On May 11, I leave to journey to Rome and Assisi on pilgrimage. I’ve done all I can to prepare physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I’m sure I will be surprised by the Spirit in ways I cannot fathom at this time. If you pray – send prayers. If you meditate – send vibes. Know that whatever YOUR intentions are – known or unknown to me – I carry them with me. Pace e bene – peace and good to you all.
New Event postings
Please visit my Events page https://listening-heart.com/events/ for a listing of upcoming events and workshops. The SoulCollage® and Labyrinth workshop on June 24 was approved as a Verditas® Qualifying workshop for those interested in becoming a labyrinth facilitator.
As a Holy Fire® Reiki Master, I offer sessions for health, wellness and wholeness. Beginning in June, and in cooperation with Serenity Farms and Wellness in Eaton, I’ll provide sessions at their location on Mondays. Contact me to schedule.
Thank you for following my page! I appreciate you. I am in the process of converting all contacts to MailChimp so if you would like to continue to receive updates and news, please send me an email christywesselma 14 at gmail dot com and I will add you to my list of contacts.
Are you looking forward to spring/fall? Depending on where you are on the earth, you’re beginning spring or fall. Now is the time to renew, expand, and explore.
I’ve listed the workshops, retreats and experiences I’m offering in the next several months below. I’m not limited to these events, though. I’ll see spiritual direction clients, attend local high school baseball games, and do my work as a spiritual care assistant at a mental health facility and prepare for a pilgrimage to Italy in May!
I recently completed Advanced Facilitator Training with Veriditas https://www.veriditas.org/ and also joined VIA. I would love to talk to you about facilitating a labyrinth experience for your organization, group of artists, stressed employes, congregation or retreat facility! Let’s talk about scheduling something in Summer or Fall!
I have several spots available for the SoulCollage® Experience March 19, 2023, 1P to 5P EDT Cost is $45. You’ll receive all the supplies and images needed to create SoulCollage® cards. Unfamiliar with SoulCollage®? No worries! I’ll share some tips and suggestions. All you need to bring is your journal, something to write with, a snack and an open mind and heart. Register here: https://listening-heart.com/events/
Introduction to SoulCollage®, Virtual workshop, Sunday, April 23, 2023 Noon to 6p EDT Spaces available. Cost for this 6 hour workshop is $90 Register soon in order to receive all the handouts and Zoom link. https://listening-heart.com/events/
Walking a labyrinth is meditation, a prayer, a way to destress, or a pilgrimage of the soul. Thich Nhat Hanh says we should walk as if our feet are kissing the earth. I invited high school students to do that last week when walking the labyrinth.
I had the honor of holding space for several classes at Badin High School, a Catholic high school in Hamilton, Ohio. As a graduate of Badin, my facilitating a labyrinth experience was way of giving back to a community which has helped me to find my way. I’m passionate about the labyrinth. I know the life-giving and life-affirming value of it. I know it as a tool for prayer, for managing stress, for encountering the Holy. Holding an experience for Badin was a dream realized. I am grateful to Mr. C for his openness to collaborating with me in providing this experience for his students. We are a Ramily – a family of Ram graduates, supporters and followers. We are One.
I began each class by letting them know I was there because of my mom for two reasons. The first was her love for Badin Baseball and my continued interest in supporting the players. Because I attend the games fairly regularly, I met and got to know the psychology and French teacher, Mr. C. We quickly discovered we had a shared interest in the value of the labyrinth as a way to calm and manage stress, meditate and a way to pray. When he learned that I had a Chartres style canvas labyrinth, he was all in!
The second reason, I told the students, was also because of my mom. I shared my first experience with walking a labyrinth about two months after my mother had died. By paying attention to my breathing and slowing down, I began to move from shock into traveling the road of grief. Grief is a part of our journey. I soon learned the value of the labyrinth as way to lean into difficult emotions, a way to get clarity and inspiration and a way to celebrate joy.
Prior to leaving the classroom and walking to the activities center, I shared how students might approach the experience of walking. Release, Receive, Return and Remember. Release and let go of worries and plans and walk toward the center. Once there, receive Grace, Light, Love or whatever is needed. Return by the same path and bring with you what you received. And then Remember. I encouraged them to journal about it or talk about it. I suggested that in the coming days they can always remember what they felt and noticed.
Mr. C and I made sure we had lap labyrinths available for those students with mobility issues. A few students opted to not engage at all in the process. Most entered with curiosity, respect, and even reverence. Most sensed the sacredness of the space.
We placed battery powered votive candles in the lunations, a candle in the center, and played soothing music to create a calm and peaceful environment.
I almost do not have the words to explain how receptive and gracious these young men and women were to this new experience. I was awed by young athletes holding hands in prayer in the center. I felt joy observing some students walk with a spirit of play and a spring in their steps. Each group held a different energy. Some bowed at the beginning of their walk. Some made the sign of the cross. All seemed to find the experience meaningful and helpful.
I am grateful to Mr. C and rest of the faculty, staff and administration for their openness to this experience. I have heard positive feedback from everyone. Folks, the honor was all mine.
Ram Dass, the American spiritual teacher, guru of modern yoga, psychologist, and author, said “we are all just walking each other home”. Thank you, Mr. C and Badin students, for walking with me.
Blessings ~ Christy
(Photos courtesy of Stephen T. Badin High School. I do not own the copyright to these photos.)
I pray you received Grace, Light, and Love in abundance this month however you celebrated.
In Gratitude Thanks to all who attended an in-person or online workshop I offered in 2022. The grace I receive from facilitating experiences for others is beyond words. I look forward to offering other opportunities for YOU to experience soul tending practices like SoulCollage®, labyrinth, HealthRhythms®, day retreats and MORE!
I am grateful for the grace and blessings I received from the directees I companion through spiritual direction. Whether we met monthly or during a retreat, please know your authenticity and sharing is gift to me.
I am honored and humbled to walk beside those I’ve met at the Lindner Center of Hope. Their efforts to be whole in body, mind, and spirit inspires me.
Last but not least, THANK YOU for supporting the Sally Wesselman Angel in the Dugout Endowment. Badin baseball players need your continued support. No donation is too small! https://badinhs.org/memorialdonation.html
Looking ahead to 2023
Holy Fire® Reiki Energy work
In November, 2022, I became a Holy Fire® Reiki Master. In cooperation with Serenity Herbal Farm and Wellness Center near Eaton, Ohio, I will provide Holy Fire® Reiki energy sessions for relaxation and wellness, beginning Monday, January 9, 2023. Please visit my page https://listening-heart.com/reiki/for more information about Reiki
Due to the nature of Reiki, appointments will be scheduled for one hour beginning at the following times: 10 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM Mondays only. The exchange for one session is $70. Cash preferred. Prepay for a package of three (3) sessions for the discounted price of $175.
Appointments are first come first scheduled. Please call or email me to schedule.
Creating Sacred Space – Tending to Your Soul card making, Wednesday, January 4, 2023, 6:00P – 9:00P EST via Zoom. Suggested donation $12 to the Sally Wesselman Angel in the Dugout Endowment Fund Register at http://www.listening-heart.com/events
Future planned events (and ideas floating around waiting to be birthed) . . . …. contemplative photography …. Visio Divina …. Seasonal and lunar cycle labyrinth walks . . . …. In-person SoulCollage® gatherings …. HealthRhythms® drumming sessions
Spiritual Direction and Companioning – Please contact me about regular spiritual direction/companioning. I prefer to companion you in the peaceful surroundings of my country office (or we can meet via Zoom). Contact me to schedule a FREE 30-minute informational session.
The other inspiration came from my friend Nancy who, at 49 and about to turn 50 later this year, created a “50/50” list – 50 things she wanted to do before her 50th birthday. Her list included travel, taking an electrical class, driving construction equipment, and visiting “kitcsch” roadside attractions similar to the largest frying pan or largest ball of twine!
Both of these “lists” are about living life with intentionality. Sometimes it means planning an event or activity. Sometimes it means being totally spontaneous. In any event, as I see it, these kinds of lists are more the proverbial “bucket list” of things to do before dying. My “When I’m 64 Living Life List” is about living life with intentionality, as if you have less than a year to remain on this plane of existence. It means living life with joy and abandonment. I’ll admit the title is a bit cumbersome. It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as “bucket list”. Yet both Nicholas and Nancy seemed to understand the importance of going for the gusto and grabbing life.
Henry David Thoreau
“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life”
My list continues to evolve. Some things on it require international travel and a larger bank account than what I have. Some things are planned. Some are spontaneous. For example, I’ve always wondered how the coin machines work in the grocery store. I see folks bringing in their buckets of change and dumping them in instead of rolling coins. I decided to take a bucket of pennies in and for the cost of 4 rolls ($2.00) I received a voucher close to $30 I redeemed for cash at the customer service desk. It was just something I always wanted to try.
Other things on the list are reminders to be grateful, to forgive, to write a thank-you note, to acknowledge someone’s best efforts and to spend more quality time among trees.
So far, I’ve taken a mosaic workshop and made a lovely votive candle holder, visited Lake Erie (the photo above was taken on the beach at Port Clinton) and Put-in-Bay. I also tried to make pottery on a pottery wheel but let me tell you, using a pottery wheel is harder than it looks. Sadly, Patrick Swayze was not there to provide assistance!
I haven’t decided whether to publish the list or not because it is changing and evolving. I am paying more attention and being more mindful about what gives me life and letting go of what no longer feeds my soul. My hope is to live more intentionally.
I’ll keep you posted from time to time, or you can follow me at Listening Heart on Facebook.
How will you live with intentionality? What would you do differently if you knew you only had less than a year to live on this planet? How do you want to be in the world?