Martha is an educator, writer, musician, facilitator, and reskilling farmer. As an ordained interfaith eco-chaplain, Martha offers workshops and retreats using the Work That Reconnects as a primary delivery system for people to wake up, grow up, and rise up to meet the call of our planet for fully conscious and loving human stewardship.
Why I am called to facilitate the Work
I appreciate how the spiral process offers a (spiritual) practice for personal and communal reconnection to Life, the Planet, and each other while recognizing and facing fully the truth of now, even in these difficult times. I appreciate how Joanna's life story, particularly around nuclear proliferation, and her engaged buddhism led to the WTR, and then my grasp of Active Hope inspired me to accept and build on my own history as a child of a nuclear physicist in the cold war. The WTR, from the moment I first experienced it over ten years ago, has given me my primary tool for articulating my life message, which was struggling for the words to come out. It helps me inspire healing and service in myself and in others. My purpose in facilitating WTR is to promote growth in consciousness, community, individual purpose, and greater numbers of folks committed to the Great Turning by helping people express their gratitude, honor their pain, see with new eyes , and go forth as members of a new "tribe." In recent times, I have come to call this Deep Adaptation. In Marianne Williamson's language, I find WTR helps me choose love and compassion over succumbing to fear.
How I see the Work serving the Great Turning
Holding a day or more of the WTR gives us a forum and a container, both physical and emotional, to witness our observations and speak of our experiences of "business as usual," The Great Unraveling, The Great Turning, and now, the potentiality of imminent complete collapse. It is the place where we speak with vision of the Great Turning, including geo-justice, (or environmental justice and integral ecology), and radical, new (and actually wildly old, indigenous) ways of Being and Living on the planet, with a lighter footprint. This to me is what it means to face Business As Usual, to be unafraid and welcoming of the Great Unraveling, to exert our active hope in The Great Turning. The WTR can enhance the bonding and resilience in local communities. I have found that using the spiral in workshops and in personal meditation also helps to grow consciousness and is a wonderful tool for promoting a more integral way of seeing and living. This opens up deeper reconnection with all that is, a sense of inter-being, and helps us stop objectifying other people, the earth, the animals.... and helps us see as Thomas Berry would hope for, the universe as "a community of Subjects, not a collection of Objects." This is so important, whether we are able to change and adapt or not.
Audiences I work with
eco-chaplains and ministers
Background & Training
Other relevant skills & experiences
1-singing voice, guitar, facilitative music and calling for dancers, circle dance, sacred dance
2-writing curriculum (religion, math, music, retreats, workshops, professional development)
3-writing (journalism, poetry, essays, research)
4-Mastery Journey Training (Finding and Living one's Blueprint), Feminine Path of Power (Using Powerful Archetypes for Women to Find their Voice and Power), Spiritual Psychology (Jungian Therapeutic Model blended with Kabbalah Tree of Life)
4- I have presented sessions for national, regional and county school systems and organizations in math and in music
5-Life Traumas: Infant Loss, Separation and Divorce, Mothering!
Experience facilitating other events & workshops
I used WTR in creating a spiritual retreat that blends art (mandala-making) with process theology and Chardinian evolutionary Christianity. I used the activities fro WTR, Elm Dance, other songs for transitions and reflections, and some circle dances.
Yoga for Experiencing Deep Time
In these workshops, what WTR practices have you used and how?
Gratitude: Intros with Gratitude, Open Sentences,
Honoring pain: Open sentences, The Milling, Truth mandala, Elm Dance
Seeing with New Eyes: Bodhisattva Check-In, The Bodhichitta meditation, The Wheel of the Great Turning,The Council of All Beings
Deep Time: Spiral Walk, Seventh Generation
Going Forth: The Shambala Warrior, Elm Dance (as part of a ceremony at end), Five Vows
I have added songs, dances, refections, and resources local to the people (e.g. Near Bellingham, The Cascades National Park handouts explained local geological time and local indigenous people living there. I worked this into the section on deep time and seeing with new eyes.)
Describe how you use WTR in other work that you do.
There is the retreat above... and
I am creating a workshop for music teachers where we will use the Spiral and our common music heritage in Orff Schulwerk to identify ways to bring the WTR to our classrooms. We will focus on using music to create the contexts for students to express their gratitude, honor their pain, see with news eyes, and go forth. We will do this for ourselves, and then create a ceremony using these elements with text, music and dance, recreating our reflections of the spiral in a final performance... I will be able to attribute the WTR elements as Joanna's to teachers, and direct them to Joanna's books site and to the DTJ, but generally in the classroom, we would not explain all that to elementary kids. We would just provide the context for the WTR spiral to do its magic without the classroom and school community. Teachers are very anxious about climate disruption and have few places to discuss it. They also experience dangers (shootings have happened near my colleagues) and students' anxieties in their buildings, and the WTR can give them some practical and spiritual tools.
What year did you begin facilitating the Work That Reconnects?
Unofficially in 2010 by bringing news of this work to my local Friends meeting
Joining a book study of Active Hope
Even though Joanna said to "go forth" in her video series, life circumstances and my own sense of wanting to be more deeply immersed in the work made me gather more time, reflection and training.
Officially, after the Intensive, in 2017 at Stillpoint in Bellingham, WA
I will ask for help in creating a video this fall when I facilitate again in Bellingham
Introduced WTR to participants of the eco-module as a guest teacher at the Chaplaincy Institute by teaching a mini spiral
As a clinician for the American Orff Schulwerk Association and for The Music For healing and Transition Program, I have presented sessions, workshops and 15 hour long trainings for professional development and certification programs.
Please summarize the number and types of workshops, retreats and presentations of the Work that Reconnects that you have facilitated.
The two day workshop in Bellingham was based on the WTR Spiral. Participants were already familiar with the three stories. This also included an art thread, using the mandala on Friday night as a metaphor for entering into process theology and Chardinian concept of co-creating with the divine process of evolution toward the Great Turning. Sunday included a yoga session.
Are you helping others to explore the depths of the Work That Reconnects?
I seek to do this through work on the editorial team of the Deep Times Journal.
I also speak of WTR in my ChI satellite support groups (clergy collegial support). Ours is a group of eco chaplains and others who are pursuing geo-justice.