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Posted By The Opening the Heart Workshop™

I wanted to share with you a letter that a participant wrote to us after her experience at Opening the Heart at Omega last weekend. Her name has been changed for privacy reasons.

           "....I could not have done the work without the staff providing the safe, loving and understanding environment. I am eternally grateful. I have deep gratitude and respect for all of you, and I am glad that this workshop lives on. I believe wholeheartedly in this process. I don't know where to begin to tell you how my life has changed and benefited from being a participant. OTH is an example, for me, of "Divine Intervention"....Thanks for being special angels in my life."         Mary

 

With Love and Respect, Jon

 


 
Posted By The Opening the Heart Workshop™

Cyndie Lauper's "True Colors" is one of OTH Workshop's all time favorite songs. This version, by the LA Gay Men's Chorus - along with friends and families - is made all the more poignant against the background of hatred and bullying that continues to be prevalent in our nation's schools. The obvious love, caring and connection among these singers is palpable, and rminds me strongly of the feeling in the room at the end of a "Heart" Workshop. The message of support extended to gay young people is an example for all of us.

 

 
Posted By The Opening the Heart Workshop™

I'd like to tell you about my men's book club. First, it's all men, but you could probably tell that already. The fact that it's all men is, actually, more interesting to me than the fact that it's a book club. We meet every six weeks or so (depending on the number of pages- I'm probably the slowest reader) at someone's house. We share some trail mix and store bought cookies and diet coke. We talk about the book, and we go home. There are a lot of us, about 16 men, so there are usually 10-12 of us who come for any one week. I've been a part of this group for at least 15 years.

To give you a better flavor of who we are, I'll tell you a true story about our meeting 6 months ago. After the meeting ended, I walked out with my friend, Paul, and I gestured to the two guys walking out ahead of us and I whispered "Paul, do you know the names of those two guys?" He said "I don't have a clue". I said "Paul, they've been coming to book club for at least two years!" He said "Pathetic, isn't it." And we each got in our own car and drove home.

My wife belongs to a women's book club. One Sunday it was held at our house and I was out doing an errand with my daughter, Abby. As we approached our house, I said to her "I want you to notice something when we get home." She didn't notice anything unusual so I helped educate her about the difference between a men's book club and a women's book club. First, there were three cars in front of our house. In other words, Women Carpool! If we have 12 men at a meeting, you will see 12 cars parked out front. Second difference: women dine, men eat trail mix! Each woman brings food - not store-bought - homecooked! Third difference: women may or may not talk about the book! They connect and catch up on each others' lives and their children, and, if time allows, they'll talk about the book.

So, why am I telling you about my men's book club? Maybe, because I just returned this past weekend from leading an Opening the Heart workshop at Omega in Rhinebeck, N.Y. where the men were outnumbered by the women 4 to 1. Sometimes it's 2:1, sometimes 3:1- 4:1 is not unusual. And I give these men so much credit for showing up and doing this work. I think it's fairly easy in our culture for a man to be a warrior- but not so easy to be a loving warrior. And I think about all the men who would never, ever, come to a Heart Workshop- and who might always prefer trail mix to a connection over a home-cooked meal,- and who will always drive home alone.

With Love and Respect, Jon


 
Posted By The Opening the Heart Workshop™

Naples

This weekend will find us all flying to Florida to lead the Openiing the Heart to Grief Workshop at the Avow Hospice in Naples. Our dear 'on site' friend and colleague, Louise Kenney has once again worked her organizational magic dealing with locations, accommodations, air-port shuttles and all the behind the scenes activities that are necessary for a successful participant experience. We look forward to meeting many new friends just as we look forward to re-gathering our core group of facilitators. Linda, Donna, Jon and I have been close friends and workshop colleagues for over 25 years. We currently live in four diferent New England states, so our time together revolves a lot around our workshops. For us each workshop provides an opportunity to reconnect and renew loving friendships with each other as well as to introduce the Opening the Heart approach to new participants.

 

Omega

October will be a specially full month because we will also be presenting the full weekend Opening the Heart Workshop™  (22nd - 24th)  at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY. Currently there are a few places remaining open for participants so I want to offer a warm invitation to come and join (or re-join) us for a healing and whole-hearted weekend.

We look forward to seing you soon.

Peter