Don’t Let Opportunities Get Stuck In Your Spam Filter

Every month, during our workshop season, we have the very fun task of selecting a winner to receive one of our free 7 day straw bale workshops.  The idea of the workshop giveaways sprung about four years ago and it’s been an enormous success since.  We calculate that we have been able to provide free spots to at least 25 winners and each and every one of them has been a delight and a wonderful addition to our workshops.

Now, you might think that finding the winners for our free workshops would be a piece of cake.  After all, each person that signs up on the list, we assume,  has done so out of their own accord and in hopes of winning a free straw bale workshop.   But, here’s the thing; for every person that responds to our email about winning the free workshop, there have been an average of 3 failed attempts to make contact with a selected winner.  So, for the 25 or so people that have received a free workshop, we’ve attempted, with no success, to make contact with about 75.  When I put on my marketing hat I can see that, realistically, despite our best attempts to select wording that doesn’t flag our emails as junk, most of the winning notifications most likely became jammed in spam filters.

Each and every day we are presented with numerous opportunities.  Even the most routine moments hold the promise of extraordinary transformation.  After all, the world around us is teeming with challenges and problems looking for elegant solutions.  When you begin to see the world as this amazing, dynamic and multifaceted dimension, you will have so much fun with your process that you may have a hard time wanting to go to sleep at night.

So, what would keep us from seeing these opportunities all around us?  For me, it’s my own internal ‘spam filter’.  Email spam filters do of course have a valuable purpose, however, in truth, they are not very intelligent.  I have found, unfortunately too late, important emails in my junk folder that really had no business being there at all.  The same goes for our own internal emotional filters.  Our filters can be valuable tools to guide us into the direction we want to go, but sometimes they’re not terribly intelligent either and can blind us to new opportunities in our lives.  In my experience, the more attention I put on seeing the world as a teacher, the more inspired I am and the more I tap into creativity.  In that same vein, the less I am running on auto-pilot, the more I am able to discern between opportunity and pitfalls.

All this to say, if you are particularly serious about wanting to win a free workshop, check your spam folder from time to time, if not daily.  You never know if we’re trying to reach you!  Similarly, check in with yourself each day.  Is your internal spam filter on or off?  Are you running on auto-pilot or are you looking at the world with a curious mind?  Are you able to recognize an opportunity or are you busy ruminating about things in the past and in the future (both of which you don’t have much control over anyways)?

Fortunately, this month I only had to send a winning notification email to one person, Christine Wallace.  Congratulations Christine!  We are delighted you’ll be joining us as at a future workshop.  Here is what she had to say…

“I am a shamanic practitioner in Seattle, WA, ( who for several years has dreamed of owning and stewarding a retreat center dedicated to wholeness, balance and harmony.

It is my desire to build the structures on the retreat center property in the most green and sustainable way, and straw bale construction has always spoken to me as an avenue to achieve this desire. I’m greatly pleased to have this opportunity to attend a complimentary 7 day workshop and learn firsthand the process of straw baling, and I thank Andrew and Gabriella for this lovely gift!”


You are MORE than welcome Christine!  Thanks to you to being open to the possibilities around you.

7 Responses to Don’t Let Opportunities Get Stuck In Your Spam Filter

  1. Simba Geoffrey Sat, September 22, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    am working to join you after my college in builing using stale bale or soapstone the local available material following you and thanks for the video you sent me

  2. Leah Sandoval Sat, September 22, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    Congratulations Christine!!! I too would love to know more, I will follow along and look forward to learning more on this adventure we call life!

  3. Gabriella
    Gabriella Sat, September 22, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    Hello Simba! Hope all is well in Kenya. Looking forward to meeting you someday. 🙂

  4. Felicity Sat, September 22, 2012 at 10:27 am #


  5. Denise Gallin Sun, September 23, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    Hi Gabriela, our son Narayan is very excited that he will participate in your workshop with a scholarship in the coming year! He was gutted when he found your mail after his holiday and had missed your initial response! Thank you so much! It will have a tremendous influence on his life and choice of studies. You are an inspiration, you rock!

  6. Gabriella
    Gabriella Sun, September 23, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    How great to hear from you Denise! He is an amazing person and we are so happy to support him in this adventure and can not wait to meet him. You guys seem like an amazing family!

  7. Sharon Michelle Davis Sun, September 23, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    I am so glad that someone like you won this free training. I also have had dreams for years seeing places of this type being built around the country/world. My son is now going into construction and I hope to convince him one day to learn to work with the green materials. My guides are also telling me that these communities and retreats will be all important in the future. Congratulations on your win. Sharon Michelle

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