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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.

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.

“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.)

 

WHEN TIRED BODIES RISE UP

A couple of weeks ago, I led a sing-along at the annual staff recognition gathering where I work. Honestly, even though I’ve done this kind of thing before, I always feel nervous, because I want to bring something that’s fresh and engaging, and I wonder if I’ll figure out what needs to come forward. As I anticipated this, I was clear that singing traditional holiday tunes would not cut it given the recent challenging times with my colleagues. What would we sing? As I began preparing, I found myself thumbing through the pages of the Unitarian hymnal, “Living Traditions,” an inclusive collection of songs and readings, and was drawn to the song, “Guide My Feet.” I had an immediate energetic hit in my bodyspirit because I could imagine this group doing this, even more, I could imagine the group up on their feet.

After we sang a familiar song to warm-up our voices, I invited the group to stand, and they popped up, surprisingly, with great relief. “Take a step to the right, and then a step back to the left,” I invited them to follow. And there we were, stepping to the right, and then to the left, the sound of unison movement. I invited them to listen to the sound of stepping with their friends and colleagues. The steady rhythm of the simple march, felt soothing in my body. They were smiling, in sway together.

“Guide my feet, while I run this race. Guide my feet, while I run this race. Guide my feet, while I run this race, for I don’t want to run this race in vane.”