While the Flint, Michigan neighborhood I grew up in was rough, my parents were deeply religious, loving, and clear that I was here to make something of myself. I was encouraged to get beyond the constraints of my neighborhood. I got good “human doing” training — get good grades, get a degree, marry well, have children, be a good wife and mother, do good in the world, live happily ever after.
It seemed to work until it didn’t. After years of trying to do all the right things, I found myself divorced, a single mom with two young children, and blaming myself for my shortcomings because the formula didn’t work. I asked myself “What do I need to do differently to have the happiness and love I so want in my life?”
In my query for the missing ingredient, I came to my first Human Awareness institute (HA!) workshop. Like many others, I had seen a friend go through the weekend workshop and come out signiﬁcantly different. I wanted to know what he had learned that made such a difference in how he treated me, how he listened, how much joy he had. And in my first weekend, it became clear to me what had been missing in my happiness prescription: I knew really well how to do life, but had no clue how to be fully alive!
So began my personal journey of discovery, which led me to several weekend workshops with HAI. Each one created the space and encouragement for me to open my heart more, to discover who I was beyond society’s program of who I could or should be. I began to fall in love with myself, and I learned how to face my fears around intimacy and connection. The core message of the HAI mission resonated with my personal desire for the world I wanted to help create: “HAI promotes personal growth and social evolution by replacing ignorance and fear with awareness and love.”
Through various exercises and activities, weekend workshops are designed to help participants learn how to listen and speak from the heart, experience being treated with compassion, and recognize personal patterns and behaviors preventing them from giving and receiving love. After attending the workshops, I began volunteering to support the workshops as they developed in Michigan. That led to my training to became a workshop leader (facilitator) and the rest is glorious history! I’ve now been leading HAI workshops for 22 years and I have found my true vocation and my personal recipe for happiness.
As a HAI facilitator, I get to practice the principles I teach, as a way of Be-ing Love, rather than looking for what to do to make love happen. Being love is not always easy because so much of our programing tells us it’s what we do/accomplish/achieve that matters. Although those things are important, my experience is, they don’t by themselves bring happiness and connection. (They certainly didn’t for me!)
At my workshops I often ask the question: “How many people want more love in your live?” and almost every hand goes up! In one weekend, many people get the experience of unconditional love and acceptance, and encouragement to see their fears for what they really are — False Evidence Appearing Real. Our participants gain valuable life skills for relating to themselves and others, expanding self acceptance and the acceptance of others who are different. People often leave the weekend with a profound sense of connection, self worth, inner and outer beauty, potency and love.
Information about HAI’s workshops can be found at www.hai.org and questions answered by calling
Felicia Williams Cosey is a HAI leader (facilitator). You can read more about HAI’s workshops at www.hai.org and a call to (707) 981-7886 will get you answers to any questions you might have from HAI’s caring and dedicated staff. See VIDEO about our workshop here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYg_MbqjqbA