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Watters’ culturally modified grad cap in permanent NYC museum display

It was a delight to interview shíshálh cedar weaver Shyanne (“Shy”) Watters for Sunshine Coast Life magazine. Shy’s unique cedar hats range from a sasquatch version with long black hair to a red-dress-themed one honouring Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. Shy is perhaps best known for her culturally modified graduation cap whose pattern reflects ocean…

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My memoir on KaleidoSoul’s Top Ten List for 2023 nonfiction books

I’m honoured and flattered that Anne Marie Bennett, creator of Massachusetts-based online company KaleidoSoul, has included my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket in her list of Top Ten Nonfiction Books for 2023. I’m in great company, along with Michelle Obama’s The Light We Carry and titles like The Soul of Place by Linda Lappin…

Podcast interview highlights healing from childhood trauma
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Podcast interview highlights healing from childhood trauma

It’s rare to be asked, in an interview with a businessman, about your spiritual beliefs and how they’ve influenced your life choices. Thankfully, author and executive Ken Hannaman is no ordinary businessperson. He’s the author and host of the podcast Ungraduated Living and like me, drawn to eastern philosophies and religions. That’s part of what…

Memoir book launch April 15 in Sechelt, BC
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Memoir book launch April 15 in Sechelt, BC

I look forward to introducing my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket to my local Sunshine Coast, BC community on Saturday, April 15. My informal book launch (not the official one in Toronto on May 28) will be held at 7 pm at the Sunshine Coast Cultural Centre in Sechelt. I’ll discuss the book, its…

Mini-book reading April 7 at Artesia Coffeehouse
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Mini-book reading April 7 at Artesia Coffeehouse

Artesia Coffeehouse attendees will get a sneak preview of my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket on April 7 at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in Sechelt, BC. I’ll be giving a seven-minute reading from my memoir about my visit to the erotic sandstone temples in Khajuraho, India in 1991. This will be from chapter…

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Official book launch May 28 in Toronto

      I’m delighted that I’ll be joining seven other authors from publisher Guernica Editions on Sunday, May 28 to launch my new memoir in Toronto. Join us at Supermarket Bar in the city’s Kensington area at 3:30 pm. You’ll hear me read short excerpts from No Letter in Your Pocket: How a daughter…

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Om By the Beach

I really enjoyed being interviewed on Om By the Beach, a European podcast hosted by Josef Schinwald. Our one-hour discussion about Being on a Spiritual Path covered many areas, from Buddhist concepts of compassion, forgiveness, and no-self to writing about trauma, coaching others about writing about their trauma, and my memoir No Letter in Your…

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A shishalh Nation Knowledge-keeper shares poetry and stories

  Before xwu’p’a’lich Barbara Higgins was born in 1933, members of the shíshálh Nation were waiting for her to take on the role of Rememberer or Knowledge-keeper (her ancestral name means “she weaves”). Since then, she has voiced the importance of preserving Nature, her people’s land, language, and culture through her stories, poems, and activism….

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Webinar “Trauma and truth-telling in memoir” offered Nov. 16

I’m delighted to be offering the webinar “Trauma and truth-telling in memoir: the risks and rewards of revealing secrets” on Nov. 16 from 2:00 to 3:15 PST. I’m doing it through the U.S. foundation and magazine Creative Nonfiction. I’ll be drawing on first-hand experiences from writing my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket and will include…

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Jessica Silvey weaves the legacy of ancestors in cedar

    It was a delight to profile Jessica Silvey, who’s shíshálh and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) with the ancestral name Kwahama Kwatleematt, and has been weaving cedar baskets, hats, and décor for more than 30 years. I profiled her, the owner of Red Cedar Woman studio, as the cover story for the winter 2021 issue of…

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Heather Conn profile: hospice volunteer

Some people could never imagine offering comfort as a bedside companion to a stranger who is dying. Or sitting in an all-night vigil for someone’s final hours. In hospice training, we learn that compassion, deep listening, acceptance, and non-judgment are core traits needed to remain truly present with those who are dying or grieving a…

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Heather Conn reveals two favourite cards from her SoulCollage deck

The following article, which I wrote, appeared in the Sept. 26, 2016 issue of the global e-newsletter Soul Treasures, published by KaleidoSoul in Massachusetts. Reader Kas Sobey-Knabb responded: “Heather, just wanted to reach out to you after reading your upbeat and lovely piece in Kaleidosoul Soul Songs.Enjoyed it and meeting your 2 Neters [symbolic guides]! Quite colorful…

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Join me Oct. 3 in Burnaby for FLOURISHING IN YOUR FAITH: A SOULCOLLAGE EXPLORATION

Life’s challenges can sometimes bring fear and doubt. How do you sustain your faith, allowing it to flourish? What symbols or metaphors represent your faith journey: e.g. a mighty rock, flowing river or immovable mountain? What does faith look and feel like for you? Who or what tests or strengthens it? Please note that as…

A new memoir: the art of spiritual writing

I recently completed a memoir that explores my path of spiritual exploration, including seven months of travel and meditation in India. It proved challenging to articulate my spiritual voyage, attempting to transform words and experience from the abstract realm into something personalized, fresh, and universal. Currently, I am seeking representation for this book No Letter in Your Pocket: Twenty…

Celebrate yourself with SoulCollage(R)

  I teach workshops on a process called SoulCollage®, a wonderful, intuitive form of self-discovery and celebration created by Seena Frost of California. A graduate of the Yale School of Theology, Seena drew on her work in the Human Potential Movement, archetypes, and Jungian sub-personalities to form a SoulCollage® movement. Now there are SoulCollage® workshop facilitators around…

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Relive my El Camino de Santiago journey through a new blog series

  For the next two to three months, I’ll be writing a series of weekly posts, with photographs, about my 800-kilometre walk along the El Camino in France and Spain. Each week, I’ll feature a new topic, from “creating sacred space” to “the Roman road.” I look forward to a lively discussion with readers. If…

Spirituality

Spirituality and writing for children My children’s book Gracie’s Got a Secret (MW Books 2011) shares the concept of “letting go” with children and the “Don’t push the river” approach to life. This echoes the Taoist notion of “wu wei” or “action through inaction.” Find out more on my Gracie’s Got a Secret website. I…

Dharma by the Dozen: The Art of Spiritual Writing

While a master’s student in creative nonfiction writing from 2007-2009, I wrote the essay Dharma by the Dozen: The Art of Spiritual Writing. This paper identifies 12 characteristics found in the best writing on this topic. Here are just two examples:   Be as transparent as possible. Use cultural and cross-genre literary sources to reinforce a…

A Spiritual Workplace: Reality or Utopia?

While a board member of the Workplace Centre for Spiritual and Ethical Development, I was a luncheon guest speaker in downtown Vancouver, BC in December 2005. My talk “A Spiritual Workplace: Reality or Utopia?”, presented to businesspeople and consultants at 555 West Georgia, focused on the research I did related to my PeopleTalk magazine article on…

Magazine feature Spirituality in the Workplace prompts praise

    As we move towards more holistic work environments, employers will strive to honor and provide space and time for employees’ spiritual expression. To me, this is part of celebrating diversity and offering work-life balance. While editor-in-chief of PeopleTalk magazine in Vancouver, I chose the theme Spirituality in the Workplace for the summer 2005 issue. I…

What does spirituality in the workplace look like?

  While editor of the Vancouver human resources magazine PeopleTalk, I attended a 2004 workshop on spirituality in the workplace, offered by then-PhD-candidate Joan Deeks. She addressed the misconceptions and stigmas related to the term “spirituality” and defined how it differed from “religion.” Click this spirituality in the workplace link to read my feature, which…

Vancouver’s spirituality embodies outdoor rituals in sacred places

  Trained as a hard-nosed journalist, I published my first media feature about spiritually related issues in 1991, in Vancouver, BC’s now-defunct Step magazine. For me, this revelation of hidden outdoor rituals felt like crossing a significant threshold. Would I lose credibility and face ridicule as a news professional? For the first time, I was…