Tag Archives: relationships

Fuel Passion and Creativity

by Nancy Mortifee

Mindfulness and Intimacy for Women

Connecting deeply with self and others

How do we cultivate and sustain fulfilling intimate relationships? True intimacy with another begins with caring for one’s self, something many of us lose sight of when we’re busy parenting children, building our careers, engaging in new romance or dealing with divorce, grief or loss. Mindfulness practice offers us the opportunity for deep listening.. “Who am I and what do I want?”. Intimacy training gives us tools to reclaim self and build a greater capacity for relationship.

In the context of confidential circles in a retreat setting, my work is to guide women who are exploring issues that challenge us to stay present and fulfilled in our ever changing lives. Through personal one-on-one sessions, group processes and periods of personal reflection, participants learn effective techniques for cleanly expressing and receiving authentic emotions without blame or judgment. Emotional expression is fuel for our passion and creativity when we rediscover the joy of being fully present, whether we’re feeling excitement, anger, joy, fear or sadness.

Body awareness meditation, voice, movement and storytelling are valuable techniques that affirm our spiritual nature, allowing connection to a deeper knowing. From this place we can awaken to our unconscious patterning, learn to let go of behaviors that no longer serve us and cultivate a more intimate life.

I invite you to explore my site to learn more about the work I do, both through residential retreats and personal or couple sessions. In 2013 there are exciting opportunities for us to work together on the beautiful island of Cortes at Hollyhock, in the majestic B.C. Kootenays at Johnson’s Landing, and new for 2013, the stunning cliffs of Big Sur at Esalen Institute.

with love and gratitude,



Deepa Narayan has a PhD in Human Development, specializing in cross-cultural psychology. She has 30 years experience in research and facilitating workshops around the world to empower women, men and youth.   She now focuses on more intimate circles. She has won many leadership awards and published over 15 books on empowerment of self and poverty.





Nancy Mortifee is an educator, author and workshop facilitator specializing in women, couples and groups. Through Mortifee Training, she shares her eclectic practice, embracing elements of emotional body work, cognitive based therapies and gestalt.  “Through sensitive and gentle exploration I help women chip away at some of the defense patterns and life limiting attitudes that keep them from fully expressing who they are.” mortifeetraining.com



Join Nancy and Deepa for their program, Mindfulness and Intimacy for Women, at Hollyhock on Cortes, July 26 – 31, 2013

Haltingly Beautiful Conversation

by Rachelle Lamb

What if, every time we stepped into a dialogue with someone, we approached it no differently than if we were stepping into a haltingly beautiful cathedral?

Do We Shape Language or Does It Shape Us?

I’d have to say both. In his book The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit, author Joseph Chilton Pearce says, “All of us know intuitively that we are not by nature savage beasts. Fewer, however, are aware that we are driven to some fairly beastly behaviours by enculturation, despite the fact that the process itself is supposed to prevent this.”

The subject of language and enculturation has always been a fascination to me .. how we shape language by speaking and how it also shapes us in the process is powerful stuff. Having devoted myself for the past 12 years to the topic, I can say that when one objectively examines language and communication within the context of power, partnership, personal and social responsibility, the discoveries are surprising, disturbing and finally liberating. One finds that the victim-oppressor relationship is quite tragically alive and well in how we speak. For instance, just try using words like selfish, manipulating, or disrespectful without being caught in that very dynamic. It’s near impossible to do so.

What if you decided to never again in your lifetime use those words? Would you still be able to fully express yourself, retain your authenticity and initiate change? The answer, thank goodness, is YES ABSOLUTELY! And relationships can only become more fulfilling when we deliberately make that choice. When we refuse to use language that blames and divides, it forces us to dig deeper and rethink our approach. It forces us to give greater consideration to our motives and what we would like to achieve. It forces us to raise the bar in how we relate. It forces us to remember how we need each other. I don’t know about you but I think that’s a good thing!

Here’s a poem by David Whyte that I share at almost every workshop. Loaves and Fishes …

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love movies, especially those where people are real and vulnerable with each other .. where they step into those often difficult conversations that ask them to become courageous and true. Here is a memorable scene from Good Will Hunting.

Rachelle_LambRachelle Lamb is an author and speaker and is president of Mindful Communication. She has shown thousands how to courageously and skillfully navigate interpersonal tension and conflict, leading toward breakthrough. rachellelamb.com

Join Rachelle for her Hollyhock Program, Mindful Communication, May 26 – 31, 2013.



Please Tame Me!

by Rachelle Lamb

One of my all time favourite stories is The Little Prince. Such a gorgeous book that aims straight for the heart and contains a wealth of wisdom from beginning to end. My favourite part is where the little prince meets the fox and the very pretty fox asks to be tamed. In the French version the word “apprivoiser” is used which I much prefer over the English translation. Tame means to dominate, subdue, win over or “break”. Sadly it’s often how we are with each other and with nature. When asked what “tame” means, the fox replies to the little prince, “It is an act too often neglected. It means to establish ties.” What would our world be like I wonder if we truly established ties, if we learned the language of another, if we would take the time, stand back and observe with soft eyes, if we opened our hearts to care, if we tended the space between us as we would a precious garden, if we fell deeply in love and then wrestled with what it means to need and be needed once the bonds were forged realizing that nothing lasts forever and that our hearts can do no other than break. “What a bargain!” as Rumi would say.

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time. ‘Please-tame me!’ he said.

‘I want to, very much,’ the little prince replied. ‘But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.’The Little Prince

‘One only understands the things that one tames,’ said the fox. ‘Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me.’

‘What must I do, to tame you?’ asked the little prince.

‘You must be very patient,’ replied the fox. ‘First you will sit down at a little distance from me-like that-in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day…”

~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


Rachelle Lamb is an author and speaker and is president of Mindful Communication. She has shown thousands how to courageously and skillfully navigate interpersonal tension and conflict, leading toward breakthrough. rachellelamb.com

Raise the bar in personal and professional communication, develop your toolkit to improve trust, understanding and cooperation in all of your relationships.  Join Rachelle for her workshop, Mindful Communication, at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, May 26 – 31, 2013


Wisdom of the Tarot

Hollyhock’s longtime friend and contributor,  Oriane Lee Johnston, is hosting an evening at Banyen Books on engaging a personal relationship with the Tarot cards.

Wisdom of the Tarot

An introduction to activating the Tarot cards as a tool for self-knowledge and for navigating life. Find out how to cultivate an engaging personal relationship with the major arcana, minor arcana and court cards. Explore the elements – earth, air, water, fire  – related to the four tarot suits and access the Wisdom of the Tarot in guided meditation, body and breathing practice.

BIO Oriane Lee Johnston began studying the Tarot and Mystical Qabalah in 1980.  With extensive background in experiential education and contemplative wisdom she draws upon many traditions and practices in interpreting the Tarot and in her writing, consulting and mentoring work. Oriane Lee offers tarot readings as Maps of Guidance in Vancouver, Seattle, Victoria, by phone/skype and at Hollyhock where she was program director for 16 years.
More about Oriane Lee’s tarot work here.

Wisdom of the Tarot

When: Thursday April 11th, 7 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Banyen Books & Sound – 3608 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver



Revolutionizing How We Work Together

Kate Sutherland spoke at the Sauder School for Business’ ISIS Research Centre’s “Ideas for Impact” speaker series in December 2012.

Kate presents a tool kit of methods for creating positive and productive group dynamics.  She brings forward intuitive techniques that foster a shift and a whole new growth in group settings, such as “appreciative inquiry”.



Kate Sutherland is a social entrepreneur helping change agents and community organizations be more innovative and effective.  As an inspiring leader and in-demand consultant, trainer and coach, Kate has helped hundreds of leaders and organizations be more nimble, resilient, and aligned with core purpose.  www.katersutherland.com




Join Kate Sutherland at her Hollyhock program, Make Light Work,  in Vancouver on March 14th.