Our workshops will run from 2:00PM – 3:30PM MDT and 4:00PM – 5:30PM MDT on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
We will continue to add details about further sessions as we receive them. Stay tuned!
Thursday Workshops (A)
May 12, 2022 - (14:00 - 15:30 MDT)
"Can You Receive People?" - An Approach to Spiritual Direction Based on Mutuality
Father Greg Boyle, SJ, is a master of engagement for positive social change. In this workshop, Fr Greg will share his unique approach to spiritual companionship as he offers it at his innovative organization Homeboy Industries. His style of spiritual direction was inspired by what he learned from a course taught by author and spiritual director Henri Nouwen at Harvard. Nouwen’s idea is that the work of spiritual companionship can be boiled down to this simple notion: “Can you receive people?” Can we simply receive someone’s story and experiences, and be present with them, while letting go of any need to direct or give advice? Fr. Greg is of course one of our keynote presenters at the SDI Engage Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, May 11-15, 2022. This will be a special chance to learn in-depth from him.
Click here to watch a sneak peak of what Fr Greg will offer in this workshop.
Fr Greg Boyle
A native Angeleno and Jesuit priest, from 1986 to 1992 Father Boyle served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles that also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city.
Father Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during the so-called “decade of death” that began in the late 1980s and peaked at 1,000 gang-related killings in 1992. In the face of law enforcement tactics and criminal justice policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the means to end gang violence, he and parish and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treat gang members as human beings.
In 1988 they started what would eventually become Homeboy Industries, which employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to thousands of men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.
Father Boyle is the author of the 2010 New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. His new book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, was published in 2017.
Creatively Engaging End of Life
It may seem strange to consider, but embracing death makes a richer and fuller life available to you. When we don’t have a whole relationship with the end of life, the full range of gifts of living that life are inaccessible – and vice versa, when we aren’t living the fullness of our life, we miss out on the beauty and joy available as that life unwinds into death.
As spiritual companions, we have the unique opportunity to offer those we serve a broader way to be in relationship with the wholeness of their lives, whatever phase of life they are in. In this session, we will explore how creatively engaging our collective fear of impermanence, change, loss, and grief increases our capacity for holding what is hard as illness, decline, and dying come closer – ultimately enabling us to live more fully now, until our last breath.
Christy Moe Marek is a soul companion and end of life guide walking the deep and complex terrain of transition and grief with those who desire practical, emotional, and spiritual support as they or someone they love navigate terminal illness, dying, and death. Her great joy is traveling alongside those in the in-between spaces helping them to engage meaningfully and purposefully with what is hard, accessing boundless possibility for growth and discovery along the way.
Christy is certified as an Anamcara (“Soul Friend”) End of Life Practitioner and as an End of Life Doula, and lives among the treetops with her husband and lovable pup, Ritter, in Lakeville, MN. Learn more at: www.tendinglife.com
Embodied and Receptive Listening: The Enneagram Map as Support
Presence is foundational to living and listening fully. When present, I’m available to myself and can be available to the Holy and to others. Adding receptivity to our presence deepens and moves us into the land of spiritual experience, creating a spaciousness for the other to show up more fully. We begin with presence and receptivity practices for spiritual directors and for those they companion. Group discussion will follow to share personal experiences and practices. Discussion of the Enneagram Map offers ways to hone our listening and better understand our own Enneagram type’s listening preferences and communication style. Secondly, knowing the Enneagram directees’ types, alerts us to listen for patterns and narratives that may be creating stuck places and blind spots that drive unhealthy behaviors. This information helps to shape questions that get at the heart of the matter for those we serve.
Sandra C. Smith
As a 20+ year international veteran Certified Enneagram teacher and presenter, Sandra Smith weaves her theological education and Enneagram knowledge to offer a “tuned in” presence to those she companions. She is an accredited International Enneagram Association professional and speaker as well as a long-time mentor for students certifying to teach through the Narrative Tradition. Sandra is co-host of the podcast, Heart of the Enneagram, and is co author of its companion book, Heart of the Enneagram: A Companion for Deepening Personal and Spiritual Growth.
Forgiveness is a Two-Person Dance
Nobel Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee of Liberia says, “Most people genuinely want to move on. They want to reconcile. They are in an intense struggle to come back to life.” She reminds us that the peoples of Africa have much to teach us about the interpersonal dynamics and power of forgiveness.
In the U.S., many well-meaning persons promote understandings of forgiveness that are limited to the ways people need to “forgive,” and thereby return to their “pre-betrayal state” after experiences of harm.
Truth and Reconciliation Committees make a distinction between the individual work of mourning and letting go, and the interpersonal relational work of forgiveness. They also challenge Americans to insist on the restoration of love, justice, and power.
This workshop re-frames forgiveness as an interpersonal process from a cross-cultural perspective. It’s based on collaborative research with women from 5 religious traditions and 6 nationalities on the topic of forgiveness.
Anne Dilenschneider is a spiritual director, mental health counselor, researcher, and award-winning poet and writer. Her doctoral research was a collaborative project with women from 5 religious traditions and 6 nationalities on the topic of relational trauma and the process of forgiveness, restorative justice, and healing. As part of her journey, Anne interned at a domestic violence shelter with women and children on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, and participated in an immersion with the Sicangu Lakota on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. She also helped design and staff one of the first restorative justice programs for at-risk adolescent girls in the United States. Currently, she is one of the Keepers of the Canton Native Asylum Story, a Native/Non-Native restorative justice group focused since 2012 on healing the legacy of that South Dakota “asylum” in South Dakota and working toward a preferred future with 53 Native American Nations.
Listen to Your Heart, Listen to Your Words
Spiritual Journal writing is a profound and personal way to engage in the practice of deep listening. It is a skill we can teach those we companion. This workshop will provide techniques and practices that invite us to hear what is stirring inside. Journal writing allows us to give form to our innermost thoughts and feelings. It’s a meaningful process for both the director and the directee, to explore and deepen our spiritual journey.
As spiritual companions, this workshop will offer participants the opportunity to engage in spiritual journal writing practices they can use with those they companion. We will use prompts from poetry, music, Visio Divina (sacred seeing), and spiritual journals from writers like Thomas Merton and others. We will write, pray, and share our words in a contemplative community that respects everyone’s individual expression of the sacred and delivers a great balance of contemplative and expressive experiences.
Colette Lafia is a San Francisco-based writer, spiritual director, and retreat leader. A graduate of the Spiritual Directors’ Institute at Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, Colette recently completed the Living School program in the Christian contemplative and mystical traditions guided by Fr. Richard Rohr, Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, and Dr. James Finley.
Colette has a passion for connecting people more deeply with the presence of the sacred in daily life. She designs and facilitates retreats for an international audience and has an active practice as a spiritual director. Colette regularly gives talks and leads prayer days, comfort circles, and retreats on subjects such as Gratitude, Surrender, Delight, The Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Living in Divine Love, Spiritual Art Journaling, Women Mystics, and more.
Colette’s most recent book is The Divine Heart: Seven Ways to Live in God’s Love published by Monkfish Book, 2021.
Learn more at https://colettelafia.com/
Engaging Chronic Stress: Spiritual Companionship and Nervous System Resilience
In a moment when personal, communal, and global trauma can be experienced simultaneously and ongoingly, chronic stress can lead to debilitation of body, mind, and spirit. As a respite, spiritual companionship that is attuned to nervous system regulation can provide grounding, solace, and healing. This workshop explores how spiritual companions can provide trauma-informed spiritual care that promotes nervous system recovery, resilience, and even healing from chronic physical and mental suffering. Religious and spiritual perspectives on solace, faith, wholeness, and liberation can deepen and intertwine with the emerging arts and sciences of mind-body healing. This orientation toward possibility and imagining alternative futures offers healing tools for individuals as well as communities—instilling a transformative consciousness that supports both personal recovery and communal-ecosystemic health.
Lily Oster (she/her) is a student of the neuroscience of healing, spirituality and meaning-making, meditation and contemplative practice, and nature-based therapies. She is an ordained interfaith minister with an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in Religious Studies from Emory University. Lily’s own experience of healing from chronic pain led her to add health coaching to the education and counseling work she does. She currently works as a teacher, spiritual director, and coach in Asheville, NC / on Cherokee land.
Spiritual Direction for Individuals with Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) seek similar spiritual experiences to those without NDD. They desire understanding and guidance as to where they fit in this world. Unfortunately, many with NDD feel unable to participate in or feel excluded from spiritual practices and rituals from otherwise well-meaning congregations. As for spiritual direction, there are very few who identify as working with individuals with NDD. This interactive workshop will present an overview of typical neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), such as Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder. We will present some characteristics seen in individuals with NDD that can present challenges to our more typical approaches to spiritual direction. We will also present results from our survey of spiritual directors working with individuals with NDDs. And lastly, we will engage those in attendance with discussion of some strategies for spiritual direction sessions and identify barriers to providing spiritual direction with individuals with NDD.
Steven Koch completed his spiritual direction training at the Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center in Beech Grove, Indiana, USA. He is a psychologist within the Division of Developmental Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, and at the Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. He is interested in merging his passions for spiritual direction and working with individuals with developmental disorders and their families. In his spare time, Steven enjoys writing poetry.
Amy Strasburger completed her spiritual direction training at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Amy is a vocational rehabilitation counselor at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. She is also at the Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine. She has worked in mental health research for over fifteen years and has a strong desire to improve spiritual direction by spreading awareness via research.
Sharing Spiritual Heritage - What do Spiritual Innovators need?
The Fetzer Institute is supporting an emerging field of spiritual innovators—from leaders within historic faith traditions to those leading new forms of spiritual community and practice outside of the traditions. Together they are voicing the needs of the people they serve, holding in reverence the traditions they practice, and asking bold questions about the future. This interactive workshop with advisors and partners in this effort will explore what spiritual innovators need today in a changing spiritual and religious landscape.
As a senior program officer at the Fetzer Institute, I support projects related to spiritual innovation, chaplaincy, retreat center networking, and field building to connect spiritual seekers with wisdom from the religious traditions. My research interests include spiritual formation, LGBTQ spirituality, and spirituality among people who identify as spiritual-but-not-religious. I previously served as a nonprofit administrator in Chicago for 20 years. My background includes program development, strategic planning, nonprofit boards, group facilitation, pastoral ministry, and facilitating retreats. I have a Doctorate in Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary, am bilingual in Spanish and English, and have worked in multicultural settings in the U.S. and Latin America. I love the Great Lakes and the outdoors and live with my spouse in the woods near Kalamazoo, MI.
Uvinie Lubecki is the founder of Leading Through Connection, which trains leaders in compassionate leadership through workshops, executive coaching, and speaking engagements. Since 2013, she has been focused on and passionate about spiritual transformation and expanding access to spiritual teachings through spiritual innovation. Uvinie also has expertise in selecting, managing, and evaluating innovation projects. She was head of business strategy and new product innovation portfolio at RelayHealth, McKesson prior to shifting her focus to spiritual work. She was part of the start-up incubation team selecting healthcare innovators at Aetna and also served as a management consultant on Deloitte’s innovation strategy team.
Thursday Workshops (B)
May 12, 2022 - (16:00 - 17:30 MDT)
Engaging the Space Between Us: Becoming Gates of Hospitality in a Broken World
Our hearts can break open, break apart, break down or armor up in response to pain. How can we as spiritual companions learn to hold heartbreak in such a way that our broken open hearts may provide a gate of hospitality in our broken world? This is the question we will engage during our time together.
We will explore Christian and Buddhist principles and practices for honoring and learning from our pain rather than suppressing or spiritually bypassing it. We will experiment with practices that help us to recognize, investigate, and befriend inner patterns of wounding and defense that give rise to injustice and disengagement in our world. We will examine the deeper truths waiting to be revealed in our own experiences of heartbreak so that we may be better equipped to help our directees do the same. Through these activities, our aspiration is to help you discern how to follow your heartbreak and draw upon your pain as a source for healing activism.
Diane M. Millis, PhD, a Roman Catholic laywoman, studies and practices both Western & Eastern contemplative spiritualities. A life-long learner and educator, Diane has taught at the University of Minnesota, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, and Saint Catherine University. She currently teaches at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities (MN, USA). She is the author of Deepening Engagement, Conversation—the Sacred Art, and Re-Creating a Life—published by SDI Press and named one of the best spiritual books of 2019. Diane serves on the editorial board for Presence and helped to launch the New Contemplatives Initiative. For more information about her ministry, visit www.dianemillis.com
Rev. Bussho Lahn is a Zen monk, spiritual director and the guiding teacher of Flying Cloud Zen spiritual practice community. He first came to Soto Zen Buddhism in 1993, was ordained as a novice in 2009, and received Dharma Transmission (authorization to carry the lineage and teach independently) in 2015. He is a teacher, speaker, retreat leader, and an Interfaith Fellow at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN. Bussho serves the Flying Cloud Zen Contemplative Spiritual Practice Community, as well as the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, Aslan Institute, and the Episcopal House of Prayer. He is the author of the forthcoming book Quit Pretending Enlightenment is Hard. For more information, visit www.flyingcloudzen.org.
The Mutuality of Individual & Collective Healing: Implications & Invitations for Community Companions
In communities throughout the world, there are people struggling with grief, loss, trauma, and pain of all kinds. Many of them are unaffiliated with or disconnected from spiritual and religious communities, often further wounded from fragmented systems of care, disparities, inequities, and/or racism. This workshop will explore how Community Companions can offer spiritually based accompaniment that equally contributes to individual and collective healing. This profound mutual healing process unfolds in ripples of growth and transformation. Community Companions, peers living in the very communities they serve, provide unique abiding presence and trusted connection meeting people where they are in the healing process. This workshop is offered by two members of a community trauma and healing support program in Boston, MA. Individual and collective healing examples and models, personal and contemplative reflection, one-on-one mutual listening experience, and a collective group experience will be offered.
Colleen Sharka, MA, LMHC, is a psychotherapist and spiritual director. Co-founder and Director of The Cory Johnson Program for Post-Traumatic Healing, Roxbury Presbyterian Church Boston, MA; a community trauma healing and support program. The program has replicated at seven sites that include greater Boston, Providence, RI, and Chattanooga, TN. She previously served as the Director of Spiritual Formation & Accompaniment at Still Harbor, a non-profit focused on accompaniment of individuals and organizations. She previously served as the Chair of Spiritual Directors International’s Spirituality & Health Care Institute.
Debra Johnson is the Community Companion Specialist for The Cory Johnson Program for Post-Traumatic Healing, Roxbury Presbyterian Church, Boston, MA, a community trauma healing and support program. She is the mother of Cory Johnson, a young member of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, who was murdered in 2010. Debra co-founded the program and helped develop the role of Community Companion, central to the peer support focus. The program has replicated at seven sites that include greater Boston, Providence, RI, and Chattanooga, TN. She assists in the training and support of Community Companions for each of the replication sites.
Song and Silence: Sung Prayer as a Practice for Deep Listening
Singing is an act of creation that invites us to listen with our whole selves. We often think of singing as expressive and outward focused—closer to speaking than listening. But the skilled musician is always listening, resting in the pause, the breath, and through that listening finds a hidden meaning inside the music.
Chant and song come alive when you listen to what’s within the music—just as we can become enlivened, body and soul, through the practice of listening with song.
In this participatory workshop, we’ll explore these ideas and use the song Canticle of Creation from St. Francis of Assisi to experiment with a practice of song and listening. Canticle is a hymn to creation, one that celebrates the natural world and our place within it. No training or experience required—we’ll simply experience singing and listening our way into the heart of the sacred.
Simon de Voil
Reverend Simon Ruth de Voil is an interfaith/interspiritual musical minister, trained to be a sacred presence outside the conventions of traditional religion. As a musician, spiritual mentor and worship leader he incorporates chant, ritual, poetry, storytelling, and mindful practice to create a space for profound connection and sacred witness.
Simon is an accomplished musician and songwriter with 20 years of experience as a performer. For the last 15 years, though, Simon’s focus and calling has been in sacred music. This grew out of his work at Iona Abbey, and has since led him to provide music for worship, ceremony, and prayer in a wide variety of churches and non-religious spiritual communities. He particularly loves to create music for meditation, healing services, and rites of passage.
Challenging Your Inner Shadow to a Duel
Many of us struggle with an inner voice that tells us we are not good enough, we are not worthy, we are not beloved. That negative voice can be especially challenging for students, seminarians, or those in vocational discernment because it can keep them from fulfilling their calling. There are many loving, peaceful ways to address this voice… but what if they don’t work? What if what a person really needs to do is challenge that voice to a duel? One way to deep healing might be in the catharsis of an epic battle with that voice and then a ritual to disperse or transform it. This interactive workshop will explore the technique of taking on the role of companion referee to guide a person to kick that negative inner voice’s backside and then work on healing from the fight. Warning: this workshop will contain righteous anger and reverent humor.
Ceceley Chambers is a pediatric palliative care chaplain by vocation, and a spiritual companion and teacher by calling. She originally trained as a spiritual director as a way to serve the non-affiliated Jewish community, but loves working with seekers from any faith tradition or those with no affiliation who want to explore their connection to the sources that are greater than themselves. It is not uncommon for her to use art, music, poetry, and meditation in sessions, and she often throws in some reverent irreverence and occasional silliness. She has a particular passion for working with fellow helpers, spiritual companions, and seminarians/students, as well as people in times of transition and during illness, death, and grief. She has a strong commitment to being a companion to people of all races, gender expressions, sexual orientations, physical abilities, nationalities, immigration status, economic status, and philosophical/spiritual/religious beliefs (or non-beliefs).
Sharing Three Cups of Tea: Listen, Respect, Connect
In this workshop we shall explore and practice the art of creating relationships with “others” – people outside our tribe and zone of comfort. The aspiration is to practice authentic listening and to gradually become aware of our conditioned biases and prejudices. By doing the inner inconvenient work, we heal and transform our difficult feelings, which increases our capacity to honor the “divine spark” in ourselves and others. This process opens our heart and allows us to bond with one another on a human level. The ultimate goal is to move beyond polarization and collaborate on projects of mutual interest, including social justice and earth care.
Imam Jamal Rahman is a popular speaker and author on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations. Along with his Interfaith Amigos, he has been featured in The New York Times, CBS News, BBC, and various NPR programs. Jamal is co founder and Muslim Sufi Imam at Interfaith Community Sanctuary in Seattle, Washington, and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. He travels nationally and internationally, presenting at retreats and workshops. Jamal’s passion lies in interfaith community building and activism. He is the author and co-author of eight books.
Invited Into the Magis: Dwelling in the Hospitality of Ignatian Spirituality
There is an incredible invitation to a deeper experience of God inherent in Ignatian Spirituality, specifically in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Born out of Ignatius’s conversion experience 500 years ago, the Spiritual Exercises have provided for many through the ages an opportunity for spiritual growth and formation. From our very beginning, our Creator has placed within each individual one’s deepest desires. The Exercises and its adaptations are a means to explore and deepen one’s experience of these sacred desires. This workshop will explore this invitation and the call to radical hospitality of self, leading one to union and communion with our Creator God lived out in a loving relationship with all of creation. This workshop will also explore the many opportunities for adaption of the Spiritual Exercises to meet the individual wherever she/he is. In other words, if we are inclined to a particular spirituality, the Spiritual Exercises are designed to take one deeper, not different.
Mary Ann Bigelow
Mary Ann Bigelow is a Spiritual Director with the St. Francis Xavier Parish Retreat Ministry in Missoula, MT. She has been involved with this ministry since 1994, a Spiritual Director for 24 years. Her primary focus is to share the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola in the Everyday Life Retreat with individuals in Western Montana. In addition she presents and facilitates days of reflection, two/three–day silent retreats, individual 8 day retreats and ongoing spiritual direction within an Ignatian Spirituality context. She received her MSSW from the University of Tennessee, Memphis in 1984 with a degree concentration of Social Work with Children and Families with a side concentration in Health Care, interning at Le Bonhuer Children’s Hospital and later working at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the Social Work Department. Through the years she researched and studied the dynamics of grief and how they intertwine with the movements of Spiritual Direction. She has presented at the Ignatian Spirituality Conference, St. Louis University in 2005, 2008, and 2011. She has been a frequent presenter at the Novena of Grace, a nine day preached retreat experience at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Missoula Montana and a co-facilitator with the Ignatian Spirituality Center in Seattle, Washington in 2012.
Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing): Spiritual Companionship With Trees
Note: This session will be held outside and will require up to 15 minutes of walking to and from the destination, so please plan/dress accordingly.
Forest bathing is a series of invitations designed to awaken the senses in an intentional way and facilitate aliveness of life. Slowly and mindfully, we attune our senses in a natural setting and cultivate awareness, relationship, and appreciation for the intelligence of things both living and non-living. Forest bathing is an evidence-based practice that nurtures health and happiness through engagement with the forest or natural surroundings. Though the name was coined in Japan in the 80s, people have nourished relationships with the natural environment since the beginning. In Japan, forest bathing is a foundational practice for health and well-being and can be prescribed by a doctor. In this workshop, we will learn about shinrin yoku (forest bathing) and spend most of the time taking a forest bath in a nearby park. We will invite the trees to be either our seekers or spiritual directors and practice holding space for them or being held by them (all with permission).
Dr. Jeanette Banashak (she/her) is a queer and bilingual interspiritual and interreligious guide and supervisor who comes from a queer family. She has a diploma in shinrin yoku (forest bathing) and guides individuals of all ages in urban nature immersion experiences in Chicago as an act of justice. Jeanette is the co-founder/co-director of The Spiritual Guidance Training Institute, an organization engaging in contemplative education, experiences, and relationships for practical, integrative, unitive living. Jeanette is also faculty at Erikson Institute where she teaches social and emotional learning and child development. She became a “dual pilgrim” after walking the Camino in Spain and Kumano Kodo in Japan.
Say "Yes, And..." to Spirit: Bringing the Creative Possibility of Improv to Spiritual Direction
As spiritual companions, we need well-tuned ears to hear the voice of our clients and the whispers of the Spirit. How can we “workout” our listening muscles and learn to hear in more subtle, intuitive ways? Improvisational acting sets the stage for learning to fine-tune our listening skills. Linda and Heather will engage participants with the principles and exercises of improv, which depend on holding space for the other, facilitating deeper listening, and embracing whatever arises when two or more gather for spiritual guidance. This experiential workshop will challenge participants to even more flexibly “dance in the moment” of uncertainty and unknowing. Activities will include ways to bring play and creativity to spiritual direction. Spiritual directors and companions will leave with a fresh perspective on listening with the “ears of the heart” and an embodied experience which can transform the process and outcome of working with individuals and groups. As spiritual companions, we rely on active listening, but how can we “workout” this muscle and learn new listening skills? Linda and Heather will engage participants with the principles and exercises of improv to hold space for the other, facilitate deeper listening, and embrace whatever our directees bring to the session. This experiential workshop will flex your ability to “dance in the moment” of uncertainty and unknowing. Activities will include ways bring play and creativity to your own sessions. Spiritual directors and companions will leave with a fresh perspective on listening with the “ears of the heart” and an embodied experience which can transform their sessions.
Linda Mastro is founder of Living Pilgrimage: Spiritual Direction for Daily Life. Curiosity, humor, and open-hearted listening shape the partnerships she forms with individuals and groups seeking a deeper relationship with Spirit. In her practice of spiritual guidance, workshop leadership and retreat facilitation Linda incorporates lessons learned from a career in corporate human resources, marketing, and communications. She balances the goal-oriented nature of her corporate achievements with insights gleaned from decades of spiritual inquiry. Linda’s spiritual perspective has been influenced by her Catholic faith, immersion into Yoga and Buddhist traditions, and contemplative practices inspired by many faith traditions. The art of improvisational acting complements her passion for embracing “I don’t know” as the essential spiritual practice. Linda is co-author of the book Petite Retreats: Renewing Body, Mind, and Spirit without Leaving Home.
Heather Hall, founder of Discover With Heather, is a lifelong seeker who companions others as they explore what is meaningful, connect with Spirit & community, and learn to sit with what is unknown and uncertain. She first brought improvisation exercises to team meetings and trainings during her corporate career in laboratory science, as a way to facilitate connection, collaboration, coordination and communication. Now, as a Leadership Coach and Spiritual Director, Heather often brings storytelling, improv, arts and crafts to her sessions, for it is in claiming and naming our own stories that we find meaning and belonging.