Pop-Up Book Club

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May 2 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing olivia@smithcenter.org.

with Kiersten Gallagher

Welcome to “Pop-Up Book Club,” a community of book lovers diving into current and relevant book material.

For our second session, we will read No Pressure No, Diamond: Mining for Gifts in Illness & Loss by Teri A. Dillion. On May 2nd, Kiersten will lead us in a lively discussion about the book. Please join us no matter how much or little of the book you have read. Please read below for a description of the book.

Pop-Up Book Club will be held from 12:00-1:00pm ET.

  • February 2 (The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama)
  • May 2 (No Pressure No, Diamond: Mining for Gifts in Illness & Loss by Teri A. Dillion)
  • Future sessions TBD

How do you find real-deal, platitude-free hope and healing in the face of death? 

At 35 and newly married, thriving psychotherapist and Buddhist practitioner Teri Dillion had plenty of tidy answers on offer for creating a meaningful and beautiful life. But once diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and told to get her affairs in order before facing total paralysis, she finds all smug psychology and easy equanimity no match for her harrowing new prognosis.

With a humorous and nuanced exploration of the colorful landscapes of alternative medicine and self-help culture, No Pressure, No Diamonds recounts Teri’s powerful healing journey while shining a light on the fragile blessings of embodiment in general. As she grows disillusioned with toxic positivity and bypassing spiritual gurus in her determined pursuit of a miraculous cure, she’s forced to define her own deepest beliefs about hope, meaning-making, and healing.

Inspiring, entertaining, and deeply moving, this memoir will resonate with anyone forced to grapple with chronic or terminal illness. Teri’s story teaches us how the most brilliant jewels of meaning and resilience can be found not in conventional narratives of triumphant recovery, but in what we painstakingly and lovingly carve for ourselves out of life’s roughest blows.

Get No Pressure No, Diamond: Mining for Gifts in Illness & Loss <HERE>

About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten Gallagher – Cancer Support Programs Director

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. Kiersten has also completed the Compassion Cultivation Training – CCT™ an 8-week program, developed at Stanford University, with insights and techniques from psychology, neuroscience, and contemplative practice. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Beans and Pablo.

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