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H Opp Weekend
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Herpes Opportunity weekend - Awesome!

I just got back home from the most amazing experience of my life - the H Opportunity weekend. Wow. What an incredible experience. It's hard to really describe it in a few words because so much went on this weekend. There was laughter, there were tears, there was healing and breakthroughs and many lasting friendships formed. The reason to come together was the shared experience of herpes but the result was healing, growth and love. If you are looking for something that will help you find more peace, love and self-acceptance while pushing your edge, showing you parts of yourself you never knew existed and being showered with unconditional love, then you need to go to the next H Opportunity weekend. I can guarantee you won't come home the same person.

It's not a weekend of sitting and listening to lectures. It's a weekend of doing, searching, exploring, supporting others, loving, accepting and growth. If you are feeling shame, feeling "less than", confused, unempowered, then the H Opportunity weekend may be what you have been looking for. It's not so much about herpes but all about you. When is the last time you were able to take a weekend that is all about you? In this world of busyness and stress, the H Opportunity is a chance to disconnect from it all, slow down and really see yourself and others authentically for the first time.

I just want to take the time to thank Adrial for organizing and running this event and all the volunteers who made this weekend the experience that it was for us. I also want to thank the participants for being so loving and supportive and for being brave enough to really take the time to look within and allow the love that was available to really sink in to their hearts. I made such amazing friendships this weekend and had such fantastic connections like I have honestly never had with any other human being before. It was beautiful, touching and awe inspiring. I will miss you all but look forward to staying connected.

Brenda xox
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Comments

  • edited May 2013
    It was sooooo good to have you there, Brenda. Awesomeness all around. Such a surreal moment to finally meet you in person after developing such a respect and love for you through your contributions on this forum. You truly have one of the biggest mothering hearts I've felt.

    Shameless plug coming up! Here's the website with all the information on the seminar: http://thehopp.com
  • edited January 2013
    Thanks so much Adrial. Likewise for me, meeting you was so amazing and, as you say, surreal. Hard to put into words actually but it was like meeting a kindred spirit especially after talking to you and chatting on the forum. I am hoping our paths will cross again very soon. You have such a beautiful, loving, healing spirit Adrial and your capacity for love, enthusiasm, joy, and being so genuine and in the moment is so wonderful to be around.
  • Both of you just melt me into a big ol' gooey love-puddle!

    Going through the seminar with this group has freed me up physically and spiritually in ways I couldn't have even imagined. I've always called myself an 'open' person, but don't feel like it was really true until now. Being able to connect deeply with such genuine people in a caring, nurturing, judgement-free environment is probably the biggest gift of my life and I will be doing my damndest to carry the momentum forward. So much more potential just opened up in the universe.

    Adrial, I could say thank you a million times over and it still wouldn't feel like enough, so instead I'll just say I love you and already miss your face.
  • I could feel the love from here :-)...I knew you would all have the most amazing weekend. Wish I could have been there...was with you in spirit (but its just not the same ;-) ). Will just have to organise one for NZ! Much love to you all. xxxxx
  • It was an amazing weekend lelani. It's not really something you can describe. I went for lunch with one of the members of our Calgary H support group and I tried to explain it, but words just didn't do it justice. It is one of those things you have to actually experience. I am going to sit down and try to write things down and see if I can actually articulate what happened this weekend in a way that others can understand, but I am not entirely sure I can. I think all I can do is explain how it made me feel and leave it at that. If you can ever make it out to one of these events, I promise you, you will be so glad you did. I have never felt so loved in all my life.
  • Thankyou so much for sharing this Brenda. It so underlies the "opportunity" conversation Adrial has started. I am moved by what is unfolding in this community. If we learn to open to all of ourselves, to love ourselves however we are, to move beyond judgement about H, our capacity to embrace others as they are, and to move beyond judgement of other things is so expanded.
    Thankyou all for your wonderful sharing. The love in this community is palpable, remembering how I was when I first found it is humbling and real.
  • Good to hear from you on this thread, lively. You strike me as a solid contributor to this conversation across the board. Whenever I read your posts, I feel it. This whole conversation is reminding me what our world is turning into: An empathy-driven one. Not just what it's like to be me in someone else's shoes, but what it's like to be someone else. To feel what they are feeling. To be connected to the feelings of humanity. At least that's the vision I'm holding. And to have more and more of you on board with that vision is feeling really good.
  • And Leslie, what can I say? I love you. It was so great to finally see you and meet in the flesh after all this time where skype was all we got together. It feels really good hearing that your experience was so resonant and powerful. Really, really good. You deserve every ounce of happiness that you can take in. A million your welcomes right back at you. It was so, so good to have you there.
  • I'm still so moved from the weekend that I have writer's block!!! I'm working on something, though, and will post it once it is done. My love to you all! -Rachael
  • Rachel, you were such a bright light this past weekend. I loved getting to know you. You have such a beautiful innocence and gentleness about you which truly melts my heart. Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your beautiful light with us. Love you and miss you!

    Brenda xo
  • I couldn't agree more, WD. Rachael, you have such a range of humility and sparkplug high energy. Beautiful combo. Can't wait to take some ice-skating lessons from you! Triple lutz, here I come! ;)
  • Brenda - A heartfelt thanks and gratitude to you; when I'm with you I feel so much more at ease. Right now I'm thinking about how nice it would be to rewind back to last Saturday night! You're so genuine and so kind! This is such a gift - thank YOU for sharing it with me. I only wish you lived closer! Let's not forget technology - do you text? Adrial - thank you for your loving presence. You create a sacred space for so many people and I know I found you at the perfect time. No coincidences - but I do feel very lucky! Thank you.. and I look forward to torturing you, I mean, teaching you to figure skate! Much love, Rachael :-)
  • Hey Rachael - It was such a pleasure to meet you and I also wish we lived closer. I am so jealous that Adrial gets to spend time with you. :) Lucky man!! I would love to be able to learn to skate with you and be the recipient of your child like enthusiasm and encouragement. Your smile and enthusiasm literally lights up the room. I am fully into technology - text, email, Facebook. :) Please let's keep in touch!
  • Maybe you'll just have to come back for a visit - we'll have a group lesson. :-) If my travels bring me that way again, I would gladly give you a lesson on your turf. I didn't get to skate the last time I was there.. Do you use whatsapp?
  • I would love to come back to NC. :) You never know! If you come out this way, I have a spare room with your name on it!

    I haven't used whatsapp for a while but I can reload it on my phone.
  • Oh thank you!!! Great, I'll add your number. I'm just not sure if my unlimited text messaging plan extends to Canada as well.
  • I am so sorry to have missed this...I was all set to go...plane ticket in hand, but work interfered and I had to stay home. More than a little heartbroken.

    But it warms my heart to hear your experience, Brenda. I know how much it encourages Adrial to hear it, too. He pours himself into this experience for everyone there.

    Much love to all of you for making this investment in yourselves.

    Kristin
  • I really wish you could have been there as well Kristin. It was amazing. Life changing really. I got so much out of it and made some amazing friendships. And really healed on so many levels. Hopefully our paths will cross soon. :)

    Brenda
  • edited January 2013
    I'm loving all the love! The H opp weekend is truly something special. Brenda- I felt every word you wrote when describing the weekend. Adrial has a incredible gift of love, understanding, compassion, and showing us how wonderful we truly are. I'm glad you had such a great experience.

    Love to everyone :)
    -Katie
  • The weekend was absolutely incredible Katie. The gift that everyeone gave of themselves was so amazing. It goes without saying Adrial is a treasure to this world. He created a space for all of us to come together and share, break open, be vulnerable and share such an incredible sense of belonging and community and love. I have never experienced anything like that before. I know I can tap into that love anytime I want now that I have experienced it though. I have had man challenges over the weekend and this experience has really allowed me to approach it with love and compassion for both of us while maintaining my own boundaries, which I would not have had the strength to do previously. The words of love and acceptance and being "enough" have been ringing in my ears and reminding my soul of my own worth. That is a gift for which I can never hope to repay. Love you all!

    Brenda xoxo
  • edited January 2013
    Hi everyone :) I'm not sure where to begin to explain the experience from this weekend, but it was simply life changing. For anyone considering going, but you're on the fence, you will not regret it. Maybe you have an underlying fear of not wanting to have to talk about herpes for 3 days straight, please know the weekend is anything but that! It's 3 days being surrounded by the kindest, most supportive, loving people you'll ever meet and once you get there you realize it's not even really about herpes. There's a bigger picture of love and self acceptance, regardless of what your struggles are... Maybe its herpes, maybe it's something else. But If you are seeking love, peace, kindness, forgiveness, guidance, strength, hope... the list goes on... You will leave this weekend a different person. It's really a spiritual awakening in the most amazing way for wherever you need it most in your life. The relationships I formed in 3 days are ones ill never forget and ones I hope to keep close to my heart forever. Thank you to everyone I had the pleasure to share it with <3
  • Kristin... I so wish you could have been there as well. You were in my thoughts :)
  • Thanks for your lovely description of the weekend. You captured the true essence of what I felt that weekend. It was amazing and, like you said, we were all there because of herpes but the weekend was about so much more than that. As you say, absolutely life changing and so many bonds of friendship were formed in 3 short days. I miss you all! You are such an incredibly brave and beautiful soul my dear. :) I am so glad I had a chance to share in your journey.
  • I started writing this in my journal in the Raleigh airport last Monday and as I was writing, I thought I may as well just share it on here. Sorry it's taken so long to post but it was way longer than this and I wanted to cut it down a bit. And life has just been hectic lately. It's still pretty long but I like to write and couldn't decide what else to cut... sorry. Love and miss you all!!

    When I bought my plane ticket to Raleigh a few months ago, I had just met Adrial and was feeling inspired by him. Just from his energy, I knew the seminar would be amazing and life-changing. But shortly thereafter, the excitement faded. I forgot the feelings I had after spending that day with him and, with everything else going on in my life, the thought of taking a weekend trip to talk about herpes started to really bother me. My finances were a mess and my credit card debt was growing again. Work was crazy and my boss begged me not to go and even offered to reimburse me for the non-refundable plane ticket and pay me to be on-call all weekend. And, quite frankly, I was feeling really okay about having herpes and didn't really want to go anymore. Then I got sick and was hoping I would get sick enough to really be able to bail and not feel guilty for it. But I didn't. And now I'm laying on the floor of the Raleigh airport, typing this on my phone, and waiting for my flight home. And, with an empty wallet, dirty clothes on, bags under my eyes, and possibly a low grade fever, I feel really good. Content, grateful, and full of love.

    I didn't expect some grand epiphany to occur for me over the weekend and it didn't. For some of the participants it did, but those things never happen to me. I have epiphanies all the time and they fade quickly. I'm a skeptic. I know myself well enough to know that, for me, this stuff takes time to sink in. It's a process and rather than having 1 huge moment of clarity and making some big change or leap of faith, I have lots of more subtle moments and am constantly trying to make smaller changes. I question everything and everyone. I trust myself and my gut but I don't trust other people or ideas easily. So I went into the weekend open and willing, but skeptical and hesitant. Even with the bad timing and lack of enthusiasm I had been feeling, I knew I would take something away from the weekend. And I certainly got more out of it than I ever could have imagined.

    I was surprised by the group of participants. I had thought that most of the people would be feeling the way I felt up until pretty recently- sad, lonely, stuck believing that I was dirty and no one would ever love me again. We were all in different places- some newly diagnosed, some having had it for many years, some who, like me, went through a long struggle to accept it, and some who came to terms with it right away. But we all seemed to be past the point of deep shame and grief. The weekend quickly became not so much about herpes, but about love and acceptance, both for ourselves and for others. It became about opening our hearts and minds and learning how to deal with the craziness that is life. I had multiple moments throughout the weekend when I, somewhat suddenly, remembered that we were there because of herpes! I know I wasn't the only one who forgot either. The format of the weekend and the activities that we did were about so much more than the silly skin condition that brought us all there. They were about coming to a place of such deep self-love and learning to fully accept ourselves not even despite of, but because of our flaws. I think I can speak for every participant (and probably most, if not all of the staff ;))) when I say that we've got way bigger issues to deal with than herpes! When I really think about it, it's comical to me that this relatively harmless, insignificant thing that is physically nothing more than an annoyance (to me at least), was able to take control of my life the way it did. I am grateful to be past that feeling of hopelessness and it makes me so sad to think about those that are still stuck there. Because I know that place. It's really dark and scary and feels like there's no way out. And I don't think there is anything harder than making that first step to get out of that. It takes incredible strength and courage which I didn't have for a long time. And I'm still amazed that I found it and have been able to use it to move past the shame and self-loathing I felt for so long. I wish you all could have known me 2 years ago to see where I was and how far I've come. Cause I know that if I can do it, anyone can. It's just a matter of finding the strength to take that first step and deciding that you don't want herpes to define you. And once I found the strength to do that, I grabbed onto it for dear life and wouldn't let go. Amazing things started to happen and my strength grew and grew and allowed me to further perpetuate the self-love and acceptance that I finally felt. And since then everything has changed and it's been incredible and freeing.

    So, for me, the weekend gave me more tools to use when I have bad days and am feeling sorry for myself. Because I do still have them and I know I always will. It gave me the opportunity to connect with people on a deeper level than I ever knew possible and without any fear of rejection or judgment. It gave me a safe space to work through things that are uncomfortable and scary and I might otherwise have buried and ignored out of fear. And as far as my herpes healing process, I think the biggest thing it gave me was the opportunity to talk about it with a group of people, some of whom have it, and some of whom only have a 20% chance of having it ;), with no concern for judgment or being looked at any differently than anyone else. I felt more love in that room over the weekend than I could ever imagine and hope for. And I can't thank Adrial, the staff, and all the other participants enough for sharing their love and giving so much of themselves to this incredible, inspiring weekend.
  • Oh god I still feel the love all the way from here. I would have so loved to have been there too because I knew it would be so much bigger than H...and that you would all feel that.

    There is nothing more amazing than souls connecting at this kind of level and it truly is magic :-) x
  • Thanks so much Alyssa for sharing your experience. I was totally captivated by your story. You have such a beautiful heart and such a lovely way of expressing yourself. I, for one, am glad you joined our "Star Trek Convention". I am so much better for having met you and being able to share my journey and all the darker and insecure parts of myself without fear of judgment and in a place of total love and acceptance. I hope our paths cross again soon! Love you and miss you! xox
  • More like 'Soul Trek Convention' (...stop it now, I can hear the groans all the way through my computer).

    But seriously, Alyssa - you know I love you. Can't wait to see you if you make it through the Twin Cities soon.

    Hugs & Kisses
  • edited February 2013
    Alyssa and Brenda, may I just 'second' your posts about the weekend? :-) Reading them brought me visions and warm/fuzzy feelings of the weekend all over again. Plus, Alyssa, I had no idea what a journey it was for you to just get here! I'm also blown away by all the parallels.

    Anyway, I want to likewise share with everyone how wonderful it was to meet you as well as share my feedback for anyone who may be considering attending the next weekend seminar. I’m still feeling the weekend’s impact on many levels! I’m so very glad I ended up attending. I wasn’t sure I’d be the right kind of participant as I have had herpes for 15 years thus many years to process it (yet there have been things in recent years that gave me the same feelings of dis-empowerment and rejection, as I had when I was first diagnosed with herpes).

    After a brief chat with Adrial, I felt like it may be good for me and it would be nice to connect with some new people. Now in retrospect, amazing, talented, beautiful and real people that I grew to love in such a short time! Anyway, I had been feeling a little stuck in my life and thought perhaps this medium would help oil the old wheels a little, give me a small boost (maybe even some direction). So I was hopeful that I had made this wise decision but I have to admit, a little skeptical. I even considered only attending parts of the event as I had a lot of unexpected things pop up the week leading up to it. I was kind of a wreck, emotionally and physically drained. I was afraid I was going to fall apart but I wanted/needed to make some kind of movement.

    Even though I saw the video, I still pictured a cold conference room with me taking notes and sipping hot coffee. I started out the weekend with some reservation and when the staff set up the room to have all the participants situated in the front row with them behind us (to create a supportive environment for the participants), I realized this wasn’t the kind of seminar that you could attend in parts. This was full throttle total immersion with each game/exercise building into the next.

    What struck me was how my perception of things and others changed from the beginning of the weekend versus the end. I went into the weekend not really even knowing why I was attending, only that I thought it could be good for me. By the end of the weekend I had a great realization. I realized that I actually had the desire to get my life back and I could imagine how that would feel. This means that I got a taste of what my life could be, and liked it! Up until the seminar, I wouldn’t dare enter into ‘what could be,’ because I couldn’t get past what was, which left me feeling powerless.

    I'm still dealing with these feelings, especially since it's been a few weeks since the seminar, but progress is happening with little effort on my part. It's been years since I've had vivid dreams and just recently they started back up again. Past experience tells me that when the vivid dreams start, things are in the works and all I need to do is stay as open as possible and enjoy the ride. I credit the weekend for these new developments.

    Now I really understand why it’s called the H Opportunity. I think anyone could benefit from a seminar like this, and I feel so fortunate that my condition led me to it! Much love to you all!
  • Can't wait to meet you all one day!!! The good vibes move through the computer screen!! Thanks for sharing your experiences here and being a welcoming, focused on the positive, crew! Catch you on the forum. Aloha!
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