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|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
#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
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
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
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.
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
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
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