A Practice to Bring Heart and Will Into Alignment
with Gunilla Norris & Laurie Blefeld
Saturdays: September 16, 2017 , 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
October 14, November 4, & December 16, 2017, 9:30 a.m. to noon.
at Mercy by the Sea, in Madison, CT
To bring one’s heart and will into alignment is no small task. To act on the desire to do so, we may need a way to be inspired and guided. This program offers a way to begin and the companionship of others. It is based on Gunilla Norris’s book, Match, about which Parker Palmer wrote, “describes a life-giving practice towards transformation.” The practice engages with matches and a matchbox “to help us get out of whatever internal box we might be in,” according to Gunilla. “We need something to hold on to while we explore what we want to give ourselves to and how to proceed. To have something small and utterly do-able is steadying and comforting.”
Because this is a ninety-day practice participants will meet four times. The first all day gathering will explore and identify a heart-full longing that we wish to embody. We will work to find the words and images that support our deep desire and so be able to make the matchboxes that we will be using throughout the coming days. Material for images will be provided. In the next three meetings we will be “making camp” to talk about what has happened as we practice. We will also make those changes to our matchboxes and affirmations that our experience indicates. The most important part of these meetings is the mutual support and learning we can offer each other to make this journey rich and doable. Our last meeting is a celebration of completion. It will also be a time for further focus and planning to help us continue our spiritual journeys.
Please bring a box of kitchen matches. Most hardware stores carry them. Also bring a journal and a questing heart. Participants are required to purchase the book on their own. Program fee includes program meetings and lunch on September 16.
Gunilla Norris has been a psychotherapist in private practice for more than 40 years and has felt privileged to accompany many people on their journeys to growth and empowerment. She has published eleven children’s books, two books of poetry, and seven books on spirituality including: Becoming Bread, Inviting Silence, A Mystic Garden, Simple Ways, Embracing the Seasons, Sheltered in the Heart, and Match. Laurie Blefeld, MA, a writer, spiritual director, counselor and retreat facilitator, has worked for over twenty-five years as a counselor for women and families who have experienced emotional, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence and homelessness. In recent years, she provides spiritual direction for incarcerated women at York CI, and facilitates a transformational program designed to provide the opportunity for inmates to deepen their spiritual lives and develop tools for spiritual and emotional healing. Laurie’s recently completed book, Ordinary Moments of Grace, is currently being reviewed for publication.