Capacity Builder: The Work that Reconnects

Have you ever wondered how to engage with others in a process that is at once regenerative and sustaining? How can we collectively, safely shift our consciousness in capacity-building ways to create new structures together in the face of dramatic on coming change? 

Join us for a conversation with activist and facilitator, Sylvia
Stormwalker. Sylvia is an environmental and social justice activist and has studied and practiced with Joanna Macy, originator of the term "The Great Turning" and the facilitation methodology known as The Work That Reconnects.

At this meetup you will learn about:

• Joanna Macy's work and "The Great Turning"

• the psychology of mutual aid

• some patterns might be influencing your experiences

• what resiliency looks like with a re-connection lens

We gather at 6:00 pm for a potluck social and will convene at 6:30 for a conversation with Sylvia. The program will end at 8:00 pm. Suggested Donation $10.

Sylvia, the descendant of German and English immigrants, grew up in Auburn, Maine, and has practiced The Work That Reconnects in the field with other activists everywhere from Oklahoma to Colorado to Maine. Through her work, Sylvia has developed a perspective on group dynamics and process that illuminates the patterns that we all face as we seek to create a better world together; patterns that we create unconsciously just by showing up with our cultural legacies.

Our speaker is a thoughtful and passionate advocate for collective liberation, "direct action," and the importance of valuing spirit and group process. The added layers of wisdom and clarity on the matters of identity, story and integrity emerge from Sylvia's experiences as a transgender/genderqueer woman. Growing directly out of her experiences working with frontline communities organizing against tar sands and other fossil fuel extraction, Sylvia will share her perspective about the importance of confronting systems of power and privilege in our organizing work and daily lives, and how experiential group work such as The Work That Reconnects can support us individually and collectively toward a thriving, just, more resilient world.

We are pleased to offer this talk in hopes of bringing Sylvia back for a workshop in the Spring.


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  • Sylvia S.

    Hi all, hope you are all well! Sorry I haven't yet gotten another Work That Reconnects workshop together, but there are some great WTR events coming up in Portland area soon! On May 2nd there is a lecture about the Great Turning, and on May 3rd there is a day-long Work That Reconnects workshop. Both are led by Sarah Vikasi, an eco-chaplain who sounds really great. You can find out more about both events here: http://chimeofmaine.org/Workshops.htm and sign up on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/277656482416403/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/events/856315567715563/ Hope to see you there!

    1 · April 23

    • Sylvia S.

      P.S. There's also a talk about "Active Hope" at the Portland Public Library on April 29th from 3:30 to 5pm, preregister here: http://www.eventbrite...­

      April 23

  • Elaine

    The only reason I won't be joining you for this wonderful opportunity (and I emailed Patricia Ellen about it too), is that, in view of the two hour presentation I'll be giving the very next day at the Friends' Meeting on Forest Avenue, (2-4 pm), I need to leave some contemplative time around that. http://www.mainejungcenter.org/index.php/programs

    February 11

  • Rachel L.

    Hello my friends! I just wanted to pass this on to you if you had not known of it. It is another opportunity to learn and practice the Work that Reconnects: http://www.meetup.com/portlandpermaculture/events/165793852/

    February 11

  • Elaine

    Thanks for these great links. About Joanna Macy's "work that reconnects," there'll be two program on what Joanna calls "The Great Turning" at 524 Allen Avenue - the AAUU - Unitarian Universalist Church on February 14 and 22. It's not on their website yet - http://www.a2u2.org/

    February 4

  • Jim M

    Oh, this talk also includes a Tibetan perspective from Dekila Chungyalpa, who practices Tonglen daily, this meditative practice was mentioned at the workshop. The mountain she grew up on is a deity, not symbolically, rather a venerated living being.

    February 2

  • Jim M

    Helena, thanks for these links.

    To hear Joanna Macy at the 2013 Bioneers Conference
    along with Llewellyn Vaughn Lee, author of Spiritual Ecology.
    http://spiritualecology.org/audio/spiritual-response-ecological-crisis

    With warm recollection of the meet-up.
    Xiknawi

    February 2

  • Helena N.

    Brené Brown came up, and her wonderful work with vulnerability and shame. Vulnerability is courage, not weakness. It actually inspires others!

    Here are the links to her TED Talks (16 million total views for good reason!):

    http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html

    http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html

    January 22, 2014

  • Elaine

    "More" you say Rachel? If there's a follow-up to that "heart opening" program, I'll see if I can make that next one.

    1 · January 18, 2014

  • Elaine

    I really regret having to cancel after all! When I signed up I didn't know about something else, very imp. (relating to publication of my second book) that came up.

    January 14, 2014

    • Elaine

      How nice to tell me so, Rachel. I worked very hard on the very last (3rd) galley proof for Sing to Me and I Will Hear You - A Love Story before mailing it back to David, my publisher yesterday. I brought the extra galley David send me to Longfellow Books, and they like the book so much Chris its co-owner will go to the Jung Presentation I'm giving in Portland on February 23. For that, go to http://www.mainejungc...­ Why don't you come to this, you and any others interested?! ;o)

      January 18, 2014

    • Elaine

      Forgot to say why: Chris/Longfellow's will be selling copies for the first Sing . .
      The Poems book, and take orders for the second which won't be available quite by then - but soon!

      January 18, 2014

  • Rachel L.

    The activities were definately heart opening. I really appreciated skill and intention to create safe space for everyone. Can't wait for more.

    January 18, 2014

  • gia c.

    Really valuable. Thank you Sylvia for all you do.

    1 · January 17, 2014

  • Ebyn

    Using the energy generated from the event in the studio today! So wonderful to feel awake.

    2 · January 17, 2014

  • Jim M

    Thanks Sylvia for helping us remember.

    1 · January 17, 2014

  • Sylvan T.

    I'm so glad to have been able to share this evening, to start scratching the surface of this work, thank you Sylvia, for holding the container for us to explore. I'm so appreciating how The Work that Reconnects makes space for the the intensity of our experience as human beings, and honours the wide range of our knowing. I'm very excited to dig in more!

    1 · January 17, 2014

  • Elaine

    This is a must-hear talk for me! My late husband Francis and I did a weekend retreat with Joanna Macy in the fall of 2005 at Hidden Valley Camp. I was so moved by it I wrote an article published in the Jan/Feb issue of CORPUS Reports: "Catching Fire From a Bodhisattva Ablaze."

    1 · January 10, 2014

  • Colleen M.

    I am working on a ChIME event, bringing eco-chaplain Sarah Vekasi to Maine to do a day-long workshop on the Work that Reconnects in May. I also have to be at another ChIME event on the 16th, so I won't be able to stay long, but I wanted to meet ya'll and hope that we can meet again.

    January 10, 2014

  • joan

    I work with Protect South Portland, tar sands HERE. I lived in Ann Arbor through the whole Kalamazoo River 1M gallon spill, 31/2 yrs and ongoing, and find our community is not very engaged in our prevention. Looking forward to Sylvia and message of mutual aid!

    1 · December 11, 2013

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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