For the General Audience
For Caregivers and Professionals
For Spiritual/religious Organizations and Groups
For Philanthropic Organizations and Non-Profits
The Resilient Life
The life well-lived is periodically a life of tumult or unexpected strain or loss. Yet the keys exist to unlock the doors of our own resiliency - keys that enable us to strengthen our strengths, direct our energies toward that which is life-sustaining, and create, even in times of great stress, a deeper sense of meaning and of heading true north. Join storyteller, psychologist and author Maria Sirois as she offers insights from the fields of positive psychology, mind/body medicine, and from the wisdom traditions to assist each of us to move through life centered in our capacities.
Playing for Keeps - The Good Life
At the end of any one life we want to be able to say that we played it for keeps. We loved and laughed and offered something to the world that had meaning and that in some way helped to repair it. In this workshop Maria explores how we create a balance of self-care and care of the world, how we build our resilience and our capacity for compassion and reminds us how to keep the bigger pictures in mind in order to create days that are engaged, creative, and purposeful.
The Authentic Voice, The Authentic Life
To live a life that is true requires a deepening capacity to name our truths; to say what must be said. This workshop provides an understanding of the dynamics of authentic speaking: what are the risks, what are the rewards, how does one uncover the true voice. Through these understandings we come to know what is necessary for us to create a life that is genuine and unique, and a life that continues to bring us the energy that is sustaining.
A Healthy Distance
In this staff training class, Maria discusses the complexities of how to care for our clients and maintain a healthy distance. What is it like to hold on and let go, what does it mean to have a client sent home to die in one moment and meet a new the next, how do we love professionally, and how do we care for our own hearts while our clients' illnesses progress? Stories from therapists, nurses and physicians (Courtney Davis, Jerome Groopman, Bernie Siegel, Danielle Ofri, Atwul Gwande, Rachel Naomi Remen) who travel the same territory will be offered.
The Swell of Hope and Faith in the Kingdom of the Ill
As Susan Sontag wrote, after her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, once diagnosed we are all given dual passports to the kingdom of the well and the kingdom of the ill. As suffering rises and falls for ourselves or those we care for, we travel between these kingdoms, experiencing a concurrent rising and falling and rising again of hope and faith. What is the point of hope? What to believe in? Where does faith rest on any one day? How do hope and faith help in the different phases of illness or recovery? These are questions that resonate deeply for our patients and their families in the time after diagnosis - yet are rarely addressed within the bounds of traditional medical care. Through this work Maria offers an understanding the common dynamics that occur for many us: the loss of a particular faith or hope, the longing for belief that accompanies suffering, and the creation of a new way of meaning-making that is sustaining throughout difficult moments.
Vocation: The Meaning of Work
"There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, 'Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams.' Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they're still there."
Given one life in our unique form, why not live the one life only we can live? Why not fill it with a work that calls us, that in some way brings our deepest selves to life? Painting a broad picture of the world of work in Afghanistan, Africa, America and in our own small towns, Maria creates an opportunity to remember why we first chose the work we are doing and to re-imagine a work that energizes and potentiates our greatest capacities as a human being.
Water in the Desert
As grief rises and falls, so to does our faith. What to believe in? Where does my faith rest today? How can I go on knowing what I now know about the world? These are the questions that resonate in a difficult time. In this workshop, psychologist and storyteller Maria Sirois addresses these questions, guides us toward a journey of faith in the very lives we are already living. Through story and clinical anecdote she offers an understanding of the loss of a particular faith that occurs for some of us, the longing for faith that accompanies suffering, and the re-creation of a new way of making meaning out of life that sustains us through difficult moments.
How Big Can We Be?
Because we love what is mortal we are challenged again and again to find a way to live life and love life even after loss. Our children's lives have much to teach us about this, if only we have the courage to look. In this workshop, psychologist and storyteller Maria offers a way to fall in love with life again despite a difficult loss. Presenting the wisdom of those who have lost and loved again she offers stepping stones across the waves of grief or suffering. Through this work we can all learn just how big we can become - how compassionate, how kind, how joyful, how open-hearted, how purposeful.
The Heart of Philanthropy
"Money is like water. Money flows through all our lives, sometimes like a rushing river, and sometimes like a trickle. When it is flowing, it can purify, cleanse, create growth and nourish. We can be flooded with money and drown in its excess or (we can) steward the flow of money into (our) highest commitments." Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money
How do we bring forth the flow of philanthropy? What helps inspire our donors and volunteers to continue to give, and equally important, enables us to stay engaged in the task of raising funds on behalf of those we serve? Through a discussion of the heart and of purpose we remember why we are engaged in our non-profit work and how to steward that purpose and passion into the world.
The Garden Entrusted You
Antonio Machado asks, in a voice that resonates through centuries, what have any of us done with the garden entrusted us? In modern terms, how are we caring for ourselves, for others, for the land we've been given? What have we brought to this earth and what do we wish to leave as our legacy? Together we explore this territory, remembering the thrumming power of altruism, the need for joy in our work, and the possibility of turning any one life into an authentic, unique life that offers repair to this world.