Silvia Hartmann writes:
So it's been three days now and I think I have recovered to the point where I can begin to write about my personal experiences with the 2006 Gatwick EMO conference.
Should I call it a life changing experience?
Those who weren't there might raise an eyebrow; those who were there, and especially who were there through all of it, won't.
I came at this conference from a very strange place.
The last experience of such a thing was super high traumatic for me and as I termed it, "blew my psychic circuitry apart" at the time.
Or my self construct. Or some thing. I was never the same carefree youngster after Kensington I'd been before I went and I tried to avoid having to take any trainings in person as much as possible since then.
So I walked into this thing to face the battle afresh - four years later.
And what I found astonished me.
There have been CHANGES.
I don't know how or when they happened, but they did happen,only I didn't know they had happened because I had avoided the situations since last I experienced them as painful.
I think the first thing that I noticed was about other people.
Sandra, Margreet, Tina, Margarita, Peter - wow, what a difference. And me and Nicola as well. It's not that we've become any *prettier* - just more beautiful!
Sounds strange but you should see the "before" and "after" for each of us from four years ago to today.
The EMO journey seems to do something very beneficial to people and you can see that from across the hall. When you talk to them, it becomes even more apparent. There is such a calm, friendly confidence and acceptance about these people, it is truly weird - but not in the starey-eyed Scientologist way, not at all.
I threw a tantrum on Friday because I felt unloved.
Some of the new people were astonished by this because they hadn't gotten it yet just what we do, and how we do REALITY instead of delusion as a matter of fact.
The old hands, however, laughed their heads off, patted me on the back and said, "When you're ready, get over it ..."
It took me about ten minutes to get out of my strop and it was just funny, enlivening. EMO isn't about NOT FEELING ANYTHING. It's about feeling it, expressing it and then LETTING IT GO away for good, rather than bottling it up, brooding and getting yourself a heap of psychosomatic diseases.
I happen to be a "real people".
I have never and will never pretend to anyone that I'm some floating angel sent from up above to spread peace and lurve continuously.
I've come from one hell of a long way back to where I am today and undoubtedly, have "miles and miles to go before I sleep".
The first thing on my personal programme was a BeauTy T demonstration on Friday night.
If there is one thing I have the most problems with and which has held me back and made my life an ongoing misery over the years, it's my self image and body image.
And I've had enough of this. I got up on the stage and said, "Right guys. I'm fat, my hair is going grey. I'm totally unfit. I smoke like a chimney. There we have it. And now, what we're going to do? Plastic surgery, stomach stapling or make a new future, one that will cure me in the partaking of it?"
Then I went into the BeauTy T thing like Bill Hicks on a good day.
It was extremely funny, extremely moving in parts and most of the audience had no idea what BeauTy T is, or what it does for you so they were literally wide eyed in amazement. I also believe that a number of hotel guests who were not part of the conference at all came in to join the fun, because there were far more people in the room in the end than there should have been by rights!
I can't begin to imagine what they made of it; but I had enormous fun. I was well rested, had lots of energy and once I'd made the public statement about the fatness and uglyness whilst reserving the right to trying to figure out REAL personal developement, there was a breakthrough joy there too.
I didn't have to hide or fight myself anymore.
It was wonderful to just be able to let go and give the (very appreciative!) audience EVERYTHING I had to give them.
Afterwards, many, and I mean MANY, people came up to me and thanked me for my "honesty". I guess that if I as the workshop leader can find the courage to be honest about my problems and how I attempt to solve them, it means that everyone else can also just be EXACTLY who they are right now, and we can all start from right there, with a clean slate, and see what can be done.
All through the conference, that sentiment continued to be expressed in many different ways: "Thank GOODNESS that here's finally someone who tells it as it is, who seeks the real truth, who doesn't bullshit us, who has some real ideas for REAL HUMAN BEINGS trying to live life best they can in the REAL world."
The more this went on, the more I understood how ESSENTIAL this honesty factor really is.
How you can't have any kind of meaningful interactions with people whilst you're still hiding all your dark secrets and all the things that are wrong and broken about you.
It becomes a situation where people stop casting the first stone and accept not just their own inequities, but also those of other people - when we stop judging and hiding, we have a chance for something that begins to approach unconditional acceptance, and that's a miraculous thing, a really amazing place to be.
I'm not saying that we went round blissfully experiencing unconditional love at this conference.
But what I am saying is that there were FLASHES, moments, where some of us got closer to something real than we ever did before.
These flashes, these moments, they SHOW US THE WAY.
That's where we say, "Oh wow! I want more of THAT!"
I wrote about my guitar performance, and that in there somewhere was a moment where I got a tingling sense of what it might be like to really do it well. That in and of itself is a total breakthrough, so exciting, so INVITING to want MORE of that thing.
And that's where we are back again with the REALITY of what we are doing here.
I so totally GOT IT that personal development isn't about all of a sudden being able to give a perfect performance as a singer, to be like a major prophet on stage all day, or to be a totally kind and enlightened human being 24/7.
In what we do, there are these moments, these FLASHES, that show you the way. Now, you have a direction. Now, you have a sense of what there is out there to strive towards. Now, you KNOW that YOU - yes, YOU! - HAVE THE CAPACITY OF EXPERIENCING THESE THINGS.
In the BeauTy T set, there were moments when me and the audience were completely there and on the same page. And it felt WONDERFUL. And it was about the first time EVER that I personally started to think that I might actually ENJOY trainings and performances, that they might give me something, rather than me crucifying myself for the greater good all the while.
I was astonished. I never thought that I "had it in me" to enjoy working with an audience and leave MORE ALIVE afterwards than before - up to now, I've always stumbled away from these things exhausted beyond belief and wishing I'd never have to do it again.
This astonishing theme became even more astonishing on the next day, my first full day of training, the practitioner day.
Now I've always run away in the breaks and hid out as best I could, so that no-one would talk to me and "drain me even further".
So as soon as the first break came up, I made my way to a goldfish pond and sat down in the sunshine with a cigarette.
A lady came up to me to talk to me, and I noted with interest that I didn't have the usual objections rising up in my chest and making my arms and head heavy. I talked with her, we had a wonderful exchange of ideas and energies, and then she left.
I sat in the sunshine and thought with absolute astonishment that I felt BETTER for her having been there than I would have done if I'd sat there by myself and had an epiphany on the spot.
I'm probably the most hard core introvert I've ever met, in spite of the public appearances to the contrary. I have ALWAYS experienced people as PAINFUL. All my life I've sought refuge from people - to nature, to far away, to silence, to Sanctuary.
And somewhere along the line in these last four years, I got cured.
That is EXTRAORDINARY.
So for the rest of the time there, I just went out into the garden and talked to people in the breaks. It was wonderful. When you're up on the stage, you don't see individuals. It is a group thing. But on this occasion, I actually got to meet individual people, learned a little about them, where they came from, who they were, what brought them here, what they were hoping to find.
Amazing. Wonderful, really. What can I say?
There is nothing more truly fascinating than real people and the truth about who they are and their lives. It is enriching, enlivening and so very educational - if you can get past the injuries, barriers and your old ideas.
I personally think I've made enormous progress in that direction, and I didn't actually know just how much progress there had been, simply because I didn't put myself into any situation that would allow me to find out!
So then, we came to the Saturday night performance.
That was just MINDBOGGLING. From any angle.
I don't know what the people who were there expected would happen in the evening session or what it was about; the people were those who were staying for the trainer's day on Sunday, so they were the most experienced energy healers at the conference.
When I stepped up and said that I wanted THEM to help HEAL ME, it was really quite a jaw dropping moment - literally at that, for quite a few of the participants.
But if you look at it, it is nothing more than a practical application of the principles that underwrite not just EMO, but all of my work, and which are as follows.
1. NO HIERACHY!
We are all PEOPLE, and NOBODY knows everything about people. We're all trying to find out what the hell is going on, and if we share our insights honestly, there's a chance we can get some real learnings, wisdom and experiences.
In fact, I am absolutely convinced that only when people get together on an even level, without hierarchies in the way, that we get rapport, that we get connection, that we get to compare notes on what it is REALLY like to be a human being in this world.
Which brings me to No. 2 which is:
I put in the manuals my favourite quote: "A tiny little piece of reality is worth a MOUNTAIN of illusions!"
Look, it doesn't matter if something doesn't work. There is no shame in that. It is an OPPORTUNITY to learn something - if we are honest.
Sure, some might think I took a huge risk there to put myself on the line with a severe problem in front of all of those people, but those who think that just don't understand THE POWER OF REALITY AND TRUTH.
If it hadn't worked, if I still couldn't sing after an EMO intervention, then we would have had a wonderful opportunity to learn, to explore that, to find out what was going on - and we would ALL have gone away with lots of questions, ideas and new avenues waiting to be explored, anyway.
As it happened, it did work. I did get to sing. Wow. I'm so grateful - and it's real. But essentially, it doesn't matter either way, and when you understand that, you are FREE.
I can't begin to tell you what it was like to stand in front of these people in tears, with three healers all around me and another 30 or more extending their hands and giving their best attention to heal me.
It was absolutely - well look there are no words.
The whole thing, from start to finish, was pure magic.
HUMAN magic. REAL magic.
I don't think that anyone who was there will EVER forget that, and to be a part of such a thing is absolutely life changing, in a very real and truthful way.
What I have understood perhaps best of all is finally, that I (Silvia, me, personally) am NOT on this planet to be perfect. That's not my gift for people, not at all.
I'm here to INSPIRE.
That it is my struggle which is of the essence, my reality, my truth and how I deal with that which has the magic which makes people go, "Wow, if she can be honest about wanting to sing, perhaps I can be, too ..."
This is the extraordinary thing.
I know for a fact that if I was to go on a national TV show and play guitar badly and sing my heart out, BADLY, there would be a few hundred people afterwards who would go into their sheds, their attics and their cellars, dust off an old, rusty, dusty guitar and play again.
And what a gift is that, to be able to inspire people?
Would I rather be pretty?
Would I rather be perfect?
I would love to be pretty. I would love to be perfect. But I don't HAVE TO BE IN ORDER TO INSPIRE PEOPLE, to light them up, to make them laugh, to make them think and feel SOMETHING.
And that's my great lesson of personal transformation from the Gatwick conference.
I can't know what I'm going to do now, or how things are going to be different. But I do know that whatever happened there was LIFE CHANGING for me.
And I want to sincerely thank everyone, absolutely EVERYONE, who was a part of this amazing sequence of events in any way whatsoever for having been there, and for having brought their energy, their challenges, their human realness to the party of transformation that this was for me.
Thank you all,
To Our New EMO Practitioners:
Elizabeth A Moseley
Jacqueline Branson Thom
Berit Holdo Hansen
May you make MANY people feel better about themselves, the world and their lives!
To Our New EMO Trainers:
Berit Holdo Hansen
Elizabeth A Moseley
May you be raised by the joy and excitement of YOUR groups the way I was!