MIIS Faculty/Staff Retreat

Finding Our Power in Times of Uncertainty

On May 5, some 20 MIIS faculty and staff gathered for an afternoon retreat offered by the Mindfulness@MIIS Working Group at the nearby Asilomar Conference Grounds on the Pacific Ocean.

Over the course of the semester, there was a growing sense that staff and faculty were grappling with uncertainties at work, in society at large, and in their personal lives.

The retreat thus offered time together, away from campus, to explore how we relate to what is occurring and how that, in turn, can shift our experience and how things unfold, even in our everyday work.

Marianne Rowe and Katie Dutcher designed and facilitated this 4th semi-annual retreat around the stages of the “hero’s journey,” incorporating meditation, one-on-one connection, movement, reflection, and experiential games. All of this led to a lived appreciation of discomfort not as something “bad” but as a signal that something is calling for our attention. As Joseph Campbell says, “Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”

As one participant later reflected: “These retreats have reinforced for me that I can and should bring my whole self into my work life, and that I’m part of a community of people who also value being fully present with our whole selves here at MIIS.”