Inner Journey Seminar Review

Spiral Shell

At the end of February I did a 3.5 day personal development “retreat” (*) called the Inner Journey Seminar which is designed to stretch/grow participants in all directions. I found it highly worthwhile and will explain a bit about my experience here.

The Basics

On my Inner Journey (IJ) retreat there were 14 people: 6 men, and 8 women. There was also a staff of I think about 30 supporting us who were almost all volunteers.

We lived (slept overnight) at the retreat location for the 3.5 days. It’s an intense and experiential retreat; there’s not much sitting back listening to talks. Most of the time, we were actively participating in a diverse range of activities.

For more detail on what it’s all about I suggest reading this page which explains it better than I can.

What I Can & Can’t Explain

Before I tell you about my experience, let me explain [Read more...]

A Month of Therapy & “Inner Journey”

Lucy the therapist (from Peanuts)

In February I did some inner work on myself, which consisted of therapy (I visited a counselor a few times), and a 3.5 day retreat called the “Inner Journey Seminar”. I’ll describe the therapy below and the Inner Journey in a separate blog post (coming soon).

Why Therapy?

I’ve been considering therapy for many years, but never done it due to the cost, and because I was reluctant to admit that I might need it. [Read more...]

A Month of Studying Evolution

Evolution of humans from monkeys

I was raised Christian, and first believed, as I was told, that God created people.

When I was old enough to start reasoning, I heard about evolution as well as many of the holes that people try to poke in it (for example “Imagine a hurricane going through a junkyard and accidentally assembling a Boeing 747. That’s the kind of random chance required by evolution – it’s nuts!”)

The idea that random chance caused all life on earth did seem to me like a crazy idea. But an all-powerful God sitting outside the universe pulling invisible strings seemed like an equally crazy idea. I realized it didn’t make sense to reject one crazy idea (evolution) only to replace it with another crazy idea (God) for which I had no evidence.

So for a long time my opinion on how we came to exist was an agnostic “I don’t know.” [Read more...]

A Month of Family Tree Work

Ancestors - Family Tree

My great great grandparents & their children.

For many years I’ve wanted to start building my family tree. For the month of April 2012, I decided to finally start doing it.

I’ll try to avoid going into excessive detail about my own tree here, but let me briefly explain the photo that you see above. My great great grandparents are the man and woman on the far left & far right (born in the mid-1800s). Their two youngest daughters (front row) died at age 17 (heart problems) & age 21 (tuberculosis). Their oldest daughter (2nd from right) died at age 33 during a cosmetic nose operation. Their remaining daughter (2nd from left, white blouse) lived to be 103 – she was my great grandmother.

A bunch of dates & ages, a bunch of health problems, a few stories… who cares? Why does it matter?

It might seem strange, but knowing the facts & stories about these people, seeing their personalities through their faces (or thinking I can), and imagining how we’d get along if we could meet each other helps me to understand a bit better who I am and how I fit into the world (although I don’t think it’s wise to define oneself by one’s relatives… did I just contradict myself?).

The people in that photo is just a tiny part of my tree of course. On another branch there are Holocaust survivors… and many who didn’t survive. And on another there are families in the 1700s who lived in England and were adventurous enough to sail across the ocean to spend the rest of their lives in North America.* I find it amazing to know that I came from these people.

[Read more...]