June 4–7,  2020

 

The future of humanity will be decided not by relations between nations,

but by relations between women and men. ~ D. H. Lawrence

 

At birth we are assigned a gender based on our physical anatomy. From that moment forward,

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Cultivating Gender Wholeness for Women and Men

An Online Retreat
August 29-30

 

The future of humanity will be decided not by relations between nations,

but by relations between women and men. ~ D. H. Lawrence

 

At birth we are assigned a gender based on our physical anatomy. From that moment forward, gender-based familial and cultural expectations, pressures, opportunities, and limitations begin working on us, shaping our choices and behavior, often outside of conscious awareness. As a result, the continuum of masculine and feminine energies within each of us is not usually recognized and celebrated. We invariably become deeply estranged from the particular gender ‘recipe’ that is uniquely ours. Certain characteristics are deemed “acceptable” and actively nurtured or exaggerated while others are shunned as “unacceptable” with resulting suppression or shame-inducing denigration.

Eventually significant parts of our internal gender spectrum become repressed and disavowed, hidden out of awareness as shadow components, leading to a fracturing of our wholeness and a diminishing of how we experience ourselves and how we interact in the world.

During this intensive, nature-based experiential gathering we will explore the original design God had for creating us “male AND female”, how that design for wholeness has been distorted to “male OR female” or even “male VS female”. There will be opportunities to explore and reclaim the continuum of feminine and masculine aspects inherent in us all. We will wrestle with such profoundly important questions as: Who are we? And who would we be if gender were not such a dividing line, not only between people but also within each of us? How might reclaiming our gender wholeness lead to both personal and cultural transformation? We must grapple with such questions in order to recognize the harm that male privilege and unbalanced patriarchy inflicts upon us all. By reclaiming our own gender wholeness, we can contribute to the necessary healing of gender-wound driven divisions that cripple our culture and perpetuate damage to the natural world.

The intensive will include a combination of council sharing, directed wanders, journaling, dream tending, and a variety of artistic expression. Everyone at any place on the gender identity and sexual orientation spectrum is welcome. In fact, the more diverse our group is, the richer and more “wholing” the experience will be for us all.

Guides:

Glenn Siegel

Glenn Siegel, M.D. facilitated personal transformation as a psychiatrist for over three decades, co-developing a unique treatment model based on Authenticity as the “curative” force. Now retired from psychiatric practice, Glenn has completed training as a Wild Mind nature-based guide through the Animas Valley Institute for those courageous enough to risk encounter with their soul gifts and the psychospiritual upheaval that may result. It is through such a journey that deepest healing and “wholing” can occur and our most profound contributions to both humanity and the larger Earth community may be realized.

Cindy Thomas

Cindy’s passion is spiritual formation, a passion she pursues through her ministries as a Presbyterian elder, certified life coach and spiritual director. She has led retreats and taught and led classes, all with a focus on drawing out the image of God in herself and others.  She enjoys writing, particularly poetry and devotional reflections.

Bryan Smith
Bryan is a Presbyterian pastor, an ICF credentialed life coach, a trained spiritual director, and a certified nature-based human development guide through the Animas Valley Institute. Bryan underwent his men’s rites of passage at Pilgrim Park in 2014.  He has a particular interest in helping men to discover, embrace, and manifest their fully authentic God-given identity.  Bryan is a founding partner of both Sacred Dance Coaching and Guiding and Seminary of the Wild. 

The natural world wherever you are

The other-than-human guide for this retreat will be anywhere you find nature calling to you. It could be your backyard, a nature trail or park near you, a bird feeder outside your window, or a plant on your windowsill. Nature and its myriad wild inhabitants will help guide us. Participants will have ample time for wandering, meditating, and exploring their relationship to gender, both internally and interpersonally. 

 

Cost:   $125 

There will be two two-hour zoom sessions on Saturday and Sunday with individual assignments between sessions.

To register:

Please contact Bryan Smith at bds3261@gmail.com. We will send you an email reply with a registration packet and payment instructions. Payment will be made through PayPal.

Questions may be directed to Bryan Smith at bds3261@gmail.com or by phone at 734-968-9281.

 

 

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