June 5, 2019
This year, fortunately, I was able to attend the IAIM Trainer’s Meeting, Educational Conference, and General Assembly in and near Madrid, Spain.
Packing is a week-long ordeal. I lay my cases out and gradually fill them, every day packing things and taking things out until I have the perfect and legal balance of stuff I will need. I pack probably more than I need, and next time will consider more simplicity. Maybe by the time I’m 70 I’ll have it figured out.
Mia Elmsater (Denmark, Sweden, USA, all over the place) made all the arrangements for my flights, in between conducting trainings in China and God knows where else, and visiting me at home. She is a beloved friend, an incredibly strong woman, and we share a sense of humor so I treasure her so much. I can’t thank her enough for all the work she did getting me there and back.
I always book a wheelchair at every airport, saving my fragile body from stress that’s unnecessary. At home, I can jog around the lake 4-5 miles but on a trip, the added kerfuffle of finding gates and dragging luggage and going through customs would wear me out. Having been so ill and disabled for so many years, after being a “sickly” child, I’ve had to be aware of my body and its needs now that I’m “well.” Plus, I’m 66 and just too old for all that stromash!
Planes don’t bother me as much as they used to. But I’ve never been able to sleep on any kind of moving vehicle, so 9-12 hour flights are interesting. I have books on my phone, and spend most of the time “reading.” I book vegetarian meals in advance and hope something edible will turn up. I usually ask for “Hindu” food and get a hot Indian meal that is yumingly vegetarian. I have my iPad too, with some games, Facebook etc.
I always wish so badly that I could speak every language I come across. Life would be so much easier and more interesting! We landed in Madrid in the morning, and were met by an awesome brother CIMI, who drove us to the lovely mountain lodge for the Trainer’s Meeting.
We drove into incredible Spanish mountains that look like they are stone-age and probably are, to a small town and the lodge to check in. Suddenly meeting some of my best friends in all the world was awesome! The room I had there was gorgeous, with an extra room (for meditation!), a marvelous gigantic bed, and lovely high end bathroom. Ahhhhh. . . .
I enjoyed the Trainer’s Meeting so much. Friends from 20-30-even 40 years ago! Meeting new Trainers was so inspiring, I loved being able to hand them their certificates. I was and am always so impressed with Olga Morris (USA) typing out the minutes (I can’t imagine how she does it!), everyone with their laptops reading the agenda points. Our President Margot Kilborn from South Africa was so warm and lovely, I enjoyed sitting next to her and hearing anything she had to say.
We work with consensus. When each agenda point has been covered, a vote is taken, and two trainers (Michael Curtis (USA) and another Trainer) go around in two directions to count the votes. A 2/3 vote is necessary to pass.
Every Trainer is so impressive. I look around and thank the universe for sending them. So smart, charming, dedicated! Each one brings a different flavor to our mission and has an important role in it. I could write a blog post about each one of them!
The food was outrageously good. Jody Wright (USA) and I are vegetarians, and got the royal treatment. Every meal was special. They brought out a special Spanish paella for us:
I noticed groups eating together and talking so earnestly about their work. I wanted to be a “fly on the wall” at every table! The Trainers were so sweet and cordial to me; there was always someone offering to help me, bring me food, or sit at table with me.
Mia and Sylvie looking mischievous
I went with Olga Morris and Linda Storm (USA) to walk around the little town on a sunny day. It was so much fun, and I bought my granddaughter handmade earrings for her birthday. We stopped at a grocery market. I bought an avocado and some other fruit; Linda was looking for tape for a presentation. We fumbled around then (duh!) looked up “masking tape” on Google translate, and finally got her tape. Both Linda and I had jet-lag, and for both of us it manifested as a feeling of trying to stand up and walk on a boat in the ocean. She did a better job of it than I did. I noticed she was hyper aware of me, ready to catch me if I keeled over!
There were small group sessions on different topics from marketing to premature babies, led by experienced, knowledgeable Trainers. I was only able to go to a couple of these (needed down time for meditation and sleep) but I peeked in nearly all of them and I was so impressed.
Clara Ute Laves (Germany) and I gave a workshop on Touch Relaxation. She was so incredibly creative, so quick! We planned ahead in 5-10 minute increments, and she had already come up with ideas that had just started forming in my head—I felt lazy next to her! I enjoyed doing something with her so much. She is an exceptional Trainer and person! I was gratified that everyone was right there with us, had great questions and comments.
On the last day, we all assembled outside and had our “class picture” taken. There are a few different versions, and I have my eyes closed in all but one!
Next Trainer’s Meeting, Educational Conference, and General Assembly — Taiwan!