Sophia in Action

Pursue Your Yearnings

"To know how to choose a path with heart is to learn how to follow intuitive feeling. Logic can tell you superficially where a path might lead to, but it cannot judge whether your heart will be in it." Jean Shinoda Bolen

Here at the Sophia Institute we are dedicated to cultivating a path with heart and meaning.  This Fall we bring you programs that foster feminine empowerment, right relationship with the natural world, the balance between the contemplative life and activism that grows out of what you’re called to.  And we introduce you to new collaborators.

Dr. Lee Irwin on Wisdom, Mindfulness and Well-being


For me, the theme of “Wisdom, Mindfulness, and Well-being” centers on the importance of Wellbeing, the condition at the heart of the mandala of everyday life. 

I see our ability to live in Well-being as relational, as a field whose qualities are embodied through loving relationships with others and positive, mature self-awareness. To put it simply, “to love and to be loved” is at the very core of our realization of Well-being. And to love with maturity, with genuine depth and kindness, requires Mindfulness. 

Reflections from the Founder

For years before founding The Sophia Institute, I studied with extraordinary leaders in the human potential movement, people dedicating their lives to creating a more conscious world and to the rise of women everywhere to be creative agents for change.  I found my life transformed, opening to whole new aspects of myself that were profound to me.

In the words of Cathryn Zommer

When I moved to Charleston from Manhattan, I was concerned about opportunities to have the kind of extraordinary experiences I regularly had access to in the City at The Open Center and the Omega Institute.   The Sophia Institute has been a key part of my South Carolina transition, providing access to visionaries like Mark Nepo and Ellen Burstyn, who graciously and generously share their insights and wisdom with the community.

Trusting Intuition - Anchoring Impressions in Writing- Debra Moffitt

"Messages from your soul, your inner gardener, arrive in subtle, barely perceptible flashes. Everyone receives intuitive information, which helps guide and protect us. The ways we receive intuitive insights are unique to each individual. Some people hear words with their inner, subtle hearing. Others see pictures or scenes. Some people feel energies and sense if something is beneficial or not.

Words from the Founder: Gratefulness

Henk and I are deeply moved by Brother David Steindl-Rast's remarkable work on gratefulness.  He teaches that gratefulness is an antidote to fear and that a practice of beginning the day by opening one's heart in gratitude brings harmony, wisdom, and peace to our day no matter what comes our way.

I have just gone to Brother David's magnificent website,www.gratefulness.org, to light a candle, joining others worldwide who are doing the same thing. Join me, too, if you like.

Words from our Founder: Carolyn Rivers on Nature and the Feminine.

For some years, my dreams of the night have been directing me to be out in nature more, to re-sacralize my relationship with the natural world, to honor Mother Earth, to commune with her, to carry my questions of the day to her, to be sourced and inspired by her beauty.  Lately, as I have gone out just after dawn, before the sun heats up the day in Charleston and while the breezes are still cool, I've been met by a great blue heron.  She stands majestically, poised at low tide on rocks exposed  by the receding sea.

Is there a difference between wisdom and knowledge?

Is there a difference between wisdom and knowledge? If so, what?

  Wisdom and knowledge are quite different from each other, yet related.

  Wisdom, to me, is a “knowingness” or “gnosis” which typically comes from within ourselves. It can be the voice of our “higher selves” or, some might say “the Universe” or “the Divine”. It’s often that “aha!” moment when a profound concept hits us and we “get it” – even if we’ve read or heard it a thousand times. An example could be: “By changing my thinking I can actually change my life.”

Jessica Boylston-Fagonde on Dr. Christina Page's Workshop

"I was blown away by the depth of Dr. Christine Page's workshop at The Sophia Institute. She was able to offer fresh content about who we are as women and how to transform into the brilliant powerful beings as we are. It's real applicable content, no fluff! And her presence was endearing, passionate, loving, supportive, direct, and available along with her embodied understanding of the material—all qualities of a great teacher who can help you transform. I will be back for more the next time she returns. 

Mark Nepo at our Annual Luncheon

 The following blog post contains Mark Nepo's comments at The Sophia Institute's Annual Luncheon on May 17, 2013.  Enjoy!

Good afternoon. It’s a joy to be with you today and a joy to say a few words about The Sophia Institute and about Carolyn and Henk. I’ve been coming to the Institute for seven years now, and I’ve fallen in love with these two beautiful beings and the place of Spirit they’ve convened and brought to life, both here in Charleston and throughout the world.

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