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Dear Veriditas Community,

We are excited to announce our new monthly Veriditas e-Newsletter. After our Community Gathering in February, we were reminded of how important communication is to a healthy organization. So, we are beginning a new way of communicating with you about what's going on in and around Veriditas. Our 
bi-weekly program announcement emails will continue, but this monthly e-newsletter will have one main article, with lots of news about what's happening at Veriditas and throughout our global community. If you'd like to see something addressed, let us know. 

Many blessings on the path, 

Is Your Business 

a Labyrinth or a Maze?

By Emily Simpson

In his book, ‘A Whole New Mind’, Daniel Pink talks about the need to activate our right brain capacities in order to thrive in today’s economic environment. 

“The abundance of our western lives frees us to pursue more than just survival. In an age of plenty, we’re no longer trapped in the maze of those mice in ‘Who Moved My Cheese’. The more appropriate metaphor for our times is the labyrinth.” 

The book describes six right brain aptitudes: Design, not just function, Story not just argument, Symphony, not just focus, Empathy, not just logic, Play, not just serious business, and finally Meaning, not just accumulation.

The chapter on Meaning is about the resurgence of interest in the labyrinth. If you’re stuck on a particular issue and your thinking has become tight and closed and you’re ‘busy being right’ about it, walking the labyrinth helps create perspective. You literally walk into the bigger picture, often finding a lateral solution to your problem or that you’re able to at least acknowledge and appreciate the other person’s point of view. Your thinking becomes more spacious and alive.

In a corporate context, we can consider whether a business is being run like a labyrinth or a maze. A business that is run like a maze tends to be very competitive, with everyone trying to outsmart each other. The atmosphere feels adversarial, based on the fear that there is not enough to go around, so that the end justifies the means. A maze is designed to get you lost, so the business will be a game played with rules not everyone fully understands. You would only ever have a limited perspective, unable to see around the next corner, resulting in a sense of isolation and anxiety. It is usually filled with “amazing” people pursuing their own individual agendas rather than working as a team.

A business that operates like a labyrinth would feel collaborative, not competitive. The values and direction of the company would be clear and easy to understand. Individual creativity would be welcomed to enhance the process. It would feel like a more holistic game in which you are able to trust that everything is set up to support your best efforts and that you will all end up in the right place together. It would be based on the view that there is room for everyone to flourish - an interdependent community working together toward a shared goal. 

You might like to consider whether your life feels like you’re living in a labyrinth or a maze. Do you feel like you have perspective on whatever is going on for you right now? Or, do you feel trapped by the choices you’ve made and anxious about making changes? Are you able to follow the unfolding path of your life with ease and grace, or does it feel like a constant uphill struggle? Do you find all the twists and turns of your path an irritating and/or frightening inconvenience? Or, are you able to lean into and befriend the changes until they reveal their blessings and you are able to arrive at a sense of gratitude? What if we chose to believe that are truly held and blessed by what is? How would that change the way you walk the labyrinth of your life?

Daniel Pink’s six right brain aptitudes applied in a business context:
1. Not just function but Design: It is no longer enough to have a product or service that is simply functional. It is economically crucial and personally rewarding to create something that is beautiful and/or emotionally engaging.

2. Not just argument but Story: There is just so much information today. The essence of persuasion and communication is ability to create a compelling story.

3. Not just focus but Symphony: Not just left brained analysis but whole mind synthesis. Seeing the bigger picture and consciously developing the ability to combine all the disparate pieces into an arresting new whole.

4. Not just logic but Empathy: The ability to understand what makes people tick – the capacity to forge relationship and actually care for others.

5. Not just serious business but Play: The health and professional benefits of lightheartedness.

6. Not just accumulation but Meaning: The plenty of our western lives frees us to pursue more than survival. It enables us to consider purpose and meaning.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We give thanks for places of simplicity and peace.
Let us find such a place 
within ourselves.
We give thanks for places of 
refuge and beauty.
Let us find such a place 
within ourselves.
We give thanks for places of 
joy, inspiration and renewal.
Places where all may find acceptance and belonging.
Let us search for those places,
 in the world, in ourselves 
and in each other.

(Michael Leunig)

Save The Date!

February 7-8, 2014

Veriditas Community Conference:
Building community & visioning the future.  Petaluma, CA

~ more details to follow ~

Welcome to our new staff members! 

Kathleen has joined us as Administrative Assistant, enabling Anne to shift into the role of Marketing, Communications and Website Management. Rita will begin to assist with fundraising.

Kathleen Stewart 

is a native Californian who came to Sonoma County from suburban 

Los Angeles to get a BA in Humanistic Psychology at Sonoma State University. She began working in non-profit social services and then went on to employment in publishing, natural foods industry, ecological restoration field, and ended up in local government where she was a case manager and domestic violence specialist for County of Sonoma for 12 years. Throughout her years of employment, Kathleen has completed innumerable trainings on topics ranging from the proper usage of grammar to managing chaos in the workplace. She also has completed graduate units towards her master's of social work and counseling.

Kathleen continued a personal study of psychology and spiritually after studying psychology formally, spending more than a decade immersed in reading studies in Jungian psychology by Jungian analysts - most notably Marion Woodman - and spirituality. Kathleen has practiced yoga with a small group of devoted yoginis for 13 years. With her interest and evolving understanding of symbols and archetypes, her love of spirit and meditation, along with a set of core administrative skills, Kathleen is elated to join the team at Veriditas. She lives in rural Sonoma County with beloved family.

Rita Canning, 

Development Coordinator

Rita Canning has been involved in nonprofit fund development for over 15 years, working for such organizations as United Way to successfully increase their annual funding. She believes that excellence in relationship building with donors, grantors, community leaders and volunteers is the fundamental key to any long-term, successful fund raising and development efforts.Rita is also a life coach and spiritual counselor. She uses a synthesis of Eastern and Western spiritual teachings to facilitate personal transformation and awakening, as well as inspire others to work for world peace through various forms of prayer.Rita has lived in the North Bay are for over 20 years. She is grateful for the joy of having raised a wonderful son, now an adult, and enjoys meditation, spiritual company, and being in the beauty of nature.

Annual Auction

October 7-28, 2013

With the start of summer, I thought it would be a good time to start thinking about the Veriditas auction that will begin on October 7th.

There are so many possibilities for items you can donate. Your summer travels may take you to interesting places with unique items you could purchase and donate to help Veriditas make our auction a success again this year. Possibly you are an artist or crafts person and want to make your item for the auction. Or you know an author that could donate a book or an artist that could donate an item. How about a gift basket from one of your favorite stores? So many businesses are willing to help; you just need to ask for something.

Below is the link for the auction site. You may go online any time and donate your items. Then you ship your items to winning bidders at the close of the auction.

Please contact me if you have any questions or need assistance with placing your donation on the Bidding for Good website.

Veriditas Auction Chair

News from the

Veriditas Council

The vision of the Veriditas Council is a strong, global network of Labyrinth Facilitators supporting the vision of Veriditas. Our mission is to serve the Facilitator community by strengthening connections and developing resources.

The Veriditas council meets twice a year in different locations around the country. We meet to discuss the various programs we work with and to support each other in our work through Veriditas. Each time we meet we hold a luncheon and labyrinth walk for local facilitators. We do this to meet the amazing circle of facilitators and to listen to stories about accomplishments and concerns.

In April, we met in NYC. Our member, Linda Mikell, who gathers the popular series, Little Miracles on the Path was able to secure us accomodations in some midtown apartments owned by the UU fellowship she belongs to. We were within walking distance of all that glitters in the Big Apple. Our luncheon was at a trendy and vegan midtown restaurant, and our walk, graciously hosted by Jean Ando, was at Marble Collegiate Church on its brand new (and marble!) labyrinth.

Our next meeting will be in Santa Fe in October. We will be inviting all local facilitators to join us for lunch and a walk.

Veriditas going to Argentina

Veriditas is going to Argentina in March 2014 to build a labyrinth in the village of La Falda. Through the Veriditas Auction, the Veriditas Board posted a Legacy Labyrinth to be built by Veriditas board members for honoring a loved one, or to be used as a tool for community healing. The Alla Arriba Holistic Retreat Center with financial backing from the Pearson Foundation won the bid, and eight members of the Veriditas Board, along with Veriditas Founder Lauren Artress, and labyrinth designer/builder, John Ridder, will all travel to Argentina to construct a labyrinth. This trip will also include a Veriditas workshop, labyrinth dedication, and facilitator training. Placing this labyrinth in La Falda is an act of healing and peace for the whole community whose history involved both Nazi and European Jewish immigrants during World War II. We are so excited to bringing the labyrinth to a place where labyrinths haven't yet gone and contribute to this global healing project.

101 H Street, Suite D, Petaluma, CA 94952   |   Phone 707-283-0373    |

Veriditas is dedicated to inspiring personal and planetary change and renewal through the labyrinth experience.

We accomplish our mission by training and supporting labyrinth facilitators around the world, and offering meaningful events that promote further understanding of the labyrinth as a tool for personal and community transformation. Our Vision is that the labyrinth experience guides us in developing the higher level of human awareness we need to thrive in the 21st century.

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