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.


About the Workshop

Believing in the power of poetry as healer, 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.

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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Poetry of Nature Letters
Facilitated by NanLeah, Geoff Oelsner Monthly Letters delivered through November
This Poetic Medicine journey of monthly letters (with access to past issues) is for all kinds of Nature Lovers: for those wishing to create or deepen their Nature practice and poetry writing; for those that are concerned about Earth’s chang- ing climate, and their place in it; for those who have the felt sense that things can be different; and for those who are ready to turn their hearts and minds to a new story.
Through stories, poems, writing prompts, and reflections on the theme of choice, we’ll weave a tangible, living record of our journey together.
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by Geoff Oelsner
If there’s an award for Most Eclectic Local Album of the Year and Possibly Even the Decade, it will surely go to Geoff Oelsner for his new release, “Morning Branches.”
There is the unadorned informality of Geoff Oelsner, LCSW’s Dream and the theatrical pandemonium of Mad Tom’s Song. And there are some genuine folk songs delivered in Geoff ’s engaging resonant baritone and liberally sprinkled with tasty acoustic instruments and harmony. Two of these songs, My Shady and Borderguards, I would put right up there with the best of Joan Baez or Peter, Paul & Mary.
More than those of most singer-songwriters, Geoff Oelsner’s lyrics read as poetry on the printed page…Oelsner, who once told me that he considers himself “a happy hand-puppet of the artistic process,” often gets song ideas, and even entire songs, from his dreams… Geoff Oelsner is especially attuned to this phenomenon and tries to honor it and be faithful to it when it occurs.
Emily Kaitz, Fayetteville Free Weekly
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by Geoff Oelsner
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On the recording (Ordinary Mystery), he was backed by Kelly Mulhollan, Robin Rues, Andrew Sieff, and also his family, including his wife and two grown children who now make their careers as musicians.
Oelsner chatted with the us recently about the gifts of songs, the importance of recording with his family and his love of Native American cultures. Four songs on the album are dedicated to the country’s different native peoples, and proceeds from the recording will be donated to Native American charities.
Kevin Kinder, Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
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