First Friday of each month, 3 – 5 PM
Support Group Description
This is an ongoing writing group that was created to help us express ourselves, listen to others, acquire compassion for ourselves and each other, and heal our bodies and minds. The philosophy behind this group is that the act of writing is healing. It is presented seasonally and occurs the first Friday of each month, is ongoing and never-ending.
This work can be soft, and it can be perilously rugged. The healing occurs when we stay in the process, feel what we are feeling, express what is there and be present for the group. There are times when you might feel like not coming, or not writing or not talking, but I encourage you to push thought those feelings and just be here exactly how you are. We try to start on time and end on time, but you know how that goes.
The group can get raw and deeply emotional and it can get scary at times. Please, always express where you are emotionally. We won’t try to change that, but change can occur when we speak honestly and share our truth.
Writing is scary. Sharing our writing is scary. Having cancer is scary. You might as well breakthrough by putting words on the page and using your voice to share. Reading your work is not mandatory and if it is hard, we encourage you to gently allow yourself to emerge as the writer and reader that you are.
"With love and ferocity – Athena Rose"
Springtime – the Time to Reconceive Our World
“The tiny seed knew that in order to grow, it needed to be dropped in the dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.”
As cancer survivors, we are uniquely prepared for this global pandemic. We understand the need to maintain the calm at the center of the storm, to be objective and look at facts to deal with the overwhelming stressors and maintain a sense of focus. We know firsthand what it means to be resilient in the face of overwhelming challenges. So many people are discussing our favorite topic “the new normal” and trying to rethink how we go about our daily lives. This is truly a new spring – with this time we have, let us explore the world we want to reconceive. What can we give birth to? What do we want to see grow in our future?
Many people are taking this time to plant gardens and reconnect with their backyards. A basic principle of permaculture design (Rothe, 2014) is Nature follows cycles of chaos and balance – a disturbance occurs, then the environment reacts by adapting to the disturbance through natural processes that maintain a system’s dynamic equilibrium. Doesn’t “dynamic equilibrium” sound better than “new normal”? New normal does not capture the perilous process of figuring it out – the adjustment period – going back and forth to the doctor, the night sweats and hot flashes, the rounds of chemo and radiation, the surgeries, the unknown and the known. Dynamic equilibrium (Huston, 1994) is used in Ecology to define the “moving target” of an ecosystem maintaining homeostasis over time. In life (A.K.A Nature) things change, sometimes quickly and sometimes very slowly, yet balance of resources across a system is the goal. We know all too well how life changes and how stressful it can be, and we have strength and insight that can help us make it through this tough time.
We are at such a unique time in our human history. We have a real opportunity to plant seeds for the future to help heal our planet and help heal our hearts as we take our new reality day by day. We must know what we want. We must name it and nourish it, to create the world we want.
Prompt 1: Observe your mental garden. Observe our global garden. What is your vision for our future? What seeds for a new beginning do you want to plant? What shall you feed your soil/soul? What flowers shall we plant?
Prompt 2: What invasive and weedy mental/social constructs and ideas need to be removed from our gardens? What should NOT return to normal? What shall we give over to the compost pile? How can we remove invasive thoughts, habits, constructs, and norms? What structures need to be rebuilt? Tell us of the world you want to see grow from the chaos of our current challenging and stressful time.
Huston, M. A., & Huston, M. A. (1994). Biological diversity: the coexistence of species. Cambridge University Press.
Rothe, K. (2014). Permaculture Design: On the Practice of Radical Imagination. Communication +1, 3(1), 1-18. Retrieved 4 1, 2020, from https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cpo/vol3/iss1/4