I spent last weekend at a workshop on Loving Yourself run by The Human Awareness Institute (HAI). It's the second in a series of workshops they run on the topic of Love, Intimacy and Sexuality. While the confidentiality agreement prevents me from talking too much about the content of the workshop, what I can say is that it was an opportunity to profoundly deepen the connection that I felt with other people, and with myself.
I've always struggled with the idea of really loving myself, and when I first heard about the HAI courses I knew that this workshop was for me. I did the pre-requisite level 1 workshop about a year ago, and then had to wait a year before having the opportunity to do level 2. Over the course of the workshop I found myself gradually losing the inhibitions and fears about other people's judgments, which tend to keep me feeling trapped and stop me being free to really be myself. The one thing that has struck me most about the leaders and team facilitators at these workshops is just how loving and gentle they seem to be. I've been doing a lot of personal development workshops this year, and sometimes wondered whether they were doing me any good, or doing me harm. Not this one though; I felt quite at peace in the workshop and relating to the other participants.
If you're like me and have had a hard time coming to terms with your rougher edges, and feel uncomfortable about the idea of truly loving yourself, I really recommend the HAI workshops and particularly the one on Loving Yourself.
HAI workshops are produced in Australia by SPACE. They run regular introductory evenings to find out more about their courses, and are particularly welcoming to Counsellors, Therapists and Life Coaches who would like to find out how HAI workshops could be valuable for your clients. Pathways to Intimacy is also a non-threatening way to ease your way into HAI workshops. Check the website for details of when the next course is on.