[PART 1 - I will add to it over the next day or two] Alex Wu’s Review of the Conscious Growth Workshop
WOW. If I had to come up with a one-word summary of the workshop experience, WOW would be it. This workshop has left me totally changed from the inside out. People are wondering what happened to me in Las Vegas. All of a sudden I’m so huggy, I’m saying hi and talking to strangers on the street, I’ve reconnected with old, positive friends, and I’ve even put my boss on notice that I will be eventually quitting. What’s the deal?
I signed up for the workshop the day I learned of it back in July. Steve was doing a live workshop and there was no question that I was going. I was stuck. I was dating a boyfriend with whom I only felt a marginal connection at best. My job had been a dead end for months, but I didn’t feel up to doing anything about it. And I was afraid of people… especially strangers!
The day before the workshop I was questioning whether this was a good idea. Was it worth taking time off work to make the trip from Canada? I packed my things into a little carry on bag and the next morning I drove to the airport… little did I know what was coming!
It took a while to find it, but you couldn’t mistake the Conscious Growth Workshop Members for anyone else. Someone had the foresight to bring a book cover from Steve’s book and display it on the coffee table. I hurried over and took a seat on one of the couches beside Gerett and Taz. The vibe was AMAZING. I immediately felt like I was in safe, nurturing environment, a world away from back home. No one in my social circle back home reads Steve’s blog, and it’s difficult to have a meaningful conversation about personal growth. Not here at the pre-workshop meetup. We were all strangers, but already I felt connected to everyone. I felt comfortable talking about any area of my life and not feel like anyone else was judging me. On the contrary, I got some excellent advice. When I mentioned that I wanted to become an intuitive life counselor/coach, one fellow immediately asked me to start with him… on the spot. I was nervous, but I had no choice but to give it a go. He described his plans for a future career path, and after listening I made some observations and predictions. I was able to pick up on patterns that he normally goes through and where he was in terms of having the necessary skills and discipline in order to follow through. I realized that to really help people I also need to help guide them in the right direction. But overall I felt a sense of validation that this was the right path for me. My hat goes off to Daan for getting the hugging started – after the first hug, it became the de facto standard for greeting strangers at the workshop.
At one point there were +/- 40 people at the pre-workshop meetup, but even at midnight, there was still a group of 10 conscious souls still hanging out. When I was back in my hotel room, I was shaking from anticipation of the following day. It was amazing just to hang out with so many conscious and growing people – I couldn’t wait for the next day when the workshop actually started. I prayed that I could fall asleep.
I rode the elevator down to the workshop room, bursting with excitement (I stayed at Harrah’s where the workshop was being held). When I arrived I was greeted by Erin at the registration table. I was nearly an hour early, but I wasn’t the first. I recognized a number of “old friends” from the night before. After returning from Starbucks with bananas and a soymilk for breakfast (Steve and Erin – please arrange a smoothie bar in front of the room so we can all have a healthy, non-caffeinated breakfast), I found the room packed and buzzing with chatter and excitement.
What was awesome about the workshop was how conscious and open minded everyone was – the standard way to greet someone was by a hug, on the left side (that way your hearts connect – more energy!). People had come from far and away – some of my best friends in the conference hailed from Australia, Germany, Belgium, and the far away land of Wisconsin. This was a room full of more or less strangers, but within seconds of arriving, strangers were talking to each other like lifelong friends! We didn’t have to go through the gradual courtship process of making friends. We could dive right in and talk about something meaningful.
When it was time for the workshop to *officially* start, a bald man took to the stage and introduced himself as Darren LaCroix, World Champion of Public Speaking. I nearly fell out of my chair. THE Darren LaCroix had changed his flight out of Vegas that morning so he could be there to introduce Steve.
When Darren finished introducing Steve, the room burst in flames with cheers and applause. I had made the trip to Las Vegas a year earlier to see Steve present at the I Can Do It conference where I was impressed with how focused a presenter he was. This time around, I could see he had improved further – I noticed him making more eye contact with individual people in the audience. He spoke slower, and most importantly, he looked increasingly confident and comfortable as the workshop went on. Steve’s appeal as a speaker isn’t his flashy charisma, big gestures, use of vocal variety or dramatic pauses. His draw is how genuine he comes across, how much he wants each of us to absorb his message and succeed. Watching him didn’t feel like watching most other speakers – when Steve talks, it feels like a two-way flow of energy that’s simultaneously comforting and inspiring.
On Day 1, Steve focused on the principles of personal growth – Truth, Love, Power, Oneness, Authority, Courage and Intelligence. We did exercises in our handouts for each area, as well as interactive group exercises. At one point Steve had a volunteer come on stage and talk about her career situation. After she had spoken for 5 minutes, Steve asked for open mic comments from the audience about where they felt her momentum was headed. I’ll bet it was a little unnerving for the volunteer, but also incredibly helpful. I admired her courage and gusto. We then repeated the exercise but in smaller groups. During the group exercise I described again my ideal career – but how I was afraid that my young age would work against my goal of becoming a life counselor/coach. My group members suggested that my age could in fact work in my favor, and I should get started by practicing for free.
At lunch time, Steve gave us the exercise of writing down what we wanted for lunch, and then to use our Power to get exactly the lunch we wrote. One of the items I had written down was Vegan Chicken Stew. Where would I find that on the strip? In the end, I didn’t wind up having nearly anything on my list (I settled for a veggie wrap in Caesar’s Palace). On the flip side, I should have written on my list of wants “to hang out with friends”. That was more important to me than exactly what I ate, and that, I DID get.
For dinner, there were two distinct groups in the audience: one that wanted to go to Red Velvet Café, a vegan-friendly restaurant off-strip, and one that leaned towards Go Raw Café, a raw food café also off the strip. I was severely split between going to either – I wanted to hang out with everybody! In the end, I decided to go to Go Raw. I had never had raw food before, but the experience was intriguing – carrot and avocado soup (delicious), raw lasagna (really cool because the layers were made of sliced zucchini), sushi (couldn’t figure out what it was made of but it was delicious) and strawberry cheesecake (awesome).
After returning to the strip, I was exhausted from the travelling the day earlier, and getting only 5 hours of sleep the night before. I said goodbye to my new friends and retired to my room for the night – it would be my only early night during the workshop
[I will add to this over the next day or two]