By Susan Clarke
Susan Clarke and Carole Ames are leading Living Alive Phase I, February 13–March 10. Register soon!
Back in the early 80s, I arrived at The Haven for a Come Alive. That five-day program changed my life – I did literally come alive. I arrived with a belief that I had about three to six months to live due to an advanced cancer process. So I had nothing to lose. I discovered and witnessed something that ignited health, well-being and possibility inside of me. There’s a story to tell but honestly it’s not the one I want to write now. (Though I did write an earlier blog on that.) No, I want to write about what happened after Come Alive. Because Come Alive was like being shocked back into my body. However, I don’t believe I learned much in those five days about how to sustain that aliveness. Sure the tools were there but five days is five days. I tasted life and there was something I discovered worth living for, but I didn’t really get how to live that day-to-day.
No, that came later to me. Again another program at The Haven, this one Living Alive, also know as the Phase program. This program is a twenty-five day intensive. Yes, it can be taken in two parts. However, I recommend the twenty-five days if at all possible. This program takes the Come Alive and breaks it down. Suddenly, I’m responsible for breathing every day, speaking up and checking in. I have to do the working to relate and discover the richness in my fellow travelers. No one is pushing me. I really get to see how I opt out or jump in. I discover patterns that get in my way of creating the relationships I want, the life I want. In twenty-five days I really cannot hide from myself.
Now, twenty-five plus years later, I lead the Living Alive Phase I. Over the years between interning, assisting and leading, I have taken this journey many, many times. Yet, I don’t think I often market the program. I do recommend it to folks but probably not as much as I could. Why? I don’t know. That’s really why I wanted to write this blog. I wanted to tell people about this amazing offering that truly is life-changing.
As I reflect on my transformation, I can get lost in where I started and what was most significant. The Come Alive has always stood out because it was such a loud experience at such a life-or-death moment. However, when I think about the folks who have taken the Living Alive programs that I have lead, I witnessed many of them transform before my eyes during that twenty-five days.
Recently, I was at The Haven for Reflections and the 30th Year Celebration kick-off. I talked with many people who had taken Living Alive with me, and I was profoundly touched by how they shared the transformation in their own lives and their commitment to continuing to live and relate fully and authentically.
I don’t know why The Living Alive program is not always filled. There seems to be so many people who are dissatisfied with their life in some way – either work or relationship or health. I hear and see many people looking outside of themselves for answers and frustrated by the results, yet continuing to spend lots of money asking someone for the ‘right answer’. Living Alive isn’t about giving answers. Basically, the premise is that you have the answers inside of you, and you just need to learn your path to access your wisdom. In addition, in relationship to others, there is a tremendous amount that can be learned and discovered about yourself and the patterns and things you do that hinder or help you find that fulfillment. Living Alive is a journey of self-responsibility, choice and curiosity, not just about the ‘right’ answer, but the process, the pain, the joy in being fully alive even when it hurts. That may not be for everyone. If you want that, I say put you money into spending twenty-five days exploring the amazing possibilities that exist when relational health becomes the avenue to transformation. Step in and invest in your own inner wisdom and finding the answers that fit for you.
Yes, this is a bit of a marketing pitch. I am leading the next Living Alive Phase I starting February 13, 2013 (only a month away!!) and I am excited about a great group of people who are interested in self-discovery and aliveness. Are you? So I am putting my voice out there and calling those who are looking to sign up. I would love to see you there!!
Susan Clarke is a long standing faculty member at The Haven. In 2013 she is leading The Living Alive Phase I Feb 13–Mar 10, and Come Alive April 7-12 (both with Carole Ames); and with CrisMarie Campbell, Come Alive Oct 13-18, Couples Alive I April 15-19 and Couples Alive II April 19-23.