The Work That Reconnects: A Climate Grief Workshop
May 16 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 12:30 pm, repeating until May 17, 2020
Based in the teachings of Joanna Macy, unfolds as a spiral journey through four stages: Coming from Gratitude, Honoring our Pain for the World, Seeing with New/Ancient Eyes, and Going Forth.
NOTE: This is a two day workshop, attendees are asked to commit to both days. This is a journey we will take together in community and will be building a container of trust as we go. Limited space is available and ticket sales will close at capacity.
If you cannot make it to the workshop for both days, please join us for Sunday’s concert (an alcohol free event).
Workshop facilitated by: Lydia Violet Harutoonian
Lydia has facilitated Macy’s Work That Reconnects (WTR) for the past 9 years, a set of teachings and group exercises that help build clarity of vision, fierce compassion, wisdom, and creative responses to challenging eco-socio-political times. As we move through both the dangers and awakenings we currently face as a people, this work offers tools, meditations, and concepts that we can rest into, connecting to our desires to be effective allies to both planet and people. Three years ago Lydia collaborated with Rising Appalachia and Penny Livingston to offer the first “Music As Medicine In Our Time” workshop, weaving the WTR with learning and experiencing music as a formative way of cultivating individual and community resilience. The depth of discovery and connection in this first workshop launched Lydia into a new trajectory of her work as she repeatedly experienced the spiritual and emotional sustenance this work offers. These times are indeed heartbreaking. This organization is dedicated to helping keep the spirit of the people fed so that we have the energy and tools to stay engaged in this critical time on our planet.
Music As Medicine has had the honor of creating concerts as part of our workshops with profound artists such as Rising Appalachia, MaMuse, Ayla Nereo, and Lydia Violet herself. Last summer Revival Events produced the “Salish Sea Revival Tour,” where Lydia offered MAM workshops and concerts at 9 stops along the Salish Sea. In her music project Lydia combines fiddle, banjo, and soulful 3-part harmonies to offer a soul-folk revival experience.
Assistant Facilitator: BJ Star (Barbara Jefferson)
BJ is an experience designer committed to a thriving, just, and sustainable world. Through experiential facilitation and consulting, BJ develops transformative leaders, creative community, liberatory institutions, and powerful movement groups. BJ came alive as a trainer with Generation Waking Up, The Work That Reconnects, and has trained at Rockwood Leadership, Landmark Forum, Animas Valley Institute, Theater of the Oppressed, and Training for Change. Today they are a facilitator at the Wildfire Project, a consultant at Moral Choice, curator of Black Folks Dinner Seattle, and lead anchor of First, We Grieve. 10 years of facilitation, 18 years of praxis, and 34 years inside a queer black body have elicited keen sight, grounded presence, and a tendency toward blessed unrest.
Alexandra (Ahlay) Blakely
Blakely is an organizer with 350 Seattle, focussing on movement music, community resilience and divestment campaigning. She is a mother, a storyteller and singer-songwriter for social and ecological justice.
Weste is the founder of U Productions, best known for producing the conscious music, arts, and education festival Expansion, U Productions is dedicated to creating infinite possibilities for creatives so that we can co-exist in a world that we are proud of. In his free time Aliko enjoys nature, ecstatic dance, music, podcasts, friends, and cooking.
MUSIC (Concert on SUNDAY May 17: 7-10pm):
Earth Practice (HEADLINER) Drawing inspiration from aspects of everyday life, the members of Earth Practice offer powerful medicine through simple means; creating warm, easy-to-catch songs that activate the heart and feel good inside. Their unique blend of musical influences have drawn comparisons to everything from 90s r&b to doo-wop to devotional chanting – often using only sounds and rhythms made by their hands, feet and voices. // Having been a part of weekly song circles and community choirs for years (including public song-spaces, heart & throat-opening workshops and the like) the trio believes that music is a shared language between people, and a medicine by which communities are made stronger and more vibrant. Their acappella-driven live shows are often highly interactive and intimate, striking a unique balance between harmonization, improvisation, listening and play.
Amora – Alexandra Blakely sits together with daughter Femi and siblings Brooke Hatch + Daniel Cherniske to drop into our deeper e-m-oceans.
Lydia Violet – Music from our facilitator!
We will provide a lunch and light refreshments throughout both days.
TWO DAY WORKSHOP:
Saturday May 16, 2020: 10am-6pm (hot meal 1pm)
Sunday May 17, 2020: 12:30pm-6:30pm (hot meal 3:30pm)
Concert Sunday evening with a Tea Bar (non-alcoholic event) 7pm-10pm
Location: Southside Commons
3518 S Edmunds St, Seattle, WA 98118
This venue is wheelchair accessible via ramp at the west side of the building. Restrooms are gender neutral.
- Prices for two day workshop, concert and food included:
- General Admission: $100-$300
- Marginalized Communities/Low Income Admission: $25-$300 ($25 minimum to hold your spot: can be refunded if desired at the event.)
- Concert Only (alcohol free event) –
- General Admission: $10-$50
- Marginalized Communities/Low Income Admission: $10-$50 ($10 minimum to hold your spot: can be refunded if desired at the event)
In the spirit of micro-reparations for slavery, racism, and the displacement of indigenous people, we offer admission to this event by donation for black, indigenous and other people of color. General admission to this event is priced to make it accessible and affordable, please pay at the highest level that you can afford to do your part in making this event accessible to marginalized communities and low-income folks. (We realize that this policy is merely a gesture towards the need for much broader reparations and justice, and are open to feedback about how this policy can change and evolve over time. We are listening, and are committed to learning.)
Regardless, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please contact Ahlay for any questions or concerns.
Proceeds beyond event costs will be donated to Real Rent Duwamish and 350 Seattle.
FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORK:
To those of us growing up in the Industrial Growth Society, a breathtakingly new view of reality arises from deep ecology, systems thinking, and the resurgence of non-dualistic spirituality. These three streams attest to our mutual belonging in the web of life, and to powers within us for the healing of our world. They are basic to the core assumptions of the Work That Reconnects.
Core Assumptions of the Work That Reconnects:
Our Earth is alive. It is not a supply house and sewer for the Industrial Growth Society. As most indigenous traditions teach, the Earth is our larger body.
Our true nature is far more ancient and encompassing than the separate self defined by habit and Western society. We are as intrinsic to our living world as the rivers and trees, woven of the same flows of matter/energy and mind. The planet as a living system, having evolved us into self-reflexive consciousness, can now know and see itself through us, behold its own majesty, tell its own stories — and also respond to its own suffering.
Our experience of moral pain for our world springs from our interconnectedness with all beings – including humans of all cultures – from which also arise our powers to act on their behalf. When we deny or repress our pain for the world, or view it as a private pathology, our power to take part in the healing of our world is diminished. Our capacity to respond to our own and others’ suffering – that is, the feedback loops that weave us into life – can be unblocked.
Unblocking occurs when our pain for the world is not only intellectually validated, but also experienced and expressed. Cognitive information about the social and ecological crises we face is generally insufficient to mobilize us. Only when we allow ourselves to experience our feelings of pain for our world, can we free ourselves from our fears of the pain – including the fear of getting permanently mired in despair or shattered by grief. Only then can we discover the fluid, dynamic character of feelings. Only then can they reveal on a visceral level our mutual belonging in the web of life and free us to act on our moral authority.
When we reconnect with life, by willingly enduring our pain for it, the mind retrieves its natural clarity. We experience not only our interconnectedness in the Earth community and the human community, but also mental eagerness to match this experience with new paradigm thinking. Significant learnings occur as the individual re-orients to wider reaches of identity and self-interest.
The experience of reconnection with the Earth community, human and other-than-human, arouses desire to act on its behalf. As we experience our essential desire for the welfare of all beings, Earth’s self-healing powers take hold within us. For these powers to function, they must be trusted and acted on. The steps we take can be modest ones, but they should involve some risk to our mental and social comfort, lest we remain caught in old, “safe” limits. Courage is a great teacher and bringer of joy.
Aims of the Work That Reconnects: The central purpose of the Work That Reconnects is to bring us back into relationship with each other and with the self-healing powers in the web of life. This journey, motivates and empowers us to reclaim our lives, our communities, and our planet from corporate and colonial rule.
In order to do this, the Work That Reconnects:
- ~provides practices and perspectives drawn from systems science, Deep Ecology, and many spiritual traditions that elicit our existential connectivity with the web of life through space and time.
- ~reframes our pain for the world as evidence of our mutual belonging in a relational universe, empowering us to take action on behalf of life.
- ~awakens stamina and buoyancy to live with full awareness of both the Great Turning and the Great Unraveling, historically and in present time, and to embrace the uncertainty.
- ~awakens us to the systemic injustice, racism, and oppression of the Industrial Growth Society, and generates our commitment to transform all our institutions for the benefit of all humans, whatever their color, culture, religion, gender identity, and history.
- ~affirms that our intention to act for the sake of all beings, and to become allies to all oppressed or marginalized people, can become organizing principles of our lives.
- ~helps us identify the strengths and resources we can mobilize in our commitment to the self-healing of the world.
- ~presents the Great Turning as a challenge that every one of us, in collaboration with others, is fully capable of addressing in our own distinctive ways.