Winter tends to be a season we hide away in our homes attempting to stay warm and counting the days until spring arrives. It is important to have a season of retreat, however, many of us tend to find ourselves with a greater sense of isolation, disconnect, low energy and feelings of depression in these winter months.
Did you know that many studies have found that even 20 minutes a day outside in natural settings can offer us restoration, increased focus and energy, less anxiety and higher moods (Louv 2008).
Perhaps, our hibernation is keeping us from a winter world full of discoveries that can offer a sense of aliveness we are needing to support us through the winter months?
Awaken your senses to winter’s wonders
Would you be open to try something for a minute?
If if feels ok, let your your mind drift back to a memory of playing in the snow. This could be a recent memory or a faint memory from childhood. Take some time remembering the details of the scene. What were you doing? Were you creating something in the snow? Were you racing down a hill? What did the snow feel like? Who was with you? Gently, bring your awareness to your chest and stomach area and notice if there are any sensations that come to your attention as your mind explores this memory. Perhaps, there is some warmth or a bubbly feeling? Perhaps, there is tension and coldness? Perhaps there is nothing at all?
Our experiences within nature and play ignites a full body experience. Nature invites our senses to ignite as we pay attention to what we see, hear, touch and taste.
Winter Awakening Progams for 2018
This year I am offering two programs that will invite a sense of wonder and connection. Take your time to look through both programs. Notice what curiousities and stirrings arise. Perhaps you are pulled to one of them, or both; maybe none.
The first offering is a Candlelight Labyrinth Walk:
The labyrinth has been used for centuries as a meditation practice for walking towards your true centre, and back out into the world. Winter invites walking into the darkness so we can move into the light of spring. This guided journey will safely take you into exploring the wonders of darkness as you walk the labyrinth lighted only by candles. In the centre, you will rest in the inner light, holding curiousity of what that light has to offer, before, walking back out into the world.
Angela will use her gentle, trauma-informed presence to guide and support the group through this journey. The evening will look like:
- Meet in front of the Orchard Building at 5:45
- Mindfulness walk to the labyrinth site
- Exploration of labyrinth and winter themes
- Set intention for labyrinth walk
- Walk the labyrinth and see what emerges
- If the impulse is there, share your experience on the walk back to the building
**please note that everyone’s capacity to engage in these activities will vary. We are changing creatures, and our capacity to engage may even change within an hour. Every activity is an invitation and you have the choice in how you engage each minute of the group. That may mean simply observing the activities or participating in every one. Make sure you dress appropriately for the winter weather and wear proper walking boots.
Sign Up Now!
Please contact me to sign up or with any further questions or concerns and I will get back to you within 48 hours.
Women’s Creative Circle
Connect, Create and Change
Runs for 5 weeks -March 22-April 19
Thursdays from 10:00am-1:00pm
Ignatius Jesuit Centre
Make contact with the wonder of the natural world
Create safe connections with like-minded Women
Discover your goodness through creativity
For many years now, I have dreamed of creating a safe place for women to join together through sharing, play and creativity.
So many of us have passions, ideas, dreams that get pushed to the side due to fears, insecurities, shame and life stressors. I know I am one of them. I move towards an idea and quickly shut it down. Hence, it has taken years to materialize this group. And, now, here I am following this impulse.
And, you can too. It is my intention to create a safe place so your ideas, dreams and impulses, that so often get blocked, can be rekindled through your innate creativity. The pulse of your aliveness.
You may be thinking that all sounds great, but I am not creative. Creativity is the opposite of being in a threat response. It is an opening to exploration, curiousity and expression –and we all have that! Creativity has many forms of expression.
What does your creativity look like?
It is my intention to create the right conditions for the the impulse of innate creativity to emerge.
The 3 hour group will be structured like this:
We will begin outside and engage our senses as we tune into the natural world as we walk through the land at Ignatious Jesuit Centre.
We will then move indoors, with a cup of tea in hand, we will gather in a circle and share our outdoor experience. We will then move into exploring a theme for the week as we continue to make space for our creativity to emerge.
I will then guide you through a meditation before we transition into the last part of the session: Creativity Stations.
Every week, the room will have a station for the main creative activity that links to the theme. However, you get to follow your impulse. There will be a rest station, a bring-your-own-craft station, a writing station, and, who knows what other stations may form. Together, we will follow our impulses towards the stations and see what creations emerge.
Sometimes, therapy can put a lot of attention on the struggles of life, the roadblocks, and the fears. In this group, we are going to put more attention to the opposite side of life. The goodness, magic and creativity of life. Using the trauma training of Somatic Experiencing, Angela will guide you to move towards safety and goodness, even when fear patterns show up. Angela aims to create a safe container that can shift and change depending on the group’s needs. Therefore, even though the group is structured, there is a lot of space to allow for themes and ideas to organically emerge – giving space for the group to create itself.
You may be thinking – this sounds wonderful – but just not for me – or – I am not ready for this. I wonder if you could hang out with the idea that it is wonderful idea, before the other thoughts come in. Do you feel a little twinge of excitement, curiousity? Could you hang out with that? What would happen if you followed an impulse before concluding quickly about your readiness?
This group is ideal for:
- Any woman that desires more connection with self and others, especially due to isolation of winter
- Any woman in the midst of trauma therapy that need safe space to focus their attention on anything – but the trauma!
- Women on stress leave needing space to rest, connect and resource themselves
- Stay at home moms that want space to rekindle their sense of self
- Women who have lots of ideas but fear/shame blocks from expressing them
$400.00 plus tax——–$40.00 for supplies
I will be honest with you. I struggle with the money aspect of life. I notice a tension within my chest as I write this. There is so much to consider when creating a workshop and putting a price on it – like room rental, planning time, accessibility, etc, etc. I want this group to be accessible for those that have an impulse to this group, and I also need to pay the expenses. So, I sit with this tension on a regular basis. This group is 15 hours of space for connection and creativity to emerge – which actually works out to be about 25 dollars for each hour.
One scholarship space is available
Payment Plans are also available.
Deposit required upon signing up of $50.00
Want to follow your impulse? SIGN UP NOW
Please take your time and sit with all the information you have just read. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns as you consider your participation.
My Love of Winter
As I am writing this, I am looking out the window and watching snowflakes gently swirl and entangle with each other as they fall to the ground. This view gives me a warmth and and a sense of wonder. Winter has always been a magical season for me. The snow is a blanket of beauty that invites me to play. To this day, I am outside at the first snowfall, walking, making snow angels, skiing and anything else my impulse leads me to do. The snow is a blanket of beauty that also invites my curiousity. I find myself curious about how each snowflake is formed? I wonder what happens to the plants and insects during the winter months? How do animals find their food? Will you join me in my wonderings as we can discover winter’s hidden treasures together?
I am excited to be bridging together my comprehensive Psychotherapy training with play and the outdoors. Combining these three passions has created this innovative, trauma-informed outdoor programming. Please explore my website to find out more about what I do.
Feedback from Summer Outdoor Group Angela Facilitated:
“I enjoyed exploring parts of nature and recognizing them as gifts. It renewed my sense of awareness for simple pleasure.”
“Angela brought the group together. It was great to have a teacher who was genuine, with ‘no expectations’ and be encouraged to explore.”
“I thought it would be a challenge expressing myself, but I felt safe.”
“Fun and Refreshing”
Ignatius Jesuit Centre has 500 acres of land to explore, consisting of farm lands, river, forests, marshes and walking labrynths. There are over 15 km of trails through this land.
Make sure you dress appropriately for the winter weather and wear proper walking boots.
For more information on the land, check out: