Means of Exchange: Weekend 2

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Means of Exchange: Weekend 2

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Means of Exchange is a series of relational experiences and experiments. These workshops provide safe spaces where we can practice being vulnerable together and support each other’s personal healing. This series’ focus is on means of exchange that often imply deeply held attachments and can provoke or build upon emotional entanglements.

Sex (physical intimacy, desire and vulnerability), death (endings, attachments, inheritances) and money (resources, sustenance, security and power) are all areas of life which are regularly treated as taboo. Culturally and personally it’s common to avoid open conversations about our deepest feelings. Many of us carry intense embarrassment, shame, fear or confusion. The weight of our own personal histories and the cultures of avoidance many of us live in or come from, leave us with a lack of resources for dealing compassionately and effectively with the complex mix of emotion and trauma that often infuses these topics.

The aim of this series is to illuminate these shadow areas of our lives. Meditation, movement, creative practices, self-reflection and facilitated conversations provide opportunities for healing and transformative integration. We find that in our work together the ways that we previously felt isolated and damaged instead become sites of radical empowerment, vibrant aliveness and truly satisfying intimacy.

Each session is unique and tailored towards the community and environment it is presented in.

Register from this page for the entire weekend. Descriptions and links for individual sessions are below. Each weekend includes different approaches to all three workshops.

Friday, December 1st - 5-10PM
MATTER - 811 E. Burnside, Suite 124

With 8 billion people on the planet and finite resources, we simply cannot continue under the auspice of capitalist expansion. What are our other options though? Could it be that secrets to a sustainable economy have been right under our noses and here on Earth this whole time???

This 2-part event includes a presentation by Renee Sills on how microbes, bacteria, fungi and forest ecologies function at their most basic levels. With inspiration drawn from these natural networks of exchange she'll propose a number of scores and strategies which range from the entirely plausible to the highly fantastical for resource sharing and wealth (re)distribution. At 6PM the gallery will open for First Friday where Renee will be exhibiting research and documentation from her project All Wealth Comes From The Earth.

Register here for the free presentation from 5-6PM (space is limited!)
6pm on, open to the public

Saturday, December 2nd - 2-5PM
North Portland Yoga - 55 N. Farragut St.

Our bodies and their instincts are constantly being manipulated for marketing purposes and control tactics. Many of us have suffered extremely for, and in, our sexual desires and identities. Still more of us carry heavy burdens of shame and fear in our bodies that have simply been inherited from religious and cultural norms which seek to divorce our humanness from our “goodness.” Patriarchy and oppression function in large part by controlling our desires and repressing our empowerment.

Intentional and conscious sexual empowerment goes beyond “sex,” in fact, this kind of work has more to do with how we each carry ourselves as powerful individuals in the world. This is about our vital energy and life force, our ability to assert and advocate for our needs and desires, and our sense of safety and belonging in a world that is largely fearful and asleep to this energy in general. In this session we'll focus on somatic practice and meditation that heals, builds, sustains and balances sexual energy (kundalini.) Throughout the session will be opportunities to write and draw. At the end of the session will be an opportunity for group discussion and co-authoring of a collective statement of intent and/or manifesto for sexual healing.

The space we hold together for this workshop is a safe space that honors all orientations and identities. All the work we do will be focus on the internal and personal experience. Any opportunities for sharing or discussion are optional. I encourage participants to contact me beforehand if I should be aware of any personal biography or trauma that needs special special attention or increased sensitivity. (Click here to register for this event ONLY)

Sunday, December 3rd - 6-9PM
Private Residence - 5503 NE Killingsworth St.

The only sure bets in life are beginnings and endings. And try as we might, we can’t have one without the other. It’s certain that we will all experience the processes of aging, illness and transition for ourselves, family and friends. It’s also certain that for as many happy beginnings as we will have, there will be just as many “small deaths” of ending relationships, aborted or completed projects, and shifting circumstances that require letting go.

For most of us endings are hard. When we face their mystery and completeness we also face the ephemerality of our lives and a plethora of existential questions. At the same time though, endings and change can create exquisite openings and access to profound joy or the “cosmic jokes” of change and non-attachment.

In this session we’ll work with releasing layers of identity. Race, gender, relational roles, "status," and many other identity boxes that chafe and confine will be examined and offered burial (at least as a personal ritual.) The evening's schedule may include some or all of the following: construction of a collaborative altar, reading of eulogies, writing break-up letters, preparing living wills, crying, consoling, burning things and laughing about the bitter-sweet ends. (Click here to register for this event ONLY)