Updated: May 21, 2022
In 2014, I was one of the founders of the CRAZYWISE Conference in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, of all places. Now in it's 6th year, I still sit back in amazement at how all of this came together. Here's the story which is now posted on the CRAZYWISE Conference website...
In the summer of 2014, a small miracle took place in The Netherlands. At least that’s how I see it. My name is Sean Blackwell, and I’ve been teaching people about the spiritual dimension and healing potential of bipolar disorder through my YouTube channel, bipolarORwakingUP, since 2007, (mostly from my apartment in Sao Paulo, Brazil). However, that particular summer, I was preparing for something special.
For the previous decade, my wife, psychologist Ligia Splendore, and I had been in the process of developing a healing retreat for people labeled with bipolar disorder. As my online work had gathered quite a following, I posted a video letting my viewers know that I’d be traveling to Europe to work with clients in a series of private, one-on-one retreats. While I already had a few clients lined up in Romania, Germany and Finland, I needed a couple more to make the trip worthwhile.
To my surprise, a woman from Belgium contacted me, Griet Daemen, asking if I would be interested in holding a small conference while I was in Europe. She offered to organize it. Knowing that I wasn’t such a well-known name, I politely declined. I didn’t want to put her through the headaches of organizing such an event. It’s a lot of work!
A few weeks later, I got another call, this time from Ruud van Rijsingen, a Dutch therapist. Ruud lived near Rotterdam, which was only an hour from Griet in Belgium. He was also interested in organizing an event centered around my work. Ruud was very connected to the mental health community in The Netherlands, and had a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish regarding a conference. He had this idea that we would invite both mental health care professionals and people who had been diagnosed with a disorder to the conference – an unusual thing to do at the time.
Inspired by his energy, as well as the synchronicity of him living so close to Griet, I agreed to Ruud’s proposal, introducing him to Griet soon after. A few weeks went by and another person contacted me, Annemarie Slee, asking if I’d be interested in holding a conference in Rotterdam. Then there was one more after that, Maudy Apon.
I introduced Maudy and Annemarie to Ruud and Griet right away. By adding one more colleague of Ruud’s, Han den Dekker, we had a team of 5 people arranging a conference in Rotterdam in no time. Other than the four divine contacts from the Rotterdam area, I didn’t have a single invitation to speak anywhere else in Europe. Rotterdam was it!
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