I was once again humbled at the energy created and shared over four incredible days with these 20 like minded folks in a beautiful nature oriented setting - Somerset, England, Croydon Hall. Thanks to each of you who participated in making the First European HSP Gathering a historic event.
And without further adieu, here is:
The First European HSP Gathering Retreat, Somerset, England
6 - 10, April, 2006, Croydon Hall - www.croydonhall.com.uk - starring:
I feel as though I have found friends who I have known all my life and I have also found friends for life.
Angela Dunning, my cohost from South Yorkshire
Spyro from Athens Greece
An absolute highlight of UK HSP Gathering remains your interview with Elaine ! I also wish there was a tape your guided meditations.
Barbara from Deal Kent, England
I never though I would enjoy a "group" vacation. You surprised me!
Hilde from Belgium
Steve from Gloucestershire
Susan from Ipswitch
Rajan from Cornwall
"I love the new empowered me, who has faith and is not afraid to take a time-out!"
Helen from Devon
Claire from Bristol
Each Gathering for me is like finding an oasis in a parched desert. You really are refreshing to know and be with! My study of A Course in Miracles is often urging me to "go out and find them, for they bring yourself with them." This has never been more true than with the kindred Spirit and connection I find among HSPs.
Neil of Victoria, B.C.
I am now trying to figure out ways of changing things to fit my needs. Because of the gathering, I got a glimpse at the real me, and do I dare to say, "it's not actually such a bad person to be." I don't want to just survive, I want to THRIVE and I know now that one day I will!
Helena from Glasgow, Scotland
The gathering was full of beautiful relationships... more intuitive than normal friendships. It was sometimes like sharing experiences with oneself. We were friends immediately, as if we'd known each other for years. Experiences like that money cannot buy. That is what life is meant to be all about. Life, laughter and love!
Debbie from Cornwall, England
Sebastian from Cambridge
and of course,
Jacquelyn from Colorado
& Elaine from New York and San Francisco
We Are Who We Have Been Waiting For
It was somewhere near the fall of 2000 when I first received a unique vision about a world full of empowered HSPs. I get a lot of visions in the form of what I call "Yeses" from the Universe, and for many years, I ignored these 'inklings.' However, with courage, risk, faith and practice, I have been blessed that many visions-- once just tiny seeds of imagination-- have found their way to fruition.
Now, nine HSP Gatherings and five years later in Somerset, England, I became fully aware that a world full of empowered HSPs is not only possible, it is occurring, not only nationally, but internationally - on all the message boards and between all the HSPs who are reaching out to one another. And this is what I have learned: We are who we have been waiting for!
Thanks to my co-host, Angela Dunning, for sharing the beautiful wisdom from The Elders, Oraibi, Arizona, Hopi Nation. I think it beautifully illustrates the connection, love, and empowerment that seems to generate at these beautiful HSP Gatherings. It asks important questions and gives responsibility to each individual to "be the change you want to see."
I know all of us at Croydon Hall left feeling stronger and more hopeful about our place in the world. And part of that unique place, which perhaps many HSPs see as ironic, is evolving into our role as "Priestly Advisors." In the Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook, Elaine defines the priestly advisory role as: "the one who teaches, counsels, advises, heals, keeps the history in words or art forms, envisions the future, thinks about the meaning of life and death, leads rituals, studies the subtleties of nature or law, and puts the brakes on the more impulsive warrior kings." From the words of The Elders of the Hopi Nation:
We must let go of the shore, push off into the middle...
...all that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we have been waiting for.
Are Your Expectations Too High?
Like many HSPs, I've been told the reason I am often disappointed or react strongly to disturbing situations is that my "expectations are too high." But when you spend four days with total strangers, having all your expectations surpassed, well you know you are in the midst of a remarkable energy that has been created.
And so it was at the First European HSP Gathering Retreat
Whether we were dancing the night away, or involved in deep, caring conversations, there were many highlights.
Highlights Occurring on Art Night:
- Making and sharing beautiful art collages
- Dancing to Neil's great Ipod library
- Watching the inner children of the HSP
men - Jonathan, Les, Rajan, Steve, & Neil who kept us entertained while building structures with the meditation blocks. The dominoes were the best
guys! What patient and diligent work!
- Watching Angela teaching Janet the tango;
- Hedwig dancing through all the blocks, leading the way for the rest of us;
- Helen swaying to the music, and me, like the rest of us
- Dancing like no one was looking!
What a delightful night it was. At times I found myself thinking--no worrying-- in between dances: "If word gets out about these wild, extraverted, high sensation seeking HSPs dancing and jumping over blocks, there will not be another introvert who will ever want to attend a gathering!"
Wild, Extraverted High Sensation Extraverts?
No. Out of 20 HSPs, ten were extraverts and ten were introverts. Fourteen of the twenty were HSS - high sensation seekers! As usual, after the 2nd day, you couldn't tell who was an introvert or extravert, thus proving my theory that when in a safe place, one can chose to experience introversion and extraversion as a verb ! These seemingly opposite preferences can be utilized in service to the expression of our truest selves.
And then, there was Creativity Night
Creativity night has evolved into a very special night at the HSP Gatherings. I am always amazed at the creative talent HSPs share -many before an audience they have never had. A few of the many highlights of Creativity Night were:
- Nikki's goggle recitation of her poems, especially "We Jumped" from atop the bar;
- Janet's folk singing and guitar playing;
- The Belgium folk song sung by Hedwig and Ilse;
- Susan's rendition of "Behind the Wall" by Tracy Chapman
- Neil's unique horn burbling - yes, that's Neil's voice sounding like a horn!;
- Spyros's funny DVD of our Gathering;
- Sebastian's soft and gentle smile;
- Helen's creative Master of Ceremony role; and last but not least
- Jonanthan's concert that went way beyond my bedtime, but delighted his steadfast audience.
What more can I say? You just had to be there !
Shall we do it again next year?