This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Melanie Edwards

Melanie & Student

Singer, songwriter and musician, Melanie Edwards, recently launched Musical Mending Workshops which can be curated for any specific healing modality, be it collectively or individually. The workshops help with memory, cognition, expression, general well being and are just plain fun for participants. In addition, the classes focus on teaching techniques to manage grief, anxiety, depression and many more ailments by administering sonic techniques to relieve stress, help find inner peace and express authenticity. She often uses different instruments & singing skills to activate relaxation, calm the mind and nourish the soul. This is not about performing or being a professional singer, but rather a shared experience of collective sound healing in the present moment for the whole family. Participants are free to join or simply observe in shared space, as well as bring their own mantras, words or poems to self reflect and express via musical mending.


Wellness in the Time of COVID

The Washington Home

This 6-month integrative wellness series, sponsored by The Washington Home, will be offered to caregivers, those who are critically ill, and those facing cancer-related challenges during this especially difficult time.

Check out the full series program schedule HERE!


About Melanie Edwards

Melanie Edwards

Melanie Edwards is an award-winning singer, songwriter, pianist, violinist, music practitioner and tv/film composer. She holds a master’s degree (MFA) in music from The Savannah College of Art and Design and is certified in Mental Health First Aid USA by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. She has 25 years experience as a performing artist and expressive healer with several partner charities and organizations, such as: National Theatre DC and Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. In addition, she is the resident pianist for Clyde’s Restaurant and has performed at Gypsy Sally’s, The Henley Park Hotel, Beacon Bar and Grill and Peruvian Ambassador Castilla’s Residence in Washington, DC. She is also a regular performer at Rockwood Music Hall, in New York City.

with Kiersten Gallagher

House Calls with Kiersten offers an opportunity for our program participants to check-in and chat bi-monthly with Kiersten on Zoom or by phone, whichever is your preference. All of our face-to-face interactions that we are accustomed to having at Smith Center – when you walk in the door, when we interact in the programs I facilitate, and the times that we connect after you’ve attended other classes and workshops – are very important to me. I would like to set this time aside, for you and I, to catch up and address any concerns, to be philosophical together, or to laugh together; it’s up to you!

Continue reading House Calls with Kiersten

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. Please click here to register for a 6-week circle.

with Kiersten Gallagher

Holy Ground

Please join us in a series Healing Circles for Grief “to discover the extent and limits of what is lost, what is left and what is possible.”  – John Schneider

If you have lost a loved one, this is an opportunity to share what is on your heart and mind right now, to listen and be listened to deeply and generously. Together we create a safe space for listening to messages from our inner experience. We have several series of six Healing Circles planned to start in September. Please see the schedule below; space is limited.


Some Assumptions about Grief

  • The experience of grief is unique for each individual. While we can make some general assumptions, there is no template that describes the experience for all people.
  • Grief is cumulative. That is, each time loss is grieved, the grief encompasses the lifetime of loss and the remnants of each experience.
  • Grief following a significant loss is most often a lifelong process, with each pivotal point in life bringing the grief back up to be processed from a new perspective.
  • Grief, loss and suffering fundamentally changes and reshapes the individual.
  • Grief is not about forgetting or disconnecting. Rather, healthy grief is about remembering the parts of self that get lost amidst the experience and reorienting the individual in their relationship with self, the world and others.
  • Grief is a whole body experience: emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual. Each have a wide range of expression which can cue us that grief is present.
  • While grief and trauma are often intertwined there are significant differences between them. Trauma should be addressed with trauma specific interventions that often go beyond what is possible in circles.

Adapted from Khris Ford


Grieving Together Healing Circle will meet Bi-Monthly on Thursdays from 3:00-4:30pm for 6 weeks.

Circle Dates:

  • September 10 & 24
  • October 8 & 22
  • November 5 & 19

Click here to view the schedule for 2 other Grieving Together circles.


About Kiersten Gallagher

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. 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 Hooper and Pablo.

with Kiersten Gallagher

House Calls with Kiersten offers an opportunity for our program participants to check-in and chat bi-monthly with Kiersten on Zoom or by phone, whichever is your preference. All of our face-to-face interactions that we are accustomed to having at Smith Center – when you walk in the door, when we interact in the programs I facilitate, and the times that we connect after you’ve attended other classes and workshops – are very important to me. I would like to set this time aside, for you and I, to catch up and address any concerns, to be philosophical together, or to laugh together; it’s up to you!

Continue reading House Calls with Kiersten

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. Please click here to register for a 6-week circle.

with Kiersten Gallagher

Holy Ground

Please join us in a series Healing Circles for Grief “to discover the extent and limits of what is lost, what is left and what is possible.”  – John Schneider

If you have lost a loved one, this is an opportunity to share what is on your heart and mind right now, to listen and be listened to deeply and generously. Together we create a safe space for listening to messages from our inner experience. We have several series of six Healing Circles planned to start in September. Please see the schedule below; space is limited.


Some Assumptions about Grief

  • The experience of grief is unique for each individual. While we can make some general assumptions, there is no template that describes the experience for all people.
  • Grief is cumulative. That is, each time loss is grieved, the grief encompasses the lifetime of loss and the remnants of each experience.
  • Grief following a significant loss is most often a lifelong process, with each pivotal point in life bringing the grief back up to be processed from a new perspective.
  • Grief, loss and suffering fundamentally changes and reshapes the individual.
  • Grief is not about forgetting or disconnecting. Rather, healthy grief is about remembering the parts of self that get lost amidst the experience and reorienting the individual in their relationship with self, the world and others.
  • Grief is a whole body experience: emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual. Each have a wide range of expression which can cue us that grief is present.
  • While grief and trauma are often intertwined there are significant differences between them. Trauma should be addressed with trauma specific interventions that often go beyond what is possible in circles.

Adapted from Khris Ford


Grieving Together Healing Circle will meet Bi-Monthly on Thursdays from 3:00-4:30pm for 6 weeks.

Circle Dates:

  • September 10 & 24
  • October 8 & 22
  • November 5 & 19

Click here to view the schedule for 2 other Grieving Together circles.


About Kiersten Gallagher

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. 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 Hooper and Pablo.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Liz Lescault

InterPlay

Could you use more community, support and ease in your life?

In times of stress it is important to stay connected with loved ones, to be in a supportive community, to reach out and to share with others. It is also vital to build our inner connections and strengths that nurture self care, self love and self acceptance.

We will share, reflect and listen deeply to others. We will move, tell our personal stories, laugh, play and sometimes share deeper concerns. We will witness, honor, and celebrate whatever is shared.

During each session we will have time to be in conversation, gaining support and reassurance from others. We will also explore alternative ways of expressing our concerns and moving stress out of our bodies through easeful movement and playful interchange.

We will build opportunities for self expression and creative solutions in our daily lives.


Growing Connections will be offered on October 15 & 29 from 7:00 – 8:15pm ET. Participants are encouraged to attend both sessions.


About Liz Lescault

Liz Lescault, a visual artist and sculptor, has practiced and taught art for over 40 years. Liz is Coordinator of the DC InterPlay Metro Region and is a member of the DC InterPlay Board. Liz leads Open Gathering days for InterPlay DC and organizes and leads workshops regionally and nationally.

Liz melds her art, teaching and personal philosophy with InterPlay wisdom, tools and forms.

Formerly, Liz, was a hotline crisis counselor, for various suicide prevention lifelines and The Trevor Project providing help for LGBTQ youth in crisis.

Liz also led InterPlay for elders with chronic illness and cognitive disabilities at Iona Senior Center up to the Covid shutdown and is looking forward to leading online programs for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts.

https://www.lizlescault.com/home

The Energy Balancing team will offer distance sessions during the regular Thursday times, 1:00-3:00pm. If you wish to receive, please email kiersten@smithcenter.org

with the Energy Balancing Team

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.


By appointment only. Each session will be 1/2 hour.

Time slots:

  • 1:00pm
  • 1:40pm
  • 2:20pm

About the Energy Balancing Team

About 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 virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Yael Flusberg, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, RMT, MS

Enjoy a greater sense of well-being and enhanced energy in our gentle yoga classes. Learn various yoga postures, techniques in progressive relaxation, breathing practices, and meditation to help reduce stress, as well as balance mind, body, and spirit. Our classes are specifically designed for adults facing stress, cancer, or other illness and are open to anyone interested in attending. All levels are welcome.

And, check out Yael’s regular contribution to CONNECT, “Nurturing Resilience,” on our YouTube channel!


Yael’s Gentle Yoga Class Meets Weekly on Tuesdays from 6:00pm – 7:15pm.

In addition, our yoga classes are listed with the National MS Society and we welcome patients and caregivers of those with multiple sclerosis to our gentle yoga classes.

Our programs are also open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25


About Yael Flusberg

Yael Flusberg Gentle Yoga Instructor Smith Center
Yael Flusberg first came to yoga hoping she could get rid of stuff, namely the ways life’s stresses and traumas had become painfully embodied. Fifteen years and thousands of layers of release later, yoga continues to teach her how to make strategic, creative, and life-nourishing choices. Trained as an integrative yoga therapist, Yael’s classes blend active with receptive states of being, and are both insightful and lighthearted. Off the mat, she is a coach, writer and energy therapist. Since 2005, Yael has taught yoga classes at area hospitals, libraries, workplaces, schools, and yoga studios. As an integrative yoga therapist (E-RYT500) she facilitates both group and individual yoga therapy sessions, working with people dealing with a variety of conditions including cancer, digestive disorders, diabetes, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, hypertension, mental health challenges (including depression, anxiety, grief and trauma), rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, and sports injuries. She currently teaches a weekly therapeutic class for people living with cancer and their caregivers on GW’s campus. More info: www.yaelflusberg.com

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Beth Lawrence, RYT 500

Our chair yoga practice will connect body and mind. You are invited to relax deeply as we move through a series of gentle seated and supported poses that promote self-care. All levels welcome.


Our Chair Yoga classes meet each Tuesday afternoon from 12:00 – 1:00pm.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Beth Lawrence

Beth discovered yoga in early 2002 as a mother of six month old twins. She was looking to get back into shape after their birth. In yoga, she found far more than she anticipated- an age old practice designed to help people relieve stress- both mental and physical. After a few years of regular practice, she knew she wanted to share her positive experiences with others. She has been leading yoga classes in the DC area since 2007 after completing her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Nth Degree Yoga with Martha Rosen. In 2011, she went back to earn her RYT500. Her personal practice is inspired by Integral Yoga and Sivananda Yoga, both of which incorporate body and mind into the practice.

This event is being hosted virtually via Zoom. In order to participate live and receive the Zoom link, please purchase tickets below or email carla@smithcenter.org.

Join us to celebrate the beauty of life and survivorship. Come enjoy music, poetry and stories performed and shared in honor of cancer survivors, and in memory of our dear friend and colleague, Fatima Djalo Johnson.

Please stay tuned for an updated list of performances, speakers and other fun opportunities!

Fatima Djalo Johnson touched the lives of so many people around the world in countless ways. Her bravery to reach for the stars and to create a life of joy and fulfillment was truly inspiring. Knowing Fatima meant learning to see life through a brighter lens, to face challenges fearlessly, and to never surrender hope. Fatima lost her battle with cancer on February 12, 2019, two days before Valentine’s Day, a reminder to all who knew her to love and live as big as we can and to never take a single day for granted. The 1st Annual Survivor Voices was Fatima’s effort to uplift those who had persevered through cancer. It is our hope that the event will live on in her honor and carry her light for years to come. 


In honor of what would have been Fatima’s 31st birthday this year, tickets to Survivor Voices are available in increments of $31. Please be as generous as you can.