Transformational Exchanges

Transformational Exchanges

Each day is a series of exchanges - as the dawn enters the window, animals ask to be fed, messages arrive in your inbox and greetings happen as you step into your day - with family, in community, with people ahead of you in the check out line or simply pass by...

There are named relationships - co-workers, care-givers, teachers, public officials - as well as random relationships as we come together by chance.  The quality of the exchange, interaction or shared story create the fabric of our lives.   

The Courage to Love Intentionally & Irrationally

The Courage to Love Intentionally & Irrationally

Our lives are filled with mentors and mentees as we apprentice ourselves to living wholeheartedly.  My mentor to become a Courage &  Renewal Facilitator, Debbie Stanley, taught me not only about holding space as a facilitator, but how to Live Courage in all aspects of life.  As Debbie enters into a new chapter of life as a grandmother, she continues to "turn to wonder" and shares her story with us here.  May we each apprentice ourselves to wonder, trust, and deep listening throughout our lives.  With gratitude to all our intergenerational teachers,  Holly

The Essential Journey of Self-Love

The Essential Journey of Self-Love

Deryka Nairne is a student life professional at Goucher College in Maryland. In 2015, as a graduate student at the University of Vermont's (UVM), Deryka worked with Holly Wilkinson to bring courage work to college students. They recently co-authored an article, "What's Love Got to Do with It?" in The Vermont Connection Journal about the importance of the inner journey of self-love in the academy.  Photo: Holly's Courage mentor, Debbie Stanley, and Holly's graduate school mentee: Deryka Nairne, at Holly's first Circle of Trust in spring 2015. Living wholeheartedly is part of the gifts of these two women.  

Reciprocal Learning: Intergenerational Exchange

Reciprocal Learning: Intergenerational Exchange

I host a monthly coffee house in a small rural town in Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s an intergenerational space, we always have performers and an audience that range from teenagers to people in their sixties and everything in between, and it is not uncommon to see that age range extended on both ends. It’s a very generous and welcoming space and all performers receive appreciations and acknowledgement regardless of abilities, experience or style. It’s always heartening, during the intermission, and see these generations mingling in this informal space.

Speak Your Truth: Living Courage

Speak Your Truth: Living Courage

Living with intention, integrity and courage takes practice.  This month's invitation focuses on speaking your truth.  May it support your core foundation to live with heart and action.    

February's Touchstone: Speak your truth in ways that respect other people’s truth. Speak from your center, using “i” statements, trusting people to do their own sifting and winnowing.  

Listening into Existence

Listening into Existence

One can, I think, listen someone into existence, [and] encourage a stronger self to emerge…” Mary Rose O’Reilly

This quote was on the wall during a seasonal Circle of Trust at Bishop Booth Conference Center.  Listening is such a powerful piece of each Circle of Trust I’ve been a part of, over the past 17 years. We listen to each other. We don’t chit chat back and forth, making small talk. We give open-hearted listening and acceptance. What a gift to offer, and what a gift to receive!

Seventeen years ago, I was led to these retreats, and I keep coming back, as I continue to explore who I am in this mysterious life I’m living. Here’s another wall quote that I love, from Thomas Merton: “The issues of life are not problems to solve, but mysteries to be entered.”

Extending Welcome: Living Courage

Extending Welcome: Living Courage

Our life journeys include wide & interconnected circles.  "Living Courage" is a monthly invitation to pause, reflect, and align your courageous heart through living the principles and practices of Courage work.  In 2018, each month will focus on one of the 12 Courage & Renewal Touchstones in order to integrate them into our daily lives.  This is about practice, not perfection - and extends beyond the boundaries of a circle or retreat.

New Year Blessing

New Year Blessing

WholeHeart Board President, Trish Alley, offers her poetry and well wishes as she dives deeply into a three month leave of absence to focus on her writing.  

New Year Blessing for WholeHeart

May you shine with the brilliance of the full moon

and bring light into the cold darkness.

May you always reflect beauty and warmth—

Finding Tempo Giusto

Finding Tempo Giusto

I’m what you would call a typical morning person. My energy peaks before noon.   For night-owls, this behavior is a total mystery.  I’m equally in awe of those who are able to have intellectual conversations after 9 o’clock pm.   I prefer watching the sun rise.  Ideas flow easily pre-dawn, and I treasure the spaciousness of uninterrupted time when most people are still sleeping. Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a new trend: my body is wanting more rest.   The sun is rising later too.  At first, I resisted this idea.  I’m a morning person after all!  I need that time for sipping coffee and puttering to begin my day.  I feel rushed without it.  When I open my eyes, the message is clear.  Go back to sleep.   I feel a tension, as I also hear:   There’s so much to do!  The end of the year is coming!  Holidays are here!  You’re wasting time.