This is heart-making, not art-making.
Vashon Island, WA
928-225-5416 (text only, please)
I'm Kara, and I'm the coach and heARTist behind everything you see here at MotherHenna.com. I'm also one of the co-creators and educators at the CreativeGriefStudio.com where I co-facilitate a 4-month certification course for helping professionals. I am mother to three dead children, and I've spent over 20 years exploring the alchemy of art, the Hero's Journey, narrative inquiry and more on the quest to stay creatively agile as I continually learn to live life in the face of death.
To see a detailed CV of publications, exhibits, and appearances (if this kind of thing floats your boat), visit the As Seen In page.
In my dynamic Cultural Theory work at Carnegie Mellon University, Child Development work at Chatham College, and while mentoring with Hedda Sharapan, David Newell, Fred Rogers and the team at Mister Rogers Neighborhood, I learned first hand how very creative each individual can be in the face of grief.
My theories were put to the test in 1999 when our son Dakota died, and our family had to get creative and make the choice to live fully again. With the help and support of many people, my partner Hawk and I co-founded a creative advocacy for bereaved parents via Kota Press (KOTA: Knowing Ourselves Thru Art). Through our KOTA work and in partnership other bereavement organizations, we have been co-creating with other bereaved parents, siblings, family and caregivers around the world, seeking creative perspectives on learning to life again in the full face of mortality. In 2001, we were featured on NPR with Megan Suyks who then hosted KUOW's show "The Human Condition."
In the first decade of the 2000's, I studied and received my Reiki Master-Teacher certification with Masters Jeanne Robinson and Jane Valencia. I also apprenticed with Professor & Coach Sherene Zolno of The Leading Clinic exploring The Hero's Journey (based on Paul Rebillot's work) as a personal and professional development tool. I have since received my Certification in Appreciative Inquiry and Whole Systems IQ (tm) Coaching with the Hero's Journey as the key model. I brings all of this experience to the creative table to co-create and explore grief and creativity using a variety of tools for alternative mind, body, spiritual health. Most recently, I've begun exploring Narrative Inquiry with teachers like Stephen Madigan and was lucky enough to attend his Level III Advanced Narrative Theraphy workshop in Vancouver.
In 2010 and in 2013, Hawk and I experienced another stillbirth and then a miscarriage. Since then I have put my work to the test again and again as we've put the pieces back together, twice over. I am more convinced than ever that The Hero's Journey and other creative explorations are most helpful and life-saving tools available for people having bereavement experiences and for the people in caregiving roles around them.
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