Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things ...

-from "Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye


April is poetry month!


This week we explore "Kindness."

click here  for full text and poem study


... I have walked through many lives, some of them my own...

Kathie Collins

“and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides from which I struggle not to stray.” This verse (and all the headline verses sprinkled throughout this website) is borrowed from Stanley Kunitz's "The Layers." It reminds me that the essence of my existence is found among the layers of my life—within and between the roles I fulfill, the vocations that call me, the songs that sing me, the people I love…

wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, poet, friend

… But naming those layers is a good place to start, so I’ll begin by saying that my husband and I are the parents of five children, and much of my adult life has centered upon marriage and the raising of family. The stories of these family relationships are reflected in the poetry and meditations I write, just as the themes of pregnancy and birth, which were my primary vocation for many years, are now reflected in the maieutic (midwifing) educational method I employ in group facilitation—a method that enables me to help others give birth to the wisdom of the soul.

I am also a soul-journeying lover of stories, taking great delight in life-enriching wanderings at the intersections of a variety of disciplines, from yoga and mythology to theology and depth psychology. As a student and proponent of the theories of Carl Jung and archetypal psychologist James Hillman, I advocate for a “soul-making” approach to this journey we call life—an accepting, curious, and body-incorporating perspective toward life and the world. Through years of experience as a yoga instructor, small group facilitator, and retreat leader, I’ve learned how to gently guide students beyond automatic responses and assumed limitations to uncover the treasures that lie buried—within the layers of a text, their bodies, and their lives.

I live in Charlotte, N.C. where I am a writer and associate editor for The Educational Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to the exploration of the connections between religion, contemporary culture, and depth psychology. I learned the art of maieutic education and leadership in my work with the Reverend William Dols, Ph.D., former director of The Educational Center, and earned an M.A. in Mythological Studies with Emphasis in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif. I’m currently completing research for my doctoral dissertation titled Learning to Live in the Layers: Poetry Education as Soul-Making Method. (For dissertation abstract, please see Musings page.)

Main | »