2019 Events

Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss - Twin Cities :: July 27, 2019 (10:30am-4:30pm) at the Minnesota Birth Center in St. Paul, MN

Joanne taught her inaugural Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss training for a compassionate group of attendees who contributed immensely to the workshop with their experiences and perspectives. Designed for care providers and birth professionals, the training covered three core elements: the Companioning Model of Grief Care/Support, Strengthening Support Networks, and the Healing Power of Ritual.

Through case studies, discussions, and embodied activities, we dove into the important topic of supporting grieving parents and families in the wake of pregnancy loss and infant death. Joanne is grateful to the Minnesota Birth Center for their support of this work!

For more information about this workshop and for details on future trainings, please visit our website HERE.


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Mapping our Grief Worlds and Embodying the Shadow Workshops :: May 18, 2019 (8:45-11:45am, 1:15-4:15pm) at UU Womenspirit Gathering held at the Mountain Retreat & Learning Center

Joanne taught two 3-hour long workshops to wonderfully open-hearted and open-minded participants. Her Mapping class introduced the notion of Ecotone to frame the productive zone that exists between and within grief events. Participants created their own griefscapes and shared their insights and realizations about their grief journeys with one another. They also received instructions on how to create Grief Body Maps at home.

The afternoon Embodying session incorporated several activities (physical games, guided imagery, a reading from a play) to explore the ways in which grief inhabits our bodies and the consequences of not attuning ourselves to where it takes up space. Each workshop was framed through the archetype of the Shadow. And it became clear that our creatve & collaborative efforts were equal parts Shadow & Light Work.


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Creative Grief Workshop :: April 13, 2019 (10am-3pm)

Joanne and Will co-facilitated this multi-part Grief Workshop. Beginning with a mindful tea-drinking activity, we dicussed the place of everyday rituals during the grieving process and how it can help to generate a communal experience. In conversation with our students (who are both grievers and grief workers), we discussed Alan Wolfelt’s Companioning Model of Grief Support and discussed personal experiences with companioning and care-giving.

Then we lauched into our Grief Mapping exercise, which allowed us to see our grief experiences from different perspectives. After a lunch break, we moved our bodies to explore the relationship between emotions, language, social conventions, and embodied knowing.


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Reiki 1 Class & Attunement :: April 7, 2019 (9am-5pm) at Nutritious Thoughts

Will had a great class with a small, terrific group of students. As with past introductory Reiki classes, he discussed the historical context of Usui Reiki and its journey from Japan to the United States. Students practiced self-Reiki and then worked with one another to practice Reiki on someone else. They each brought engaged energy and generated insightful observations. Will looks forward to future Reiki 1 classes!


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Embodied Reading Group :: February 9, 16, 23 and March 2 (5-7pm) at THE BLOCK off biltmore

We enjoyed this four-week exploration of David Grossman's powerful book Falling Out Of Time. The book is an expression of grief, an artful working through of the devastating loss of a child. Grossman gathers together individual stories of loss within a fictitious landscape to begin imagining a community-wide recognition of grief.

Through close reading, small and large group conversations, written reflections, embodied activities and guided meditations, we engaged individually and collectively with death, loss, and grief. Going back and forth between discussing our personal experiences with grief and the world of the book encouraged introspection and insight.


2018 Events


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Candle Lighting to Remember Children Who Have Died :: December 15, 2018 (7-8pm) at the Parish Hall of the Cathedral of All Souls

We are very pleased to haved hosted our third Candle Lighting event. Our gathering was held in conjunction with the annual worldwide celebrations organized by groups affiliated with The Compassionate Friends. However, our ceremony took place a week later due to a winter storm.

We were joined by several grieving families who wished to honor their children, siblings, and other relatives and friends who have passed through this world. In addition to Joanne’s opening remarks, we heard from invited speakers Ariel Schumaker-Hammond (LCSW) and Greg Lathrop and Said Osio (who coordinate Death Cafe Asheville and operate thirdmessenger.com). Greg also gifted us with flute music that framed the formal part of our gathering.

We shared candle light, the names of our beloveds, tears, and love. Afterwwards, we enjoyed conversation about life, death, support, and self-care. We are very grateful to all who attended and to everyone who helped us to circulate news of the Candle Lighting in person and online!


Death Faire 2018 :: November 3, 2018 (12-8pm), sponsored by Abundance NC

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We were thrilled to take part in this Abundance NC community event in Pittsboro, NC. Joanne facilitated an embodied grief activity from our Creative Grief Workshop and Will gave a short talk on the International Necronautical Society.

At our Inviting Abundance table in the Vendor Village, we spoke to many people processing grief and/or working to help others engage meaningfully in living, dying, and grieving. We were also happy to give out samples of Finlay’s Garden Herbal Honey and some other botanical treats. Thanks to everyone who attended our events and who stopped by our table! We hope to continue the conversations and see you at next year’s Death Faire!


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Reiki 2 Class & Attunement :: July 15, 2018 (9am-4pm) 

This was Will's first Reiki 2 class. It was a great challenge to introduce practitioners to the esoteric sign system underpinning Reiki healing. He finished the class by discussing the many ways to integrate Reiki into one's everyday life.

You don't need to know how you'll use Reiki in order to explore it in depth through one of these classes. Looking forward, we still believe that Reiki 2 would be especially helpful for those in the medical & healing arts: nurses, doctors, midwives, doulas, chiropractors, herbalists, acupuncturists, cranialsacral therapists, massage therapists, etc.


Reiki 1 Class & Attunement :: May 20, 2018 (9am-4pm)

This was Will's second Reiki 1 Class. Students gained an insider's understanding of the practice of Usui Reiki; they learned how to utilize Reiki healing on themselves and on others. Less an introduction to Reiki and more of an instant immersion, this course attuned students to the first level of Reiki understanding while providing an in-depth overview of this spiritual art.

For more information on Reiki (and specifically, Distance Reiki), please see Will's 4-part blog available here.

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Reiki 1 Class & Attunement :: March 4, 2018 (8am-3:30pm)

Will really enjoyed teaching hist first Reiki 1 class. He offered students a tour through the history of Usui Reiki, an overview of Reiki healing practices, a discussion on the role Reiki plays in self-care, and the first of three Reiki attunements. Familiarity with Reiki was helpful but not necessary for students -- the only requirement was an open mind and an open heart!

 


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Creative Grief Workshop :: February 17, 2017 (10am-3pm)

In our second workshop, we did some heart-opening breathing, gentle yoga, and tea-drinking activities. We also drew maps of our grief worlds, which we shared with one another. And then we got up on our feet for activities that helped us think through our emotional responses to grief and our interactions with others in everyday life. Writing prompts between activities helped us to process our insights, feelings, and observations.


2017 Events


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Candle Lighting to Remember Children Who Have Died :: December 10, 2017 (7-8:30pm) at the Parish Hall of the Cathedral of All Souls)

Our Candle Lighting Ceremony took place in conjunction with The Compassionate Friends's 21st Annual Worldwide Event. For those unfamiliar with The Compassionate Friends , it is an international organization that supports bereaved families in the wake of a child's death with peer-led chapter groups, online resources, and a yearly (national US) conference.

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Tonight, communities across the Earth gathered at 7pm (local time) to create a 24-hour wave of light as they honored and remembered our beloved children.

In addition to the candle lighting, we spoke the names of our children and grandchildren. Will talked about the practice of hope and Joanne spoke about white pine as a support for our "grief immune systems". We also wrote out gifts that we would give to ourselves in the coming weeks: patience, quiet, etc. We are grateful to those who joined us for this evening of healing!


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Conversation about Grief :: November 16, 2017 (6-8pm) at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe

Megan Devine, author of It's Okay that You're Not Okay: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand (Sounds True, 2017), and Inviting Abundance's Will Daddario, author of To Grieve (Ugly Duckling, 2017) discussed topics related to grief, loss, love, and healing.

This conversation seems especially timely with the approaching holidays & the myriad emotions and expectations that can accompany them for those of us who are grieving. It was great to meet more members of the grieving community in Asheville! Thanks for those who attended.


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Creative Grief Workshop :: November 11, 2017 (10am-3pm)

Our work together included grief mapping exercises, journaling, and embodied activities that led to personal reflection and group discussion. Additionally, we participated in a tea-drinking mindfulness exercise and discussed some herbs that can prove especially beneficial during grief. Our attendees, we hope, left our workshop with new ideas for thinking, seeing, and feeling their way through their grief journey.