Monday, November 20, 2006

Back from Keys

We don't talk to the family rep until tomorrow, so we have no news about Katie.

Diane and I, however, had a fantastic weekend at our 4th Keys seminar "Living a Purposeful Life." I think that, of all we have attended, this was the best of the keys weekends. "Being in Relationship" was great, but not quite as good as this one.

It is interesting to me, how this seemed so much more a continuation of the process we started in Discovery and Focus, as did the relationship keys to a lesser extent. The addiction and Effective Communication keys, in contrast, were much more stand-alone, standard seminars. They didn't seem to build or continue on the others, and didn't seem to connect with them.

Is that because of the facilitators? Carol did this one, Lou did relationships. Carol did our Discovery (as well as the one I staffed), Lou does Focus. David did the two that didn't seem to connect. We were at first excited to hear he would be doing them, but now I'm much less enthused about him.

In May we should become keyholders, and it should be with Carol again at Styles of Communication. I don't know if the content will be as powerful (I've heard it is similar to Effective Communications, and more of a stand alone, with a lot of information, but less experiences) but I am looking forward to graduating with Carol.

This weekend was also special, because so many of the people we started with graduated. This was the largest keys graduation so far, with 40 people graduating. It was hard, because I wasn't able to personally participate with everyone's experience that I wanted to (they did 5 groups of 8, and that meant that several whom I wanted to be with were at the same time). Yes, this sounds confusing, but I can't discuss more without revealing too much - and one of the ground rules is confidentiality. And it isn't because this is a cult or secretive or anything - but simply because the key to a lot of the power of the seminars is experiencing it - you learn and grow by experiencing the process - and knowing what is going to happen ahead of time only serves to spoil the process. It isn't about what the answers are, but in how you find and discover the answers yourself.

So back to graduation. Four of the members of my focus family graduated, two of them being the firsts - one was the youngest ever to graduate (at 19), because before her they limited you to being 21 to attend. She was our focus leader, and is an inspiration to me. The other is a family rep at one of the schools, though not the one Katie is at. The schools send all the reps to Discovery, and some to Focus, but keys is all on their own. She almost didn't continue on this journey with us, but with our support early on continued on with the seminars, and is the first family rep at any school to be a keyholder.

I was saddended that I wasn't graduating with them. I still question how you are supposed to be +5 at everything, when they can conflict with each others. My committment to the Band Boosters at +5 conflicted with my +5 committment to the seminars, so I missed Styles of Communication in July - and we will have to make it up in May. Had we known we were going to miss it ahead of time, we could have gone somewhere else - but it has not been anywhere else except the bay area (again in July) since then. I wouldn't mind not graduating, but it will be tough going in May realizing that all of my family won't be there. Even my keys family will be different - as only one couple will be left (and they should graduate with us). So I'm saddened that I won't be with people I know to graduate. And I'm also saddened to think that I may not see some of these people again.

That is one drawback to these seminars - they provide wonderful support, but once you graduate then it is over. It would be kind of neat if they could have some type of ongoing seminar, once a quarter or something, to continue learning and supporting each other, that you could continue to attend as long as you had a kid in the program.

The one thing I really don't like about the seminars is the drive home - got in at 12:30 last night, and couldn't unwind to sleep until 2 am. So I'm a bit wiped out today.

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