Nurturing Spirit Retreat - Online
Rest, Renew, and Rise: Practices for Living a Resilient Life
Creating Connection’s Nurturing Spirit Retreats provide an opportunity for meditation, gentle yoga, deep relaxation, spiritual conversations, and learning. We are inclusive and value each person and living being on the planet. Through mindful, meaningful and spiritual conversations, we hope to create a better world for all of us, one small step at a time.
Friday, February 26th
5:00 Community Dinner - Join when you can!
Think back to the last time you attended an in-person event… maybe quite awhile ago! Remember what the first few moments were like? Maybe you didn’t know anyone, and it felt a bit awkward to say hello, maybe you knew lots of people and you were excited to hug and chat! Hopefully, you made a few new friends and made it past that first session feeling excited for the rest of the event. That’s the experience we are going to host for you on Friday! And we will need your help! If you already had dinner, maybe bring your dessert, or perhaps you just ended your last video call for work at 5pm and will join us from your kitchen as you cook! Stay tuned for some plant-based recipe suggestions, roles we will need filled, and ideas for how to mindfully set your table.
Saturday, February 27th
7:45 Zoom opens, log in now
8:00 Welcoming meditation – Vickie MacArthur
8:10 Welcome and Introductions to your team – Debra Donohue
8:20 The Five Rhythms and Guided Meditation - Kat Goheen
Kat Goheen will share an experience of the 5 rhythms spiritual practice developed by Gabrielle Roth with the Day of Nurturing Spirit. This practice involves feeling natural movements in your body that respond to five energetic rhythms that surround us: Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, and Stillness. Learning to listen to our bodies is an important step in soul work. The music is punctuated by Silence, and the music will lead us into a generous meditative sit after the dancing. All ages and abilities are welcome, and you can leave your judging mind at the door!
9:30 Journaling – Jeri Mortimore
Journaling–the act of recording your thoughts, images, hopes, concerns and then exploring them. Used in meditation or mindfulness exercises, journaling is at once an experience in exploration and revelation. No judgments and no fear!
10:30 Listening for the Soul – Shannon McAdam
Shannon follows the work of Jean Stairs to build small group connections where spiritual direction can take place. Spiritual direction is traditionally a one-to-one experience and is the practice of being with people as they attempt to deepen their relationship with the divine, or to learn and grow in their own personal spirituality. By practicing this ancient tradition in small groups, we gain wisdom as equals in our spiritual journeys, and gain skills that assist us in being better listeners in our everyday lives.
12:30 Wonder & Mental Health – Lana Cullis
Immediate Practices with Powerful Impact
Do you ever question how one moment of trauma can cause such havoc with life and yet healing practices may seem to take months or years of discipline to restore well being? In this session, we will explore the possibility that our brains, spirits, and emotions do respond to brief interventions with enduring results. We will welcome together recent and traditional learning that promotes ongoing hope in an unpredictable world.
1:30 Yoga Nidra – Vickie MacArthur
Yoga Nidra: Transformative Rest for Body, Mind & Soul
Break the cycle of tension and fatigue, regain health and vitality, and reconnect to your soul’s calling, through the practice of Yoga Nidra. Begin with a few gentle stretches and breathing techniques to help release tension, then experience a full 40-minute Yoga Nidra practice, a sleep-based, conscious relaxation and meditation practice done in a lying down position. You will leave your busy outer life behind, and enter your inner world, and a relaxed, subconscious state of mind, where healing truly begins.
3:30 Listening for the Soul – Shannon McAdam
4:00 Q&A with Facilitators – Jeri Mortimore
5:30 Satsang: Singing into Silence – Vickie and Doug MacArthur
(with special guest Mary Jean Belrose bringing a drumming meditation)
Satsang is a Sanskrit word that describes a way of coming together in community to experience the pure truth and love that is beyond religion or culture. Even online, the simple act of joining to sing can touch places within us that spoken words cannot. Singing together dissolves boundaries and opens our hearts to the silent truth that is beyond words.
Doug and Vickie will share simple songs and chants from various spiritual traditions you can sing in your own space, from the silence of “Om” to a joyful “Alleluia”. Clap your hands with lively rhythms and the beat of a drum, and let soulful melodies guide you into the silence that connects our hearts as one united voice. Together we will create a vibration of peace to fill the world.
Sunday, February 28th
10am Closing Gathering – Shannon McAdam
This morning gathering is the cherry on the sundae of your Nurturing Spirit weekend. It will give you a chance to hear and share wisdom gathered from our shared time together, practice some of the skills we’ve learned, and bask in the support of community. There will be music, poetry, and connection. We will also be inviting people who won’t have had the chance to join us on Saturday to have a taste of the experience we’ve shared. Feel free to invite a friend or two to this gathering.
Vickie fell in love with yoga as a spiritual practice in the 1990s and went on to develop a daily practice that has sustained her through life’s inevitable ups and downs. Both her practice and teachings have evolved from the vibrancy of an active flow-style practice, to the restful peaceful presence of a deeply restorative practice. Vickie has a passion and a gift for teaching the “Art of Slowing Down” in a world that is constantly speeding up. She teaches smaller, personalized yoga and meditation classes to help people deal with complex health challenges, including cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety. In 2020, Vicki finished a two-year training program with Pacific Jubilee to accompany and support people on their spiritual path. She teaches through her studio Spirit in Motion Yoga and is a sought-after teacher for workshops and classes in Alberta, on the West Coast, and online.
Jeri has been meditating for about three years and journaling for about fifty. She’s a writer by temperament and earns her living fundraising for a behavioral health treatment center in Washington State.
Patti gently pushes our group towards the science of meditation and positive effects from the natural world. Her unique perspective comes from having spent her career as an animal care specialist. From a young age she has been fascinated with nature and it plays a central role in her life.
She is a senior aquarium biologist for the Vancouver Aquarium in the role of Jill-of-all-trades at a satellite exhibit at the Vancouver International Airport YVR. Find out more at her Climate Action for a Better World Facebook page.
Working with the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC for almost 30 years in a volunteer capacity, SCUBA diver – exploring many underwater locations around the world, sitting in a tree as sanctuary through her childhood for much of her time in a family of 9, have all created a situation where creatures and nature wrapped Patti up in a way that couldn’t be denied.
She advocates for climate action, sustainability, circularity and much more in her spare time. What the human body does when meditating, forest bathing or spending time with water is infinitely fascinating for her. The mindfulness created at our retreats weave all of this together for Patti. She loves playing a role where her perspective can round out the experiences we plan and share in this wonderful group dedicated to helping you find stillness and connection.
Kat is a minster in the Community of Christ and a Spiritual Director trained in the Pacific Jubilee Program.
Mary-Jean was first introduced to drumming in Calgary, Alberta, and now Mary Jean facilitates community drum circles for people of all ages and abilities. Mary Jean believes that drum circles offer far more than just drumming to make music. People are drawn together in community, while spirits are lifted. Participants learn about themselves, and the opportunity for transformation, spiritual connection and healing is opened. Our creative inner child is freed, and burdens are lightened. Mary Jean lives in the beautiful lakeside town of Port Elgin, Ontario.
Shannon is passionate about helping everyone cultivate spiritual practices that can sustain us through the struggles of our lives. She believes in the innate wisdom of each person (yes, even you!) and how deep listening can draw out that wisdom. She has a Master of Divinity degree from Vancouver School of Theology and is an ordained Elder in Community of Christ. Shannon has over a decade and a half of experience facilitating learning experiences in theology, creativity, spiritual practice, and technology literacy.
Debra is the Creating Connection Director for Western Canada and has directed many retreats, conferences, and events over the past 11 years - all of which were in-person until 2020. Last year Debra moved her events online and she is thrilled with the response. She has worked with children from 3-years old to 98 and is passionate about getting people together to play, sing, meditate, walk, talk, learn, and share meals. Debra’s background in acting and performance has been an asset in helping her create these experiences. You can join Debra weekly online where she hosts ‘An Afternoon of Nurturing Spirit’ and ‘Coffee and Conversation’.
Lana has worked as a change advocate for over 25 years. She has a BA in English and Psychology and practices as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. She carries a Registered Rehabilitation Professional designation with VRA Canada. She understands trying to find and keep work while living with illness and injury. Lana has worked in the Individual Placement and Support IPS program with Mental Health and Substance Use Teams for over 10 years and has specialized with youth seeking employment in the Early Psychosis Programs.
Before that, she practiced employment counseling and program coordination in the Downtown East side of Vancouver serving persons with complex needs and determined spirits. Most recently she has become a Surveyor with CARF (The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) where she helps recovery-focused agencies meet and maintain the highest industry standards in both Canada and the United States. Whether working with individuals or agencies, in her practice Lana utilizes the power of wonder to activate change in work, life, and play.