Patricia Gale
Jan 1, 2008
My beginnings with est go all the way back—to the beginning. I participated in the first est training in San Francisco in October 1971, along with about 150 other people, mostly but not all young people about my almost 30 age. Some of the phrases I heard there echo today in my mind, and have become richer and more applicable over the years, like the reminder that it is all right to know and manifest who I am.

Before the training I hadn’t really asked myself deep or serious questions about who am I REALLY and what do I REALLY need to know about myself in order to make something positive and useful and enlivening happen around me. One thing I learned in that training was the cost of complaining about my life or anyone else’s life or anyone else’s influence in my life. It is a lesson I continue to learn, to the benefit of many, I’m grateful to say! In Werner’s presence and the timbre and intention of his voice, every person in the room seemed to come to attention, to listen and engage, albeit ‘eventually’ in the beginning. We had some very long sessions back then, and I have a lot of admiration and respect for those who endured the discomforts and discovered the wonder of who had been sitting in that chair they’d been occupying all along! It was like meeting yourself for the first time and liking the person a whole lot. And of course, once you like yourself a whole lot, then other people become more attractive. It makes for a pleasurable resonance.
The seminars and my participation as an assistant became a way of life for me. I was always learning and practicing what I’d learned, sometimes being a bit overbearing, I suspect, but always in earnest. I loved participating in est because it offered such a huge palette for LIFE! The projects were all very big. There was so much momentum and energy for people to grow and expand and discover they could and did make a difference. Conditions that seemed unchangeable altered. Going to a seminar was awesome, with people sharing about having a respectful and loving conversation with parents they hadn’t spoken to in years, or how their own children seemed to be more fun, or how they took on a huge project like getting all the corner curbs in the city ramped to allow for access for people who moved about in wheelchairs instead of on legs, or maybe they just learned to swim after feeling terrified of water all their life. Going to the seminars was absolutely an enchantment. I learned not only a lot of useful information about how human beings work, I also learned how to be a responsible seminarian. I’ve noticed that this has become a skill that’s available to me in every meeting I am ever a part of. Seems like in most of the meetings I attend, things get done and people find ways to work together.
Finding this website reminds me of the intensity of the conversation we all shared and spread around as much as we could. Still are, in fact. Thanks for providing a focus on what occurred and validating, for me (and probably a few others!), the 35+ subsequent years.

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3 Comments

  1. This is so wonderful. Who did the web design and coding ? Its really good and I will soon start entering my life with EST that goes back to the training I did in 75. I am still active
    How many people are contributing here? When did this begin?

    from j golden

    Comment by judy — January 8, 2009 @ 6:02 am

  2. Hi Judy, I am looking forward to your blog! There are a handful of us who thought it was about time we had a reunion so we got together and chipped in and created this website. Tell your friends – we would love to see thousands of people sharing what they’ve created out of the est training. from beth

    Comment by Beth Renelle — January 13, 2009 @ 8:00 pm

  3. Thanks for all your enthusiasm, Judy. The web design company that designed this site is called Unstuck Media We all think they did a great job! Keep checking back here at the site, we will continue to update and add new things to see and read.

    Comment by admin — February 3, 2009 @ 2:50 am

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