Odysseys with Wholeness

Nicola Mary Christensen-Johnson

Joy Unspeakable

An Online Workshop - The Mysticism of Inditing

Saturday 20 May 2023

May Intermezzo

As a teenager living in French-speaking Switzerland, I grew up with Simone de Beauvoir’s famous statement*:

« On ne nait pas femme, on le devient. » – « One is not born, rather becomes, a woman.»

Swiss women only achieved the right to vote and stand for election on the federal level in 1971 when I was twelve-years- old. As a consequence, I was educated in a world heavily defined by structuralism whose main purpose, in those years, was to dismantle cognitive and social constructs and pull apart all our illusions and patriarchal dogmas.

For reasons I don’t fully understand, I never got involved in the heated feminism that characterised my youth and early adulthood. I stayed clear of the incensed feminists that roamed the universities when I was working there. It is not that I did not agree with their arguments and demands, it was the enraged and wrathful tone of their discourse that frightened me, the disordered passions fuelled into the contentions. For me, irate women do not equate compassionate equanimity.

Of course, on several occasions, I was aware that events and circumstances were playing out in a certain way because I am a woman, but still I did not feel called to engage directly in fighting social injustice. I often wondered if I was a coward, betraying sisterhood or portraying a subversive passive-aggressive stance, but, honestly, I was simply not interested until … I started crafting these workshops on the Mysticism of Inditing – the art of voicing from the heart.

As I prepared the April edition, I became aware that the texts I have been passionately working with are all authored by men. And, spontaneously, I roared, “Where are the women’s voices? Where is my voice in this male dominated world that I have created?”  Then a bewildering question floated into my somewhat startled awareness: are these men – who I deeply admire – really voicing from the heart, or are they mansplaining? Am I unconsciously complacent with gender divides and tangled up in timeless co-dependency and obedience to men? The question shepherded me towards a delightful inquiry around impregnation, fertilisation and crosspollination in ways that I had never perceived until then. I then crafted the workshop as a musical ‘call and response’ between the inditing hearts of men and the inditing hearts of women.

This playful experimentation allowed me to imagine the possibility of giving voice to the pregnant woman that I am, continually seeking to be nourished, and who has found much sustenance by interacting with men, and what’s more to do so beyond the habitual gender identity narratives that fashion relationships between women and men, those same discourses I had run away from. Now is the time to honour inclusiveness and to declare:

« Je suis née femme et je le deviens de plus en plus. » – « I am born a woman and I become woman ever more.»

I wonder whether this does not open me to an inner freedom and a fresh perspective regarding the way we cohere our interiority – be it that of man or woman – as we unravel into wholeness and unitive consciousness where gender divides are no longer relevant. I want to listen to all our voices, voices fashioned by gender as part of the human condition, yet also voices impregnated at the highest and deepest level by inditing hearts and purity of intentions.

In the spirit of inclusiveness and compassionate equanimity, in the May workshop, we will dive into womanhood and motherhood, and, in the June workshop, we will reciprocate by immersing ourselves into manhood and fatherhood.

Our practice in May will be the composition of a poem on Joy Unspeakable giving voice to the joy that dwells in our hearts and is eager to burst forth in words of blessings.

* Published in 1949 in her philosophical essay Le deuxième sexe (The Second Sex)

Practical Information

The Online Workshop takes place on Saturday 20 May 2023 at

  • 8.00 – 10.00 Pacific
  • 11.00 – 13.00 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 20 May 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. Uncovering the artform based on written language which enables us to bring the exquisite invisible into a precious and cherished visible form
  2. Developing our capacities for voicing the truths that dwell in our heart
  3. Initiating 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 blends of words and music, entice us to a virtuosity of wordsmithing.

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 artform feels true to us.