I started out by creating a safe, nurturing home where my loved ones could rest and dream and explore and be who they were without judgment or fear.
For over twenty years I was 'just a mom,' but a mom who listened deeply, studied widely, transformed continually, asked Beautiful Questions, and wrote stories in the tiny cracks between the daily tasks and sublime epiphanies of motherhood. When my sons stepped into adulthood, I thought I had to set aside my mothering cloak. All my Beautiful Questions merged into one: "How, then, do I serve?"
The answer? Continue providing sanctuary.
It may look a little different from mothering my boys. But then again, maybe not. We can all benefit from resting in a good story or being deeply heard or travelling with a loving companion who holds our hand while we remember who we really are and what we're here to do.
Part of the letters will be about ways you can create sanctuary in your own life. They might also include tidbits about my writing or something I'm wondering about or something I've learned and am excited to share with you or a new idea for something we could do together. (Or all of the above!) I find these days, no matter how hard I try, I cannot commit to a schedule so I'm going to honour that. My letters may come monthly. Or maybe seasonally. We'll see how it all unfolds!
September 26, 2019
I facilitate a bi-monthly gathering at the Didsbury Municipal Library that explores topics related to death.
The topic of our next gathering is The Importance of Funerals.
There seems to be a trend away from this very important community ritual and Jamie Whittaker and Janine Violini, two women intimately acquainted with death and the importance of personal and community rituals surrounding death, are coming to share their wisdom with the group.
They have developed a program they call Crows in a Row that helps people prepare for the end of their lives. This presentation on funerals is the first module in that program. It is my hope that, after this presentation there will be enough interest for a group of us to continue with the remaining modules.
If you have been avoiding making preparations for your own death, I highly recommend coming out to listen to what Jamie and Janine have to say. I cannot think of more warm-hearted people to hold our hands through this necessary and too-often-ignored process.
Thursday, September 26, 2019
6:30 - 8:00 pm
Didsbury Municipal Library
2033 19 Ave, Didsbury, AB
See a larger version of the poster here.
October 19, 2019
Jamie Whittaker and Janine Violini, are returning to Didsbury to do a longer presentation on rituals around death and dying.
Initially, I wanted them to talk about this at one of our regular Death Matters gatherings, but the time available to us on those Thursday evenings is not sufficient to dive as deeply as I’d like into such a rich topic so we have put together a longer workshop.
The morning session will be devoted to a discussion of rituals around death and dying. We will break for a pot luck lunch, and then spend another couple hours learning how to create rituals for the different transitions in our lives (divorce, downsizing, lay-offs, children leaving home, changes in health, retirement, etc.) — all of which can be seen as ‘mini deaths.’
One of the things I’ve learned is that a ritual action is ‘bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.’ Once we figure out what we want a particular ritual to do, any action we take or statement we make in that ritual space takes on much deeper significance. I have experienced this power, most notably in the ritual Sarah Kerr facilitated for our family when my oldest son joined the military. It can be challenging to arrive at those ‘ritual actions’ on our own and I look forward to learning from Jamie and Janine and making their expertise available to you.
Go here for the particulars.
Beginning October 4, 2019
My friend, Jamie Whittaker, recently returned from studying with Clarissa Pinkola Estes. The moment I learned Jamie had been granted the privilege of facilitating the study of Dr. Estes' powerhouse of a book, Women Who Run With the Wolves I knew I wanted to be part of whatever group she was leading.
Two days later I was granted the privilege (and joy) of joining the first Circle that had convened to receive these teachings and, minutes into that first gathering, knew I needed to bring this wisdom to the women of my community.
If you know there's more to your soul than is currently allowed expression and if you feel called to cultivate a relationship with that untamed and deeply wise part of yourself in the company of similarly searching women, this monthly gathering is for you.
Find out more here.