Happy for the Holidays Small Group Community Online Program
For me, the approach of the winter holidays often brings a mix of emotions. There’s joy and delight as I reminisce about the magic Christmases of my childhood, and anticipation of the gatherings and traditions we do now every year, like going to see White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life at The Music Box Theatre, ice skating at Millennium Park, and Tea with Santa.
There’s also sometimes a sense of overwhelm as I contemplate adding Christmas shopping, decorating the tree, and parties to my already busy list of work and parenting activities.
My favorite times during the holidays are the quiet moments I carve out to remember and stay grounded in the “reason for the season”: my morning ritual of prayer and meditation, writing my nightly gratitude list, offering a winter solstice fire ceremony and a Happy for the Holidays workshop, where we do yoga and make portable altars to take with us traveling over the holidays so we can continue to keep our sights set on what matters most: bringing more love and light to the world.
Community is so crucial to well-being and staying bright, vibrant, joyful. This year I’m offering a new way to stay connected and centered through the holidays. Please join me for my Happy for the Holidays Online Program.
We will gather once a week on Zoom on Friday mornings for 90 minutes.
Week One, Friday December 8: Review of holidays past and Illumination (energy body clearing).
Week Two, Friday December 15: Setting and declaring our intentions for this holiday season.
Week Three, Friday December 22: Winter Solstice fire ceremony and Installation of Energetic Bands of Power and Protection to keep you vibrant throughout the season.
Week Four, Friday December 29: Setting and declaring intentions for the New Year
Week Five, Friday January 5: Closing ceremony – building a prayer bundle and sharing our epiphanies from the course.
- All sessions will be held from 8:30 – 10 am CST.
- Fee: $497 before December 1, $575 after December 1.
Contact me to register either by PM, or at email@example.com
May all the days of your holiday season be merry and bright!
Don’t miss Bridget Boland’s debut novel The Doula, published by Simon & Schuster September, 2012. Get your copy now on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Click here for The Doula website.
from The Dallas Morning News: Bridget Boland’s debut novel, ‘The Doula,’ is compelling, ambitious By KATHRYN LANG Special Contributor Published: 07 September 2012 DALLAS MORNING NEWS Bridget Boland’s compelling debut novel is an ambitious work, brimful of the tumult and uncertainty of human life, from its messy beginnings at birth to its inevitable ending in death. Boland, a former lawyer, is a yoga teacher and “energetic healer.” She’s also a practicing doula, one who witnesses and helps at births, providing emotional and physical support to laboring women and their families. Boland’s specialized legal knowledge, her shamanic wisdom and her sense of the awe and beauty of birth, all lend authenticity to the novel. Told from the point of view of Caro Connors, the narrative begins the summer she’s 12, when her mother miscarries and her brother drowns in Lake Michigan. In her early 30s, she moves from her parents’ home in Chicago to Milwaukee, hoping for a fresh start after she quits nursing school. She becomes a doula, has relationships with two very different men and is caught up in the tragedy surrounding the birth of her best friend’s daughter. Caro’s life pivots on the mirror images of birth and death — her father is an undertaker; she ushers new life into the world. Her tangled relationship with her mother, a leitmotif throughout the novel, has caused much of the dissonance in her life. She’s the “Big Girl” her mother summons while she’s miscarrying, and she becomes her siblings’ caretaker when her mother abdicates her responsibilities. But Caro is stalled in a protracted adolescence, unable to grow up. She seeks out strong women who remind her of her free-spirited great aunt, Ruby, and her best friend’s mother, Marilyn, who had counseled her to follow her convictions. In Milwaukee she finds mentors: Pixie, the hippie midwife commune leader, who exonerates her from feelings of guilt; Deidre, the midwife-owner of a family birthing center; and Annabelle, the malpractice lawyer whose strength and commitment allow Caro to reveal her painful secrets. Boland’s novel teems with issues — family dynamics and dysfunction, low self-esteem, mother-daughter conflict and autonomy, the premature loss of innocence, the corrosive power of keeping secrets, medical establishment procedures vs. natural childbirth, loyalty and infidelity, the liberating power of telling the truth. It’s a testament to her authorial skills that she brings all these into a coherent and satisfying whole. This novel isn’t for the squeamish: amniotic fluid and blood gush forth; babies have umbilical cords in the wrong place; laboring women gasp and grunt. It’s full of birth-related lore — like the fact that squatting allows pressure from the baby’s head to dilate the cervix more quickly. Sometimes Boland is didactic, pushing a little too hard her view that hospitals are for sick people and birth should be a celebration rather than a medical event. Finding fulfillment in helping women through the “fiercest rite of passage,” Caro (like Boland) wants to empower women, giving them choices about where and how to bring their children into the world. Readers who savored the psychological acuity and courtroom drama in Chris Bohjalian’s Midwives, a 1997 New York Times best-seller and Oprah pick, will appreciate the similarities Boland’s novel delivers (pun intended). I confess to some frustration at the book’s end: Several loose ends are left untied. I’m hoping for a sequel.
Kathryn Lang, a former senior editor at SMU Press, is a freelance book reviewer and editor.