By Toby Macklin. Toby is leading Come Alive with Jane Olynyk, February 17–22, 2013.
I first came to The Haven in 2001 as a participant in Come Alive. Then, as an intern training for my Diploma and, since graduating, as an Assistant, I have been involved in more than 30 Come Alives in Canada and in China. This month (Feb 17–22) I will be leading Come Alive for the first time, with my good friend Jane Olynyk.
I’m excited about this, and hope that I will meet some of you there!
That first Come Alive 12 years ago shook my world. It didn’t fix anything, my life didn’t become better over night; but I had experiences then that had a profound impact on me and which I have been working with ever since.
In the midst of great turmoil, somewhere in that Come Alive it dawned on me with some clarity that while I certainly thought I had messed up great swathes of my life, essentially I was still OK. I don’t know what I’d have called it at the time, but now I think I experienced compassion for myself. And that made all the difference.
I returned to my daily life with new ideas and a shift in perspective. My partner, Rachel, and I talked, for the first time really, about some very difficult things; and gradually we rebuilt and revitalized our relationship. I stopped drinking, I rediscovered things I had lost touch with, like music and creative work. Rachel came to programs at The Haven too, and we continued to explore, separately and together … and here we still are, exploring.
Over and over again since then I have met people in Come Alive who have had comparable experiences. Whether in group activities or in the individual focus time we offer people, they have experienced something that has made all the difference. In all sorts of different ways, sometimes dramatically, sometimes slowly over long periods, it seems that people come to see themselves and others more clearly and make choices to live in the fullest ways they know how. For me it is moving and rewarding to be part of such a process.
This short video features a number of people talking about their experience at Come Alive. I hope it sparks your interest. If you can’t make the Come Alive in February, there’s at least one every month, led by very gifted people who I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of training and working with in recent years. I can’t recommend Come Alive highly enough.