“My essay was about walking slowly through things, and then one day looking up and discovering I had arrived someplace new,” said writer Beth Gager. Gager was presented with an award at The Women’s Initiative’s celebration of Challenge Into Change held at the Jefferson School City Center on Saturday. The event honored women who have turned life challenges into positive changes for their lives. Several authors shared stories about personal transformation.
“I’ve discovered I’ve arrived someplace new and I don’t have to go back,” Gager said. “I lost everything in life that I had—my job, friends, home, everything—but gained it all back by beginning to walk. Just walk. I was moving somewhere to a place of healing. I began to notice nature, began yoga, prayer, and meditation,” she said. Gager has a Masters degree in counseling and now works in the mental health field as the Coordinator of Consumer Empowerment at Region Ten.
“The celebration was beautiful. Each one us was honored, because each of us has a valuable story. We were all winners. The Women’s Initiative did a great job showing how resilient we are. It was a powerful event and showed how The Women’s Initiative reaches out to women and helps us find strength,” said Gager.
About her long journey turning her challenges in to change, Gager remarks, “Now if I want to sit and rest under a tree, I can,” she said. The book of essays, Challenge Into Change, will be available from The Women’s Initiative soon.
Chanting workshop and summer solstice yoga intensive this weekend
Kate Zuckerman, director of Common Ground Healing Arts, will lead an evening of chanting tonight (Friday, June 21, 2013) in the Yoga tradition from 7:15 to 8:30 pm. Beginners and experienced chanters are welcome. Participants will learn the Sanskrit pronunciation, the English translation, and the philosophical framework behind several chants, as well as have an opportunity to chant them as a group. Register online. The fee for the chanting workshop is by donation.
Saturday and Sunday (June 22 & 23) Common Ground will be conducting a Summer Solstice Yoga Intensive workshop. “If we are present to our experience as the seasons change, we may notice that we are not separate from the cycles of the natural world,” said Kate Zuckerman. “The longer days of summer bring forth reserves of energy and bursts of inspiration. This is a traditional way to honor these natural rhythms in ourselves and the world around us.”
These sessions are intended for students of all levels, but a basic level of physical fitness is required. Space is limited and advance registration is recommended. The first session, Balancing Poses and Inversions, is on Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Sunday sessions are Backbends & Twists from 10 am to 12 pm and Seated Pose and Forward Folds from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Fees for Saturday and Sunday are $25 per session or $60 for all three if booked in advance. Fees from Common Ground events go towards supporting equal access to the healing arts for all.
Service for those seeking U.S. citizenship
Literacy Volunteers at the Jefferson School City Center will be providing a class for those interested in becoming U.S. citizens called Preparing to take the Citizenship Test from July 1 to September 16. Designed for intermediate ESL Learners, the class will meet on Monday evenings from 6 to 8 pm. Homework and English practice are required. There is $25 registration fee, but books and materials are provided.
The class takes students through the 100 questions on the test for naturalization.
Jefferson School City Center is a voice of the nine nonprofits located at Charlottesville’s intergenerational community center, the restored Jefferson School. We are a legacy preserved . . . a soul reborn . . . in the heart of Cville!