We offer 2 in-person Energy Balancing appointments weekly. Registration is first-come-first-served. 

Please specify which of the two time slots you prefer (see below) when you register. We will do our best to accommodate your preferred time. 

If you wish to receive energy balancing in-person more regularly, please email olivia@smithcenter.org. 

with Sylvia Sturm

Energy Balancing

Our Energy Balancing Program addresses the subtle energies of our body. When these energies are out of balance, all our body systems can become askew. One key to bringing us back into balance is deep relaxation. This is just what our volunteers provide – a half-hour of stress reducing relaxation to calm the body and enhance our well-being.

Most likely you are familiar with many of the body’s systems such as the respiratory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the skeletal system and so on. But are you aware that we also have subtle energy systems, systems that cannot be seen, cannot be measured, cannot be felt. Perhaps you know of some; the most familiar are the aura (also known as the biofield), the meridians, the chakras.

These subtle energy systems were very familiar to the ancients. They used them regularly to bring the body into energetic balance. When the body’s energies are in balance, we function at a higher vibration and are more relaxed, more joyful, more centered and able to enjoy life more productively. Many of the age-old techniques are now being used to bring calm to the body and to optimize one’s well-being.


In-Person Energy Balancing is offered Weekly on Thursdays in 1/2 hour appointments.

By appointment only. 

Time slots:

  • Time slot #1: 9:45-10:30am ET
  • Time slot #2: 10:45-11:30am ET

About Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm, EEM-CLP, RM/T, heads our Energy Balancing volunteer team. Sylvia is a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner and a Reiki Master Teacher. For many years she has managed a Reiki Volunteer group at a seniors’ residence and has served for 6 years as a Reiki volunteer in GWU Hospital. She is delighted to now work with a dedicated and wonderful team to address the balancing of one’s subtle energies in order to allow the body to completely relax. She has an independent practice in Kensington, MD. To learn more about Sylvia and subtle energies, please visit her website www.sylviasturm.com.

We offer 2 in-person Energy Balancing appointments weekly. Registration is first-come-first-served. 

Please specify which of the two time slots you prefer (see below) when you register. We will do our best to accommodate your preferred time. 

If you wish to receive energy balancing in-person more regularly, please email olivia@smithcenter.org. 

with Sylvia Sturm

Energy Balancing

Our Energy Balancing Program addresses the subtle energies of our body. When these energies are out of balance, all our body systems can become askew. One key to bringing us back into balance is deep relaxation. This is just what our volunteers provide – a half-hour of stress reducing relaxation to calm the body and enhance our well-being.

Most likely you are familiar with many of the body’s systems such as the respiratory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the skeletal system and so on. But are you aware that we also have subtle energy systems, systems that cannot be seen, cannot be measured, cannot be felt. Perhaps you know of some; the most familiar are the aura (also known as the biofield), the meridians, the chakras.

These subtle energy systems were very familiar to the ancients. They used them regularly to bring the body into energetic balance. When the body’s energies are in balance, we function at a higher vibration and are more relaxed, more joyful, more centered and able to enjoy life more productively. Many of the age-old techniques are now being used to bring calm to the body and to optimize one’s well-being.


In-Person Energy Balancing is offered Weekly on Thursdays in 1/2 hour appointments.

By appointment only. 

Time slots:

  • Time slot #1: 9:45-10:30am ET
  • Time slot #2: 10:45-11:30am ET

About Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm, EEM-CLP, RM/T, heads our Energy Balancing volunteer team. Sylvia is a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner and a Reiki Master Teacher. For many years she has managed a Reiki Volunteer group at a seniors’ residence and has served for 6 years as a Reiki volunteer in GWU Hospital. She is delighted to now work with a dedicated and wonderful team to address the balancing of one’s subtle energies in order to allow the body to completely relax. She has an independent practice in Kensington, MD. To learn more about Sylvia and subtle energies, please visit her website www.sylviasturm.com.

We offer 2 in-person Energy Balancing appointments weekly. Registration is first-come-first-served. 

Please specify which of the two time slots you prefer (see below) when you register. We will do our best to accommodate your preferred time. 

If you wish to receive energy balancing in-person more regularly, please email olivia@smithcenter.org. 

with Sylvia Sturm

Energy Balancing

Our Energy Balancing Program addresses the subtle energies of our body. When these energies are out of balance, all our body systems can become askew. One key to bringing us back into balance is deep relaxation. This is just what our volunteers provide – a half-hour of stress reducing relaxation to calm the body and enhance our well-being.

Most likely you are familiar with many of the body’s systems such as the respiratory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the skeletal system and so on. But are you aware that we also have subtle energy systems, systems that cannot be seen, cannot be measured, cannot be felt. Perhaps you know of some; the most familiar are the aura (also known as the biofield), the meridians, the chakras.

These subtle energy systems were very familiar to the ancients. They used them regularly to bring the body into energetic balance. When the body’s energies are in balance, we function at a higher vibration and are more relaxed, more joyful, more centered and able to enjoy life more productively. Many of the age-old techniques are now being used to bring calm to the body and to optimize one’s well-being.


In-Person Energy Balancing is offered Weekly on Thursdays in 1/2 hour appointments.

By appointment only. 

Time slots:

  • Time slot #1: 9:45-10:30am ET
  • Time slot #2: 10:45-11:30am ET

About Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm, EEM-CLP, RM/T, heads our Energy Balancing volunteer team. Sylvia is a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner and a Reiki Master Teacher. For many years she has managed a Reiki Volunteer group at a seniors’ residence and has served for 6 years as a Reiki volunteer in GWU Hospital. She is delighted to now work with a dedicated and wonderful team to address the balancing of one’s subtle energies in order to allow the body to completely relax. She has an independent practice in Kensington, MD. To learn more about Sylvia and subtle energies, please visit her website www.sylviasturm.com.

We offer 2 in-person Energy Balancing appointments weekly. Registration is first-come-first-served. 

Please specify which of the two time slots you prefer (see below) when you register. We will do our best to accommodate your preferred time. 

If you wish to receive energy balancing in-person more regularly, please email olivia@smithcenter.org. 

with Sylvia Sturm

Energy Balancing

Our Energy Balancing Program addresses the subtle energies of our body. When these energies are out of balance, all our body systems can become askew. One key to bringing us back into balance is deep relaxation. This is just what our volunteers provide – a half-hour of stress reducing relaxation to calm the body and enhance our well-being.

Most likely you are familiar with many of the body’s systems such as the respiratory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the skeletal system and so on. But are you aware that we also have subtle energy systems, systems that cannot be seen, cannot be measured, cannot be felt. Perhaps you know of some; the most familiar are the aura (also known as the biofield), the meridians, the chakras.

These subtle energy systems were very familiar to the ancients. They used them regularly to bring the body into energetic balance. When the body’s energies are in balance, we function at a higher vibration and are more relaxed, more joyful, more centered and able to enjoy life more productively. Many of the age-old techniques are now being used to bring calm to the body and to optimize one’s well-being.


In-Person Energy Balancing is offered Weekly on Thursdays in 1/2 hour appointments.

By appointment only. 

Time slots:

  • Time slot #1: 9:45-10:30am ET
  • Time slot #2: 10:45-11:30am ET

About Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm, EEM-CLP, RM/T, heads our Energy Balancing volunteer team. Sylvia is a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner and a Reiki Master Teacher. For many years she has managed a Reiki Volunteer group at a seniors’ residence and has served for 6 years as a Reiki volunteer in GWU Hospital. She is delighted to now work with a dedicated and wonderful team to address the balancing of one’s subtle energies in order to allow the body to completely relax. She has an independent practice in Kensington, MD. To learn more about Sylvia and subtle energies, please visit her website www.sylviasturm.com.

This program is being offered in-person. In order to participate, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing olivia@smithcenter.org.

with Elizabeth McGowan

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

We will read Outpedaling “The Big C:” My Healing Cycle Across America by Pulitzer Prize Winner Elizabeth McGowan and on April 9th, she 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.


Elizabeth McGowan lost her father to melanoma when he was forty-four and she was fifteen. She rediscovered him during a bike ride across the US, following her battle with the same disease. Joyful, introspective, terrifying, and sobering, her memoir is about reconciling her mortality with her father’s.

In the spring of 2000, McGowan marked five years of remission. Her intensive, eleven-year battle with cancer began just after she graduated from college. Her cross-country ride was undertaken, most often, alone; she sent journal entries home from local libraries and mailed home rolls of film. While riding, she made casual, unexpected connections with other survivors; some gave her checks, a bed for the night, a new story, or a tip for the road.

Transitions between the bike trip and McGowan’s childhood are seamless. She recalls her explosive and complex father, as well as her own health challenges. She experiences hospitality and kindness via little gestures that magnify human connections. As she moves through the Grand Tetons and across Yellowstone, American authors, including William Least Heat-Moon, William Stegner, and Edward Abbey, move with her; and American history informs the way she sees and understands the landscape and its people.

McGowan digs into the past to make sense of her present, and her reflections are frank and unsentimental. She sees both herself and her father with brilliant clarity, acknowledging the traits that both impeded their progress and made progress possible. She argues against the rhetoric of war that surrounds cancer and acknowledges her own fears and reluctance to engage in further testing.

Outpedaling “The Big C“ journeys through illness and America, viewing the ability to put one foot in front of the other as a gift. McGowan makes sense of her circumstances and develops strength across her powerful, 4,250-mile bicycle trip. (“Oupedaling” review by Camille-Yvette Welsch)

Get Outpedaling “The Big C” <HERE>


Address:

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts

1632 U Street NW

Washington, DC 20009


About Elizabeth McGowan

Elizabeth H. McGowan is an award-winning energy and environment reporter based in Washington, D.C. since 2001. Now a freelancer, her main gig since 2019 has been covering Virginia’s transition to clean energy for the Energy News Network. As a staff writer for startup InsideClimate News, her groundbreaking dispatches from Kalamazoo, Michigan, “The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You Never Heard Of” earned her team a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2013. An e-book version of the narrative won the Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. McGowan’s freelance articles have appeared in Grist, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Yale Environment 360, A.T. Journeys (Appalachian Trail magazine) and multiple other publications. For the last year, she has written reviews of nature and health books for the Washington Independent Review of Books. McGowan began her journalism career at daily newspapers in Vermont and Wisconsin.

Her adventure memoir, “Outpedaling ‘The Big C’: My Healing Cycle Across America” was just released by Bancroft Press. She takes readers on the rollicking, introspective and sobering 4,250-mile ride she organized as a hospital fundraiser after surviving an 11-year saga with melanoma. That journey helped her rediscover her father, who had died of the same type of cancer at age 44, when McGowan was 15. Learn more: @ehmcgowanNEWS and https://elizabethmcgowan-author.com/

Please email Olivia at programs@smithcenter.org for further information about the program.

with Carole O’Toole

A small, almost inaudible voice will say what lies ahead. By Sheila Petruccelli

Cancer often initiates an intense transformational process that can raise more questions than answers, leading us to re-examine our beliefs and approach to life. We may feel called to explore opportunities for spiritual growth, feeling a desire to connect with the sacred in a more conscious way and define more deeply life’s meaning in the face of cancer.

Regardless of your personal beliefs or faith system, working with a spiritual companion offers you an opportunity to reflect with another on what is going on for you spiritually, and explore how to integrate your cancer experience with your personal beliefs.

Spiritual Companions:

  • Provide a safe, trusting environment that invites stillness and reflection.
  • Support your spiritual growth and exploration, your unique and personal journey.
  • Listen, deeply and with compassion, honoring your sacred story. This deep listening helps you to connect with your most authentic self and illuminate your unique spiritual path.

    “Your soul already knows the way to wholeness and healing, but often speaks to us in a small, still voice. In our time together, we create a nest for your soul to rest awhile, allowing space for your sacred truth to be revealed.”

    Carole invites you to explore with her how to make meaning of your cancer experience and to look for where the holy is in your life. Currently, limited space is available for new clients. Individual appointments are available via Zoom or by telephone and are free of charge. 

    Suggested Donation: $15


About Carole O’Toole

Retreats, Integrative Navigation and Spiritual Companioning Consultant

Carole, a survivor of advanced cancer since 1994, is the author of two books on integrative cancer care: “Cancer Community Healing Network”, and “Healing Outside the Margins”. She began her work with Smith Center in 2006, creating our integrative cancer care navigation model, and introducing integrative navigation services to Howard University Cancer Center and the city’s medically underserved community. Carole went on to develop and direct the Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation, and co-created and led our professional training program in integrative cancer care navigation, offered to navigators nationwide and now available online through our partnership with the Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Carole has been an integral part of Smith Center’s Cancer Retreat Programs throughout her tenure, staffing the weeklong residential retreats for many years and leading one day retreats at our offices. Carole assumed leadership of the retreat program in 2015, where she developed our 3 day in-person retreats and 6-week virtual retreat programs.

Carole continues her retreat work alongside her coaching individuals on integrative cancer care decision-making and complementary resources. Most recently, Carole became a certified Spiritual Director, offering spiritual companioning services to adults with cancer and their loved ones.

To learn more about Carole and her work in integrative navigation and spiritual companioning, visit her website: www.cohealing.net.

Please email Olivia at programs@smithcenter.org for further information about the program.

with Carole O’Toole

A small, almost inaudible voice will say what lies ahead. By Sheila Petruccelli

Cancer often initiates an intense transformational process that can raise more questions than answers, leading us to re-examine our beliefs and approach to life. We may feel called to explore opportunities for spiritual growth, feeling a desire to connect with the sacred in a more conscious way and define more deeply life’s meaning in the face of cancer.

Regardless of your personal beliefs or faith system, working with a spiritual companion offers you an opportunity to reflect with another on what is going on for you spiritually, and explore how to integrate your cancer experience with your personal beliefs.

Spiritual Companions:

  • Provide a safe, trusting environment that invites stillness and reflection.
  • Support your spiritual growth and exploration, your unique and personal journey.
  • Listen, deeply and with compassion, honoring your sacred story. This deep listening helps you to connect with your most authentic self and illuminate your unique spiritual path.

    “Your soul already knows the way to wholeness and healing, but often speaks to us in a small, still voice. In our time together, we create a nest for your soul to rest awhile, allowing space for your sacred truth to be revealed.”

    Carole invites you to explore with her how to make meaning of your cancer experience and to look for where the holy is in your life. Currently, limited space is available for new clients. Individual appointments are available via Zoom or by telephone and are free of charge. 

    Suggested Donation: $15


About Carole O’Toole

Retreats, Integrative Navigation and Spiritual Companioning Consultant

Carole, a survivor of advanced cancer since 1994, is the author of two books on integrative cancer care: “Cancer Community Healing Network”, and “Healing Outside the Margins”. She began her work with Smith Center in 2006, creating our integrative cancer care navigation model, and introducing integrative navigation services to Howard University Cancer Center and the city’s medically underserved community. Carole went on to develop and direct the Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation, and co-created and led our professional training program in integrative cancer care navigation, offered to navigators nationwide and now available online through our partnership with the Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Carole has been an integral part of Smith Center’s Cancer Retreat Programs throughout her tenure, staffing the weeklong residential retreats for many years and leading one day retreats at our offices. Carole assumed leadership of the retreat program in 2015, where she developed our 3 day in-person retreats and 6-week virtual retreat programs.

Carole continues her retreat work alongside her coaching individuals on integrative cancer care decision-making and complementary resources. Most recently, Carole became a certified Spiritual Director, offering spiritual companioning services to adults with cancer and their loved ones.

To learn more about Carole and her work in integrative navigation and spiritual companioning, visit her website: www.cohealing.net.

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Kathleen O’Toole

Writing Through the Seasons

Breathe In All That Has Begun to Bloom

Kathleen O’Toole is a poet whose work with haiku and other short poetic forms is deeply rooted in attention to the natural world. In her Writing through the Seasons workshops (December 9, 2023 and March 30, 2024) she will guide participants through poetry forms and writing practices that invite us to pay attention to the ways season changes bring special opportunities for healing and creativity.

In this 90-minute session, just after the spring equinox, we’ll take stock of our own yearnings for hope and new life, as we name the hues, fragrance, and shapes of all that is blooming or coming to life in the world around us. We’ll look at some poems & poetic practices that emphasize resilience and attention to small things: the increased activity of birds, insects, and other creatures that invite our hearts to sing.

No previous poetry writing experience required, just an openness to playing with words. Bring an open heart, a notebook or sketchbook; whatever materials you need to respond to poetry and nature. (Previous participants have journaled, drafts of poems or sketches to capture what has surfaced in our sessions.)


Kathleen O’Toole is a poet whose work with haiku and other short poetic forms is deeply rooted in attention to the natural world. These three workshops will guide participants through poetry forms and writing practices that invite us to explore the ways season changes bring special opportunities for healing and creativity. The ancient Celts celebrated cross-quarter days as moments of magic and openings to spirit and ritual; we’ll mark our own seasonal awareness.

Writing Through the Seasons: The Healing Power of Nature will be offered as a program series, spread over the seasons.

Suggested Donation: $15/session


About Kathleen O’Toole

Kathleen O'Toole

Takoma Park Poet Laureate Kathleen O’Toole is the author of 4 books of poetry (find her at https://kathleenotoolepoetry.com). She has taught writing at Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. As evident in her longer work, she often seeks inspiration and consolation in nature. For more than thirty years she has been writing haiku as a spiritual practice of attention, and to deepen her experience of the natural world.

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Kenneth Johnson

A Healing Circle: Gay Men with Prostate Cancer

We are a group of gay men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or who are recovering from treatment that offer support to each other. In a peer-led community, we share our experiences and understanding to help one another best deal with our own personal situations.


The Healing Circle for Gay Men with Prostate Cancer meets Monthly on the 4th Thursday from 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET.


About Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson, of Owings Mills, MD, is a founding member and facilitator of the Healing Circle Supporting Gay Men with Prostate Cancer hosted at the Smith Center since October 2018. Kenneth’s prostate cancer diagnosis in 2016 at the age of 50 began, not with any symptoms of a problem, but due to a vigilant doctor who was aware of black men’s higher cancer risk and encouraged earlier screening. Blood tests showed a rising PSA that triggered the need for a biopsy. Kenneth underwent surgery and radiation later in 2016. Before volunteering with the support group, Kenneth volunteered with many LGBTQ+ organizations and community non-profits in Atlanta, GA.

Professionally, Kenneth retired in 2021 after 34 years of federal service as an information technology analyst. Now, he is often on the highways with his octogenarian parents visiting family and friends around the country. You can catch up with Kenneth at the local gym or track working up a good sweat to offset his time in the kitchen cooking for and eating with his parents. At other times, you will find him enjoying his monthly book club selection, stressing over a Ravens game (or Orioles or Alabama football), chuckling at a corny Hallmark movie, or tackling (and possibly regretting) an HGTV-inspired home project.

Despite the cloud of prostate cancer, Kenneth sees the silver lining as the community of wonderful souls that have befriended him through the Smith Center and the healing circle for gay men with prostate cancer.

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Kenneth Johnson

A Healing Circle: Gay Men with Prostate Cancer

We are a group of gay men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or who are recovering from treatment that offer support to each other. In a peer-led community, we share our experiences and understanding to help one another best deal with our own personal situations.


The Healing Circle for Gay Men with Prostate Cancer meets Monthly on the 4th Thursday from 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET.


About Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson, of Owings Mills, MD, is a founding member and facilitator of the Healing Circle Supporting Gay Men with Prostate Cancer hosted at the Smith Center since October 2018. Kenneth’s prostate cancer diagnosis in 2016 at the age of 50 began, not with any symptoms of a problem, but due to a vigilant doctor who was aware of black men’s higher cancer risk and encouraged earlier screening. Blood tests showed a rising PSA that triggered the need for a biopsy. Kenneth underwent surgery and radiation later in 2016. Before volunteering with the support group, Kenneth volunteered with many LGBTQ+ organizations and community non-profits in Atlanta, GA.

Professionally, Kenneth retired in 2021 after 34 years of federal service as an information technology analyst. Now, he is often on the highways with his octogenarian parents visiting family and friends around the country. You can catch up with Kenneth at the local gym or track working up a good sweat to offset his time in the kitchen cooking for and eating with his parents. At other times, you will find him enjoying his monthly book club selection, stressing over a Ravens game (or Orioles or Alabama football), chuckling at a corny Hallmark movie, or tackling (and possibly regretting) an HGTV-inspired home project.

Despite the cloud of prostate cancer, Kenneth sees the silver lining as the community of wonderful souls that have befriended him through the Smith Center and the healing circle for gay men with prostate cancer.