Sunday, August 10, 2008

East Coast HSP Gathering, October 2-6, 2008

The next HSP Gathering will take place in Phoenicia, New York, from October 2-6, 2008... and I'd like to encourage all who read this to consider going and being a participant!

This is the first Gathering to be held on the East Coast since since the Pennsylvania event in 2005-- offering a opportunity for those HSPs who don't live in California an easier venue to meet and spend time with peers.

Registration for the East Coast Gathering is now OPEN, and the sooner you sign up the lower the conference fee will be. I know it's in the nature of HSPs to "pause and reflect," but please register as soon as you can, as it will keep your cost lower... eventually, registration may reach an "as available" stage, if the maximum number of slots are filled. To register for the event, please visit Jacquelyn Strickland's web site.

I cannot overstate the "value" of going to an HSP Gathering. I say this from the perspective of what I have personally gained from going to six previous Gatherings... as well as from the perspective of watching 100s of HSPs experience major life transformations as a result of attending. Gatherings are about learning, about going on a retreat, and about fellowship with other HSPs. We spend Thursday through Monday together, engaged in a mixture of workshops, social time, and just "quiet time" to reflect on the ongoing experience.

Workshops at the New York Gathering will be presented by Jacquelyn Strickland, Sarah O'Doherty, Jessica Thayer and Elaine Aron will present to the group on Sunday afternoon via teleconference. Non-workshop activities will include Creativity Night, Music and Dance Night and Art Night, as well as plenty of time to simply socialize and get to know fellow HSPs. The venue for this Gathering is the Menla Mountain Retreat Center in Phoenicia, NY, about 2 hours north of New York City, set in the natural splendor of Catskill Park.

You might say "yeah, but it's just too expensive!" Well... actually, you'd spend TWICE the amount it costs to go to a Gathering, to go to a weekend workshop with Elaine Aron at Esalen, Omega Rhinebeck or Kripalu. I feel fairly confident in saying that it
will probably be one of the best ways of helping yourself understand the HSP trait, and in feeling validated as an HSP. There's a good reason why people keep returning to these events, year after year. This will be the 15th Gathering since they began in 2001.

You might say "yeah, but it's a GROUP!" True. It is. But I can also tell you that a group of HSPs is like NO other group you'll ever be part of. The level of emotional safety, validation and inclusion is-- literally-- "mind altering" for people... I have watched even the MOST retiring and introverted of HSPs virtually "become extraverts," in a matter of just 48

You might say "yeah, but I am too much of a misfit, even for a group of HSPs." If you are skeptical, or want to get a better sense of how a Gathering REALLY work, I encourage you to read Gathering attendee Marcia Norris' words on "Why HSPs Need To Gather" or read my own photojournals from a couple of Gatherings I have been to.

Again, I can only say that I have personally watched fellow HSPs' perspective change from a sense of "I am doomed to be a misfit" to having made a dozen new friends, in a matter of days.

To loosely paraphrase one of my good friends and fellow HSPs, who has attended many Gatherings: "It is amazing to come here and feel more welcome and included by a bunch of strangers than I feel with people who have been my family for over 50 years."

Information about the upcoming Gathering, as well as registration forms-- is now available on organizer Jacquelyn Strickland's web site:

Registration form:

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