with David “Lucky” Goff & Wendy Miller

Smith Center began offering an online Healing Circle via Zoom in the spring of 2019 with David “Lucky” Goff and Wendy Miller. Those who have been most gravely tested by life have the most loss, and potentially the most to gain. Yet it is in how we respond to these conditions – which come in many complex and subtle forms such as grief, illness, injury, injustice, war, and other unknown heartbreaks – that defines us and defines our life.

This bi-monthly circle is an opportunity to create a cyberspace community, connecting with others as we learn to grow through the hardships we have experienced in life, not in spite of them, but because of them. Healing becomes a by-product from our shared culture of community, connection, and mystery. In such a community, our flames of creativity can be lit, as we discover ourselves as more sensitized and adaptive human beings.

This Healing Circle meets online on Wednesdays twice per month from 1:30pm – 3:00pm EST / 10:30am-12:00pm PST. 

Pre-registration is required prior to attending your first group and receiving Zoom connection information.  Please RSVP via the link above or to Kiersten at 202.483.8600 / kiersten@smithcenter.org.


About David Goff

David “Lucky” Goff, Ph.D., M.F.T., served as adjunct faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where he employed large group processes to promote community and personal development. David also assists organizations, including therapeutic and spiritual communities, in their quests to create and sustain genuine community. His research into the “psychological sense of community” is the first to examine and describe the conditions that facilitate collective consciousness.  In 2003 David had a brain aneurism. As a result of his stroke, and the onset of a rare brain syndrome, he nearly died and ended up permanently disabled. This experience had a transformational effect on David, which made him “Lucky,” and cued him into how radically connected all things are. This broader awareness now informs his approach toward what it means to be human. He maintains a psychotherapy practice specializing in psycho-spiritual development. He also writes extensively about a psychology of interdependence, community, elders and the conditions that lead to a social and ecological sense of connection. He can be reached at dg1140@sonic.net.

About Wendy Miller

Moving here many years ago from the SF Bay Area, my relationship with Commonweal led me to Barbara Smith Coleman. I am proud to have been part of an early group of people with Shanti Norris who met with Barbara to envision the cancer retreats, a healing center, and gallery for Smith Center. Years later when my late husband Gene Cohen was facing metastatic prostate cancer, he went to Commonweal for his cancer retreat.  The gift of community support, reflection, and care guided the choices we made through the many years of living with cancer in our family body. I became a widow in 2009.

Wendy Miller is an expressive arts therapist, artist, and writer living in Kensington Md. In 2016, she published the book, Sky Above Clouds: Finding our way through creativity, aging, and illness, about her life and work with her late husband.  It is a spiritual treatise on love and creativity during life’s major transitions. Wendy Miller can be reached at wendmiller1@gmail.com.

with Evolyn Brooks

Make a luxury intention candle, personalize your creations with crystals, flowers and glitter at this beautifully tablescaped setting. After the event, this special candle designed by you, will serve as a gentle reminder of the promise you made to call forth love, luck and grace in all aspects of your life!

In this 90 minute workshop you will learn:

  • The difference between a goal and an intention.
  • How to set new life goals and intentions that support your aspirations.
  • How to create an intention candle that adds positive energy to your life and home, supports your goals and serves as a reminder to pursue what’s best for you in life.
  • How to practice kindness and compassion for yourself as you pursue your dreams.
  • How to release emotional blocks and thought patterns that no longer serve you.
  • How to create a daily mantra that connects you with the highest version of yourself.
  • How to center yourself with breath work, healing touch and the five reiki precepts.

Suggested Donation: $25

 

About Evolyn Brooks

In My Solitude LA began with the heartfelt desire of Founder and TV Producer, Evolyn Brooks to create a luxury, handcrafted candle, wellness goods and lifestyle line to help women relax and practice self-care.

As a breast cancer survivor and thriver, Evolyn shares through her book, “Her Name Is Cranberry,” a message of how to overcome obstacles and create the life of your dreams. She brings her ideas to life through intention based “self-discovery through DIY” candle making experiences around the world.

She created and used the Journey Candle Collection, a project she began to support her healing process while undergoing chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. “The Journey Candle Collection can be used to overcome any subconscious mental or spiritual blocks that diminish your power to focus on an area of your life that needs to be healed,” says Evolyn. By clarifying the intention and outcome you want in your life, it’s easier to claim your desire and create it with power and confidence.”

In My Solitude LA is a female owned, Los Angeles based company that is dedicated to creating mindful products and experiences. https://www.inmysolitudela.com/

with Kiersten Gallagher

Creative expression has often been used in the healing process and it is at the core of Smith Center’s philosophy, but fear of judgment and “not being an artist” can often prevent us from tapping into its healing power. Join us for Outside the Lines, where a facilitator will help you reclaim art-making as a healing tool through guided creative projects. Participants who feel comfortable working on their own projects are also welcome to do so. Our extensive collection of supplies is available for all to use.

This series is held twice each month on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:30pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • May 20
  • June 10 (Creative Journaling: Surviving and Thriving)
  • June 24

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.

Suggested donation: $10 per class


About Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. Please register here to receive the Zoom link to participate.

with Jennifer Bires, LICSW

This bi-monthly support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer. Please RSVP at (202) 483-8600.

Our Cancer Support Group meets bi-monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • May 18 (online)
  • June 1
  • June 15
  • July 6
  • July 20
  • August 3
  • August 17
  • September 14
  • September 28

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

with David “Lucky” Goff & Wendy Miller

Smith Center began offering an online Healing Circle via Zoom in the spring of 2019 with David “Lucky” Goff and Wendy Miller. Those who have been most gravely tested by life have the most loss, and potentially the most to gain. Yet it is in how we respond to these conditions – which come in many complex and subtle forms such as grief, illness, injury, injustice, war, and other unknown heartbreaks – that defines us and defines our life.

This bi-monthly circle is an opportunity to create a cyberspace community, connecting with others as we learn to grow through the hardships we have experienced in life, not in spite of them, but because of them. Healing becomes a by-product from our shared culture of community, connection, and mystery. In such a community, our flames of creativity can be lit, as we discover ourselves as more sensitized and adaptive human beings.

This Healing Circle meets online on Wednesdays twice per month from 1:30pm – 3:00pm EST / 10:30am-12:00pm PST. 

Pre-registration is required prior to attending your first group and receiving Zoom connection information.  Please RSVP via the link above or to Kiersten at 202.483.8600 / kiersten@smithcenter.org.


About David Goff

David “Lucky” Goff, Ph.D., M.F.T., served as adjunct faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where he employed large group processes to promote community and personal development. David also assists organizations, including therapeutic and spiritual communities, in their quests to create and sustain genuine community. His research into the “psychological sense of community” is the first to examine and describe the conditions that facilitate collective consciousness.  In 2003 David had a brain aneurism. As a result of his stroke, and the onset of a rare brain syndrome, he nearly died and ended up permanently disabled. This experience had a transformational effect on David, which made him “Lucky,” and cued him into how radically connected all things are. This broader awareness now informs his approach toward what it means to be human. He maintains a psychotherapy practice specializing in psycho-spiritual development. He also writes extensively about a psychology of interdependence, community, elders and the conditions that lead to a social and ecological sense of connection. He can be reached at dg1140@sonic.net.

About Wendy Miller

Moving here many years ago from the SF Bay Area, my relationship with Commonweal led me to Barbara Smith Coleman. I am proud to have been part of an early group of people with Shanti Norris who met with Barbara to envision the cancer retreats, a healing center, and gallery for Smith Center. Years later when my late husband Gene Cohen was facing metastatic prostate cancer, he went to Commonweal for his cancer retreat.  The gift of community support, reflection, and care guided the choices we made through the many years of living with cancer in our family body. I became a widow in 2009.

Wendy Miller is an expressive arts therapist, artist, and writer living in Kensington Md. In 2016, she published the book, Sky Above Clouds: Finding our way through creativity, aging, and illness, about her life and work with her late husband.  It is a spiritual treatise on love and creativity during life’s major transitions. Wendy Miller can be reached at wendmiller1@gmail.com.

with Susi Wyss

Tap into the healing properties of nature in a playful, supportive environment in this spring-themed writing workshop led by a therapeutic writing facilitator. Weather permitting, we will write under the stars on the Center’s rooftop; otherwise, we’ll bring nature indoors.

No writing experience necessary, just an open mind.

All materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring any journals or notebooks that you would like to use.

Suggested Donation: $20

 

About Susi Wyss

Susi Wyss is a public health professional, author, therapeutic writing facilitator and—most of all—a believer in the healing power of words. Her public health career has spanned more than 25 years, most of it addressing women’s health in Africa. She is the author of The Civilized World, a novel set in Africa that was named “A Book to Pick Up Now” by Oprah Magazine. In addition to her collaboration with the Smith Center, she has led writing-for-healing workshops at the DC Rape Crisis Center and at Crossings Healing & Wellness in Silver Spring.

with Kimberly Parekh and group

We are a new demand-driven and patient-led in-person and online community support group for young women and men (diagnosed between the age of 18 – 45ish) with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in the DC, MD, and VA area. We have created this group as a means of providing both a safe community support space for people with MBC, as well as peer- led and expert-led information on living with breast cancer. This group is new and independent of any established breast cancer organization, though we are in complete gratitude to the Smith Center for hosting us this calendar year. 

We facilitate our group in a democratic and participatory manner; in essence, our group is your group! Interested new members, kindly contact Kimberly Parekh at kimberlyparekh@yahoo.com for an informal intake before coming to your first meeting.

Upcoming Dates:

  • May 8, 11 AM – 1 PM
  • June 11, 6 – 8 PM
  • July 10, 11 AM – 1 PM
  • August 13, 6 – 8 PM
  • September 11, 11 AM – 1 PM
  • October 8, 6 – 8 PM
  • November 13, 11 AM – 1 PM
  • December 10, 6 – 8 PM (holiday party)

with Sylvia Sturm, EEP-CLP, RM/T

In order to give care, we must remember to take care. Using the Eden Method, this class is designed to introduce caregivers to simple tools for self-care. It will focus on harmonizing and rebalancing the body’s subtle energy systems thrown awry by the challenges of caregiving.

Anxiety, anger, fear, overwhelm, sleeplessness, exhaustion, depression, lack of concentration and health problems are some of the many symptoms brought about by the stress of caregiving and the resulting energy imbalances. Eden Method Techniques to address these imbalances and introduce harmony back into the body’s energy systems are the focus of the class. The techniques are simple tools anyone can use practically anywhere, anytime.

The class is interactive with tools being introduced and then practiced by participants. Dress comfortably!

 

About Sylvia Sturm, EEM-CLP, RM/T

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.

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered
to cancer patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer.

Suggested Donation: $15

 

Upcoming Sessions:

  • May 6 & 27
  • June 10 & 24

 

About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

with Kiersten Gallagher and special guest Muriel Hasbun

barquitos de papel/ paper boats, installation view, American University Museum, Washington, DC, 2008.

Artist and educator Muriel Hasbun will lead a family history workshop. Participants are invited to bring copies of documents and family photos to add their stories to the barquitos de papel collective archive. Hasbun has been gathering migration stories from all over the world since 2006 and invites you to contribute a paper boat with your story as well. In the workshop, we are encouraged to remember, to (re)discover and to claim our individual stories, inscribing them in a communal space. Our barquitos stand on their own as documents of our diverse journeys. They highlight our individuality while gesturing that together, we may find our belonging.

La artista y docente Muriel Hasbun facilitará un taller sobre historia de familia. Los participantes están invitados a traer copias de fotografías y documentos de familia para añadir sus historias al archivo colectivo de barquitos de papel. Hasbun ha estado reuniendo historias de familia de todo el mundo desde el 2006 y les invita a contribuir con su barquito también. En el taller, recordamos, (re)descubrimos y reclamamos nuestras historias personales, y las inscribimos en el espacio comunitario. Nuestros barquitos documentan nuestros viajes diversos. Destacan nuestra individualidad al mismo tiempo que nos demuestran que juntos podremos encontrar nuestro sentido de pertenencia.

Suggested Donation: $15

 

This series is held twice each month on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:30pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • May 6 (The Barquitos de Papel Collective Archive)
  • May 20
  • June 10 (Creative Journaling: Surviving and Thriving)
  • June 24

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 Muriel Hasbun

Muriel Hasbun, artist and educator, founder of Laberinto Projects, explores identity and memory through her work. Recipient of numerous distinctions such as Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Howard Chapnick Grant, Corcoran’s Outstanding Creative Research Faculty Award, Fulbright Scholar Grant. Exhibited and collected internationally: Venice Biennale, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museo del Barrio, Art Museum of the Americas, Bibliothèque Nationale de France. 

About Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.