The close of 2019 brought changes to the Whidbey Institute board as four board members completed their terms and new board officers were elected. Larisa Benson was elected Board President, stepping into a role formerly held by Kate Snider. Joining Larisa on our executive committee are Vice President Mark Forman and Treasurer Casey Dilloway. Kate continues to serve as a board member-at-large with a special focus on our ongoing Whidbey Institute 2020 Capacity-Building Initiative. Read More →
Through Lines: A board presidency in transition
Robert Gilman and I recently connected about the upcoming program From Anxiety to Agency: Generative engagement with the challenges of our times. This program is designed to provide a conceptual framework, some deeper understanding, and some experiential skillbuilding for getting into our “optimal zone”—the psychological and physiological place where we are creative, connected, energized, and capable of powerful and positive engagement with the world’s great challenges. Here’s part of that conversation. —Marnie Jackson
I recently had an opportunity to connect with Christiane Seuhs-Schoeller about Love, Power & Purpose, a 8-month program launching in January 2020 at the Whidbey Institute. The program, offered by Evolution at Work, invites an international cohort to explore concepts of love, power and purpose and co-create narratives of a world where human endeavors serve both people and planet.
After having experienced Christiane’s facilitation in last year’s Language of Spaces Coach Certification program, I was eager to learn about and sign up for this new offering. Here’s our conversation about what I and other registrants can expect to experience. —Marnie Jackson
Tender Wild is coming up October 18 through 20 at the Whidbey Institute. This workshop is described as a chance to explore the wild parts of writing, the tender stories that must be told, and ways to engage yourself and others in writing practices that bring life back. To understand more about the opportunity, I connected with facilitator Bethany Bylsma. Here’s our conversation. —Marnie Jackson
This December, the Whidbey Institute will welcome a five-day intensive on Mindful Awareness in Body-oriented Therapy (MABT), hosted by Cynthia Price, Elizabeth Chaison, and Carla Wiechman of the Center for Mindful Body Awareness (CMBA). I connected with Cynthia, CMBA Director, about the program last week. Here’s that conversation. —Marnie Jackson
I recently connected with Sarah Goettsch, a Whidbey Institute program alumni and volunteer who comes up from Seattle whenever she gets the chance. Here’s our conversation. —Marnie Jackson
What got you interested in volunteering with the Whidbey Institute?
I came to know the Whidbey Institute through Powers of Leadership (POL) in 2017. That came at a time of pretty big upheaval in my life, personally and professionally. Looking back, I see that I knew at the time, “this is the place that’s going to help rework who I am becoming.” I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t have the grounding of the Whidbey Institute and Powers of Leadership at that time in my life. One of the things I’ve found about the Whidbey Institute is that all of you—staff, participants, volunteers—are filled with generosity and care. It’s a certain way of being in the world that allows individuals to shine. I’ve felt so cared for, and without a lot of funds it made sense to consider volunteering as a way to stay involved. Read More →
A practice in presence
An interview with Mindfulness Northwest’s Karen Schwisow, by Marnie Jackson
Better health. A brighter outlook. Greater life balance. Boosted immunity. Relief from pain, stress, and anxiety. Practitioners of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) experience these changes and more—and since 1979, the science supporting MBSR for health and wellbeing has stacked up. This August, Mindfulness Northwest is offering a 5-day intensive program at the Whidbey Institute to bring MBSR practices to beginners and experts alike. Read More →
Sommer Bowlin started working with us in October 2018 with a role on our housekeeping team. She’s a major part of the team keeping our lodging and gathering spaces clean, fresh, and inviting.
In addition to her work with the Whidbey Institute, Sommer loves spending time with family. She’s a homemaker with a six-year old stepson, Reece, and a partner, Jason. They have two dogs and a cat, and enjoy baking, cooking, board games, and movies. In addition to work and family time, she keeps life in balance with beach walks, art, and activism on behalf of our southern resident orcas, a critically endangered population. Read More →
Mira Steinbrecher and I first met at a Timber Framers Guild conference in Port Townsend. We came together again through our work with the Whidbey Institute five years ago, and we recently sat together to talk about her long history with the Whidbey Institute. Here’s that conversation. —Marnie Jackson
When Mira Steinbrecher arrives on this land, she feels the same spirit that captured her attention decades ago when she first came to a potluck and sauna. “The land keeps drawing me here,” she said. “I still remember the first time I drove down this driveway. I got out of the car and thought, ‘whoa—where was the veil I crossed?’” Read More →
From May 17 to 19, Victoria Santos and Debra Baker will be at the Whidbey Institute hosting Nourishment: A Gathering for Women of Color. I recently had the opportunity to speak with them about the program and their vision for what women will experience here this spring. —Marnie Jackson
Victoria Santos, on how this program came into being:
I have been thinking of women of color . . . the amount of work we’re doing and have done in this society, and the amount of stress we’re carrying. I realized how important it is for women of color to come together and engage in nourishing practices. This is life-giving, and we really need to make the time to do it.
Reflecting on this idea, I asked myself, “who do I know, personally, who is living into the principles that need to be amplified right now in this culture, for all people but especially for women of color?” That’s when I thought of Debra. She really embodies a way of being that we need right now—for all of us. We ended up having dinner and I approached her about the idea. She said yes!