The Self Care Project

Healthy habits. Less burnout. More (social)change.

Project Description

You care about the world. A lot. Ironically, this can mean that your own wellbeing can end up at the bottom of the list of people, issues and campaigns that matter so deeply. Enter… The Self Care Project.

It’s an experiment in helping you be more resilient. Why? Because the world needs you. Not the exhausted, frustrated, caffeine and carbo-loaded you, but the you that is effective, powerful, clear-sighted and inspired in your work for the common good of our planet and communities.

We are living in a critical time, with increasing environmental and social pressures. It can feel like we have a rapidly shrinking time frame for making change. This pressure-cooker of a situation leaves many of us working frantically, thinking short-term, and feeling disconnected from what really enlivens us. It can even make us act like jerks, sometimes, even though we’re actually decent people.

Often self-care solutions are part of this same reactive paradigm. They’re about indulgence and escapism, consumption and justification. They’re often coping mechanisms that don’t really serve us. We want to talk about self-care in a way that has integrity with our values, and that sustains us for the long haul. We want to engage in self-care in a way that has integrity with our values, and sustains us for the long haul.

Who are we? We’re a group of folks not too different from you. We want to take our self-care seriously, while not taking ourselves too seriously. We think it’s a recipe for stronger, sustainable movements, with healthier and happier people behind them. You can read more about our philosophy and pedagogy around self-care here.

Please join us.


Most of the project will happen in small groups (of 12-16), with a skilled facilitator, a bunch of activities and resources, and some space for each group to shape what they want to focus on. It will open with a full-day orientation, followed by 8 weekday evening sessions, one every two weeks, and then a closing day to be planned by the group.

Sessions will run from 7-9 pm, and will be hosted in people’s homes. The registration form below asks what weekday evenings you are available. Groups will be created to best meet availability and accessibility needs, as commitment to each session is important. Based on this availability, we will create groups, and will let you know which day you are on ASAP.

Cost: $250-350 sliding scale. We firmly believe that good self-care isn’t a luxury, and so a self-care program shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. We’re charging enough to be able to provide an honorarium to our facilitators, and to cover a few basic program expenses. If this cost is still prohibitive to you, we’d be happy to chat about paying in installments; there are also a few partial bursaries available. If you want to be part of the program, we want you to be there.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until January 10th 2017. We will aim to accommodate as many people as possible based on space and scheduling.


This is an evolving, learning project, and we will be collecting feedback and making improvements along the way. We can promise that it will be imperfect. And we can promise that you will meet some amazing people, be part of a changing paradigm and leave different than when you arrived. We’re grateful that you’ll be part of the exploration!


“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” - Audre Lorde




Collective Work

Healthy Food


Better Together



Long Haul


“I’ve grown impatient with the kind of debate we used to have about whether the optimists are right or the pessimists are right. Neither are right. There is too much bad news to justify complacency. There is too much good news to justify despair.” – Donella Meadows

Who We Are

Christine Boyle
Christine is a community organizer, activist, and communicator, born and raised on Coast Salish Territory. She directs Spirited Social Change, an initiative aimed at strengthening the heart of social change work, and building networks among progressive, spiritual, and religious folks. She also co-leads Fossil Free Faith, doing climate justice and Indigenous Rights organizing within faith communities.

Samantha Cheng
Samantha is Chinese-Canadian, by way of the Philippines, and she was born and raised in Vancouver, on unceded Coast Salish Territories. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, serving folks who may be navigating life transitions, experiencing grief and loss, or exploring questions of meaning and identity in her private practice, Replenish Counselling. With a passion for social justice, rooted in a collaborative approach, she sees her work as an opportunity to join with others on their journey to discover all that they already are, and to further support them to become who they would like to be. She loves dancing, painting, and finding magic in everyday encounters with the world.

Tania Ehret
Tania believes deeply in melding the worlds of social justice and multimedia/arts, making activism accessible to as many people as possible. When she’s not pondering the benefits of collective selfcare endeavours, she’s lending her skills at, in the non-profit world working with seniors, or finding the perfect cat to pet.

Heather Talbot
Heather is an artist, workshop facilitator and beekeeper. Originally from the UK, Heather has lived in Vancouver for four and a half years. She has been engaged in various forms of social work and activism, ranging from managing an urban farm providing training to at risk youth, to working as an addictions counselor here in Vancouver. She has been embedded in Joanna Macy’s ‘Work that Reconnects’ for over 5 years and is passionate about supporting people to access the resources they need to continue with the work that most inspires them.

Elisa Lee
Elisa goes to wild spaces, the more-than-human world, for self-care. She is a teacher, facilitator, outdoor guide, and nature-based ceremonialist specializing in rites of passage. Elisa holds an MA in Environmental Education and Communication, and teaches at Fresh Air Learning. For her, self-care is a form of radical activism.

Erin Udal
Erin is an environmental educator and community organizer. She has lived in Vancouver for eleven years. Erin manages pollinator advocacy programs with the Environmental Youth Alliance and believes in empowering community connection to nature through positive stewardship experiences. She also provides local business project consultation with Project House. Erin finds her own self care through a diversity of avenues including dancing, gardening, sharing food, and engaging herself in value-based work.

Kevin Millsip
Kevin runs a leadership program called Next Up for young people who want to make social change their life’s work. He also works as the Sustainability Coordinator for the Vancouver School Board where he focuses on school food systems. He co-founded Check Your Head and Get Your Vote On and has served as a Vancouver School Board (VSB) Trustee.

Anna McClean
Anna was raised in the mountains of the Kootenays and has an affinity for small towns. In her work as an experiential educator at the Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership, she challenges young people to question their role as social change-makers. Currently, she works for designing a project to facilitate nationwide conversations on democracy, equality and climate justice. In her free time, she loves playing in the mountains, practicing yoga and hanging out with the incredibly inspiring folks that make up her community.

Jennifer McRae
Jennifer is the Co-Project Coordinator of Simon Fraser University’s Experiential Education Project and a Co-Founder and Facilitator of The Change Lab, a 2-semester program at SFU that focuses on the intersections of social change, sustainability, leadership and innovation.  She believes the capacity to be resilient as an individual is central to our effectiveness in undertaking social change work.

Deanna Rogers
Deanna’s current work is based out of Vancouver although the east coast carries her roots. She is currently the Co-Project Coordinator of Simon Fraser University’s Experiential Education Project & SFU’s ChangeLab.  She has also facilitated many dialogues on many topics, has founded regional government projects and is keen on intergenerational organizing. Her work is grounded in heart and creativity and seeks to spark moments of potential for connection, purpose and change.

Olive Dempsey
Olive is a facilitator, engagement strategist and coach, whose work supports the interconnected transformations within individuals, groups and communities. From young voter outreach to living wage campaigns and urban environmental sustainability, she has worked with non-profit organizations, labour unions and most recently the City of Vancouver. She is a Certified Co-Active Coach, holds a certificate in Authentic Leadership from Naropa University and is an MA Candidate in Environmental Education and Communication.

Plus contributions, inspiration and feedback from all over the place. Including: The Inner Activist, Kris Archie, Jackie Larkin, Stina Brown, folks at Hollyhock’s 2012 Social Change Institute, Robert Gass’s Art of Leadership, Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects, and more.

Thanks to for promotions support for the 2016 year.

“And I strive to discover how to signal my companions… to say in time a simple word, a password, like conspirators, let us unite, let us hold each other tightly, let us merge our hearts, let us create for earth a brain and heart, let us give a human meaning to the superhuman struggle.” – Nikos Kazantzakis


2017 Dates:
Orientation Session: Saturday, January 21st 2017, 10am – 4pm at City Studio (1800 Spyglass Place, Vancouver)

Week 1:  January 30th-February 3rd
Week 2:  February 13th-17th
Week 3:  February 27th-March 3rd
Week 4:  March 13th-17th
Week 5:  March 27th-31st
Week 6:  April 10th-14th
Week 7:  April 24th-28th
Week 8:  May 8th-12th

Closing Celebration: Friday, May 26th 2017, 6:30pm

Registration is now closed.

For more information and updates about the Self Care Project, please sign up for our email list below (we promise to not send emails very often!), and like our partner-project Spirited Social Change on Facebook.


The cost is $250 – $350 on a sliding scale. This program aims to be accessible and inclusive. As part of our commitment to this, a few partial bursaries are available for those experiencing financial barriers to the program. If you need to arrange to pay via installments, please contact for more information.

To complete your registration, participants must either:

– indicate in the registration form that you’ll be bringing cash or cheque to the orientation session (Preferred option)
– prepay via PayPal (secure debit and credit card option)


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Contact Info

Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver BC)