Fall 2005

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In this Newsletter
  • Retreat Molokai, Hawaii May 13-19, 2006
  • The Steps of a Transformational Journey
  • Living Authentically: A Participant Speaks
  • Molokai Hula Festival

  • The Steps of a Transformational Journey

    Going on a quest requires taking steps into the unknown. It helps to have an adventurous spirit, but anyone can do it. The following steps can lead you to the hidden treasures of your true self.

    #1. LONGING: If you feel a longing in your heart, a stirring in your soul, or even just a slight yearning for something else, then you might find yourself taking this first step on a journey toward your authentic self. It is hearing the call which marks the beginning of a quest.

    #2. DECIDING: Responding to that call with a “yes” is the next step. This may come to you loud and clear or it may come as a faint whisper. Picking up the phone, calling for information, and taking action will move you into making the decision.

    #3. PREPARING: Planning and making preparations for the trip are necessary. What clothes to take? Who will feed the animals? How will the office/family/projects get managed in your absence? These questions can be challenging, but in finding the answers you may be surprised by the support that already surrounds you.

    #4. DEPARTING: When you deliberately walk away from the routine of your life and find yourself on a new path, it can be liberating. It is important to let yourself stay open and receive. Look at everything and everyone you encounter as if they were handing you a message. As you move toward your destination, you move toward your destiny.

    #5. ARRIVING: This step may be filled with both joy and disappointment. The excitement of finally being at your journey’s end may be thrilling, but high expectations are often impossible to meet. However, your willingness to explore what is around you and what is happening within you is the key to miraculous self-discovery.

    #6. ENGAGING: Engage fully with whatever occurs in the moment and you will discover what you seek. Remember, if your soul brought you to this moment, there is a reason. Gather your experiences, let them speak, and listen with all of your heart.

    #7. RETURNING: Turning towards home, you look forward to bringing all that you have gathered on your quest. You realize that you are not the same, and you wonder how you will integrate the new you. Keep the gifts of the quest alive by remembering to stay open to each moment of your life. Thus continues the journey home to yourself.

    Living Authentically: A Participant Speaks

    Toni Gitles came to SpeakingQuest in 2000 and 2001. She is a life coach, speaker, and author of "Happiness is a Decision of the Heart." You can link to her website at the end of her article.

    My SpeakingQuest experiences are so indelibly imprinted in my memory and heart, that I treasure them as some of the most memorable of my life. Over my desk I keep four photos from the retreat that remind me of my potential and the people who helped me live into my authentic self. The memories of these experiences nourish me and compel me forward everyday.

    Before the retreat, I was nervous. Being known too deeply made me feel very vulnerable. I was fearful of opening myself to the possibility of being judged, criticized, and not liked or accepted by the group. My deepest fears were never realized. I found instead a place to share authentically, to be listened to for my personal magnificence, to contribute to others and to feel appreciated.

    Living and enjoying meals with our small intimate community was extremely enjoyable – like having a “sleepover” with friends every night. It was wonderful to feel such a deep connection with people who were initially strangers. This alone would have provided all the value I needed for the investment of my time and money.

    However, I received much more. A most unexpected gift was the way my life stress was eased by the beauty of the Hawaiian landscape. Also, as the week progressed, my ease with intimacy grew.

    Through the well-designed exercises, the personal time with others, and Doreen and Katherine's support, I became increasingly more open and comfortable with being known. I gleefully discovered that by allowing my authentic self to be seen by the participants, I developed a concept of my role in my own community – I have wisdom and insight and with my mere presence (just showing up!) I can have a positive impact on people’s lives. I knew this in my mind, but the SpeakingQuest experience sealed this knowing forever in my heart.

    After SpeakingQuest, I made a promise to myself and others to be a relentless force in the universe, generating passionate connection and authentic communication. My memories of SpeakingQuest help me keep this promise everyday.

    Molokai Hula Festival

    The third weekend of May is Molokai's premier hula festival, "Ka Hula Piko" which is translated as "the Center of the Dance." At the center is that which is sacred, sensual, and wild. Each of the movements is layered with meaning, bringing to life the history, traditions and genealogy of the Hawaiian people.

    This festival celebrates the island's distinctive title as the birthplace of hula. It takes place along the shores of Papohaku Beach Park which is Hawaii's longest white sand beach of 3 miles.

    This popular cultural festival includes hula performances, chants, musical entertainment, Hawaiian crafts and games, special ceremonies and food booths. Admission is free.

    Retreat Molokai, Hawaii May 13-19, 2006

    Do you wish to....

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    SpeakingQuest: Journey to Your Authentic Self

    Speaking Circles International

    Hui Ho'olana Retreat Center

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