Organizing for health and justice through performance and community collaboration.

Retreats, support circles, and ceremonies/events for meditation, creative rejuvenation, passage, and reflection connect us more strongly to our own bodies and to multiple forms of spiritual sustenance as we go through life's transitions. Retreat events emerged out of Marie's participation in a Cancer Centers' "Chronic Stress Management Group" and a will to respond to the needs and requests of colleagues, mentors, and her own family and friends for time and space devoted to quiet and embodied rejuvenation. Hosted ceremonies emerged out of friends' and colleagues' requests to create events unique to their life transitions and communities of care. Partnership with existing groups' leadership or clergy is always welcome.

The chance for retreat or ritual/circle events creates space to honor and more fully inhabit our travels across life's most joyful, painful, and potentially clarifying boundaries of marriage, birth, dying, and heightened moments of seeking health and wellness. Retreats are day-long, half-day, or over the course of a weekend. Hosted ceremonies are for several hours at a time. Some events are held at Marie and Andrew's woodland retreat in Hillsborough, NC, others are held at sites chosen by host organizations. 

 

Examples

Day Long - Retreat for Cancer Patients, Health Providers, Caregivers

Day and weekend long retreats are offered for current and former patients, caregivers, and health providers who face cancer personally and professionally, as well as for people who have lost loved ones. Past retreats have been held for groups like participants from Cancer Centers of NC, Rex and UNC Hospital systems. As created with co-facilitator Harding Birkhead, RN, BSN, M.Div, these include Space, Peace, Breath (January 2014), and Filling the Well: Compassion for Self and Others (June 2014) and Cultivating Clarity: Self-care and Restoration (July 2015).

Retreats incorporate resources for:

- mindfulness meditation and body-centering through breath, visualization and simple movement;

- tea rituals, a devotional library hour, and labyrinth walking;

- writing in nature and accessible nature hikes for persons experiencing fatigue or physical pain;

- photography, multimedia visual art, and collage as meditation;

- dance and movement indoors or outdoors to embody individual and collective prayer. 

 

Events/Ceremonies and Support Circles

Circle events and ceremonies are held for women's and other community groups experiencing significant transitions--such as birth, marriage, death--or seeking in-depth education and dialogue on a particular subject. These include evening events, day-long and weekend retreats on specific themes.

Hosted events include:

- women's circles to prepare for and welcome a new birth; 

- assisting groups and individuals who seek to move through grief longterm, and the process of losing a loved one;

- hosting marriage events for couples and families (officiant).  

Retreats and circles can also be hosted for those who simply wish to take guided, artful "quiet time" to rejuvenate and find more resources for what fuels us; what guides us to live our lives more fully and from our particular seats of awareness.

 

Cancer Support and Meditation Group Programming

Please inquire if you are interested in joining an ongoing meditation and cancer support group for current and former patients, family members and caregivers. The group is focused on chronic stress reduction for persons undergoing or recovering from treatments, managing caregiving, or going through grief; it meets on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays in Raleigh/Cary, NC area from 5-6:30pm. All are welcome.