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Focusing on Mary Oliver’s Poems to Change Your Life

  • The Arlington Center 369 Massachusetts Avenue Arlington, MA, 02474 United States (map)

With Sharon Heermance

Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.” The light flows from their branches. And they call again, “It’s simple, they say,” and you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.   From When I am Among the Trees.

Mary Oliver’s poetry offers an eloquent bridge between our internal, human experience and the external natural world. With an accessible style, Oliver invites accepting attention and listening deeply, the essence of a focusing presence. Through time together with Mary Oliver’s poems, we will practice Focusing’s distinctive process that invites gentle awareness of what echoes inside. We will lean into poems to deepen resonance with our meaningful experiences. Since poetry is more powerful when heard, we will share aloud selected poems of this Pulitzer Prize poet with intention to listen and respond with our body-self. Through turning toward the heart of a poem, we will offer recognition of our felt sense as a compass for our own unfolding life path. No prior reading of poetry is necessary — the instructor will provide the poems; we will provide each other with an afternoon of focusing and rich sharing.

Sharon Heermance, Ph.D. is a psychologist with a private practice in Arlington, MA. She has studied Focusing with Joan Klagsbrun, Ph.D., and integrates this into her clinical practice. Higher education includes a doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University. She has led workshops with Lexington and Arlington Community Education that integrate poetry with mindfulness. In 2017, she led workshops blending Focusing with poetry at the Focusing Oriented Therapy conference and with Focusing New England.

Sunday March 18, 2018 2:00-4:30 at the Arlington Center, 369 Mass Ave, Arlington, MA
Cost is $25 at the door or you may preregister at