August 11, 2018
Here are my Fall/Winter Offerings in Soulwork: Small group and individual sessions using simple art processes and writing prompts to OPEN TO MYSTERY, EXPLORE LIFE’S DEPTH DIMENSIONS, and DEEPEN OUR FREEDOM.
Much thinking, contemplation, scholarship, and love have gone into the planning, and I consider it an honor to be able to do my life’s work, and welcome you to join me. Also, if there is anyone you know who you think might be interested in these sorts of circles, please forward this email to them. Due to my health challenges, I really don’t have extra energy to get the word out so rely on word of mouth to find the people who would love this work. Please contact me with any questions.
STORY CIRCLES STARTING IN SEPTEMBER: What is a Story Circle? After the listings below I explain the intentions and format of this work. Keep scrolling!
A Poet’s Words: Falling in love with poetry. We will each choose a poet or a selection of poetry we love and each have an evening to share them with the others, along with 3 or 4 writing prompts to help us more deeply appreciate the poetry. Second Wednesdays of the month, Sept. 12 to June 12, 7-9:30 p.m. $150 or PWYC (pay what you can or barter).
Making Meaning, Making Soul: Depth Dimension (i.e., spiritual) Practices of Word, Image, Dream (Narrative), and Silence to embrace independent thinking and spiritual deepening. Last Wednesdays of the month, September 26 to June 26, 7-9:30 p.m. $200 or PWYC.
Untie the Strong Woman: Exploring the archetype of unconditional love in this book by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. She tells her personal stories of encountering Holy Mother in the most unlikely of life situations, inviting us to identify moments of illumination in our own lives. First Fridays of the month, September 7 to June 7, 1:30-4 p.m. $200 or PWYC.
Wonderings about Dreams: Exploring our night dreams and/or our daydreams for meaning, insight, and guidance. We don’t pronounce on what our dreams are “telling us to do”, but invite intuition and creativity through an “If this were my dream. . . “ approach using modified Jungian and shamanic methods. Third Wednesdays of the month, Sept. 19 to June 19, 7-9:30 p.m. $150 or PWYC.
The D&R (Deep and Real) Life: Apprenticing to the Sacred Exploring our ways of knowing the Sacred through examining some of the Christian Mystics and laying our lives down alongside this wisdom. From “the dark night of the soul” through “after the ecstacy, the laundry”. First Sundays of the month, Oct. 7 to July 7, 1:30-4:30 p.m. $300 or PWYC.
Open Studio: Simple Art Explorations Various accessible projects in artistic expression, journalling, or card/book making. No previous art experience needed. You are welcome to join in the projects, simply play with the art supplies available, or just join in conversation and tea. Last Saturdays of the month, Sept. 29 to June 29, 1:30 to 4:30. Come when you can; no commitment to the full year. By donation.
What is a Story Circle? We are a small group of 4 to 8 who meet monthly (usually September through June) for 2 ½ to 3 hours in order to delve deeply into a particular topic or practice, sharing insights and personal applications. I facilitate as sensitively as possible, creating an environment of hospitality and depth where we can articulate what we didn’t know that we knew, as well as to learn new ways to bring soul into our everyday lives. There are usually assigned readings (though optional), and I prepare writing or simple art prompts that help us reflect on and incorporate different aspects of the Story Circle’s topic. The goal is to lay our lives down alongside the life stories of others (both those of the authors we’re reading as well as each others’) in order to find and/or create meaning, understanding and richness in our inner lives. This richness radiates out into whatever we do in the world to bring wholeness and positive change whether in our families or our organizations. No one is encouraged to share more than they are comfortable with, and the meetings are designed so that each participant has several choice points regarding how much they want to share. After we respond to the prompts in writing or with image or color, we share what we wish in our “go-arounds”. Each of us having a written record of our topics, prompts, and responses adds layers of life documentation and reminders of new areas to explore. I come from an interspiritual stance where spiritual wisdom from all traditions is respected and encouraged, while also appreciating the legacy of my Catholic Christian history. I stand for personal sovereignty, critical and independent thinking, and building authentic community. The groups are educational, not therapy, though participants have found them helpful in examining and healing their suffering. I have trained in counselling and crisis intervention, especially regarding sexual violence, but am not a licensed therapist.
Past participants have given outstanding feedback regarding the depth, quality, and community-building aspects of the Story Circles. You are welcome to come to the first two meetings of the Circle to see if it is a match for you. If it is, then I ask for a commitment (within normal life demands!) to attend all meetings of the Circle, as much of the benefit comes from the accumulation of reflection and sharing throughout the year. No new participants are invited after the 3rd meeting of the year. (This does not apply to the OPEN STUDIO afternoons. Each one is open to new participants; space permitting. RSVP for each month.)
I also offer individual sessions for counsel/planning, intentional creativity, and simple ceremony to mark life transitions. Between 1.5 – 2 hours, by appointment.
About me: I am a contemplative educator, counsellor, and artist, helping women and men navigate the Depth Dimensions of their lives through image, word, silence, and dream. I believe that the most important work each of us can do is to live out our gifted selves fully, creatively, and freely, to make a home for all of us, in a world which too often wounds our bodies and souls and colonizes our minds with distractions, commercialization, and other people’s agenda.
I live in the liminal places, between the worlds where spiritual reality meets ordinary life, where word (poetry, prose) meets image (paintings, journals), where wild adventure meets chronic pain, and where prairie meets mountains in western Canada.
A student of the wisdom traditions of the world, I have a Masters in Education, 4 years’ graduate study and a B.A. in Theology, plus more than 30 years’ experience in service and education, including as counsellor and Executive Director of a sexual assault center. Trained in post-trauma counselling and a certified Intentional Creativity Teacher and Coach, I have taught in university, high school, professional development, and privately. I stand on the shoulders of my beloved teacher Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of more than 30 works including the bestselling Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. I have studied with her for the past 8 summers in 11 week-long intensives.. I work out of my home studio in traditional Blackfoot territory in Lethbridge, Alberta, and on the internet through video calls. A 60 page chapbook of my paintings and poetry entitled Open to Mystery is now available.
With much love and many blessings,