Reclaiming Our Lives, Reclaiming Our Earth

After an exhausting and isolating year, we will take the opportunity to gather virtually in sacred time, diving deeply into the creative wellsprings of our body, soul and symbol. Through the imagery revealed to each of us, we will gather a collective vision that will guide us into the future. Using meditation, expressive movement, story, dreams, poetry and visual materials we will nourish ourselves and reclaim our connection to the greater whole

Reclaiming Our Lives, Reclaiming Our Earth

This workshop is now full and will be offered through Zoom Online only.

How many times have you been told not to look, not to be curious, not to see what you see? In the Psyche and Eros myth we will be weaving this year, the young woman Psyche was told just this : “Close your eyes, don’t look.” She disobeyed, and as a result she was handed a series of onerous tasks. The successful completion of these tasks led her, finally, to achieve her heart’s desire, and to claim the fullness of her true Self. Within the safety of our women’s circle, we will follow the ‘ins and outs’ of this tale and find its relevance to our own lives, through dreams, meditation, movement, artwork, voice, and time in nature. in our sixteenth year of offering this workshop, we will once again work to reawaken, nourish, and reclaim our vibrant, authentic, embodied selves.

Reclaiming Our Lives, Reclaiming Our Earth

How often have we found ourselves in a foreign skin, disconnected from ourselves through accommodation, duty, habit or fear? How do we find our way back inside our natural skin?

In this retreat, we will follow the story of the Selkie, a seal woman whose seven-year pact with the human world has left her diminished, depleted and untethered from her true home… until she can find her way back! We have all accommodated to the structures of the patriarchal cyber/industrial world, and long to reconnect with what is lost, disavowed or hiding within ourselves.

In our 15th year of offering this retreat we will gather as a community of women to explore this story through the messages of our dreams, our bodies, our meditations, the creative arts, and the natural world around us. Diving into this wellspring, we will work to reawaken, nourish and reclaim our vibrant, authentic embodied selves.

A BodySoul Community Workshop for Women

Inspired by the original Marion Woodman Foundation Mission Statement: To continue the tradition of BodySoul Rhythms® work, as developed by Marion Woodman, Mary Hamilton, and Ann Skinner through trained teams. The BodySoul Rhythms® work has a strong base in C.G. Jung, and supports the individual’s process of working towards consciousness, and the contained group process of descending into the unconscious and the body.  The BodySoul Rhythms® work holds that psyche and soma are inseparable, and must be worked on together to come to consciousness—to the positive feminine in our bodies and the positive masculine in our creative pursuits.

Reclaiming Our Lives, Reclaiming Our Earth

A Workshop for Women

In these deeply polarized times, we feel the wounds of the body politic, the body of the earth, and our own bodies, all at once. It is ever more important that we come together as women, allow all these wounds to breathe, and, finding their beauty as well as their pain, let them germinate into something entirely new, born to us and to our communities.

Every year our workshop Reclaiming our Lives, Reclaiming our Earth, works with a myth or fairy tale because tapping into archetypal wisdom deepens our understanding of ourselves and our world. This year we will be examining the Norwegian tale Prince Lindworm, the tale of the queen who gives birth to boy twins, one human and one a serpent. She conveniently puts the birth of the serpent twin out of her mind and when he comes of age he challenges her entire kingdom to examine its “forgetfulness.” The results are dramatic and transformative.

Join us at the Menla Retreat Center in Phoenicia, NY (http://www.menla.us), April 3-8, where through body work,  dreamwork, meditation, and the expressive arts we will investigate what remains hidden in our unconscious and bring it to light, in the warm embrace of our women’s circle.

Reclaiming Our Lives, Reclaiming Our Earth

PollyHowellsHenry David Thoreau wrote, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

In this retreat we will access our own wildness, the wildness that Dionysus and the women who were enthused by his energy embodied in ancient Greece. Following the thread of Euripedes’ The Bacchae, we will examine the tragedy that devolves when unbridled emotions return from exile to the public square. Today, the world is in a frenzy of rampant greed, aggression and resultant violence. Where are we in this play? Can we access the chaos internally and move from projection and blame to an embodied wisdom where we live from and through the tension of the opposites: love and fear, rage and joy, loss and attachment? We are all these feelings, and will explore them through dreams, movement, voice, the visual arts and time spent in the natural world.

We invite you to join us in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains in early spring, where as a circle of women we will create a container that is safe enough to contain both the unruly and the sublime. As we come together, we will be held by the wisdom and love that will naturally emerge.

A BodySoul Community Workshop for Women
Inspired by the Marion Woodman Foundation, to continue the tradition of BodySoul Rhythms® work, as developed by Marion Woodman, Mary Hamilton and Ann Skinner through trained teams, the BodySoul Rhythms® work has a strong base in C.G. Jung, and supports the individual’s process of working towards consciousness, and the contained group process of descending into the unconscious and the body. The BodySoul Rhythms® work holds that psyche and soma are inseparable, and must be worked on together to come to consciousness—to the positive feminine in our bodies and the positive masculine in our creative pursuits.

Jean Esther

Jean Esther, MSW, LICSW, is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Northampton MA, specializing in a mind-body approach in the healing of trauma. At the root of her work is over 40 years of training in meditation practice. She teaches in the Buddhist tradition at the Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley (insightpv.org) in Western MA and IMS (Insight Meditation Society) in Barre, MA (dharma.org) as well as across the US and Canada. In addition, she is a Continuing Ed faculty in the Smith College School of Social Work. Her work is also informed by training in Jungian Psychology, Somatic Experiencing, and physical theatre. Jean’s email is jean@reclaimingourlives.com