On December 11, 2018, on WholeHeart’s 5th Birthday, a group of 15 retreat and workshop participants, staff, and board members gathered in WholeHeart’s home in Richmond, Vermont to experiment with a technology called Ripple Effect Mapping.
I've been thinking a lot about paradoxes lately.
This fall I had the great fortune of spending 3 days at a Courage and Renewal® Circle of Trust retreat in Burlington run by WholeHeart. The focus of the retreat was about scarcity and abundance. We spent a lot of time talking about and reflecting on the idea of paradox and I continue to ponder on it.
“Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there.” – Fortune cookie, 2017
I ran for elective office in Vermont in November and won. Lots of energized women across this country stepped into the political ring, part of a so-called “pink wave.”
For anyone who knows me well, the decision to seek elective office was largely unanticipated. I was halfway through an interfaith seminary program and this was hardly the type of “service” I envisioned.
This happy introvert (skilled at extroverted endeavors) dreamed of a writer’s life rather than a final career housed in the public sphere.
I was fortunate to be able to participate in Whole Heart’s Courage Earth retreat on Hurricane Island (in Maine’s Penobscot Bay) in late July. The timing could not have been better for me. I had just lost my mother and I needed ways to reflect upon this experience, through words and creative expression in photography, painting and poetry. Here I share some of the experiences that taking time to listen, grieve and express has surfaced:
When somebody first asked me if I wanted to attend a Leadership Exchange, I said I didn’t consider myself a leader - despite feeling compelled to be there. I was given gentle encouragement to follow my heart and to be open to whatever I might learn from the conversations and personal refection that day. I finally decided to give it a shot.
On the cusp of fall, circles of community gathered at the Richmond Free Library in Richmond Vermont for a WholeHeart Friend & Fund Raiser Concert and day long retreat. Sara Thomsen and Paula Pederson came all the way from the Lake Superior Region to invite reflection and inspiration through song, voice, and naming what we stand for.