September 18, 2021
Shepherd of the Sierra Church
9:00am to 3:00pm
Speaker Julie Interrante Chaplain,
musician and teacher
Fees: MPIH Members $50, Non-Members $75
** Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Required **
“Resilience” was the theme for the MPIH retreat for 2020 and by all accounts it lived up to its title. It was a weekend of learning, sharing and relaxing. Classes included techniques of improvisation and meditation.
The guest speaker was Susan Cosio, a frequent presenter, author and certified spiritual director. Her topic: Resilience: Staying Strong and Supple in the Face of Suffering, included sessions of group and personal reflection.
Aileen Kelley summarized the weekend this way:
On January 24-26, 2020, Music Partners in Healthcare, Inc. (MPIH) hosted the weekend retreat, “Re-Energizing Our Vision 2020.” Music Practitioners from the Sacramento, CA region gathered to learn and share and renew at the beautiful Mercy Retreat Center in Burlingame California. Located on 40 acres of beautiful gardens and natural terrain, the Mercy Center provided comfortable accommodations with private rooms, lecture rooms, walking paths, a labyrinth, and outstanding cuisine. Practitioners had time during the weekend to explore and meditate and walk the labyrinth in this peaceful environment.
Rev. Susan Cosio, MTt BCC, a chaplain from Sutter General Hospital who is well-known for her amazing workshops, guided us through our Saturday Sessions on Resilience, opening our eyes to the sometimes overlooked signs of stress, compassion fatigue and moral distress. She reminded us that we are exposed to more pain and suffering that the average person, and even when we handle it well, it can leave “residue” in our hearts. We were taught to recognize the things that tend to weigh us down, to remember WHY we are doing this work, and to find techniques to restore and reset ourselves. Her insights inspired our own insights, as she led us on a journey of reflection, renewal and commitment to care for ourselves.
Our other sessions focused on improvisation – or as we re-named it… “Exploration.” With over 100 years of combined music teaching experience, Mark Tulga, Elizabeth (Petsy) Proett, and Aileen Kelley facilitated groups on the Basics of Improvisation, more advanced applications of improvisation at bedside, and improvisation for various patient needs. Sunday morning began with a loving kindness meditation guided by Petsy, reminding us that it is ok (and important) to shower ourselves with the loving kindness we so often offer others. This was followed by more improvisation led by Aileen Kelley. We explored rhythms with drums, free exploration of our instruments, and then more structured musical conversations based on chord progressions and modes. Ahhhh…. Modes! Love them!
New sayings for the English language were born this weekend when Laura (with a twinkle in her eye…) responded to Petsy’s teasing with “Stop it! You’re harshing my mellow!” And when Donna Theresa, apologetically prefaced a question with “I know I’m not the brightest mode in the LIMDAP…!” Sayings that will live on forever in MPIH!
We are so grateful to MPIH for their generous support of this event, keeping it affordable and accessible for our Music Practitioners. We were able to earn CEUs during the weekend. But more importantly, we connected & collaborated, renewed and Re-Energized, leaned on and learned from one another, gained insight from introspection, and the vision and vitality to continue to love our work. As we parted ways on Sunday afternoon, we felt a new sense of excitement, and were already asking “When is the next retreat?” It’s never enough, right?
It was an exceptionally refreshing and re-energizing experience to receive the teaching that Susan Cosio provided and to be in the presence of other CMP’s that have similar experiences and share the same passion for serving others through music. I was grateful for the experience and came away with a new and optimistic outlook on what I do with music and toward life.
Just to gather was the gift of the MPIH weekend….we are a niche organization with kind and like-minded persons.
The talks on Resilience by Susan Cosio were laced with story, interactive projects
and a profound sense that we need to carefully care for our first and foremost instrument - our very selves.
The breakout workshops on Improvisation and healthy rhythms were needful reminders….as I tend to move too fast in the world.
And the Grace place…. beautiful, nourishing for soul and body.
But the biggest take-away happened after the retreat….since the weekend
I've noticed myself playing different- slower, in the moment, and seeing the patient/resident in a new way…
leaning in and listening longer, sharing fuller/lower/longer sounds.
I think I’ve been to most all of the MPIH retreats and this was one was super!
Thanks again to all who organized and prepared.
Jean Ann Walth