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Mindfulness and Intimacy

Connecting deeply with self and others

How do we cultivate and sustain fulfilling intimate relationships? True intimacy with another begins with caring for one’s self, something many of us lose sight of when we’re busy parenting children, building our careers, engaging in new romance or dealing with divorce, grief or loss. Mindfulness practice offers us the opportunity for deep listening.. “Who am I and what do I want?”. Intimacy training gives us tools to reclaim our sense of self and build a greater capacity for relationship.

Intimacy begins with knowing yourself…

Body awareness meditation, voice, artwork, movement and storytelling are valuable techniques that affirm our spiritual nature, allowing connection to a deeper knowing. From this place we can awaken to our unconscious patterning, learn to let go of behaviors that no longer serve us and cultivate a more intimate life.

I invite you to explore my site to learn more about the work I do,  both through residential retreats for women and couples and personal or couple sessions.

All of my group programs are full for 2016/17. I will soon post dates for 2018, including both residential weekends and non-residential full day programs in Vancouver and Naramata, BC.

with love and gratitude,

Nancy

 

 

Mindfulness and Intimacy for Women ~ Hollyhock Retreat Centre July 26-31st, 2013

Please join me this summer for a extraordinary opportunity to go deeper into this work in the nurturing company of other women. Deepa Narayan and myself will be co-facilitating at Hollyhock Retreat Centre, a life-long learning institute on beautiful Cortes Island.  This 6 day residential workshop will be completely experiential and allow us to discover new ways of relating to ourselves, others and our lives. Deepa and I will be teaching only what we have learned in our own lives and through the past decades of training.

 

 

If you have ever felt, “if only…why doesn’t he/she change…life isn’t fair…I wish…I am afraid…
I am not responsible for this.. I want more out of life….”, come and join us!

Deepa and I are committed to creating a judgment free space for women from all walks of life to explore  what holds us back from a fully authentic and intimate life. We will be using many different modes of creative expression to wake us up to trying on new behaviors. We also guarantee lots of laughter and fun.

Hollyhock is a special place and because we have 6 days to work together, there is time to wander the beach, go kayaking or take advantage of the wonderful bodyworkers.

Register NOW!

Any questions about accommodation and transportation can be addressed to Hollyhock staff. If you want to know more about the workshop, please contact me directly.

Read more about Women’s Retreats

View from the deck at Hollyhock

Enjoy a garden tour

Meditation Sanctuary

Naked Option; a last resort

A few weeks ago, my stepdaughter Claire sent me the link to a deeply moving documentary called “Naked Option; a last resort”.  Recently chosen by the Athena Film Festival as one of the 10 Movies that can change the world, the film chronicles the banding together of women in Nigeria’s Niger Delta to fight against the economic, social and environmental devastation resulting from the presence of multi-national oil companies on their homeland.  After years of silent suffering and watching the efforts of the village men failing, the women threaten, as a “last resort” to strip themselves naked in public, violating one of most serious cultural taboos.

Women of the Niger Delta

Watching the film I experienced many feelings, including rage and deep grief over the suffering of these people. “How can this STILL be happening?” I cried.  (link to film below)

The next morning, during in my meditation, my mind returned to the scenes in the film. I tried to pull back and witness my reaction to the film. I’ve learned that when something on the “outside” hits me in such a powerful way, I need to use it as an opportunity to ask, “How am I like each of the characters in this drama?” Thich Nhat Hanh, in his famous poem, Please Call Me By My True Names, teaches us how all human experience weaves together into a single tapestry of the whole. All that we may consider beautiful, horrible, positive and negative, is found within oneself, if you are willing to take a look.

Please Call Me By My True Names

Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow-even today I am still arriving.
Look deeply: ever second I am arriving to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings, learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that is alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake that silently feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old-girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.
I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labour camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my truse names, so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

——————————————-

So, I ask myself, “How am I like that multinational oil company?”

We may try to only invest in socially responsible businesses, and yet, do I really know how the people are treated in the factory where my running shoes and cell phone are made? And how about the raw materials that go into the creation of my wonderfully fuel efficient little Prius? Is the health of someone’s drinking water being compromised?

With increasing regularity, I see pages of Facebook “complaints” about the state of the  world that leave me hungry for personal ideas and self-reflection. How can I/we be more mindful of our OWN actions and responsibility for our world? How can we expect to change if we think Monsanto’s behaviour has no relationship to our own?

The women of Nigeria have been afraid to speak up, afraid of the violence, rejection or abandonment that might result from taking a stand, especially in the face of the masculine. How are they different from women living in a world of privilege? Learning how to speak up has been one of my biggest life challenges. I can say the same for many of the woman I have worked with.

It takes courage and conviction to suspend our judgment of our self and others long enough to find our compassionate nature. As far as I can tell, it’s the only route that can lead to personal and subsequently, global, change.

So thanks, Claire, for helping to remind me to keep asking the difficult questions of myself and encouraging others to do the same.

The Naked Option- Click here to watch the film.

A New Direction for MTI

Mortifee Training Inc. was co-created by Nancy and Peter Mortifee in 2006.

Nancy and Peter are married with four daughters between them and live in Vancouver & Naramata, British Columbia. When they met, Peter, a physician, specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation and Nancy an educator and author,  began  a five year intensive Intimacy Training and apprenticeship with Naomi and Douglas Moseley (The Moseley Method). They went on to study Gestalt Awareness Practice with Christine Price at the Esalen Institute and then began to share what they had learned with individuals and couples. They brought over 100 years of life experience to their practice.

Over the next few years, Nancy’s focus began to shift towards working with women and in particular, women in groups, creating the Healing the Feminine Women’s weekend retreats. Peter’s passion for social finance and governance structure, has also led him to exciting new projects, including becoming a member of the Ashoka Foundation Support Network and director of the Trust for Sustainable Forestry. Peter also is very active with the MANKIND PROJECT. (MKP) where men are supported in their deeper journey inwards.

NB: “I have witnessed first hand the transformative power of the Mankind Project, both in Peter’s life and the life of dear friends and colleagues. I highly recommend women encourage the men they love to check it out… Nancy

Together with Peter’s sister, Ann Mortifee and her husband, Paul Horn, Nancy and Peter are also directors and stewards of the
Somerset Foundation.