Each Step One is different. It is different because the people attending are different, the themes that are emphasised can be different and the depth you go to can vary. The material is similar although always developing and added to. When I asked a lady who attended an evening session of Step One for the sake of a nervous friend how it felt to do the session again, she replied that she got much more out of it. The reason, she said, was the she didn't know what was coming the first time but the second time round she could relax and make the most of all the material.
Julie attended the very first Step One course 7 years ago. Recently she did it again - she shares her experience:
A journey revisited
I attended the Step One Understanding Yourself weekend at Cratfield last weekend and was surprised, but very pleased, at how much I learnt and benefitted from attending. I wasn’t really sure why I was doing the course again as I had attended the first Step One at Cratfield in 2007. Initially I had planned to do the course with my daughter but work commitments prevented her from attending. John encouraged me to do the course and, as I was in Suffolk already, I decided I had nothing to lose and probably still much to learn. I was right!
I remembered much of the material from the earlier Step One I had attended and was very impressed by the development in the presentation of the course and the high quality of the material. It’s quite difficult to quantify what I learnt from the weekend second time around; the first time the material was new and I’d never been in that environment before and I had learnt a lot about the different temperaments, their interactions and the basis of our security and relationships. I also started the journey of understanding myself and accepting my temperaments and who God made me to be. That understanding was consolidated as I attended Steps Two to Four and sought to apply the principles in the everyday circumstances of my life. I had wondered whether redoing Step One would be repetitive or taking a step backwards but it was quite the opposite; rather I gained new insights into the temperaments and the interactions between them.
It also gave me a very clear picture of the journey I’ve travelled since that first course. It feels rather like climbing a mountain – I’ve been climbing for a while and paused last weekend to survey the distance I’ve travelled and the view from the point I’ve reached. It was a very encouraging view; I could see the struggles and difficulties I encountered on the way but I could also see very clearly the distance I’ve travelled, how far I’ve climbed and the struggles I’ve left behind as I climbed. If I look up I know there is still a path ahead to climb and I know I will be journeying for the rest of my life but it’s with understanding and the confidence of seeing the Lord’s faithfulness in the path already travelled.
The biggest encouragement to me was to see how I could use what I’ve learnt to help others. I clearly remember attending the Step Three weekend where much of the focus was on helping others and giving ourselves away. I really struggled with that at the time and didn’t feel I had anything to contribute or give to others. I discovered this weekend that I was wrong and I was able to use experiences and insights gained from the path I’ve travelled over the last 7 years to hopefully help others to understand themselves. I believe that the Lord uses the experiences we have to help others if we allow him to and I saw that worked out in practice over the weekend. Rather than being repetitive, redoing Step One has helped to cement the journey I’ve already travelled and confirmed the call I feel to use all that I’ve learnt and all that I am to help others to understand themselves and the Lord.