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Elder Women - Past Programs

Elder Women sponsors a variety of programs, workshops and retreats. Here are some previous Elder Women programs. Check here for current program.

2016

Second Tuesday of the month, 11:30 am-2:00 pm
THE ART OF CONSCIOUS AGING: An Ongoing Group
Colony Hills Clubhouse, 3060 Colony Road, Durham NC
Participants will create a sacred container for reflection in community on the art of conscious aging. Each gathering will focus on a single topic. Participants will have an opportunity to provide program leadership. Any woman who experiences herself at any stage of her elder years is invited to join us in a deep sharing of her own experiences.

January, February, March 2016 (3 Sunday afternoons)
BEFRIENDING DEATH

This series will invite participants to contemplate death, consider practices that might help them be present to themselves and others in the experience of dying, and reflect on ways to deepen their appreciation of life. 
Leaders: Betsy Barton, Jehanne Geith, Stacy Grove and Anita Mcleod

2015

Second Tuesday of the month, 11:30 am-2:00 pm
THE ART OF CONSCIOUS AGING: An Ongoing Group
Colony Hills Clubhouse, 3060 Colony Road, Durham NC

Fall 2015 (4 evening session)
TURNING POINTS:
Intergenerational Writing Workshop
Together we will explore life turning points, using writing as a spiritual and self-revelatory practice. We will reflect on ancient images of the Maiden/Mother/Crone archetype, while also finding new ways of envisioning our unique and universal spiraling journeys through life. 
Leaders: Anita McLeod and Rebecca Welper.

October 2015 (7 pm Thursday–3 pm Sunday)
HERONS WALK ON WATER'S EDGE, A Retreat
The restorative effects of spending intentional time outdoors in community are well researched and documented. Herons Walk will offer contemplative, mindful, and ceremonial practices in the natural world. During this intergenerational retreat, we will return to a natural pace, utilizing wisdom rooted in intuition, imagination, and bodily sensations. Through soul circles and eco-contemplative practices, we open to the most relevant reciprocal healing medicine of our time, intimate relationship with the natural world.
Leaders: Sherylyn Pitt and Anita McLeod

January, February, March 2015 (3 Sunday afternoons)
BEFRIENDING DEATH

This series will invite participants to contemplate death, consider practices that might help them be present to themselves and others in the experience of dying, and reflect on ways to deepen their appreciation of life. 
Leaders: Betsy Barton, Stacy Grove, Anita McLeod, and Jocelyn Streid

2014

Second Tuesday of the month, 11:30 am-2:00 pm
THE ART OF CONSCIOUS AGING: An Ongoing Group
Colony Hills Clubhouse, 3060 Colony Road, Durham NC

October 2014 (7 pm Thursday–3 pm Sunday)
HERONS WALK ON WATER'S EDGE, A Retreat
Cedar Cross Retreat Center, Louisburg NC (north of Raleigh) www.cedarcrossretreat.org
She walks along the water's wooded edge. Her steps intentional. Heron stands knowing wisdom is rooted in intuition, imagination, and bodily sensations. Her observation is keen. During this intergenerational retreat, we will return to our natural pace and draw closer to Sacred Mystery embodied in the earth community. We will find the Divine in our own reflections, in each other and in "all of our relations." Through soul circles and eco-contemplative practices, we open to the most relevant reciprocal healing medicine of our time, intimate relationship with the natural world.
Leaders: Sherylyn Pitt and Anita McLeod

April 16, 2014
CONSIDER THE CONVERSATION: Film & Discussion on end-of-life issues. Durham County Main Library

April 8, 2014, Tuesday, 9:30 am-4:00 pm
WHEN GRANDMOTHERS SPEAK, THE EARTH WILL HEAL (from a Hopi saying)
Timberlake Farm, Whitsett, NC (near Greensboro)
Inspired by the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, this retreat explores ways to bridge the separation between humans and the natural world. Will include meditation, shared stories, and silent walks on wooded trails. Please bring a bag lunch.
Leaders: Carolyn Toben, founder of the Center for Education, Imagination, and the Natural World at Timberlake Farm Earth Sanctuary, and Anita McLeod, director of RCWMS Elder Women Project.

2013

November 9, 2013
HARVESTING OUR STORIES: Collecting Our Wisdom
Colony Hills Clubhouse, 3060 Colony Road, Durham NC
The autumn of our lives is the time for harvesting the wisdom of our lives. As we enter our later years, it is important to unearth and gather up our life stories, to share them with others, to reflect on what we have learned by experience, and to discern how we might want to pass on our wisdom. This workshop is designed for women 55 and older. As a follow-up, we will offer an optional monthly morning writing circle for those who attend the workshop and who would like to continue to harvest their stories.
Leaders: Anita McLeod and Liz Dowling-Sendor 

October 27, 2013
WOMEN & MONEY
Durham, NC
Everyone has a personal money journey. What confusing messages did you receive in childhood about money? Do you harbor feelings around such issues as abundance, scarcity, earning, investing, spending and giving? How do these messages and feelings intersect with your core values and/or spiritual beliefs? Join a circle of women as we explore ways to align our financial actions with our values.
Leaders: Lisa Gabriel, financial planner, and Anita McLeod, Director of Elder Women Project at RCWMS.

September 22, 2013, 1:00 pm
CONSIDER THE CONVERSATION: Film & Discussion
Watts St. Baptist Church, Durham, NC

September 7, 2013, Saturday, 9:30–4:30 pm
THE ART OF AGING: Celebrating Elderhood
Colony Hills Clubhouse, 3060 Colony Road, Durham NC
Join a circle of women as we explore our experience of aging and discover ways to embrace the opportunities and challenges of this rich time of life. Contemplate awakening to the adventure of conscious aging and the many possible gifts of enlivenment.
Leaders: Lyndall Hare, PhD gerontologist, and Anita Mcleod, Director of the RCWMS Elder Women Project

April 19-21, 2013
OUR NATURE, IN NATURE: A Women's Retreat
Timberlake Earth Sanctuary, Whitsett, NC (near Greensboro)
In the Spring, we are called to be outside, relishing earth's warm winds, colorful blooms, and blue skies. The natural world, mirror of our own nature, invites us to nurture, empower, and transform ourselves. Indigenous cultures knew the sacredness of the natural world, its seasons, and its compass directions. Together we will explore the wisdom of each direction as it pertains to our current life situations. As we establish a safe community together for this weekend, we will spend time in Council practice and alone time on the land to experience its messages for us. Camping is an option. Elder women and younger women will learn from and inspire one another.
Leaders: Pat Webster, clinical psychologist in private practice in Durham and New Bern, NC, and Anita McLeod, Director of Elder Women Project at RCWMS.

January 27, February 10, February 24, March 10, & March 17, 2013
END OF LIFE SERIES
Durham, NC in a comfortable private home with a cat
This multi-part series offers resources, information, and exploration of issues facing all of us as we prepare for the end of our life. Join a circle of courageous women willing to explore what a "good death" might mean and how preparing for it opens us to wholeheartedly embrace the precious life that awaits us.
Leaders: Anita McLeod, Director of Elder Women Project at RCWMS; Betsy Barton, MPH, Duke Medical Center; Carolyn H. Burrus, M.Div., Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Counselor; Sharon Thompson, attorney; Lisa Gabriel, financial planner; and Anne Watson Davis, attorney.

January 12, 2013
REACHING YOUR FUTURE WITH EASE
55 Vilcom Center Drive, 2nd Floor Studio, Chapel Hill, NC
How often we heard from our own family elders that "getting old is not for sissies." The Feldenkrais Method® offers this affirming idea: "Improve movement, improve life!" Join Betty Wolfe, GCFPcm, for an afternoon of Awareness Through Movement® lessons designed to enlarge the possibilities for safety and comfort in living your unique future, however far that reaches. Mats and blankets will be provided as these lessons are taught on the floor. You should be able to get up and down with minimal assistance. There will be time for breaks as well as refreshments and reflections.
Leader: Betty Wolfe, M. Div. is a Board Certified biofeedback practitioner. Within her business, Lessons with Ease, she offers integrative and personalized learning opportunities to help with pain and stress related issues.

2012

December 1, 2012
A DAY OF QUIET
King's Daughters Inn, Durham, NC
The gentle gifts of winter can be lost in the frantic swirl of the holiday season. Instead of being a time of quiet reflection, December can become a time of disconnection from ourselves and from the earth. Periods of silence and solitude may help us notice the diminished light and appreciate the beauty of a world laid bare for a time. Drawing inward and being quiet may help us truly connect in community. Join us for a time of remembering our tender yearnings for peace, hope, love and joy. Together we will explore ways of deepening our connection to the sacred by opening our breathing and meditation.  The afternoon will include silent time together, an exploration of lovingkindness, walking softly outside, and a simple art reflection. No meditation experience required.
Leaders: Barbara Anderson teaches African Studies at UNC and Anita McLeod is Director of Elder Women

November 27, 2012
READING BY CAROLYN TOBEN from her book, Recovering a Sense of the Sacred: Conversations with Thomas Berry
Durham, NC
Toben spent many hours over ten years with renowned priest, author, and cultural historian, Thomas Berry, engaged in deep discussions about his foundational thinking on the human-earth-Divine relationship.

October 27, 2012
GIVING THANKS TO THE EARTH
New Hope Camp & Conference Center, Chapel Hill, NC
We are living in a perilous time: our water, soil, air and all living beings on earth are in jeopardy. Many people are trapped in despair and inaction, but despair is not the only option. Come join with others who want to find another way. Tap into your creative imagination and experience an introduction to Joanna Macy's vision of "Active Hope" in a beautiful natural setting. Join us as we enliven our connection to the natural world, express our gratitude to mother earth, resonate with her suffering, and consider how we can support her. We'll engage in personal writing, conversation, simple drawing, and basic movement to live music. Together we will create a community of creative expression that will inspire us to help heal and protect the earth. Previous experience or skill in movement or drawing is not expected or needed.
Leader: Ann Simon Koppelman, PsyD, is a semi-retired clinical psychologist in Chapel Hill, NC.

September 22, 2012
WHEN GRANDMOTHERS SPEAK, THE EARTH WILL HEAL
Timberlake Earth Sanctuary, Whitsett, NC (near Greensboro)
It has been well said that in today's technological world, grandmothers have a special role to fulfill in sharing their love of the natural world with succeeding generations. Come and enjoy a quiet day spent at nature's pace surrounded by beauty and learn some special ways of sharing a love of the earth with grandchildren and all children.
Leaders: Carolyn Toben and Anita Mcleod

September 8, 2012
HARVESTING OUR STORIES: Collecting Our Wisdom
The autumn of our lives is the time for harvesting the wisdom of our lives. As we enter our later years, it is important to unearth and gather up our life stories, to share them with others, to reflect on what we have learned by experience, and to discern how we might want to pass on our wisdom. This workshop is designed for women 55 and older. As a follow-up, we will offer an optional monthly morning writing circle for those who attend the workshop and who would like to continue to harvest their stories.
Leaders: Anita McLeod and Liz Dowling-Sendor 

May 25-June 3, 2012
THEORY AND PRACTICE OF THE WORK THAT RECONNECTS: A 10-day residential intensive with Joanna Macy on Deep Ecology
Stone Circles at the Stone House, Mebane, NC
Bring forth fresh vision, courage and creativity in this time of planetary crisis.
Leader: Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology.

April 29, 2012
LEGACY PLANNING FOR WOMEN
Durham, NC, in a lovely home with a cat
There comes a time in your life when you long to know that your life somehow has purpose. You seek to leave a meaningful mark on the world. Legacy Planning can help you discover ways to use the resources and experiences you've accumulated in life to make a lasting impression on those you love and the causes you believe in.
Leader: Lisa Gabriel is a certified financial planner who has over 25 years of financial services experience designing integrated, strategic solutions for individuals, families, and institutions.

Grandmother's Project