Access to Alexis in our Anxious Times
Santa Barbara native Alexis Slutzky has spent decades as a wilderness guide, mentor, MFT, reclamation practitioner, and council trainer who also specializes in indigenous wisdom traditions, rites of passage, depth psychology, ritual and ceremony and community exploration. Her grief work – which has brought people from both far and wide to retreats at Arroyo Hondo Preserve and elsewhere to spend time in nature and ritual to find inner healing – has become even a bigger salve for the community ever since the Thomas Fire and Montecito debris flows.
Not that she was any more emotionally prepared for the power of the pandemic than others, but she’s using what she refers to as a time of transition to take even deeper dives into what serve as salves. “Given how many of us may be experiencing fear, outrage, grief, anxiety, this time calls us to utilize and engage all the tools we have for presence, collective care, equanimity, creativity, self regulation, connection, and the capacity to show up in relationship,” she wrote in an email.
Now, of course, Slutzky has migrated her practices online in the era of COVID-19, offering several weekly events, including Meditation: Being with Grief and Uncertainty through the Mindful Heart Programs from 9-10 am on Fridays, Awakening Earth Community Council: Forum for Being Human in times of Cultural and Ecological Initiation on Wednesdays from 4:30-6 pm, and Women at the Well, held every other Monday from 6:30-8:30 pm. The latter two offerings are though Slutzky’s own Wild Belonging umbrella.
The community council represents as an extension of the Awakening Earth Series held at Yoga Soup, and serves as a place to come together by a virtual fire to unite in a shared context of love for the world and common care for people and planet, and to build connection and courage for bringing forth what is most alive in response to a world in need of creativity and love. All are welcome to offer and receive presence and listening and explore our basic humanity in these times. The theme will vary each session through a format that starts with a short meditation, an exploration of the theme and then sharing one-by-one in simple practices to listen to ourselves and each other.
Women at the Well is an online forum for women-identified people to drop in, connect and remember the ways of communion, deepening and awakening. “It’s an experiment in this time of virtual connection, to see how we can support one another in growing our capacity to show up with open fierce hearts to stand for the life of our children and earth in whatever ways we are called in this time of transformation, healing and change,” Slutzky wrote.
Admission to all of the above events is free, although a voluntary donation for those who aren’t financially challenged themselves is more than welcome. Meanwhile, the Awakening Earth Series continues on Yoga Soup’s virtual platform with a two-hour workshop from 3-5 pm on April 27 with “Belonging & Collective Care” ($20). Visit www.wildbelonging.com.
Slutzky will also be participating in events the next two Sundays through Insight LA Meditation Center, including Being with Grief with husband-and-wife Dr. Radhule Weininger and Dr. Michael Kearney, also of Santa Barbara (April 12) and Tending Our Grief with Weininger (April 19), both 2-5 pm featuring sliding scale admission of $10-$35. Visit https://insightla.org. Plus, she’s started to post videos and writings to her Facebook page (www.facebook.com/alexis.slutzky) to address the current climate during the coronavirus crisis.