This was my second time attending this amazing conference and I am awe-struck by the evolutions of thought, burgeoning spheres of engagement and the ever-widening circles of friends with which I have been blessed through the experience. I have been both witness and resource as lives have been transformed. I cannot begin to provide an exhaustive list of the moments of WOW I experienced, this takes time to process, and sometimes you just don't know about the impact of things, until something else comes and taps you on the shoulder.
Some things that do rise to the top of my consciousness this day...
Representing the Interfaith Working Group in many capacities in various contexts across the conference, was my privilege. Talking about IWG with presenters and attendees alike, and hearing so many times "I didn't know ANYONE was DOING that kind of work!" reaffirms the importance of our shared work. Being on the conference planning committee, being involved in the Spirituality Working Group, and in the Indigenous Spirituality working group has been an honor.
Gifting Chief Bob Mexhalaniyat (Red Hawk) Ruth of the Lenape Nation with this hand made drum, in gratitude from the PTHC: Indigenous Spirituality Working Group, was humbling, amazing, and surreal. Working with this year's coordinator of indigenous Spirituality programming, has been GREAT! Thanks for all of your hard work Janis Stacy!
Being asked to serve as Coordinator for Indigenous Programming for PTHC 2013 - is scary-exciting!
Leading workshops that bring drumming as a spiritual practice... to the spirits of folks across faith traditions, cultures and gender identities... and seeing them find that place - perhaps that moment of wholeness they had not glimpsed before was transformational. Watching as people find their voice - with the drum - beautiful! Having the honor of doing this work alongside someone I love and respect immensely makes the work that much more powerful, and meaningful! Several powerful moments of vulnerability and connection - the spirit moves ~ In Lak 'Ech!
- Smudging - at a conference - WOW! Helping to lead Native Drumming Circles - YES!
- Leading a dynamic, soothing and energizing Earth-Based Ritual as part of a very powerful team of 4, was just BEYOND!
- Hearing the stories, telling some stories of my own. Talking "outside the box" naming the box and looking for intersectional connections - brought both tears, and joy.
- Being able to just be as gay as I wanna be, as Indigenous as I wanna be - whatever ANY of that looks like - is so freeing, so empowering and just so freaking cool that it makes my heart SING!
- Having the loving care of so MANY friends while I was trying to balance self-care and active engagement... is just super-wonderful - all y'all KNOW who you are!