Worldviews Create Worlds & A Fierce Gift

A note from Erin:

Hello, friends!

We’ve just returned from a lovely trip including 5 days in D.C. visiting family and 5 days in northern California for our Grief Ritual Training. Our family’s been passing around a nasty virus where each of us has been sick twice in a row. I call it the magic-relighting-birthday-candle-cold. I got my round two in California and am hoping to be feeling much better soon. Rain or shine, and whether I have much of a voice or not, I will be there for our Community Grief Tending Ritual on Saturday. (Don’t worry, my awesome friend and co-guide Kinde has a voice!) We have a wonderful group joining us and you are most welcome to come. Sign up here by making a donation of any amount and I’ll send you all the details. If you’re not in the area and would like to participate remotely, feel free to write to me with anything you’re grieving which you’d like me to bring into our sacred circle. I’m honored to hold it with you.

There is so much I want to share with you today!
About the Grief Ritual training.
About the importance, more than ever, of keeping our hearts supple, of being willing to stay awake to the suffering and the beauty around us.
About embodied practices as being essential in supporting all of this, and how excited we are about our new, upcoming online offering called Embodiment Lab.
Seriously! We cannot wait. Though I so love being in the room with people live and in person, the world needs this work and we are called to make it more easily available. Look for details coming soon. It’s going to be soooo good. Squeeeee!

While I’m spending another day under the weather and wishing my energy matched the beautiful spring day around me, I’m also marveling at the genius of my favorite poets, and feeling profound gratitude to have their words stitched into my soul and my way of seeing the world. Even while I’m feeling flat.
I keep thinking of this line I read on the Bioneers website yesterday: “Worldviews create worlds.” 

How important it is to examine our worldviews! And how poets can be such good guides in doing so. And how excited I am to begin a month of reveling in the words and worldview of Mary Oliver in my upcoming online class. Her words and worldview have profoundly influenced my world. After she died, a dear friend who I’d had the privilege to introduce to Mary Oliver years ago said, “I think of her words every single day.” So do I. The world I live in and now have eyes to see is infinitely richer. I’m so looking forward to deepening this reverent relationship during the month of May. I need it! Please consider joining me. The more the merrier! Or as I can’t help but dorkily say, “The more the Mary-er!” And hooboy, we need more of that quality of attention in the world today. Let’s water the seeds of mindful presence, beauty, and praise together.  Robert Bly writes, “The sun goes out whenever the cloud of not-praising comes near.” Hey, if the world is doomed, let’s praise the hell out of the beauty we are blessed with! And if it’s not, let’s do so anyway! Mary is a great guide in doing just this through her “literature of praise.” I hope you’ll join me! If you’re strongly called to join and cannot afford the cost, send me an email. I’ll happily extend a scholarship where there is need.


There’s one more thing I’m inspired to share today.

A potent dream came to me the night before we began our training with Francis Weller and an amazing community of Grief Tenders. In the dream, I’m standing outside. Above me, a majestic red tail hawk soars in the cloudless sky. I put my cupped hands out in front of me because I realize that Hawk is about to descend and give me a gift that has something to do with supporting me as I enter the Grief Ritual training. She swoops down, I stand ready to receive whatever she might drop into my waiting, cupped hands. She comes in close and with her talons she rakes my hands in one sharp gesture, leaving me standing there with my hands full of cuts and bleeding. A fierce gift. Not what I expected, but one I trust. I’m sitting with the dream. With the gift in the wounds. With the willingness to reach out tender hands and to feel the suffering. To not turn it into an inspirational story. To not seek the more pretty “after” picture. Honoring the reality of woundedness and pain in myself and in the world all while praising the abundant beauty. I feel graced by this fierce dream.

This poem comes to mind.
Again and again
Some people wake up.
They have no ground in the crowd
And they emerge according to broader laws.
They carry strange customs with them,
And demand room for bold gestures.
The future speaks ruthlessly through them.

-Rainer Maria Rilke


We’re deeply grateful for you, our community.
Thank you for being a supple-hearted, awakening human being.

With love and respect,

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By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.