James is co-facilitator of a workshop called The Mastery of Self Expression. I took the workshop intensive in the fall of 2006, several months after we started dating. It was really important to James and he was – and still is – very connected to the community, so I figured I would go and attend. I was clear that I was going for myself and not “for him” but at the same time I knew that I was getting major brownie points for being there! It felt like a win-win.
The weekend was profound and literally changed the direction of my life path. I made some drastic changes in the weeks that followed, including quitting my corporate job, moving in with James (and his son David), going on a 5-week holiday to Mexico over Christmas (the first time I had been away from my family over a major holiday, not to mention the shock of having tacos on Christmas day instead of turkey!!), starting a new business. Just to name a few. The ongoing connection to my group and the broader community was a huge support for me, something I had never experienced before. I loved it. And I got more and more involved.
By early of 2008, I was working in the capacity of Registrar and also volunteering at all of the local workshops.
In March 2008 there was a Calgary workshop, so James was co-facilitating and I was leading the volunteer team. During the weekend there is a very special exercise where the participants (first) and volunteers (later) get on-stage and deliver a monologue. Lots of grads come to watch, so there was a full crowd that evening, including my mom, sister and many of our dear friends who are graduates of the weekend.
To my great surprise, at the very end, once all of the participants and the volunteers had delivered their monologues, James got up and stepped onto stage to deliver a monologue too! He rarely ever did monologues, so this was a surprise to everyone.
Here is his monologue: (~8 minutes and worth watching to the very end!)
It was a stunning proposal! And I never thought about it until after when we received comments from the audience, but people were very moved to be included in what is normally a very private occurance. James got notes of celebration and even “reviews” of his monologue from his future mother-in-law and sister-in-law!!
We got married later that spring, on Friday, June 27th, 2008. It was an entire weekend wedding and we loved every second of it.