Kathleen Rude, MS, is located in Glenview, IL, (near Chicago) on the land of the Potawatomi, Miami and Sioux. She has been involved with the WTR since 2007, when she first began her studies with Joanna. She has been facilitating since 2008 throughout the Midwest and the Rocky Mountain Region, and more recently online.
How many workshops and/or events WTR focused do you run a year? I average about 6 -10 weekend or daylong workshops a year. I have several 4-day events planned and have started doing online workshops.
Are you available for mentoring others? Yes, I’ve done some mentoring and am available. Anyone interested can reach me at: [email protected].
Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you become involved in the WTR and what role does it have in your life? I fell in love with the natural world as a young child and found my voice for environmental activism at age 10. I was and still am passionate about protecting animals, especially wildlife. I earned a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and an M.S. in Natural Resources. I began my career as an environmental writer. I was gifted the opportunity to study with indigenous elders who then empowered me to share these spiritual practices as a shamanic practitioner, ceremonial leader and teacher. I first read about Joanna Macy and the Work in a 2006 Yes! Magazine article and knew immediately that I wanted to study with her. Reading about Honoring Our Pain, I realized that, over my many years of activism, I had numbed out and that I needed this Work to heal myself.
I did my first 5-day intensive with Joanna in 2007 and it changed my life, as this Work so often does. Since then, I have studied extensively and co-facilitated with Joanna and have been facilitating workshops, presenting in high schools and giving public talks on WTR. I recently recorded a 45-minute Guided Self-Practice of The Work That Reconnects that guides the listener into a rich experience of the Spiral, with space to express feelings, insights and imaginings. It’s available as an MP3 download. (see New Resources)
In 2010, I was invited by Joanna to serve as a Steward, along with 6 others, to give counsel on continuing the Work in the period after her husband Fran’s death. I am a founding member of the WTR Network and serve as a WTR Network Weaver. I am associated with the Joanna Macy Center at Naropa, in Boulder, CO.
What are you grateful for in the WTR world? I love seeing the transformation in people that happens when they move through the Spiral. To witness people coming into a workshop fatigued, depressed, hopeless and leaving inspired, energized and full of purpose is so healing for me. This is where I find my hope for the world—in the faces and hearts of everyone I’ve had the honor to facilitate in the Work.
What has emerged for you since you started facilitating the WTR? There is a need for continued support, connection and inspiration after the workshop is over and we return to our lives. This need was the impetus for my creation of the Guided Self-Practice. I am also in the process of writing a book that supports and expands on the Going Forth part of the Spiral and our understanding of a Different Sense of Power. The working title is How To Be An Every Day Difference Maker.
What recommendations you have for new facilitators? Get a group of friends together and practice facilitating the Spiral with them. Ask them for feedback. Even if you are inclined to co-facilitate with others, get experience leading the entire spiral on your own. Find out where you feel comfortable and where you feel challenged. Do your own inner work! I can’t stress this enough. In particular, do your own grief work, so you can be fully present for others when they are touching their pain. Attend as many workshops led by seasoned facilitators as you can. Study the underlying teachings of the Work. A great way to do this is through the 6-month Spiral Journey Facilitator Development Program.
Do you have a favorite practice? Why? The Truth Mandala and the Cairn of Mourning. Honoring Our Pain is the most healing part of the Spiral for me. The gift of sacred space to truly feel what we’re afraid to touch and share is priceless.