Saturday, August 07, 2004

Creating an Austin HSP MeetUp Group!

When Elaine Aron was here in Austin, we talked a little bit about support groups for HSPs.

Whereas Elaine is all in favor of HSPs connecting with other HSPs and helping each other in an understanding environment — peer counseling — she said that she has never started any groups because it would represent a "conflict of interests."

She also said she couldn't really "endorse" groups, formally. However, she certainly encouraged me to do something for local HSPs.

Some of us who attended her workshop at The Crossings talked about how nice it would be to have a group. Of course, nobody's really all that keen on being the person in charge.

I brought up the idea of using the website to facilitate things, since it is precisely designed as a sort of networking that allows people to go online to create connections offline. I know at least Jennifer and Serenity are interested in participating.

We'll see what happens. In my experience with HSPs and groups (online), there's a long distance between liking an idea and being part of something.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Recap: Elaine Aron Workshop in Austin

This past weekend, I was part of Elaine Aron's three-day workshop at the Crossings retreat center, here in Austin. It's the first time Elaine has taught in the US in a location not on the east or west coast.

Although it was quite different from the format of the Gathering in California, it was still a wonderful experience. The workshop started on Friday evening with what amounted to mostly an introduction and outline of what we would be covering for the remainder of the weekend. There were 22 people in attendance at the start. It felt a bit strange, because there were only two men, and 20 women-- and the other man left after the first break and never showed back up. Whereas I felt a bit self-conscious at first, I am actually somewhat used to being in metaphysics workshops where most attendees are women.

Elaine's three-day workshops are basically an "interactive" introduction to the basics of being Highly Sensitive, as she covered it in her books. What's nice about the format is that she asks participants what they want to talk about, and then the workshop is structured around those ideas. She also takes plenty of time for breaks, in case people get overstimulated. There's also no pressure to "participate," although the more interesting parts come about as a result of input and stories from the participants.

The workshop consisted of a Friday evening session, two three-hour sessions on Saturday, and a single three-hour session on Sunday. There was lots of free time in between, offering people a chance to get to know each other, and to use the facilities at The Crossings, which were wonderful.

Because I have already been "on the path" of self-discovering as an HSP since 1997, I didn't really expect to learn very much new-- although Elaine did present some of her latest research on rewiring people's neural nets after traumas, as an alternative to conventional therapy. My main reason for going was to meet other HSPs, and especially to meet HSPs in the Austin area.

Of the 20-odd attendees, 11 were from Texas, with 8 from greater Austin. We did get a little time to talk, and I do believe we have the foundations for a local HSP group! I also made a new friend-- one of those wonderful experiences where you just instantly "connect" with someone, and everything feels rather "effortless." Alas, she lives near Fort Worth, some 200 miles away-- thank goodness for email!

All in all, it was a great experience, and I felt like I got to connect with a new set of "tribe members." If you find yourself in an area where Elaine is teaching, I would highly recommend attending one of these workshops-- both to learn, and to connect with other HSPs.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Elaine Aron Workshop, Austin, Texas April 30-May 2

Elaine Aron will be teaching a three-day workshop on being an HSP at Omega at the Crossings in Austin, Texas, on April 30th through May 2nd. This is her "basic" HSP introductory workshop she also teaches on the East Coast, and at Esalen in California.

This is amazing news for me, seeing as how it will be right here in my back yard. I live about six miles from The Crossings. In a very UN-HSP like fashion, I have been promoting this event to anyone who has been willing to give me the time of the day, hoping there will be a decent turnout.

What excites me the most about this is the possibility of meeting other HSPs from the Central Texas area-- I can't imagine everyone will be from out-of-state. Although it is not a "Gathering" as such, I am hoping it will have the same atmosphere of belonging and community I experienced at the California Gathering, this past summer.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Exciting News!

I have periodically complained that Austin-- in spite of generally being the most "progressive" metro area in Texas-- is rather lacking when it comes to "HSP-friendly" ideas and activities.

I have great hopes that this is going to change. Well, at least I have great hopes that it will change for me.

Late last year, a world-class retreat center opened in Austin. Not only did it open in Austin, but it is in the far north, no more than 5-6 miles from where I live. Omega at the Crossings is part of the greater Omega organization, based in Rhinebeck, New York.

From looking at their spring course catalog, I see a lot of the "big names" of the self-growth and metaphysics world will be making stops here.

Things are looking up....

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