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My Heart Feels Lean: Behold the Darkness, Cradle the Light

with Melissa Layer

Friday, December 15, 2023

4-6pm Ireland

11am-1pm Eastern

8-10am Pacific

Program Description

Grief is a challenging travel companion for many of us in this season of deepening nights in the northern hemisphere.  Join Melissa Layer, a psychospiritual therapist and interfaith spiritual companion, in listening with the ears of our hearts as we explore how “… the dark, too, blooms and sings” (Wendell Berry).  We will open ourselves gently to the graces that conscious grieving can bring through explorations in poetry, writing, and prayer. Seasonal poems, simple poem-making, journaling invitations, and candle lighting will be shared as we gather to bear witness and give voice to our losses. Your loss might be recent or may be one rising up again after many quiet years. Please bring a journal and a candle and gift yourself with a sanctuary space to be met with tenderness in these days of Advent and holy gestation. 

We will turn on closed captioning during the live Zoom session (which you are able to turn off in your settings if you find distracting) as well as provide a video recording with closed captioning available and a text transcript of the session.

The program will be recorded for those who pre-register but are unable to attend at the scheduled time or who want to view again. You will be sent a notification when this is ready to view.

You have lifetime access to all online programs.

Your Guide for the Journey

Melissa Layer 2

Melissa Layer, MA, LMHC

Melissa Layer, MA, LMHC honors the unfolding journeys of our wild and precious lives as compelling invitations for creative, integrative meaning-making in BodyMindSpirit.  Her sacred calling and formal training as a psychospiritual therapist, hospice grief counselor, and spiritual director have taught her about the potency of thin places in thresholds and dark nights of the soul.  Cultivating curiosity, Melissa offers expressive exploration of the Great Mystery through journaling, collaging, poem-making, dreamwork, visio and lectio divina, creation of rituals and altars, and engaged encounters with nature.  Like the honeybee for which she is named, she claims her role as “a bee of the invisible…passionately plundering the honey of the visible in order to gather it in the great golden hive of the invisible” (Rilke).  Melissa offers a compassionate, attuned presence and deep listening with the ear of her heart from the Pacific Northwest in Washington, where the Salish sea meets the evergreen forest. Visit Melissa’s website here>>


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

We offer a sliding scale of 3 fees for payment. The reduced fee is for those who need financial assistance and the sponsorship fee helps support our ability to offer scholarships. In an effort to keep this program accessible, please carefully consider both your own resources as well as honoring the expense, time, and energy required to run these programs and keep our work sustainable. Thank you!

Please be careful to enter your correct email address when you register. 
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If you need a different payment plan or a greater scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us.


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Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.