What Goes on at One of Gary’s Workshops and Retreats?
I want to explain that I don’t know what is going to happen at one of my events. I don’t know the specific content of what I will cover, or how I will go about it. I’ll get to explaining why this is in a minute.
First I need to answer two common questions. I don’t repeat the stuff that I have in my online program. That would be boring for me and the people who have already worked on it. Part of the reason I made recordings was so that I didn’t have to repeat the same material. I like to get creative and that means new approaches incorporating new practices.
Second, I do a mixture of talk, ceremony, meditation, discussion, journeying, and a process I call Dreaming. “Dreaming” is a mindfulness exercise where you inventory through various emotions, impulses, thoughts and beliefs with a high degree of awareness. It allows for bringing various unconscious beliefs and repressed emotions to the surface so they can be worked with and changed.
The whole intent of every practice, and the overall process is to let go of the stuff that is causing unhappiness and opening to more love so you can be genuinely happy.
Aside from that, one of the hardest things for me to do is to explain what to expect at one of my events. I understand the feeling people have of “needing to know” what is going to happen. Particularly since you are taking valuable time off, spending money, traveling to get there, and investing in your self. You want to be sure you will get the personal changes you want. In spite of the need to have that question answered, it is difficult to describe what is going to happen over several days. Even though I am facilitating the process, I don’t know what is going to happen. Yes, you heard me. I don’t know what the outcome of any exercise is going to be for any individual person. I just know from experience that the process works.
I am not trying to be coy or mysterious here. I honestly don’t know what a person will discover in their unconscious beliefs or what emotions will need to be shifted. I can’t know that. The person doing the process knows themselves better than I do, and they don’t know it.
It is impossible for me to write up what you will have as your experience at one of my events because the person next to you will have a different one in just about every exercise we do. You might review an old relationship and realize how much your ex really loved you. The person might review their old relationship and have to release repressed anger about them.
Everyone that shows up is different. One person is working on healing their relationship and making it better. A second person is getting over a heartbreak and needs to heal so they can move forward. A third is working through a layer of self judgments that seems to cause feelings of anxiety and insecurity. A fourth wants to have an experience of peace within themselves where all the internal dialog goes quiet. A fifth has realized that they have lived their life trying to please other people and now want to have the courage to say no to others and yes to themselves. A sixth person doesn’t quite know why they are there, they just have a feeling that they are supposed to be there. They are all bound for a different experience, yet their hearts desire can all be met with the same inward approaches.
One of the ways that I address different needs at the same time is to address the common elements of Beliefs, including Perspective and Emotions.
Beliefs and emotions are at the corner stone of how we feel and how we behave. If you change your beliefs you will change your actions. If you have faith that getting into a relationship will lead to a painful heartbreak, you will not want to get involved with anyone. If you get into a relationship you will be looking for them to break your heart. You might even leave before they get the chance. That is just three different ways one belief can lead to sabotaging a relationship. No doubt we have more than one unconscious belief about love, relationships, heartbreak, our self and people.
When I take people through the various processes at my events I don’t know what agreements they are going to find. I do know that it is important to see those beliefs as structures in the mind instead of facts about life. This is the part about Perspective. That means that you discover what you think and believe about your self isn’t true. For some people that is a relief. For others it brings up a fear about not knowing their identity. These little hurdles change from person to person.
I guide people with exercises and practices to embrace new emotional experiences of love. I do exercises and practices to have them identify their beliefs and see them as false.
Since each person has a unique set of beliefs they will see something different. They will also be working through the process from a unique point of view and level of awareness.
Some people have more motivation, or experience with the process so they trust to go further. They bet more of their faith and power into a process. They dig in find extra layers of beliefs and fear to release.
The bigger the release of fear and lies, the more room there is for love and truth to take its place.
Everyone gets the right amount of transformation corresponding to their own motivation, emotional needs, ability to absorb from the different exercises they are dealt, and investment in the process. Each person gets a different amount from each exercise. When I add the next exercise to the process then each person gets a different amount again. Over the course of a few days the return they find they have changed a great deal. Sometimes it is hard for people to leave an intensive event because they know they don’t want to go back to who they were before they arrived.
As you go through the week you become more skilled at the types of practices and working through emotions to maximize the change you specifically are looking for. In the end, I do my best to get everyone what they ask for and need. Sometimes you walk away with more than you bargained for. Sometimes you leave with the clarity of the personal work to be done and a confidence in your ability to do it. I can’t promise you enlightenment at the end of retreat, but I can promise you will be happier.
Gary van Warmerdam