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, mentors, and resources that have sustained and guided me for many years.
As I update this page, we’re in a global pandemic that calls 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.
If you’re reading this in April 2020, and you’d like to participate in a (free) Barrett Values Centre Assessment related to COVID-19, please go to the ‘Values-Based Transformational Leadership’ page under Purpose in this website. There you’ll find the necessary information and links. The survey takes about 10 minutes, but it must be completed/submitted by 5 May 2020.
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.
One way I have addressed these complexities is by striving to shift my own consciousness. When I am successful, I more effectively understand what is happening in my life and in the world around me. Calling upon the power of myth has been key in promoting that shift and expanding my frame of reference to embody the perennial philosophy and elementary ideas found in cultures throughout the world.
The Arthurian Search for the Grail exemplifies a universal Heroine/Hero’s Journey that transforms one’s life. It is one of those myths that caught my attention as a teen and has deeply influenced my entire life. I have loosely incorporated the on-going Call, Journey, and Return cycles of the Heroine/Hero’s Journey into the The Spirit, Purpose, and Community categories on this website.
Gathering of Resources
Another way I’ve attempted to address our global complexities has been to reflect upon and gather 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.
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 they provide possible support – maybe even a hidden Treasure – for your own journey of self-study, growth, and action.
In addition to promoting self-study for myself and others, I love to 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.
Throughout 2018 and 2019, I facilitated three Heroine/Hero’s Journey workshops and one series of Conscious Aging workshops in Omaha, Nebraska. Also, in collaboration with the Toronto Centre for Psychodrama and Sociometry (TCPS), I was delighted to facilitate a weekend workshop exploring an overview of the Heroine/Hero’s Journey series in Toronto, Canada, on 27 -28 October 2018. That preceded attending and co-presenting at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto on 2 November 2018.
When I was back in Omaha, on 7 December 2019 , I facilitated a Day Retreat during which twenty of us explored and celebrated the Cailleach (Scottish Wise Woman/Crone/Hag), who reigns as Celtic (particularly Scottish) Queen of Winter – ushering in the Celtic New Year at Samhain (1 November) and inviting us to a season of deep reflection. See Descriptions of Workshops, Retreats, and Courses under EVENTS for further information.
Though I had been invited by the Midwest Drama Therapy Training Institute to teach and facilitate with Louisa Foster a Weeklong Psychodrama Intensive Training Workshop from 14 – 20 June 2020 in Omaha, that workshop has been cancelled (hopefully just postponed) due to the pandemic. For information and to check for future offerings, once we’re ‘out and about’, please go to Midwest Drama Therapy Training Institute .
If you and members of your team, group, or organization are interested in a topic I address, please contact me to arrange an event or series designed for you. Due to the pandemic, I have been learning and using the Zoom platform to allow for virtual meetings and workshops.
May all of these resources – written and experiential – serve you well.