontational process for some people than the original experience of standing naked before the group. Again, the willingness to face the experience and live through it provides a decrease in the intensity of the sensations related to shame and a change in perspective on their own life in the direction of compassion for themselves as well as others. And then, most likely, we’ll appreciate ourselves and others for doing this work and live more fulfilling lives with less shame about ourselves.