By Kay Walburger


The Inside Edge . . .
A Compassionate Community
Where Self-Esteem Thrives!

"Hospitality means the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy.  Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place."
                                                                                        -Henri Nouwen

It's a true multi-splendorous experience to go to The Inside Edge at 6:30 a.m. and have breakfast with the creme de la creme of business, professional, artistic, and working people.  They are Œa membership organization where success-minded people come together to expand and explore their potential, find support for themselves and their vision and make a contribution to their world'.

It was a peak experience and I have chosen to let a sampling of the members tell this story.  As I could only interview a few, you must go for yourself to get the rest of the story.  I promise you it's worth it!

Q:What is Compassionate Community?
A:  Joanne Rodasta ("Quantum Coaching", Spiritsmith)  "From the first time I came to The Inside Edge, I felt more comfortable with this high-energy group that was non-judgmental than any place I've ever been before.  I love this Œwhole-brain' group; they are highly-skilled, talented, and successful Œleft-brain' people who also use their 'right-brain' and come from their hearts."

Q:   Is this a spiritual or religious group?
A:  Wayne Hart (co-founder of dsc Environmental, Inc.); volunteer for the Master of Ceremonies team who takes turns hosting the Wednesday morning meetings at the University Club on the University of California, Irvine campus. "I needed an environment where my spirit could be nourished without 'dogma'.  Here business people from many religions come and receive
spiritual and other truths with freedom to follow their own spiritual path."

Q:   Does the Edge help you maintain balance in your life?
A:   Candi Piech (Independent Consultant/Computer Programmer/Analysis); 
Inside Edge 1998 President.  "Yes, When I first came here I was drained of energy by several deaths in my family; here the people lifted my energy because of their positive attitudes;  they look at life as a challenge instead of problem;  they look at what is working in the world instead of complaining, and they present opportunities to model for Gracious Living.

Q:   Are there volunteer opportunities that satisfy the soul here?
A:   Olive Pemberton (Ph.D., MFCC, Author)   "I enjoy mentoring our new Discovery Members by reaching out to them to help them feel comfortable, welcome, and as involved as they wish to be!"

Q:   Do artists and business people have anything in common at the Edge?
A:   Ginny Gibson (Teacher/Visual Artist-Kindergarten 4 Adults)  New member.
"Yes, Larry Probstein, who leads The Business Edge helps members in career transition work through the process to get back on track. He lead a process for me called 'Wish-Craft' and I received a flood of great ideas to help me market my artistic business!"

Q:   What type of people come to the Edge?
A:   Karen Phelps ( Fine Artist)  "I love the variety of people who come ‹ all ages, married or single, artist, professional, business, or undefined. It is a place to have healthy relationships of all types.  I just returned home from an Edge-sponsored trip to Aspen, Colorado for a music festival and other natural amenities.  It was like traveling with 25 of your best friends!"

Q:  What is involved in being a successful organization?                
A:   Michael Coleman (Registered Investment Advisor/Coleman Financial Services) "The Inside Edge was originally the magnificent idea of Diane & Paul von Welanetz after working with Barbara Marx Hubbard and a group of dedicated citizen diplomats who went to Russia to speak for peace in
the world. Diana wanted to bring people together each week to study other and all possibilities for a better way of life by rethinking old beliefs, and also to learn about the cutting edge new research, new ideas, and even ancient truths lost after modern science created doubts, and the Edge was born.  After some wonderful years, Diana's husband died and running the five Edges became too much for her. I lead a group of people to request it become a self-sustaining non-profit group. Diana was delighted.  I was pleased to have been able to help this extraordinary group stay together. It was important that I accept the Presidency in the beginning as we explored the new role; now we have others capable of the honor. Personally I had received so much from this association, I didn't want to see it devolve because Diana wanted to retire.  We found a way to preserve it, keep Diana involved from time to time, and fulfill our potential.  I believe we (the Edgers) are modeling
the Glorious Possibility for an evolved society!"

Q:   Haven't a lot of the Who's Who been members of the Edge?
A:   Rae Ann Levey ( Merchandise Buyer/Knotts Berry Farm) "I first visited The Inside Edge in January, 1986 and sat down at a table across from Louise Hay; other members included Jack Canfield, Barbara De Angelis, and Susan Jeffers.  They were such dynamic group I wasn't sure I should join. Now, I'm glad I did."

Q:   Is everyone at the Edge a famous writer?
A:   Bill Benkovsky (Author/Writer/Poet)  "Not everyone is a writer, however, we do have a Writer's Edge that meets twice a month to encourage blocked writers, wanabe writers, and 'I don't know if I can be a writer.'  For me personally, attending the Edge opened my eyes, expanded my horizons, brought up a lot of questions for me to look at and challenged my worn-out old belief systems, and then motivated me to make changes. In the process of rethinking, I wound up having one foot in my old ways, one foot in my new ways and having stretch marks on my soul!"  P.S. Now I'm writing this story as an adventure fiction.

Q:   What values come from attending the Edge?
A:   Joan Deniken (Founder/Partners In Peace-Seminar Facilitator/Holodynamics Consultant)  "I moved from out-of-state and found the Edge was an opportunity to make friends with common interests and be together socially and intellectually."  Here I could have the world of ideas come before me ‹ everything I wanted to know was right there each week. Example: When Vernon Woolf, founder of Holodynamics, spoke and opened my mind to daring ideas and new scientific principals.  I wouldn't have dared to do the work I'm doing here and in Israel if not for the Edges - mired of speakers that inspired and taught me, and the empowering support of the members!"

Q:   Where do all these amazing speakers and presenters come from?
A:  Odile Nicolette (PR/Editor/Writer/Artist)  Program Director. It's unanimous, everyone praises Odile's amazing abilities to discover the leading-edge thinkers, authors, and presenters of stimulating ideas.  Like Sherlock Holms, she tracks them and then courts them to be speakers at the 6:30 a.m. Edge breakfast meetings.  It requires all of her excellent and persistent Public Relations talents.  It sometimes takes years to book the best, however, all agree it's what makes The Inside Edge worth getting up for year after year!
A:   Joan Treicher (Ph.D. Candidate in Depth Psychology)  "I'm grateful I don't have to go anywhere or hunt for these great speakers, they just seem to show up for me at the Edge!"

Q:   When I Say Compassionate Community . . . does that mean anything to you?
A:  Marilyn Helgeson ( Realtor ) Frequent visitor.  "It's amazing that you should ask me that question because I've recently marked a segment called 'Compassion Defined' from Gregg Braden's book-"Walking Between the Worlds, The Science of Compassion".  Here is an excerpt: "One hallmark of compassion is the ability to witness an event in the absence of judgment.  Compassion is expressed through each individual as unique responses to life's choices.  Consider compassion to be defined as specific qualities of thought, emotions, and feelings.  Thought
without attachment to the outcome of the event.  Emotion without the charge of polarity.  Feeling without the distortion of biases and conditioning.  Each component will be developed fully at the foundation to the science of compassion."

Q:   How do you feel about the Edge now after retiring from the

A: Diana (von Welanetz) Went-worth ( Founder/Author/Writer/Editor/Keeper of The Flame of Faith for The Future)  "It delights me to see the continuation of  The Edge as a self-sustaining organization while fulfilling its original mission . . . to be models on how to live from the highest part of ourselves and support the cycles of giving and receiving of service that is empowering to living our purpose with joyfulness!" "The paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness . . .
not a fearful emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free . . . free to sing their songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free to leave and follow their own vocations.

Hospitality is not a subtle invitation to adopt the lifestyle of the host, but a gift of a chance for the guest to find his or her own.  
                                                                        -Henri Nouwen

The Orange County Chapter of The Inside Edge is the only active group meeting at this time.  The Board of Directors: Kathy Blank, Audre Braggins, Thomas De Santis, Paul Gadebush III-Treasurer; Jim Ogden, Candi Piech-President; Bobbie Probstein-Secretary; Elaine Regan, Pat Verbeck-Vice-President; Odile Nicolette-Program Director; Board of Advisors: Rev. Michael Beckworth, Harold Bloomfield, Ph.D., Jack Canfield, Terry Cole Whitaker, D.D., Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D., Wayne Dyer, Ph.D., Steven Halpern, Louise L. Hay, Jean Houston, Ph.D., Barbara Marx Hubbard, Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., Dan Millman, Robert Muller, Ph.D., Martain Rutie, Carl Simonton, M.D., Patricia Sun, Dennis Weaver, Founder: Diana von Welanetz Wentworth
For reservations or information, call The Inside Edge  (714) 460-4242. 

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