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Pray, What Exactly is this Alabastron Business?

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Ummm, what exactly is this alabastron kenya thing? Anyone know?

Over the last couple of weeks, this alabastron name has been flying all around me –left, right and center. And yet I still have no clue what it’s all about. And so do many other women around me –my friends, relatives, colleagues etc.

One of my friends talks highly about it. She talks about it very passionately. But yet I still don’t get it. And neither do most of our other mutual friends.

Is it a bible study class? Is it a self-help course? Is it a support group-workshop? Is it a networking forum? Is it a retreat? Is it a movement? Is it a crusade? Is it for all women or is it exclusive to a certain group of women? Is it for working women? Is it for married women? Is it for mothers? Is it for women of a certain age group? Must you pay to attend it? Is it recommended that all women do alabastron?

Pray, just what exactly is this alabastron thing?

Now those who have had interaction with alabastron vow that you become a new woman after you attend the class/group/workshop/retreat/movement/bonding sessions (I don’t know what to refer to it as). That you look at life differently. That you see everything in a new perspective. That your whole life changes. That your persona feels refreshed. That you learn to deal with many ‘issues’.

That you become a better wife. That you become a better mother. That you become a better daughter, sister, friend, colleague etc.

And when I ask how, when I ask what exactly it is that is taught or shared in alabastron that makes you a better woman, I am told that I just need to attend the alabastron class/group/workshop/retreat/bonding/movement to ‘understand’ it.

See why I’ve still never gotten it? I’m yet to get someone who will break it down for me kinaga-ubaga. Someone to explain it to me as though I were a two year old.

Now, I have never attended an alabastron for two main reasons:

–          I have never been convinced enough to dig into my pocket and pay for something that I don’t quite understand.

–          I’m not one to attend self-help stuff.

PS: Anyone who knows me knows I’m an avid reader. I read lots of newspapers, magazines, journals and lots of novels (fiction novels), biographies, the Bible etc. Actually I’m always reading one thing or another. Even in traffic I read. But anyone who knows me knows I don’t do self-help books. Not by the longest shot. My whole essence has just never resonated well with self-help stuff. Hard as I try (and beleive me I  do try) I don’t get past the preface. And if I really really do because the person who has gifted me with such a book has insisted and I feel obliged to, I don’t get past page 2.

I prefer reading about personal experiences –ones that are exclusively written and not inserted or camouflaged in self-help books.

So my understanding about alabastron right now is that it’s a self-help kind of thing. And many of my friends (who don’t understand it) also think it’s a self-help thing too.

Maybe I’m ignorant. Maybe someone hasn’t explained it to me well. Maybe I’m biased because of my attitude towards anything self-help. But that’s just me.

What I know though is that with alabastron –either you get it or you don’t. The ones who have gone through it are all praise for it (I’m still yet to understand why). And the ones who don’t get it (and we’re many) are yet to be convinced it’s worth spending anything -either money or time on it.

Oh well. *sighs heavily*

Image: Granitetheatre

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I did alabastron more than a year ago. I am very skeptical about women gatherings, hate self help mambo jumbo and extremely suspicious of organized religion. My friend introduced me to the program and I attended an open day (which was free) that sorta explained the program. I started class ready to bail should it turn out to be a ‘kumbaya’ session where we cry about how women are suffering. I stayed on though. I stayed on because for the first time in my life I was taking time off to concentrate on myself i.e. who am I when am not a friend, employee, daughter, lover. I am a feminist but am I living the talk? How do I conform to societal expectations of me at the expense of my happiness? It was a chance for me to thoroughly interrogate my life from my childhood experiences to date and how this experiences have shaped belief systems I held that were not particularly helpful to me. I then started the process of unlearning this belief systems, setting boundaries and expressing my expectations more clearly. And I did not have to get involved in any religious hogwash that people hide behind. My favourite author, Bell Hooks, speaks on the importance of continuous self work and self evaluation. In alabastron, I got the formula for how to do this continuous self work. My advice is that you should open an open day (visit http://www.alabastron.org) and see how it feels on you.

  2. I quote you above:

    Now, I have never attended an alabastron for two main reasons:

    – I have never been convinced enough to dig into my pocket and pay for something that I donÆt quite understand.

    – IÆm not one to attend self-help stuff.

    And I respond:
    – Alabastron has open days that are free of charge. They are usually widely announced. So you don’t have to dig into your pocket to pay for something you don’t understand.

    You write [and I copy-paste]:
    I prefer reading about personal experiences ûones that are exclusively written and not inserted or camouflaged in self-help books.

    And I respond:
    My challenge to you – instead of reading about personal experiences, write your own. Turn a page, and go for an open day…or better still take the proverbial first step towards a journey of renewing yourself… READ on Alabastron on the link below.

    http://www.alabastron.org/

    No offense meant but ôThe greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing aboutö.

  3. from wht i heard from my pals who have attended, its like attending a chama and just talking your problems out… if its not this, then maybe my pals didnt understand it well. All my pals have different thoughts on this, one was very excited about it, even encouraged me to go. another was just there, doesnt talk about it with the enthusiasm of the other… so i dont know.
    Maybe i should attend so that i can have my own experience… I hear they hold each others secrets there… weeeeee… i dont believe women can hold secrets esp if u do something bad to them.. anyways… my thoughts!!!!

  4. @Cathy thanks for reading and for your comment. Keep me, Ghafla and Miss Babes and all other readers who still don’t get it posted on the next open day so that we can consider attending.

  5. Funny, I got here while I was researching them. The women I’ve spoken to all give vague responses. If you guys ever find out, do tell… I’ll attend an open day AFTER I find out what it is. Lol

  6. @Alabastron alumni -thanks for sharing your experience. @Curious -join the bandwagon of ‘I still don’t understand what Alabastron is’. Let us know how it goes when you attend the open day. Cheers.

  7. Dont know if you made it to the open day but it was on the 11th of February. If not the introduction days are free as well so you can get a taster of what its all about. I would invite you to check it out and share your thoughts…all the info is on the website btw..on dates and venues as well. http://www.alabastron.org

  8. @mummy tales; I totally am on the same wave length as you are..not to criticize anyone’s beliefs or anything but I attended the open day held yesterday and quite frankly what I assessed was someone who has mastered the word of God and motivation/self help skills and has combined the two in a very crafty way to sell a novel idea. I will give it a shot because I’m very curious, maybe it will change my life maybe not but the pull of women towards this program is quite fascinating! Some investigation/study should be done towards this concept of self renewal..

  9. @Ragamami thanks always for giving us the heads up on the next meeting.

    @Queen Bey -did you mention self-help? Oh dear ;). Anyway that’s an interesting observation you made -atleast you made it on your own and didn’t hear it from someone else. But like you say, maybe it will change your life (as many women claim it has). You attend then lemme know how it goes. Meanwhile, I still continue to give it a wide berth.

  10. There is the reason why everyone tells you you have to attend it to know what it is. It is not possible to explain. What i can tell you so far i have learnt a few things that i did not know. You do not need to be a self help junkie to love alabastron. All i know is that it is saving women’s lives and i wish there could be one for our men.

  11. It is said that experience is the best teacher……i advice you to attend it, we all have different expectations and different experience but we are all women……..then i guarantee you will be answering your own questions

  12. I am currently going for alabastron classes…i too never understoon what it was all about…so far,what i can say is that,for once in my life i have taken time to learn myself,time for just me.
    it is not a religious group coz i am a muslim woman,and it doesnt compromise my beliefs in any way.
    All women should attend and learn their true being….no need getting to 75yrs and say,i wish i did….

  13. Yes, I’m trying to figure it out. I didn’t get to watch the TV show, and many people are saying I should do it, that it’ll change my life, but no one says what it’s really about.

  14. I am a muslim who has gone through tge alabastron class.at first,i thought it was more of a bibple study thing that wouldnt be appropriate for me coming from a different faith.took me 2 yrs to decide.but when i finally did start alabastron,i realised that it didnt matter who or what you belive in,it was a memorable experience that changed me in many ways.i did it in 2013,now at 2015,i would still do it again….

  15. Am also a mum at my early 20s raising my baby boy and study in machakos university also a blogger you can read my blogs using the website:bestafricanmom.blogspot. com

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