Embracing Uncertainty

Facilitated by Tonia Lyon & Ashleigh Glass

Charlotte, NC

Our poetry partners, Tonia Lyon and Ashleigh Glass, met John in 2017 when they attended two weekend retreats at Mepkin Abbey near Charleston, SC. John recognized a very special quality that they had in responding during those workshops. It was both healing and a genuine partnership. Tonia and Ashleigh are bringing poetic medicine in a workshop series titled Embracing Uncertainty to families associated with The Sandbox, an organization helping families facing a child's cancer or other life-altering illness.

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Workshop Outline

Believing in the power of poetry as healing, Tonia and Ashleigh create a space for each person to slow down, reflect on, learn from, and own their sacred stories. Each class opens with 10-20 minutes of meditation and prayer to allow participants to become more mindful, and able to notice, accept, and attend to their own thoughts and reality. They nurture an environment of non-judgment, kindness, and curiosity so that participants can learn new skills and cultivate their own gifts of writing and sharing poetry.

Students learn the meditation basics of shifting and centering. They  learn to notice their own thoughts and how to choose to respond rather than react to their thoughts. They learn the freedom of writing poetry as a tool for self-discovery and the joy of doing so in an atmosphere of openness, collaboration, and community.

Below is an example of Tonia and Ashleigh’s poetic medicine series:

Week 1

  • An introduction to Mindfulness
  • An introduction to Poetry as Healing
  • Poetry as Epiphany - Fresh

Week 2

  • Mindfulness - Breath
  • Poetry - Being with the Seasons, Fall

Week 3

  • Mindfulness - Being Here, Now.
  • Poetry - Writing our Relationship with Trees

Extra Notes: Bring a drawing, poem, item, or some memory of your relationship with trees.

Week 4

  • Mindfulness - Noticing
  • Poetry - Where I’m From, Making Sense of our Sacred Stories

Extra Notes: Bring a photo or drawing of yourself or some artifact from your past.

Week 5

  • Mindfulness - One Thing at a Time
  • Poetry - Laughter is Good Medicine

Extra Notes: Bring a drawing, poem, item, or some story of something that makes you laugh.

Week 6

  • Mindfulness - Acceptance
  • Poetry - Being with the Seasons, Winter

Week 7

  • Mindfulness - Compassion
  • Poetry - Where I’m From II, Making Sense of our Sacred Stories
    Extra Notes: Bring a drawing, poem, item or favorite holiday memory.

Week 8

  • Mindfulness - Renewal
  • Poetry - Being with the Seasons, Spring
IPM is pleased to be funding and supporting this wonderful poetry partner program.
If you'd like to support this effort, please consider donating!
Tonia Lyon and Ashleigh Glass

Tonia Lyon & Ashleigh Glass

Tonia Lyon

Twenty years of writing and reporting on news events in the United States broke Tonia’s heart for people in need. Her passion for service led her to take a leap of faith from a successful career in journalism to pastoral care and other helping ministries. Tonia helped Elevation Church and Pastor Steven Furtick launch and direct the course of that church’s now worldwide outreach ministry.

Today, as a personal and professional development coach, Tonia is guiding people from all walks of life to become their best selves. She also serves as Special Assistant to the President of Montreat College, a private Christian liberal arts school in the mountains of North Carolina. Tonia’s love of the written and spoken word continues as she explores new ways of communicating. Since taking “Exploring Epiphany through Poetry and Poem-Making” with John Fox in 2018 and learning the power of poetic medicine, she’s committed to leading and teaching others the healing art of poem-making.

If you'd like to collaborate on bringing poetry and mindfulness into your community,
please reach out to Tonia and/or Ashleigh. 

Ashleigh Glass

Ashleigh Glass is a poet and workshop facilitator who believes in giving your soul a voice. Ashleigh has been working in Human Resources for 15 years with a professional certification in the field. With a passion to serve others, she leads as an Outreach Coordinator at Elevation Church, Charlotte, North Carolina. This has allowed her consistent opportunities to work with our neighbors that struggle with homelessness and addictions; families that have children with cancer and other potentially terminal illnesses; the elderly and those with Alzheimer's disease; and other community initiatives that help those in need.

Ashleigh has helped facilitate writing sessions for women in the Union County Jail and seeks to continue such avenues of poetry-as-healer. Poetry has brought light to her life  journey, and she longs to help others discover their own healing as well.

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