Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Companionship: Awakening the Creative Spirit

Student Plan (Venus)$99.00 $79.00
Standard Plan (Neptune)$99.00 $79.00
Enhanced Plan (Jupiter)$99.00 $74.00
Premium Plan (Cosmos)$99.00 $69.00


Set down your burdens.

Open your hearts – and your hands.

Pick up a pen – or a glue stick – or your dancing shoes.

And give yourself permission …

To make, to move, to celebrate, to connect.

Please join us

as we get creative

with spiritual companionship.


Contemplative encounters go beyond boundaries of rational thought and arise from the numinous realm of inner stirrings, symbol, image and surprise. As spiritual companions, how can we help listen for these stirrings? How can we open doors to encounters with the Universe, God, the Holy, or however one names the ground of all being which infuses and transcends us? How can the arts assist us in navigating this time of unprecedented change and global upheaval?

This SDI webinar series is an on-line experiential retreat – offering practices that engage the arts as a threshold for holy encounter. The series distills the wisdom of a longstanding five-day in-person retreat- and an SDI book – that shares the same name “Awakening the Creative Spirit.”

With the skillful and playful support of your guides, Betsey Beckman and Kayce Stevens Hughlett, each week will focus on a different art form as we engage in participatory exercises of embodiment, art-making, storytelling, and poetry.

You will be greeted with the invitation to experience your own pilgrimage through creative modalities, reflection and embodied wisdom teaching, and come away with new and refreshed skills for bringing these forms into spiritual companionship with others.

 Participants from all spiritual traditions and orientations are welcome as are those with all levels of artistic and spiritual experience.

Each session runs 75 minutes.

Goals for Participants

  • Discover tools and insights for bringing the arts into spiritual companionship
  • Experience the creative process in various arts, including those where you may feel inadequate
  • Learn “how it feels” to acknowledge your mental barriers so you can transcend them
  • Welcome moments of serenity, renewal, and engagement while making or doing something inspired from your heart
  • Create your own embodied vocabulary for experiencing threshold moments in creativity
  • Explore how to build creative community

Course Description

  • Session 1 – Creativity – A Moving Story Where does our creativity come from?  Explore the image of God as Artist. Through movement and storytelling, encounter the inspiration of Air … and the breath of the Divine in your own creative impulse.  Please come dressed to move as you are able. You will be invited to participate in body as well as spirit. All people, regardless of ability, will be able to take part. Led by Betsey Beckman.
  • Session 2 – Visual Art We will stoke the fires of visual art making through collage and simple art practices. We will learn by noticing and listening for the ways symbol, color, image, and objects move together to create fresh wisdom. No need for expensive art gear for this session. A magazine, scissors and a glue stick would be helpful. And anything else you feel inspired to include. Led by Kayce Stevens Hughlett.
  • Session 3 – Movement & Connection – Dive into deeper waters with the gifts of movement. Explore simple forms like the one-hand dance, embodied prayer, witnessing one another, and the gift of surrender. Led by Betsey Beckman.
  • Session 4 –  Poetry, Earth & Integration – Through the grounding practices of word, poetry, and integration of the arts, open to the surprise and gifts that Earth offers. Led by Kayce Stevens Hughlett.


Our Approach

Life learning, not book learning. Experiential, contemplative, spiritual. We want to open a gateway to understanding and connection.  We’d rather companion you to an insight than impress you with a list of facts. Because most of our audience are spiritual directors and companions – including chaplains, life coaches and others who offer spiritual care -, we focus on the practical and care-giving side of the equation. Of course, since we all are spiritual beings, this webinar series can benefit anyone.

Terms of Reverence

Spiritual companions may name the deepest of truths in diverse ways. They also honor the names that others revere. Here are some of those terms of reverence: Universe, God, Lord, Allah, YHWH, Great Spirit, Higher Power, Mystery, Sunyata, Brahman, Tao, Divine, Sacred, Holy, Almighty, Ultimate, the Beyond, Intimate, Abba, Nirvana, Wisdom, Source, Vishnu, Creator, Enlightenment, Interconnection, Holy One, All.


Betsey Beckman is internationally recognized as sacred dancer, choreographer, InterPlay Leader spiritual director, and founder of The Dancing Word.  In 2005 she collaborated with Christine Valters Paintner to create a training in the Expressive Arts for spiritual directors, and then to co-author the book Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction (published in the SDI imprint series.) Betsey has continued leading this program with both Christine Paintner and Kayce Stevens Hughlett for the past 15 years and has also been a primary collaborator with Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery and global community.  Her roles include co-leading pilgrimages as well as producing CDs, DVDs and online videos to foster embodied prayer.  With a background in theology, ministry and movement therapy, she has facilitated numerous events for Spiritual Directors International, and when not traveling, she enjoys dancing in (and now teaching from) her backyard in Seattle, WA, USA.  For further information please visit:


Kayce Stevens Hughlett, MA LMHC is a tender, a healer, and an artist of being alive who believes in everyday magic and that complex issues often call for simple practices. An author of both fiction and non-fiction, her 2018 memoir, SoulStroller: experiencing the weight, whispers, & wings of the world won the prestigious Nautilus Book award for positive social change & spiritual growth as well as Chanticleer’s Journey award. Kayce is co-creator of SoulStrolling® ~ a movement for mindfulness in motion, and creator of the magical SoulStrolling Inspiration Deck. Kayce is also a member of Abbey of the Arts Wisdom Council and co-leader of Awakening the Creative Spirit. Raised in the heartland of Oklahoma, she now resides in Seattle, Washington with her family and muse, Aslan the Cat.

Who We Are

SDI is an educational nonprofit, serving over 6,000 members around the world. We are committed to supporting and growing access to spiritual companionship and the deep listening, open questions and compassion our healing modality offers.

Additional Information

Each session will run 75 minutes. We understand that the timing of the seminar will not be convenient in every time zone on the planet. For those who have trouble making this time, a recorded copy of each session will be made available to all those who sign up.

Who may join the webinar?

Everyone is invited to participate in SDI Webinars.


Scholarships are available for those facing financial hardship. Please apply here.


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