Know Yourself, Free Yourself
SELF-EXPLORATION AS A PATH
TO LIBERATION & LOVE
“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” ― Ralph Ellison
Since the day that you were born (and perhaps even before that), you have been gathering information about how you should behave, who you should associate with, which rules you should follow, which parts of your identity are safe in your culture, and how you can best gain safety and belonging in your family and community of origin. Largely unconsciously, you transformed this information into an operating system that has been guiding your behaviour, choices and relationships ever since. It’s the way you learned how to survive.
Imagine you own a self-driving car and every day you simply climb into the passenger seat and let the car choose your destination. Perhaps you don’t like a lot of the destinations the car chooses, but you have no idea how to disrupt the operating system and get back into the driver’s seat.
In this course, you’ll examine your operating system so that you can live a more liberated and intentional life.
To know yourself is to set yourself free.
To know yourself is to tell the truth – to yourself and others.
To know yourself is to recognize the systems that are holding you back and the ways in which your patterns of behaviour reflect those systems.
To know yourself is to acknowledge the ways that you might have abandoned yourself and others.
To know yourself is to open yourself to love.
In this course, you will discover tools and practices that will help you explore what’s driving you, and how you can live a more liberated life with more liberated relationships. Like an explorer setting out to discover new landscapes, you’ll equip yourself with a back-pack full of resources and insights that will be useful on the journey so that you’re more ready for what shows up.
This will not always be an easy journey we’re inviting you on. Self-exploration can sometimes feel painful and you might occasionally feel lost and overwhelmed with what you discover. Plus self-exploration can be complicated because it also requires of you that you witness your own shadow and see the roles you play in the systems within which you live. That’s why we want to help you find the resources and support so that you’ll feel more equipped and less alone when the hard parts of the journey come.
The intention of this course is to:
- Support people as they discover and learn to free themselves from old beliefs, social conditioning, trauma, etc.;
- Reveal and challenge the harmful systems that hold people back and explore how liberation expands beyond oneself;
- Support people as they discover how to make their own unique contributions to a more liberated and just world;
- Give people a sense of community as they explore who they really are; and
- Help people see their own beauty and find their joy.
Because we believe so deeply that learning to understand and hold space for yourself not only sets you free but also helps you to be in more liberated and loving relationships and communities, we have created this course to help you in that process. We are not the experts in knowing you – you are – we are simply here to be your companions and to help guide you in how to peel back the layers so that you can see yourself more clearly. We want to see you live more liberated lives so that together we can work toward a more liberated and just world.
“I’m not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you.” ― George Bernard Shaw
We have gathered a circle of wise guides and fellow travellers who’ve been on this self-exploration journey and who know something about what it takes to find liberation and love. As a participant of this course, you’ll have access to interviews with all of these wise guides who we know will inspire and encourage you. Some of them have expertise on particular topics, and many of them have well-honed practices that you can learn from.
Rowen White is a Seed Keeper/farmer from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for indigenous seed and food sovereignty. She is part of a collective movement to reseed imaginations of a more nourishing future through uplifting and mentoring emerging changemakers, visionaries, community members, creative humans who are making life-affirming contributions at the intersections of the landscape of food sovereignty and cultural revitalization. She believes through the power of cultivating creative supportive learning spaces, by reclaiming narratives and practicing radical imagination we can work together to seed the change for a more equitable. relational, and kin-centric food system that centers a deep sense of belonging and connection.
Tu Bears is on an earnest path of inner guidance through ceremony, meditation, self-exploration, and writing. She continues to study Indigenous history, world-Shamanism, quantum cultures, changing possibilities through thought-mind-mastery of our language, and global-dimensional paradigm transformations. She is a writer, an artist, and an oracle.
Tu Bears is a guide for seekers along their personal journey of self-discovery and authenticity. She creates ritual, ceremony, and dreamtime concepts for each individual. Tu Bears believes that each person is traveling a cosmic path of their own essential consciousness and is here to contribute to our future generations.
Chara Caruthers is a passionate and outspoken voice for the power of living your truth. An international teacher, speaker, advocate and mentor for women’s wellness, she has inspired and motivated a global community of women of all ages to live juicier and more connected lives by embracing the principles of yoga and Ayurveda.
Dr Robin Youngson is a former medical specialist and international health leader now working full-time as a trauma therapist. He is a Certified Havening Practitioner and Trainer using the latest advances in neuroscience to help clients rapidly recover from trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and relationship problems. He will share his own journey of healing and how the brain can completely release trauma, in a few minutes, in a gentle and fun process.
Michael Keller is a Canadian innovative consultant, catalyst, educator and ‘designer’ of transformative learning in human systems…developing the artistry of designing which enables people to innovate and adapt to emerging complex challenges while maximizing the fit between people, resources, and sustainable living – co-creating a world where people want to belong.
Idelette McVicker is the author of Recovering Racists: Dismantling White Supremacy and Reclaiming Our Humanity and founder of SheLoves Media Society. She was born as a white, Afrikaans woman in South Africa during the apartheid years, which profoundly shaped her quest for Love, justice, liberation and repair. You can find her at idelette.com, or on Instagram at @idelettemcvicker
Christina Baldwin is one of the founding voices in the modern journal writing movement, publishing classic books in this field since 1977, including the classics, Life’s Companion, Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice, and Storycatcher, Making Sense of our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story. Now in her 70’s, she is an emerita leader in the field of writing and story.
Desiree Adaway is a consultant, trainer, coach and speaker building resilient, equitable, and inclusive organizations. Desiree is the person who says the thing, who runs towards difficult conversations. She is an expert at teaching others how to handle complex, charged conversations (particularly around identity and power) with grace, assertiveness, and transparency.
Jennifer Price Davis is an artist living and working in Cleveland, OH USA. Her work centers primarily on social justice topics, the glorious and ordinary experiences of Black women and girls, and making space for play and community.
Pace Smith is co-host of The Dervish and the Mermaid, a podcast about living wholeheartedly, pathfinding, the Enneagram, feminism & activism for sensitive people, self-love & body love, and plenty more! Pace is a Sufi, a bridger, a pan poly trans DDR player, and a 3. You can find her at PaceSmith.com.
Jena Schwartz is a poet and coach who works with people who want to experience greater ease, authenticity, and courage in writing and in life. She believes that practice, self-compassion, inquiry, joy, and community are all essential aspects of the creative process. A mother of two, Jena lives in Western Massachusetts with her spouse.
Nam Pham enjoys his career facilitating community processes that enhance social cohesion, mental resourcefulness and belonging in Viet Nam. He works in depth with The Circle Way and aspires to nurture larger (and larger) islands of sanity around this approach.
Dr. Jo Ann Unger, C.Psych. provides treatment and consultation services through her private practice as well as treatment, consultation and assessment services through a public health position. She has many years of experience and training in using a variety of psychotherapy models with children, families, couples and adults. These include cognitive behaviour therapy, client-centred therapy, mindfulness-based approaches, emotion-focused therapy for couples, dialectical-behaviour therapy, attachment theory and family systems theory.
In addition, she offers workshops for community members and training to professionals on a variety of topics.
Dr. Unger is currently President of the Manitoba Psychological Society and is using this position to advocate for better access to psychologists in Manitoba.
Krista Folkers dela Rosa is the co-founder of the Centre for Holding Space. She is also Leadership Coordinator at Good News Fellowship Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Krista often jokes that she is a ‘community evangelist’ and is passionate about leaning into, learning about, and intentionally growing complex, justice-and-mercy seeking, loving communities.
Saleha Alshehri was born and raised in Saudi Arabia where she got her name, skin colour, and collectivist worldviews. She’s a therapist trying to offer safe spaces for people to honour their stories and reach their inner selves. She’s a proud mother and her favourite memories are with her kids doing ordinary life stuff. She finds joy in real communication with people and in deep conversations.
Mary Scholl revels in serving educators and community leaders in their learning and work. She encourages and explores ways of sourcing and weaving empathy, presence, listening, creativity, and curiosity into leadership and teaching practices so that the social-emotional aspect of being and learning supports and complements the rest of what is happening in our classrooms and communities. Born in the USA, based in Costa Rica, Mary is grateful for the opportunity to work in many countries around the world as well as from her front porch accompanied by her dogs, birds, insects and neighbors.
Once a week for eight weeks (starting every Spring – stay tuned for specific 2023 dates), we’ll gather on Zoom with you so that we can talk about what we’re discovering on our journeys of self-exploration. You’ll be part of an international community of people who, like you, long for liberation and love and who are willing to do the hard work to find it and live it.
As a framework for this course, we’ll be using an updated version of the allegorical story that Heather wrote a few years ago, The Girl in the Velcro Dress. This story is about discovering that you can set yourself free from the layers of expectations, pain, bias, trauma, old beliefs, etc. that you have inherited, that have been imposed on you, and/or that you’ve picked up along the way.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and
you will call it fate.” ― C.G. Jung
What this course includes:
A workbook with twelve lessons (outline below). Each lesson contains written content, video content, journal/creative/somatic prompts, and additional resources on the topic.
Sixteen interviews with our wise guides and fellow travellers.
Eight weekly interactive Zoom calls where we’ll discuss that week’s lesson(s) and give you opportunity for conversation and practice.
A private community space on Mighty Networks for ongoing conversation with other participants.
Click here for a lesson outline
Note: Each of these lessons is meant to be an introduction into a deep topic that could be a course all on its own. We will provide you with an entry-point and then give suggestions for additional resources to help you dig deeper.
1. Exploring You – Introductory Concepts – How can self-exploration support your quest for liberation and love?
2. Exploring Practices that Work for You – Which self-exploration practices and forms of play (journaling, art-making, somatics, mindfulness, etc.) will help resource you for this journey?
3. Exploring Emotions – How can a Practice of Tenderness support you as you hold space for your own emotions?
4. Exploring Stress & Trauma – How do you respond to stress? How is trauma held in your body?
5. Exploring Your Lineage – What have you inherited from your lineage and how does that impact the way you live, behave, and make choices?
6. Exploring Your Beliefs – What beliefs have you inherited and which do you choose to hang onto or let go of?
7. Exploring Relationship Patterns – What are the patterns that show up in your relationships and how might witnessing that help you evolve?
8. Exploring Biases – What biases have you inherited, been taught, or adopted along the way? Which ones need disrupting?
9. Exploring Decolonization – How might decolonization change the way you treat yourself and others?
10. Exploring Liberation – What would change in your life if you were more free?
11. Exploring Love – How does love (of others and self) help to liberate you?
12. Exploring Joy – What if joy (a deep and embodied kind, that knows how to co-exist with grief) could be the guide for your life?
Once you register, you’ll receive a link to the course page on Mighty Networks where you’ll be able to access the lessons and video interviews.
The weekly Zoom calls (which will all be recorded, in case you can’t make it) will take place on Wednesdays starting in Spring 2023 (stay tuned for specific dates). To accommodate multiple time zones for our international audience, we will offer two call times each Wednesday – 10 a.m. central and 7 p.m. central. (Compare your time zone to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to find out when it is for you.)
Heather Plett is the author of the book The Art of Holding Space: A Practice of Love, Liberation, and Leadership and the co-founder of the international Centre for Holding Space. She is an international speaker, facilitator, writer, and life-long learner whose work has been translated into a dozen languages and quoted in such notable publications as Harvard Business Review. She has trained people from six continents, both in person and online. Before launching her work in holding space, Heather worked in leadership and communications in government and non-profit.
Moze Crozier has worked and played in the human service sector supporting and serving people for over 20 years from direct support work to management and academia, as well as a lived experience as a parent of children with unique needs. Her calling is to work with people who are curious about each other and themselves. She is a Holding Space practitioner where she is continually drawn to and amazed at the power of processes and methodologies, like circle, that invite people to bring their best authentic self to result in lasting positive internal and external changes. She provides individual coaching in personal or work contexts where her approach is informed by the principles and practices of holding space, and particularly the work of Heather Plett through her Holding Space programs. She is an aspiring writer, sharing learnings and insights into practices associated with love.
Tammi Scott is on the threshold of early retirement from the corporate world and is steadily building a life which honors an evolving soul path of openhearted growth, healing, and facilitating healthy meaningful connection. She is a writer, a yoga teacher and student, a facilitator and community support for an online sobriety organization, and after completing The Holding Space Foundation Program in 2021, she considers herself a practitioner and student of holding space as well.
As part of our commitment to greater equity and accessibility for our global audience, we invite you to choose the level of payment that works for you. (All prices in CAD. Options will be available when you click on “Register Now”.)
Still have questions?
Who is this program designed for?
This program is designed for anyone who wishes deeper understanding of themselves, their behaviour patterns, their beliefs, their relationships, and their place within their culture. It will also be helpful for anyone who works in a profession in which they need to support other people (teacher, coach, pastor, leader, health care professional, etc.).
Do I need to attend live or will there be recordings of the calls?
All Zoom calls will be recorded, so if you can’t attend or you prefer to watch videos, you can access them after the calls.
How are you making the course accessible for those with unique needs?
Accommodations that will be incorporated into the program are:
- video interviews will be captioned
- video interviews will also be available as audio-only recordings
- close captioning will be available on Zoom calls
- all text-based lessons will also be available as audio recordings
- all group participation is consent-based – you can attend calls in listen-only mode
If there are additional accommodations that will help to make this course accessible to you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's your refund policy?
Refunds will be available up to the first week of course start, minus a 10% admin. fee.
Do I attend both calls each week or just one?
Choose the call that works best for you each week and attend only one. (The other call will contain the same content, conversation prompts, etc.) If you wish, you can watch the recording of the other call later, but to keep the group numbers manageable, we’d prefer if you’d only attend one.
“Heather Plett is a gentle, caring soul with the capacity to support and hold space while you navigate your journey (both personal and professional) to a better self.”
– Abby Mosher, Founder/Executive Director, Tomorrow’s Rainbow, Inc.