This weekend urban retreat will take participants on the hero’s journey. The format will be four workshop sessions over two days, exploring the nature of inner and outer strength through both the physical and the philosophical.
What is strength? Words I associate with strength are: adaptability, active flexibility, power, stability, vulnerability, heart, resilience, stamina, courage, love. How do we become a conduit for the strength of the earth to flow through us? How do we become an instrument by which the earth is able to protect herself? What does the material body reveal about the external world it interacts with, as well as the nature of strength within the more subtle layers of our being? How can we balance despair, hope, action and joyful living in a world going through a massive ecological shift right before our eyes?
This is warrior training for world changers and status quo shakers, for anyone feeling powerlessness and despair over the state of the world, for those interested in the intersection between movement and spirituality, for those interested in deep ecology and spiritual activism, for healers, lovers, seekers and anyone doing the work of reconnection. This will be a transformative weekend aiming to hold space for you to step up and into your power.
When: Saturday August 18 & Sunday August 19
Time: 11am-330pm both days
Where: Union Street Yoga, Newtown
Investment: $200 (early bird before July 31) / $250 after July 31 / $150 low-wage / $125 single day
The investment includes 4x workshop-style sessions over two days and a nourishing vegan lunch on both days.
Book here: https://www.trybooking.com/WVDR
Workshop #1: Get Up, Stand Up (August 18, 11am-1pm)
“When we include the natural world [in our identity], we are brought into a much larger story of who and what we are. Recognising ourselves as part of the living body of the Earth opens us to a great source of strength.”
~ Joanna Macy, Active Hope
When we practice yoga asana we are practicing how to be effective conduits for strength to flow through. The quality of our connection to the Earth determines the quality of our posture. And so with practice we learn how to channel stability and strength directly from the Earth. We learn how to balance effort and grace, or to put another way, having goals, drive and determination, without being attached to the results. The yoga asana practice has much to teach us about how to be effective agents for change in the world. In the philosophical portion of this workshop we will explore deep ecology practices developed by Joanna Macy and John Seed that expand the way we view ourselves, nourishing our sense of ecological identity.
Workshop #2: The Anatomy of Hope & Despair (August 18, 130-330pm)
“Even if there wasn’t hope, I would still be doing what I’m doing. Because that’s what I do; that’s who I am; that’s how I am. So we can’t only be fighting because there is hope. If there’s only despair the reasons to fight are even more.“
~ Arundhati Roy
In her book Active Hope, activist and eco-philosopher, Joanna Macy, talks about the two different meanings of hope. There is hopefulness, where the outcome we hope for appears likely, and then there is desire, what we would like to happen. The distinction is crucial because if we view our hope as the first kind it is easy to become defeated and give up if the outcome we want doesn’t seem likely to occur. However if we become clear about our vision for the world and actively throw ourselves into creating the world we hope for, whether we are optimistic about the situation or not is irrelevant. Hope in this way becomes a rebellious act, an act of defiance against what the mainstream tells us is possible.
The physical aspect of this workshops will explore active flexibility. The larger the gap between our active and passive flexibility, the more exposed we are to injury. So how do we ensure the flexibility of our bodies comes from a place of strength?
“Courage is like-it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”
~ radical feminist philosopher, Mary Daly
Courage comes from the Latin root word ‘cor’, meaning heart. Just like a muscle, the heart strengthens with use. A muscle gets stronger through a process of tearing and repairing. If we can stay open, allowing our heart to break for others and learning how to process those breaks so we don’t get mired in despair, we become resilient, our hearts become strong and our resolve strengthens.The hero/ine’s journey begins with a commitment to step outside the comfort zone, that feeling of security and safety, and into the unknown. The hero/ine offers their actions up for the safety of others, to justice, to an idea that needs to emerge in the world. The hero/ine’s heart becomes strong through use.
Workshop #4: Rebel Movement (August 19, 130-330pm)
“Resistance is a matter of principle and a way to live, to make yourself one small republic of unconquered spirit.” ~ Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark
This workshop will explore joy as a revolutionary act, or as activist and writer Rebecca Solnit posits, an insurrectionary force against the isolation of our every day lives. How can we make every move a movement? How can we keep ourselves firmly grounded in joy, and in community, and in beauty as an antidote to our despair and grief? How can we avoid burnout?
The work of resilience lies in the regeneration of spirit, of vitality, of connection to the earth and community and is vital for a strong movement that pushes from the edges to the centre.