Welcome! My name is MaryCatherine (Cathy) Burgess. With the skilled assistance of H.J. Blenkinsop, who designed this website, I have created a place and space to explore and share the core visions, resources, and mentors that have sustained and guided me for many years. I’m also delighted to have a platform, where I can offer experiential opportunities for those who might find them helpful.
As I update this page, we’re almost nine months into a global pandemic that has called for thoughtful and careful measures involving self-quarantining/sheltering in place; physical distancing when outside for walks or short trips for groceries/essentials; self-isolation, if necessary; and creative ways of remaining socially connecting to our loved ones, colleagues, and neighbors. May you find the support you need and also offer others the appropriate support you can during this ‘Great Pause’ in history.
In April of this year, I invited you to participate in a (free) Barrett Values Centre (BVC) Culture Assessment, which aimed to measure possible culture change related to COVID-19. That assessment ended 5 May 2020, and within the following month, as a BVC Consultant, I participated in a webinar outlining the results.
Another BVC Consultant, Diane Kalen-Sukra, who is a Civic Resilience Columnist and Consultant in Victoria, British Columbia, has written an insightful article about those results, which was published in the Public Sector Digest for May/June 2020. Enjoy reading it. COVID Values Revolution – Civic Resilience Columnist – Diane Kalen-Sukra – PSD – Aug 2020.
For more information on Barrett Values Centre and Values-Based Transformational Leadership, please see Values-Based Transformational Leadership under Purpose on this website.
After having taken Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) online (using Zoom) last autumn (2019) through Life University and the Charter for Compassion, I decided to use some of my at-home time by taking the online CIT Facilitator Training this past May – early July. With me as co-learners were Suzanne Mann from Sydney, Australia, and Diane Kalen-Sukra, whom I mentioned above. Both of them have invited me to co-facilitate with them, as they offer the CIT course this autumn in their respective parts of the world. I’m excited about working with them. For more information on Compassion, see Compassion under Purpose on this website.
Suzanne, whose business is The Challenge Girl, and I will co-facilitate a 12-week online CIT course starting the first week in September. We want CIT to be available for people of all ages and backgrounds, who strive to deepen their self-care, resilience, empathy and compassion, ethics and values, and understanding of systems, as they apply new insights and skills to their personal lives, interpersonal relationships, and engagement in community systems.
Below is a graphic describing the course. For further course and registration information, check Suzanne’s website, The Challenge Girl. The course will run from 2 September through 18 November at times that are compatible for people living in Australia and in the United Kindgom.
Diane, whose business is Kalen-Consulting, and I have focused this 10-week online course on Resilient Civic Leadership and how CIT can support leaders who recognize the importance of healthy citizens co-creating healthy work environments in their neighborhoods and larger communities. This course will run from 8 October through 10 December 2020, and we’ve set times that are compatible for people throughout the USA and the United Kingdom. Below is a graphic with relevant information. For more information and to register, see Kalen Consulting.
Also related to compassion, the Charter for Compassion held a Webithon last weekend (14 – 15 August 2020). As it moved across time zones, the live sessions were recorded and are available on the Charter’s Facebook page, Charter for Compassion Facebook Page. All the segments have amazing stories, music, projects, and inspirational messages. In Part 2 of Segment 2 (just after the Ballarat Dance Company), which focuses on Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, my friend Suzanne Mann from Sydney and I talk via video recording for a few minutes about our joint and separate compassion work together. In Segment 5, which focuses on Europe, the UK, and parts of the USA, my friend Magdalene Sacranie from Oxford, England, and I talk via video recording about our joint and separate compassion work in the UK.
During this era of unprecedented whole systems transformational change, when our personal and collective shadows are rising from the depths, we have opportunities to ‘seed this chaos’ with visions, values, and actions that reflect a worldview in which all are interrelated, interdependent, and mutually committed to co-creating a globally just society that embodies the greater good for all life on the planet.
Chaos can be daunting, but we know that order eventually will emerge. To influence the fabric of that order, all global citizens, universal humans, and social artists, who are actively midwifing this process with ‘seeds’ of compassionate justice for our planetary society, need each other’s support, encouragement, and solidarity.
Meeting this challenge calls for:
consciously evolving to a more inclusive, diverse, and global worldview;
cultivating the values, beliefs, and spiritual practices that fuel those visions, behaviors, and systems that co-create a better world and provide stability as familiar external conditions shift;
and developing compassionate communities that collaborate to align values and behaviors in co-creating and implementing a Global Society of respect, care, and service to all life.
May some of the offerings I’ve described help us meet this challenge.
Gathering of Resources
Over the years, I’ve reflected upon and gathered for myself a variety of resources that stimulate intentional evolution into a bigger picture and a greater sense of compassion. A sample of these resources, which I offer to you in categories throughout this website, are based on my experience and study, not on exhaustive searches. Every so often, I try to update them, though many stand the test of time.
Given my current focus on compassion, I invite you to explore the wonderful book Tales from African Dreamtime – Retold by Magdalene Sacranie. To order, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. The book is priced at £7.99 and P&P £2.50 (UK). All profits go to compassionate education initiatives at the Charter for Compassion.
As you will see, most of these categories provide a reflection on my own learning, in addition to a listing of selected programs, links, and bibliographies that I have found useful. May all of these resources serve you well – maybe even offer a hidden Treasure on your own journey of self-study, growth, and action.
In addition to promoting self-study for myself and others, I periodically facilitate experiential retreats, workshops, courses, and training events designed to integrate heart and head, practice and theory, intuition and cognition. Our best learning occurs when we activate all of our human dimension: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Then we can thrive, because our values, beliefs, and behaviors fall into greater alignment, and we feel more whole.
For the rest of 2020, those offerings are the CIT courses I’ve described above. Previous offerings can be found under Events on this website.