New to the Valley
Spirit on the Job
In the Shadow
of a Mountain
Empowerment, Discovery, and Intention at the 3rd Annual Teton Wellness Festival
Jackson Hole, Wyoming: September 23-26.
by Angela Earle
The Third Annual Teton Wellness Festival gets underway September 23-26 in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming, just hours away from most of us here in Idaho. On hand to mark this gathering will be the Dalai Lama’s brother Tendzin Choegyal, Wayne Dyer, and Bryon Katie. Spirit of the Valley will be heading on over the pass for these three and a half days of fun, inspiration, dancing, singing, and sharing with some of the nation’s preeminent bodyworkers, exhibitors and speakers. It’s all about coming together to learn and grow, to change and empower ourselves and
ultimately our world.
As the summer wanes and Autumn begins to change the landscape into a harvest feast for the eyes, the energy of the season and the mountains calms, inviting us to experience this western tourist destination in a more quiet and introspective light. The area known as the valley of Jackson Hole has long been a summer draw for people. As early as 11,000 years ago, archeological evidence shows residence of our ancestors here at the end of the last ice age, followed by eons of seasonal migration for the abundant wildlife, edible flora and fauna, and temperate weather. Modern day tribes such as the Shoshone, Blackfeet, Crow, and Gros Ventre summered here, with evidence that the surrounding mountains played an integral part in spiritual journeys and vision quests.* One look at the peaks of the Grand Tetons and you’ll understand why this area has and continues to draw seekers, noted in the large wellness community which resides here today.
This year’s Teton Wellness Festival is the third in an annual series of events put on by the Integrative Healthcare Foundation (IHF). The IHF came into existence to administer programs and events to support and nurture the local wellness community, and to foster communication, cross pollenization, and a greater understanding among both traditional and alternative/complementary wellness practitioners on the variety of healthcare modalities. Two local visionaries for the festival were Steven Helms, a naturopath from Driggs, Idaho, and Connie Kemmerer, who had served on the Sun Valley Mountain Wellness Festival committee. They formed the IHF, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization and formed a Board of Directors with an integrative and varied group of practitioners, and hired Marcia Craighead in March of 2003 to oversee the first festival in September of that same year. Fourteen hundred peopled attended the first festival (which included keynotes by both Deepak Chopkra and Don Miguel Ruiz), with two thousand people expected this year.
While the IHF sees this festival as a companion, or “sister” festival to the Sun Valley Mountain Wellness Festival, Marcia says that their goal is very clear: to empower people to help and heal themselves through existing modalities and ideas in all areas of their life that will lead to a greater level of health and well-being, and effect positive change in understanding and living a fuller life. Marcia also notes that “the power of the collective and the power of people coming together in this way with their hearts and minds as open is an incredible gift and has the power to alter things” in very practical and inspirational ways.
The festival headquarters is once again at Teton Village, where all events are within walking distance from each other (and where many lodging options are available. Both Hands-on-Hall and exhibitors will be housed in outdoor tents this year, perfect for the usual mild and beautiful weather of the area this time of year.
This years festival not only includes a well-rounded group of presenters, workshops, and movement experiences, it also includes some very well-known speakers. The festival will open with Friday Night LIVE with a musical program, and inspirational words from Tendzin Choegyal, the brother of the Dalai Lama.
The Saturday night keynote speaker is Wayne W. Dyer, PhD whose talk is entitled The Power of Intention. Over the last 25 years, Dyer has played an important role in the human potential movement, and authored 20 books including Your Erroneous Zones, Everyday Wisdom, and his latest book The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way.
Dyer describes intention “not as something you do but as energy you are a part of.” Through examining the seven facets of intention (creativity, kindness, beauty, love, expansion, abundance and receptivity) Dyer will demonstrate how to reconnect to our own source of power and transform our lives.
For more information, visit www.waynedyer.com.
On Sunday morning, well-known speaker and author Bryon Katie will be giving a keynote address entitled: I Need Your Love - Is That True?, based on her new book of the same name. Katie will use relationships to apply her modality of inquiry and healing - which she calls The Work - to relationships to “challenge what we have been taught to do, say, or think in order to secure love, approval, and appreciation.”
For more info see www.thework.com.
Other featured speakers and topics include Elson Haas, MD (the “Detox Doc”) – The Purification Process, James Oschmann, PhD - Demystifying Energy Medicine, Lee Holden, Lac - The Tao of Qi Gong, Rita Rivera - The Power of Faith, and Charlotte Kasl, MA, PhD - Getting Unstuck: The Art of Living at Ease. More information on these speakers can be found on the Festival website at: www.tetonwellness.org.
There’s something magical about taking time for ourselves, to empower ourselves, and the idea of sacred travel takes us out of our everyday lives, our routines, our comfort zones. We find ourselves in a new space, unbound, undefined, and unknown. We are free to do anything, think anything, and our eyes are open and searching, discovering, and maybe seeing for the first time in years. Joining a group of like-minded people who are after the same things we are - more joy, more life, more beauty, ……. more truth - might just open a door in our hearts and minds to let the sunshine of the spirit in.
*For an in-depth look at the archeological and anthropological findings of the area, see The Prehistoric Peoples of Jackson Hole, by Stephanie Crockett at www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/grte2/hrs2.htm.
Two Day Festival Pass: (includes presenters, movement studio, exhibitor’s and hands-on-hall) $35, Keynotes and workshops extra
Sunday Pass: $25
Keynote Speakers: $45 (general admission)
Silver Pass: $125: Includes presenters, movement studio, exhibitor’s and hands-on-hall, general seating for keynote speakers, and Friday Night Live
Gold Pass: $225 All of the above in Silver Pass with reserved seating for keynotes and Saturday night reception with Wayne Dyer, PHD
Tickets will be available online at www.tetonwellness.org or at the following locations in Jackson:
The Herb Store
Barrels and Bins Natural Foods