Presenter: Sally Bowden-Schaible, MS, LCPC
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. Wendell Berry from * The Peace of Wild Things As caregivers, we know how the mind-body-spirit can become deeply weary when tending to the lives of those needing our listening ears, our able mind and body, and our loving heart. For many of us, caring for others often takes precedence over caring for ourselves. We may push aside the warning signals of wearing out until they can no longer be ignored. We become irritable and resentful, get sick, lose connection with friends and loved ones, and feel so miserable and alone that our ability to do what it is we truly want to do "care for others" is unsustainable, no longer what we can or even want to be doing.
In this workshop, we will explore one way "the reading of poetry" to preempt such "soul-fatigue". While spending time in nature "walking
in the woods, sitting in the sun, swimming in a lake" is a source of nourishment and renewal for many people, it may not always be feasible to go to a beautiful and restful place in nature. At such times, engaging the senses and the imagination through the reading of a poem can provide a meditative respite. The poems selected for this workshop bring the natural world to us when we are unable to go to it. We will read poems out loud, experiencing the power of words to nourish and replenish. You will leave with a folder of poems and with an understanding of the transformative power of poetry. If you would like, please bring one or two poems that you have used in your counseling/caregiving practice (or that you think would be appropriate.)