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

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.

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.