One of the things that I’ve become increasingly aware of since I began working with Choose Again is that there are coincidences and unusual synchronicities happening to me or around me, and other Choose Again staff and clients report the same phenomenon. In fact, Les Labadous, the Choose Again center in the South of France, has one such remarkable story attached to it.
In the summer of 2014, Martin Engi and his wife Christine Riedtmann, came to Vancouver from Switzerland for a visit. Martin, who is a now retired professor of geology, had lived in Vancouver for many years (first as a PhD student, finally as a staff scientist) at UBC between 1975 and 1984. I first met Martin when I came to Vancouver from Edinburgh to do graduate studies in Geological Sciences. Our families have been in close contact since that time, so it was natural that Martin would stay with us during his trip to Vancouver with Christine.
At that time Diederik was living in Costa Rica, making trips back to Vancouver periodically to do some counselling and giving talks to gain publicity for El Cielo. That summer was the first trip back for a particularly long stretch and so a staff meeting was arranged in order to
do some planning for organizational growth. Dawn Green, who is one of the early and long-term Choose Again staff and who now lives in Victoria, was one of the attendees. She needed a place to stay in Vancouver in order to attend the meetings that had been arranged over a weekend, and so Eric and I offered to host her – we still had room though Martin and Christine were there as well.
This particular morning, Christine came down for breakfast having obviously been crying. She immediately explained to us that we need not worry – this is how it is for her as she has a chronic clinical depression that causes these upsets. We should just continue as usual and ignore it. I’m not sure how many hosts can offer a resident therapist for their guests, but Dawn was only too pleased to have a session with Christine later that day. Christine was amazed at how much better she felt and so they arranged for another session the next morning, before Dawn went back to Victoria.
As a result of those two sessions, Christine’s life turned around in a dramatic way. She decided to go to a short course Diederik gave near Zurich, and then she and Martin signed up for one of the workshops in France. Diederik had been running workshops in France out of a castle near Carcasonne, but for that summer they needed to find a different venue for the third session and for this they chose Les Labadous. At the close of that workshop, Martin and Christine went out for dinner with Diederik and Claudette. At that dinner Diederik mentioned that he would love to have a center for Choose Again in the South of France. Les Labadous was up for sale and wouldn’t it be wonderful if it could be the second Choose Again center?
Christine had recently received an inheritance and was looking for an investment for it, so she immediately suggested that she buy Les Labadous as a way of expressing her gratitude for the remarkable healing she had experienced. The rest, they say, is history. Christine and Martin have poured their hearts into making Les Labadous the warm, welcoming, wonderful place that it is. They are incredible hosts, both trained in Choose Again methodology, and they are ready and waiting to greet you there this summer. Christine will be co-facilitating all the workshops, and Martin will be participating as his time allows and will undoubtedly be guiding many of the outings, to which he brings tremendous enthusiasm.
Both El Cielo and Les Labadous are founded on love and gratitude, which contributes to the healing that happens in both places. Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic that is Les Labadous by signing up for one of the summer workshops. I’ll see you there in June!
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