Two months from today (May 17-22, 2009) a dozen or so participants will gather at the beautiful Hood Canal (see photo above) in the height of spring here in the Northwest for five days of creative awakening. I have been co-teaching this program with the delightful Betsey Beckman for four years now (and a previous variation for those in ministry for five years prior) and it is one of my favorite things to teach. In the program we offer tools and experiences of entering into the arts — visual art, poetry, movement, storytelling, and song — to claim them for ourselves as tools of self-discovery and insight into the God who pulses through us as creative wellspring, as well as to consider ways to bring these tools to our work with others, especially in the context of spiritual direction, as well as chaplaincy, counseling, retreat work, and education.
Consider joining us — we have only two more spots available and they are sure to be taken soon! Email me if you need a nudge or visit our website to register. If you are coming from out of town we will help to connect you with others traveling from the airport. We already have people gathering with us from Michigan, Utah, Missouri, Canada, Oregon, and of course, Washington and we have two returning participants who have taken the program before, which I am just delighted about. There is always more to be awakened!
Also exciting is that Betsey and I are in the process of writing a book about our program for Morehouse Publishing, as a part of the Spiritual Directors International Imprint Series which will be released in Spring 2010. Come be a part of our journey as we put this material together for an even wider audience.
The photo below was taken at our December 2008 retreat on Sacred Rhythms: Praying the Hours through Art & Movement which will be offered again April 21-25, 2010. It is at the same beautiful location as our Awakening the Creative Spirit program.
What some previous participants have said:
I use art in several ways in my spiritual practice. Before the program I only did this sparingly and more from my own intuition than because I had found validation for it outside myself. The program validated these movements toward expression and opened them up further, not unlike opening up a seeping spring so it can flow freely. -Wes McIntyre
I look at an expanded range of possibilities that I have at my finger tips to use with directees. I already am immersed in the arts in my personal life, but feel more able to bring them into my spiritual work with others, as well as to utilize them in my own healing and deepening journey. -Carol Scott Kassner
I think the greatest value of the program for me was allowing myself to play and not judge myself on the artistic value of what I created. I had a very critical mother and grew up afraid to launch out into creative areas or try new things for fear of not doing it well enough. This creativity awakening was a joyous thing for me and one I have had the joy of sharing with many others who found the same freedom. -Kathy Bence
I think the reawakening to my body language of God has been the most long-term and it is still coming into my practice more and more as a joyful surprise and source of information with my client work. I attend to my body’s response and energy as a way to clarify my empathic connections and keep myself clear and open to the directee in their process. -Freya Secrest
(Photos above taken by Roy DeLeon who helped facilitate the yoga in the Praying the Hours retreat and has a new book being released shortly by Paraclete Press on Praying With the Body: Bringing the Psalms to Life)
Email me at Christine@AbbeyoftheArts.com for more information!