Subscribe to Harriet's Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other subscribers

Raising Wisdom, Raising Heart

Harriet Platt's Woman's Fall Retreat
 

By Rev. Harriet Platts and Vic Okerlund

My friend and colleague, Vic Okerlund, and I are very excited to be joining you for the Fall Women’s Retreat, Raising Wisdom, Raising Heart! As 50 something-year-olds, we’re both immersed in the fullness of life, packing and sending kids off to college or life beyond our homes, nurturing our work lives, and trying to make meaningful contributions within the communities to which we belong. There’s also the ongoing maintenance of all the ‘stuff’ we’ve assigned as a necessity to living, trying to maintain semblance of a balanced inner life, caring for aging parents – friends, and then… wondering with curious hearts about how to care for the wellbeing of our fragile world with so many people suffering such accumulative, untold loss. Sound familiar?!

Then…there’s the unexpected! We’ve all been blind-sided, surprised by experiences where we feel struck or toppled like the rug has been pulled from underneath us. “We thought we had plans in place,…that we had an understanding,…or we never expected our kid, partner, neighbor to do or say “that;” or the unexpected health challenge.” Living in relationship to the unexpected is inherent with being human. Sometimes we have no idea how to cope with the unexpected, but we naturally seek to know, to figure it out, and in time to make sense of it. Some find community and faith in God to be just what is needed to buoy them during these times. Others find help in many expressions of spiritual practices that ground and nurture the soul, resulting in deepened wisdom and a more compassionate heart.

As we gather for this spiritual retreat, we aim to support new connections with others, deepening friendships, rest, communing in the Spirit and learning from one another. We will be reflecting on: What value is there in connection with a faith community when the bad breaks come? What spiritual resources – practices meaningfully sustain you? What’s sacred to you?

In addition to lecture, discussion, and small groups, you will have time for art-making, solitude, a massage, and engagement with the natural beauty of the retreat setting at Rainbow Lodge. You don’t have to be directly connected to a faith community of any kind to participate. All earnest women seekers are welcome!

Harriet continues to be curious about how people develop and nurture their spiritual lives. She enjoys making music with her voice and cultivating her relationship to the natural world.

Vic is drawn to a place between the sacred and the secular where we all meet our growth edges and find ourselves awkward, in anticipation and often fragmented. She wonders what conversations could nurture our hearts and spirits in those places. One thing that grounds her is cycling in the Snoqualmie Valley where she is reminded of both the magnificent and ordinary. (Although she is looking at trucks in a new way).

Download flier here

Lectio Finale: Found Poems in the End

I

It’s important to be on time.
I’m marking time.
You won’t experience time on the other side.
I feel like its been winter for a long time.
I’m marking time.
This is no way to live.
I feel like it’s been winter for a long time.
I’m ready.
This is no way to live.
You won’t experience time on the other side.
I’m ready.
It’s important to be on time.

 
The form of the pantoum poem lends itself to hearing the single voice of each line as a ‘final,’ disclosure or lesson, but also as a collection, the joint voices blend to speak their wisdom. These words come from listening to those speaking at the end of life. Discretion is being used to share the general spirit of the words disclosed.

 

Dad

SONY DSCPaul Kingsley Platts, 12/30/34

Hands-On

Supportive

Music-Maker

Storyteller

Warm Presence

A Great Tree

Steady as they come!

 

Tracking Our Spiritual Paths

Harriet Platts "A  Map of Your Spiritual Journey in Image, Story and SongI’m thrilled to be facilitating the retreat, A Map of Your Spiritual Journey in Image, Story, and Song, for the women of Seattle First Baptist as well as for other women seekers interested in reflecting on women’s spiritual development, who’s responsible for it, and to explore the language/metaphors that represent our journey over time!

The subject area of spiritual development is of great interest to me, and it is a privilege to be collaborating with Rev. Catherine Fransson, Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Seattle First, in this retreat experience. I believe that the actual words/metaphors we use to conceptualize our spiritual journey, reflect the ways in which we make sense of our experience, and can even effect the arc of the journey itself.

In addition to lecture, discussion, and small groups, we’ll be creating group maps and personal maps as we explore ways to name parts of our spiritual journeys.  As we learn and listen together about women’s spiritual development, share curiosity about ownership of the journey as well as explore our growing edges, I trust we will gather new insights, clarity, and renewal to continue to live and grow toward greater fullness and freedom!

You do not have to be directly connected to a faith community of any kind to participate.  All earnest women seekers are welcome!  You might think about sharing this experience with a friend!

For more retreat details or to register, please download this pdf: 2013 Woman’s Retreat.

SECRETS of InterPlay: A Threshold to Fuller Embodiment, Ease, and Freedom of Expression

Secrets of InterplayImagine it! Feeling more deeply at home in your own skin, having more ease in your life, and new confidence to be more your self!

InterPlay is a philosophy and practice that builds artistic skill, self-information, leadership ability and community. InterPlay uses word, movement and voice to tap into our creative selves. It’s a practice based in an ethic of PLAY. Playing allows for nurturing curiosity and trusting that whatever emerges in the moment is ‘just right.’ When we create this way, we are playfully reminded of our vulnerability as well as our choices as enspirited beings to ‘show up’ for ourselves and others, affirming and celebrating being human.

The Secrets of InterPlay is a three-day retreat (September 19 – 22) which introduces the system of InterPlay and its play forms. This retreat is a required component of the Life Practice Program (Beginning in October, 2013 in Seattle), but you can just do SECRETS as a stand alone retreat.

For more information and to register, visit: interplay.org

Local Seattle Contact: Sharie Bowman at sharie.bowman@gmail.com

FALL 2013 – InterPlay “Life Practice Program” in Seattle

Interplay Life Practice Brochure

Interplay Life Practice Brochure

My practice in nurturing relationships and spaces for curiosity, play, and reflection, is evolving to include being part of the upcoming InterPlay Life Practice Program teaching team here in Seattle!

Beginning in September, the InterPlay Life Practice Program will be launched with the opening retreat, “Secrets of InterPlay!” When I participated in the program almost 10 years ago, it was during a time of professional transition. Meeting once a month on a Saturday as part of a cohort, I found the body wisdom curriculum enriching, and the supportive relationships and space to play with the question of”What next?”

There’s an amazing cohort that’s already forming!  YES’s from artists, educators, healthcare professionals, ministers, mind/body practitioners.  Is this the time for you too?  Would you benefit from a supportive/creative place where you can land and play with, “WHAT’s next for YOU?!”

I would love to speak with you about your interest! The next Life Practice Program Information session is on Friday, June 14th, at 6:30, Queen Anne Christian Church, Seattle, WA.

You may download a complete brochure here.

WONDERING Around: The Play in Self Care and Creating

I’m in the “collecting ingredients for a stew” mode.  When I begin a process of designing for an event like a retreat, I listen to ‘what’s up,’ for me, what I’m curious about, what lands on my desk top – web frequency, what emerges from the meditation cushion, and of course the dream scape.  It’s all fair game for the stew.

After my sit this morning, I began playing my shruti box (a drone sound) and singing/vocalizing aloud through a litany of phrases and words to get at the bottom of this place of discontent I’ve been feeling for several weeks.  This state of mind – heart – body, i.e. confusion, fatigue, irritability, cynicism, manifests impatience, more fatigue, discouragement, criticalness of self and others.  NOT a pretty place to live.  VERY unhappy place in fact.  I kept singing about what I thought I was unhappy about, and then it occurred to me.  This is doubt!  This is what doubt is.  It’s insidious in that I never quite know when it starts.  It can lurk around for days, weeks, and I do my adapting thing of ‘explaining’ to myself and others, what’s up, when it’s really just about doubt.  Self doubt. As I spoke that truth, my heart began to soften with the fatigue that goes with this state in my mind/ bodyspirit.  The tears flowed.  Beginning to clear….Phew!

So as I continue to listen and bring my own voice and the voices of others to the ‘design field,’ I’m circling with women who are writing about spiritual development of women, my own experience of  “timing” in life, May Sarton, Annie Dillard, “Mystic Tech,” what does nature have to say about soul – timing, economy of energy/resource.  WONDERING around….

 

Restoring Your PLAY Factor: “Playing Along”

Recently, on a morning walk through my neighborhood, I found myself within earshot of a lovely interaction.  A young family was walking to their car along with their 2.5/3 year old daughter. The child informed her parents, “Baby is in the car.”  A brief moment passed, and I heard the mother say with genuine enthusiasm, as she opened the car door, “Hello Baby.”   I thought to myself, THAT’s PLAYING along!  May not seem like such a big deal at first, but what this mother offered in FOLLOWing the cue, was a great big ‘ole fat gift of affirmation to her child and for herself to let go…and to rest into the opportunity presented to play.

Imagine UPPING your ‘playing along’ skills.  The ‘over culture’ says that being a leader is all about initiating stuff. The truth is people can’t be leaders if no one is there to follow…to play along…ecstatically…full on!  Truthfully, following, can actually be restful, energizing, without being passive.  Give it a go!

Benefits of PLAYING ALONG:

  • Allows us to REST our initiator side, that part of us that needs to “work” on stuff, or make SENSE of everything, or be extra ‘dazzling’
  • Opportunity to back someone up
  • Affirming the side of us that’s willing to throw it all in and just follow – receive  what’s happening around us

“Restoring Your PLAY Factor”: The Invitation

Hand of Invitation - Harriet Platts

Hand of Invitation

On Tuesday, April 9th, we’ll begin a two-week playful exploration of what it means to modulate the dimmer switch on your play factor. Maybe it needs to be turned UP a bit?!  Or maybe, you have just the right amount of playing around in your life right now.

Just the other day, I was feeling so exhausted from the fullness of life, and it occurred to me to ask, what is the relationship between play and rest? I’ve often felt like to play, I had to feel totally rested, or energized, or inspired in order to engage in play, but in fact, RESTEDNESS – the dynamic state where stress or pressure feels suspended for just a moment,  can actually be a by-product of play.  Resting out from whatever version of PINCH-PRESSURE you feel, allows for one to experience a new sort of peripheral vision throughout the whole body. It’s the experience of possibility, a physical roominess of sort.

Please contact University Unitarian Church at 206-525-8400 to register. For church members, it’s $15 for both classes. For friends/non-church members, it’s $30 for both classes.  The classes run from 7-9, on April 9th and 16th.

THE PLAY OF MAKING PROMISES: An InterPlay Retreat

may2013flierJoin us for this half-day, spring retreat where through movement, storytelling, singing, connecting with others, and just being, we’ll inquire into what we KNOW as embodied creatures about making promises.

May 4th

10:00 – 3:00

Seattle First Baptist Church

~A light lunch will be provided~
To register, call church office at
206-325-6051.
FREE Event!

Through storytelling, movement, singing, stillness, and connecting, we’ll explore:

~What we “know” in our bodies as individuals and as a community about making promises
~The nourishing benefits of play that support healthy communities
~Your desire for fuller connection with self and others

You may download and print the flier here.

Patricia Doheny is a member of Seattle First Baptist, has practiced and taught InterPlay since 2006, teaches Creative and memoir writing at Des Moines Sr. Ctr, and uses the tools of InterPlay in her Clown Care work and retreat leading. She recently led InterPlay at the 2013 SFBC late winter retreat.

Rev. Harriet Platts, MS, MDiv, MA, works as a chaplain, artist, and teacher. As a spiritual care provider in healthcare settings for over 15 years, she nurtures relationships of trust for meaningful self-exploration and person inquiry. As an artist and InterPlay teacher, she invites people into deepened/ truer connections with self and others through curiosity and play. She currently serves as a Spiritual Counselor with Group Health Hospice.

(The topic of promise has been inspired in part by the subject matter of the book, “A House for Hope,” written by Drs. John Buehrens and Rebecca Parker. Dr. Parker will be giving the Rodney Romney Legacy Lecture at Seattle First Baptist, on May 11th, and preaching on May 12th.)