PechaKucha Vol. 18 at Artoberfest, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor  

I recorded this 400 second slideshow on September 14, 2019. It is a reflection on “the good life” and draws upon my research on the science of wellbeing and my lived experience in two places: a Caribbean island and Chiapas, Mexico. It compares two different “takes” on the topic: hedonic well being (happiness based on pleasure) and eudaemonic well being (the good life arising from a sense of purpose/meaning), as well as two different orientations to place I refer to as “friction” and “flow”. Have a listen here. 


(ages 5-7); (8-10); $30/child, 2 hours, materials included 

locations: Art and Education Center, Three Oaks, Mi. or Fernwood Botanical Gardens

Drawing from social emotional learning and mindfulness meditation practices, games, eating and creative movement, this workshop allows kids to unplug from technology and refresh themselves from a busy school year. We’ll share nature-based projects; build attentional skills; and have the chance to practice mindfulness with friends and community in a retreat setting.

Experiences include: breathwork, making mood jars, body-emotion maps, nature mandalas, exploring micro-worlds, trust walks, story-yoga and constructive rest. 


As an applied anthropologist who studies and practices wellbeing science, Deirdre Guthrie, PhD, will share the latest evidence based research on pro-social support tools, mindfulness techniques and stress busting rituals to enhance both workplace performance and engagement as well as personal flourishing. Deirdre can come to your workplace; conference or retreat, or organize a gathering. Presentations can be customized to fit your unique context and needs, and organized into time frames that range from an hour to two days. Deirdre can come to your workplace, conference or retreat, or organize a local gathering at Fernwood Botanical Garden in Michigan where she serves as Director of Wellbeing Programs.

  • Compassionate, Embodied Leadership; Beyond one’s training and skills, inspiring leaders need a capacity for compassion and emotional/relational intelligence that they model in their everyday presence.
  • Harnessing States of Flow; Enhance your creativity, focus, engagement, absorption, and sense of pleasure in work and everyday life.
  • Caring for Formal Caregivers (in medicine, education, social work and social justice work)
  • Caring for Informal Caregivers (non-professionalized caregiving for family and friends); engage more deeply in a conversation around death and dying, the importance of self-care and living within boundaries, deepen a mindfulness practice, find support in circle)
  • Mindfulness in Nature
  • Reinvigorating Mission; For those of us who approach work as a calling, it is important to find ways to sustain meaning and purpose in our work.
  • Team-Building; Strengthen inter-personal relationships through appreciative inquiry, attentive listening, and narrative techniques.
  • Restorative Approach to Conflict; Understanding the deeper sources of conflict (unconscious bias, dysfunctional power dynamics, disconnection from mission, addictive versus creative work practices), repairing harm, and restoring a sense of authentic engagement