News & Updates
In the News
My Mar 25-26 ADRNC Conference Workshop at Univ of San Francisco: Journeying Through Personal Responsibility Toward a Culture of Peace was interesting and powerful. I witnessed attorney mediators and other peacemakers write, discuss, use nature images, and leave the conference room to engage a nature experience outside; all of it was in service to taking personal responsibility for our part in creating a culture of peace.
On December 8, 2016 I offered a video conference call - "Compassionate Practices in Trying Circumstances" - in collaboration with the Charter for Compassion. Callers had the opportunity to learn about and engage some very simple practices for coping with challenging times. There were people from around the globe in attendance, people who are struggling with current conditions all over the planet. I was just delighted to be of service in my very small way…which is, simply, to be present with them. It takes guts to show up to strangers: all those callers to me, and introverted me to all of them. And yet, our common experience of being humans in difficult times, our honest vulnerability and intrepid willingness to look in the face of one another and ourselves, our shared desire to find peaceable and loving paths forward led us to convene in the geography-free, timeless, bias-neutral space of the online call.
The Kindness Communication blog has offered me the chance to provide a guest post. Read it here.
Seattle filmmaker LD Willis interviewed me on Nov. 13th; she explored for her docu-series the convergence of technology and creativity in TEALarbor stories' work. At the end of the long interview, she took some footage of me creating a nature altar at the base of a tree in downtown Seattle (pictured here).
My article, What is Wild: Ecotones!, has just come out in this year's "Circles on the Mountain" publication of the Wilderness Guides Council.
I have written a guest essay, Ecotones: Convergence of Inner/Outer Landscapes, for inclusion in the first published volume of the co-founder of AUNE's Nature Based Leadership Institute. The book is now in press.
I've been invited to write guest posts for blogs focused on hospice service, on gratitude, and on kindness. I'll provide links here once they've been published on the various sites.
The in-service I was invited to conduct for the Dispute Resolution Center of Kitsap County's mediators on October 26, 2016 was a wonderful experience. I offered TEALarbor stories' ecological writing practices for the professional and personal benefit of peacemakers.
The Tulpehaking Nature Center's Arbor Day benefit, "Rooted," was a blazing success. Actors from NYC read writers' work against a backdrop of incredible artwork and spontaneous haiku. Click here to see the video of Virginia Thomas evocatively reading my piece. To see some of the photos of the lovely artwork, go to TEALarbor stories' Facebook page and scroll to posts on May 2nd.
I've developed my online course, A Natural History of Compassion: Growing Tenderness for Self and Other via Writing and Ecology, for the Charter for Compassion's Education Institute (CEI). This has inspired me to begin development of a broader curriculum reflecting the practices and values that characterize TEALarbor stories' work. (Courses for CEI will be offered gradually over time to best serve the needs of our global audience.) Details and updates will be posted here.
On June 18, 2016 a couple of us went to the low tide beach to make an act of beauty near an eroded bank and fallen trees. We called our ritual, Treephiia - as we've done for several years now through Radical Joy for Hard Times' Global Earth Exchange. It was a beautiful solstice experience in concert with people around the global doing the same beautymaking ritual in wounded places on the same day. We made this bird image out of fallen logs, seaweed, shells, stones, tree boughs, and a crab shell.
March 19th, 2016 I presented my work at the Assn for Dispute Resolution of Northern CA's Annual Conference at Univ of San Francisco. During and since my presentation, I have continued to receive kind feedback about how the writing techniques and skills were personally and professionally meaningful to participants. It was really wonderful to be of service to the mediators and other attendees. I especially enjoyed the gospel singing that opened the conference and set the tone; at least half of us were out of our seats dancing at 8:45 on a Saturday morning.
On the morning of Feb 19th, 2016 I offered an introductory workshop through Sound Spirit, a nonprofit initiative of Suquamish United Church of Christ. The participants got immersed in what it means to write for insight, write as rite, and write for outcome using the creative and nature-based practices characteristic of TEALarbor stories' work. It was a wonderful way to spend a rainy winter morning here in the luscious Puget Sound region.
In early February 2016 I had a powerful experience facilitating a training for a small group of mediators in the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. The evening's focus was Stories of Conflict: Writing for Insight as a Tool for Mediating, during which I invited participants to explore various Writing for Insight© practices that they could employ in mediations, or in other professional and personal settings. I was at first surprised, and then deeply moved, that TEALarbor stories' work can touch lives in such a variety of locations: in natural places outside, in homes and offices, in hospice settings, within holy places and at conferences, as well as high in the sky above the second most densely populated city in the U.S. We convened in a beautiful conference room on the fifteenth floor, halfway up the skyscraper, with stunning views of the bay at sunset. Using objects from nature, photographs taken in natural areas on seven continents, and symbolic storytelling, participants experienced what it means to write for insight.
On Saturday morning, October 24th, 2015 I facilitated TEALarbor stories' hallmark Writing the Inner/Outer Landscape workshop in the cozy 'The Sitting Room' in Penngrove. This was my first experience offering my work at TSR as well as my first time with a group comprised solely of experienced, published writers (half of whom are members of Redwood Writers). What a treat to see how this work can even touch the lives of savvy writers such as the astute group of men and women who attended on Saturday. We used objects from and images of the natural world to arrive in, and and be present with what lives in, our inner landscapes. I've been invited to offer more workshops at TSR and received beautiful comments from participants. I am honored by these authors' attendance and their willingness to explore the ecotone of their inner/outer landscape.
I returned in October from presenting "Exploring our Spiritual Roots: The Inner/Outer Landscape" at the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City. With nearly ten thousand people from fifty faiths and eighty nations, I found it to be a very potent, rich, diverse, heartful community of spiritual seekers, peacemakers, global climate change activists, and those helping to create a fair and just world for all. Truly, it was a transformative experience. "The Parliament is the oldest, the largest, and the most inclusive gathering of people of all faith and traditions; the first Parliament took place in 1893."
Trebbe Johnson, founder of Radical Joy for Hard Times, featured one of my writings in her weekly newsletter, "Radical Joy Revealed." These inspirational messages support RadJoy's mission: "a worldwide community of people dedicated to bringing meaning, beauty, and value to places that have been damaged by human or natural acts." Click here to read my piece, "Firecloud" (8/19/15).