In today’s super-competitive news markets, we are bombarded with the most sensationalized negative input imaginable. More divisiveness is heavily promoted. However, there is tons of good news too. Much is right with the world, although you might not ever expect that. Noticing the good is good for our souls and for the world.
I was born in the slums of Kingston, Jamaica, in what was then a British Colony. The odds of surviving to adulthood were long & seemed unlikely. Looking back in time at the struggles & effort to stay alive remains unfathomable. However, there were lessons learned about human behavior & interaction that I could not have acquired any other way. Minor misunderstandings with my neighbors could lead to conflict & blood shed. One had to learn very early on in life how to safely navigate your surroundings & literally prepare to die or take the life of another if it meant saving one’s own. I detail the strategies I adopted not only to make it out alive, but also thrive.
Dr Dexter Russell is a licensed doctor of Naprapathic Medicine who specializes in pain management, stress relief & myofascial release therapy. He believes the real source of chronic aches & pain is a result of poor posture, inactivity, & blockages in the body’s soft tissues. Once the tension is cleared & there’s restoration of proper nerve & blood flow, healing energies travel without obstruction & the body regains function again. Sacred medicinal plants including cannabis play a significant role in Dr Russell’s approach to health & well-being. Growing up on the island of Jamaica afforded Dr Russell the unique privilege of witnessing & participating in West African spiritual practices & healing rituals.
Bruce Berlin is a retired, public sector, ethics attorney and a social change organizer. He spent a month practicing Tibetan Buddhism in Kopan Monastery, a Buddhist monastery outside of Katmandu, Nepal, in 1973. He’s studied and practiced Buddhist meditation ever since, including Zen and Vipassana. Focusing on the Buddhist principle that “we are all one,” Berlin sees his political work of trying to bring the left and the right together to find common ground as a spiritual practice. In the 1980s, he founded and directed The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution for that purpose. He’s the author of Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America, the founder and former president of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics and a former U.S. Institute of Peace fellow. He lives in Santa Fe and his website is breakingbigmoneysgrip.com.
Embodied presence is the ability to be with ‘what is’ in the full range of human experience, from sadness or grief to joy and bliss. It’s the ability to be where we are, in vulnerability, alignment and truth, with the inner resources to stay in the flow of life instead of pushing against it. Embodied presence carries with it the blessing of authentic wisdom. Our ability to be present with what life brings and to have the emotional bandwidth with presence is supported by connecting with our body. This in turn empowers us in awakening our ability to heal, grow and discover the love we are, no matter what life brings.
Dr. Judy L. Scher is a transformational catalyst, a midwife of soul growth and an alchemical healer. She has been a healing practitioner for over 4 decades and a wellness chiropractor. She established the Scher Center for Well Being in Santa Fe in 1992.
Catherine was a member of Celebration from the early 1990’s through the mid-2000’s and was part of the music program, doing special music, song-leading and directing choirs for Christmas and Easter.
In September of 2018, Catherine’s husband of 19 years, John Nicksic, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Catherine shares the story of their journey together through the last months of John’s life and how this experience brought them to a place of even deeper connection. She shares the signs she has received that John is still with her and how he has communicated his eternal love for her from the world of spirit. Catherine hopes that sharing her story of being witness and mid-wife to John’s process of physical death will open up discussions about dying that are honest, illuminating and even hopeful.
Wikipedia tells us that for the Greeks, the Muses were “inspirational goddesses of literature, science and the arts.” How could we do without her? Listening and responding to her has been an inspiration, often a demand and a challenge, and sometimes life threatening. I don’t think I could survive without her, and trust that she’ll be there when I die. Yet survival is not the question. Aren’t we here to risk it all? To make our lives a creative bonfire? I look forward to sharing the journey through poetry and story.
Pilgrimage is something that unites (not divides) all religions. Christians go to Rome or Canterbury or Jerusalem. Why? What is the purpose of such arduous travel, and what is the benefit, if any? Muslims must make the pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lifetime. Buddhists go to Sri Lanka or to other holy places. Druids used to travel, at some difficulty, to their Sun temples, like Stonehenge. Sufis make great efforts to go to the shrines of saints. With the outer journey, of course, comes the inner reason for it all, perhaps the desire for a cure for an illness or a beneficent blessing from the saint at his or her shrine. Hugh Elliot’s talk looks at all this and more.
Born in London, England, he was exposed to the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff and J.G. Bennett at an early age, as he began to search for information that could help him understand life’s perennial questions. His parents were disciples of Gurdjieff and P.D. Ouspensky, and it is through the study of their writings that he began his search. This search has taken him all over the outer world and all through the inner world in a journey of inner and outer travel. He has spent his outer professional life in media and has published articles concerning spirituality, politics, education and travel.
Chris is a singer songwriter, therapist, coach, speaker, and developer of workshops who has released six albums in the last six years. He has worked with musicians from bands like The Eagles, Taylor Swift, James Taylor and Bob Seger. His mission is to unite and heal hearts though music.
In this presentation Chris, shares his story, one of his songs, and the powerful principles that helped him break through a deep-seated, life-long belief that writing even a single song was impossible. To learn more visit: www.ChrisChickering.com
Since the closure of Hope House at the end of the AIDS epidemic, Santa Fe has been without a free-standing hospice house. Despite a clear need, and a lot of interest in opening one, for many reasons it simply did not manifest. Frances Salles shares her personal journey into end-of-life care, how Casa Cielo came into being, and her commitment to keeping the work sacred.
Frances Salles is Executive Director of Coming Home Connection. She worked in senior care services and non-profit management in the UK, alongside opening a complimentary health center in her home town. After the death of her first husband in 2000, she relocated to Santa Fe in 2006 with her six year old son. She worked for the Israeli-Palestinian peace organization, Creativity for Peace, for seven years before joining Coming Home Connection.
For years, businesswoman, Podcaster, and author Joan Sotkin has tried to hide her healing abilities, only to emerge every once in a while to share her gifts. Now, after being convinced that it’s time for her to openly do the energy healing work with her clients, she’s ready to talk about being more open about her work.