Odysseys with Wholeness

Nicola Mary Christensen-Johnson

The Solace of Despair

An Online Workshop - The Mysticism of Inditing

Saturday 18 March 2023

March Intermezzo

The invitation to envisage the solace of despair may, at first, seem absurd, as if being asked to ingest an oxymoron. Usually, on the brink of despair, our natural instinct is to run away or to frantically distract ourselves so as not to be pulled under the waters of the lake of melancholy down to the unnameable aspects of the human experience we entrust to despair. Despair is where we plunge when there is nowhere else to go, when all the tactics of the mind to keep us safe from its drowning clutches have failed to hold us out of harm’s way on terra firma

Yet, despair might not be the life-threatening experience we dread. If we open up to the compassionate questions to be found in the sheltering arms of desolation, we might be surprised by the restfulness and comfort we uncover. My own experience has been that resting in the solace of despair and nesting in darkness are life-giving experiences and utterly transformative.

Befriending the solace of despair is a timely topic as we prepare for Easter and the Paschal mystery of death and resurrection three weeks after the workshop. Despite our acquired reluctance to pause and stay with despair, breathing and listening to whatever present itself to our generous awareness, the larger invitation is to abide this portion of our odyssey. We will be summoned to explore, from a new perspective, the shadow work that is ours to do, and to unearth hidden aspects of trauma that are ready to resurface.

In the March workshop, tending to a curated choice of words and music, we will consider how and when we are besieged by despair. We will listen to the words of wisdom whispered by our inditing hearts as we rest in the state of repair offered to us by despair and allow ourselves leave of absence from ourselves. We can trust that we will be amazed by what might happen when we give ourselves up to exhaustion and allow ourselves to be totally undone so that we may emerge from our intimate relationship with despair with new forms of participation in world.

Silence and stillness are the only way to surrender to the solace of despair and to remerge refreshened and revitalized. We will remember this as we let the words of the Requiem Mass (Mass for the dead) cradle us:

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.- Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.

Practical Information

The Online Workshop takes place on Saturday 18 March 2023 at

  • 9.00 – 11.00 Pacific
  • 12.00 – 14.00 Eastern
  • 16.00 – 18.00 UK & Ireland
  • 17.00 – 19.00 Central Europe


Cost: 500,00 kr.

67 € – £ 60 – 74 US$ – 98 CAD$

To sign up, go to the Webshop and select the date of 18 March 2023. You can sign up until 12.00 (CET) on the day of the workshop. After payment you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link to access the workshop.

My Heart Is Inditing


The purpose of the workshop is threefold:

  1. Uncover the art form which enables us to bring the exquisite invisible into a precious and cherished visible form.
  2. Develop our capacities for voicing the truths that dwell in our heart.
  3. Initiate an experience of inhabiting and dwelling in the imaginal realm so as to unleash the powerful creativity populating our heart-centre.


The workshop is designed to explore a place visited on our odyssey with wholeness. During the gathering, we bathe in sounds and resonances, ingest words and lyrics, play with colours and shades, juggle with shapes and forms, and tease out textures and grains. These playful games tantalise our senses, arouse our sensory faculties and, through an exquisite blend of words and music, entice us to a virtuosity of wordsmithing and chanting.

Basking in the imaginal realm draws forth our deepest feelings and crystalises our most precious thoughts so that our hearts may indite something of matter in whatever art form feels true to us.