Workshops

Our line-up for the 2018 Women’s Gathering:

Herbalism Basics Unfamiliar with using common plants for their medicinal properties? We will be discussing some introductory concepts in herbalism including different remedy preparations, safe and sustainable harvesting practices and commonly found and cultivated plants. If you have some herbal knowledge, please come and join the discussion too! – Alexis

Love and Understanding We all have judgements. Especially in a diverse group, judgements will come up about others. This workshop looks at our judgements as a way of expressing something about ourselves and not about someone else. Silently whispering our judgements about others tends to harm our connections, when what we need is communication, empathy and compassion. How to really listen for what a person is saying about themselves and help them be seen and express what they need. Finding ways to better support one another and staying in a heart-connected space of empathy and love. Not as a way to sweep differences or disagreements under the rug, but as a way to make it safe for all parties to get to the root of them. – Renee

Building Sisterhood and Community through Song Singing together is a way of growing bonds of affinity. Joining voices in a common spirit generates a resonance of bodies, hearts, and minds. In this workshop, we’ll sing a lively mix of songs in collaborative formats that activate relationships and build community. We’ll give voice to songs that are catchy, inspiring and easily learned: songs of celebration and of comfort, feisty songs, enchanting songs. We’ll call and respond, harmonize, improvise, and listen closely together. – Cleo and Aurora

Shamanic Journey: Guided Meditation Practice grounding and connecting with our Mother Earth Sprit. Relax and learn to set protections around yourself while transforming a negative thought pattern into an empowering affirmation. – Flame

Let’s Go Out(side) Join your sisters for a journey through the outdoors as we discover deeper connections with each other and nature. This workshop is designed with partners in mind– come solo or with a partner. We will explore place and people with fun trust and communication exercises. If you have never taken a camera-less photo, met a tree, or built a fairy house before– now is your chance to do it with friends! This workshop includes taking a short hike and doing other physical activities. – Nadia

The Disappearing Woman As we continue the fight for women’s reproductive, economic, and civil rights we encounter the disappearance of the sex class “Woman.” Definitions of what it is to be a woman are changing. We will discuss how language is changing, and some of the positive and negative reactions. How does this affect our struggle to be seen as full humans? What does it mean to be a feminist in changing times? After introducing the subject this workshop will primarily be a discussion. We will try to stay focused on the needs of women and all that we share in common. – Stride and Donna

Do bees even have knees?Learn about the fascinating world of female-led honey bee hives! Focused on bee biology rather than beekeeping techniques, this workshop explains how bees really work, covering topics such as reproduction, communication, basic anatomy and social structure. Includes plenty of fun facts to tell your friends. – Taryn

Up Close and Personal Many women never have the opportunity to take a mindful, clinical look at the amazing range of yonis that are ours. The workshop will include talking and sharing experiences, and also, as the title implies, an opportunity for us to get “up close and personal,” taking turns observing with awareness and curiosity the main different shapes and sizes of our external genitalia. It’s also fine to come to simply observe and not participate in the interactive part of the workshop. Participants need to have a vagina to participate, even if you are only going to observe. Please arrive on time; once the workshop has begun, it will be closed to latecomers. – Valerie

Construction Basics: Measuring, Marking and Cutting For those of us who didn’t get to grow up using tools and building things, learning the basics of carpentry can be daunting indeed. This workshop will start at the very beginning: how to measure, mark, and cut material accurately and safely. Never fear: it will be assumed that you have absolutely no prior knowledge whatsoever! If you enjoy the workshop and would like to get more hands-on experience, please join us for a small building project on Monday after the conference; time and place TBA. All materials, tools and safety gear provided. – Nina

Trans 101 This workshop is focused on terminology, basic information, etiquette, ideas on how to respond to being informed you’re mispronouncing someone, and how to avoid accidentally using offensive language. – Julia & Taiga

Basic Self-Defense We women are mental warriors in this fight against unfair systems! Unfortunately, our identity as such often means we find ourselves in unsafe situations that may require us to engage in physical violence. Learn a bit of basic self-defense, like how to escape a bear hug, how to escape arm, wrist, and choke holds, how to easily assume an effective fighting stance, and how to strike hard with hands, elbows, and legs to leave your mark on an aggressor. We will also discuss safety measures to prevent the escalation of a situation. No experience required. People with active skin conditions are dissuaded from participating. Content warning for assault survivors due to the nature of some aggressive moves (like grabs and chokeholds). – Maddie

Dorodango: Shining Earth Crossroads – Use your hands and simple tools to shape earth and water into a dense, gleaming sphere, or Hikaru Dorodango (“shining mud dumpling”). This meditative activity is a traditional Japanese art, passed down by children at play over many generations. Naturally, this is an all-ages workshop, but if you are 7 or younger, please bring an adult friend. This workshop will need a second, shorter, follow-up session of about 30-60 minutes, currently planned for the 9-10am timeslot on Sunday morning (between breakfast and workshops). Lindsey is willing to meet with some participants at a different time if needed. The details for this can be worked out with her. – Lindsey

Trauma Informed Care & Wellness Recovery Action PlanThis will be an educational and interactive workshop. We will look at trauma through the lens of trauma informed care (TIC), tracing trauma through our lives, and create our own wellness recovery action plan (WRAP) based on self-reflection. We will not be getting into specific acts of trauma or details of trauma. This is simply looking at trauma through the lens of trauma informed care and learning about trauma from an educational point of view and then applying it to our own wellness. TIC and WRAP are both evidence-based therapeutic interventions to assist folks in healing from trauma and getting and staying well mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. – Erin

African Drumming Come join us for an afternoon session of hand drumming! We’ll start by going over the three basic hits used in djembe drumming, and we’ll work out parts for 2 or 3 songs for the sharing stage Saturday night. All experience levels are welcome. Bring your own drum if you have it, or use one from our limited selection. – Amy

Couples massage We will be exchanging massage with each other while talking about comfort and communication. This can be clothed or whatever folks are comfortable with. No need to bring a partner, but you can if you want to. – Spice

Improv for Beginners Join us for this workshop if you love to play! Or, join us if you forgot how to play and want to get back in touch with that part of you that misses it! Improvisational theater is all about opening to the present moment and embracing the idea that there really is no wrong way to show up in the world. We will play games that create imaginary characters and environments. – Meghann

Acu-Detox This acupuncture based Acu-Detox Program started out about 30 years ago in New York as detox from heroin instead of methadone, then moved all over the country. The protocol showed positive results in drug courts with all different kinds of addiction. The Acu-Detox program has shown to be helpful to people in crisis situations such as post 9/11, after Hurricane Katrina and during the disaster in Haiti. It has been shows to help people sleep so they can process what is happening to them. Participants will be offered to experience this protocol first-hand so they can encourage their mental health and substance use providers to integrate the program. – Thea

Unplug yourself: Life off the Grid What is it really like to live off the grid, using energy from the sun and eating food from the land? While many of us dream of getting free from dependence on the capitalist system, we think of homesteading and off-grid living as male-dominated spheres. Yet around the world, women have always been the ones who grew and processed the food, carried the water, collected the firewood. After six years of living off the grid, Debbie believes that what the revolution needs is for more women to connect with the land and our energy sources and reclaim our power to provide for ourselves and our communities. At this workshop we will talk about what it’s like to live off the grid, and discuss some steps, big and small, that anyone can take towards unplugging themselves.– Debbie

Change your Language, Change your Life Playing with interactive millings, partner exercises and statues, we’ll explore how words affect emotional reactions. Learn how to change your language to speak with less judgement and more heart. – Joy