CONVENER CORNER: MEET REGINA COMPERNOLLE!
Regina Compernolle has been teaching Communiversity classes for 30 years. Her subjects include a wide range of topics, from art to herbal remedies to women’s spirituality.
“The arts, psychological health and spirituality go hand-in-hand for me,” Regina said. “I enjoy the company of women. My classes are about expressing the sacred Self in an environment that supports and honors the feminine.”
Smiling, Regina admits that she tells men they are welcome to attend her classes, “as long as they are woman enough.”
Regina thinks it’s important to share her skills with others because art, music and dance offer healing through self-expression.
“They get the flow going to create well being and open-hearted connections with other participants,” Regina said. “My herb classes teach people ways of taking care of themselves in a natural way, and encourage them to be self-responsible for their health.”
Regina’s longest-running Communiversity class is called Women of the Drum.
“There’s a dance class and a drum class,” Regina said. “We started in 2001 [and] it developed into a weekly class that’s been ongoing almost 13 years.”
Women of the Drum embraces a variety of levels of experience.
“We have many older women in the group and people who have never danced or drummed before,” Regina said. “The dance class creates flexibility and grace. It’s been amazing to watch women blossom into beautiful dancers who came thinking they had two left feet. Every week the rhythmic drumming instills a healing meditative state and everyone feels renewed and refreshed after a session. We combine the dance and drumming to create a sort of moving mantra and to choreograph performance pieces.”
For fun, the group combines its two classes for occasional community performances.
“It’s always satisfying to see our beautiful dancers and drummers in costume performing the pieces we’ve created together in class,” Regina said. “We provide entertainment for Mardi Gras every year at a local senior citizen home. We get everyone moving in wheel chairs and walkers, and have a great time!”
Women of the Drum also does weddings and workshops in the community.
“One of my favorite workshops was teaching 50 autistic adults drumming and dance,” Regina said. “We taught basic rhythms using coffee can drums and simple dance steps to make a samba parade. All of our drummers and dancers came to help support the process. The students had a wonderful time and we all left with big smiles on our faces.”
The group has also created a moving mantra using drum and voice and dance with over 400 teens at a Unity Village youth conference.
“That was truly amazing,” Regina said. “I was terrified of working with that many teenagers. What if they thought it was stupid!? They loved it. We had a great time.”
Regina enjoys teaching through Communiversity because it offers a community of open-minded, progressive-thinking people.
“I have to be more conservative when teaching for schools and libraries,” Regina said.
Regina also does the cartoon graphics you see on the cover and within the pages of the Communiversity catalog.
“I enjoy creating a whimsical interpretation of the classes,” Regina said.
WORDS REGINA LIVES BY:
“Never stop learning, creating, exploring. Release yourself into the flow of life within you. Don’t judge. Just be and let be.”
WHERE YOU CAN FIND REGINA:
To take a class with Regina, search Communiversity’s database by “Convener Last Name” and type in “Compernolle”. She has over 15 classes coming up this spring, including tomorrow night’s “Cast Your Portrait in Clay,” Wednesday night’s “Tie Dye,” and Sunday’s “Hand-Knotted Pearl Bracelet,” plus so many more!
“My business name is Sacred Earth Arts,” Regina said. “The motto is Honoring the Sacred Self through the Arts.”
To find out more about Regina and Sacred Earth Arts, visit the website!
JUST FOR FUN:
If Regina were an animal, she would be an owl.
“I have a special connection with owls,” Regina said. “I’ve had many occasions when they have come to me—especially when I play flute—landing on the ground in front of me and hanging out. I have witnesses! They are night birds that see in the dark, reminding us to look within and embrace our mystery.”
Linda with George Moon and the World Drum at a consciousness raising gathering in Hot Springs, Ark., 2012.
CONVENER CORNER: MEET LINDA VANBIBBER!
“I became interested in the use of tuning forks and singing bowls through some friends,” Linda said. “George Moon, who also teaches through both Communiversity and my business, Harmony Energetics, introduced me to tuning forks and Tibetan bowls a few years ago.”
Linda had used Tibetan bowls for meditation, but never considered using their frequencies for healing purposes. Determined to educate herself about the tuning forks, Linda began reading and taking any available workshop relevant to the subject, and even brought in teachers from other areas to share their knowledge with friends.
“Another friend, Jeff Klein, has introduced me to the crystal singing bowls as healing frequencies, and has been kind enough to share his experience with me as well,” Linda said. “Jeff lives in Denver, but offers Crystal Singing Bowl hearing concerts here when he’s in Kansas City. Of course his bowls are very special, as they were used by Sai Maa and her monks prior to his acquiring them.”
Linda believes it’s important to share the techniques she has learned with others because self-created sound is available to all of us at every moment.
“If we are in line at the check-out stand and are getting impatient with the lady at the front of the line who waiting until the last minute to start writing a check, or if your plane has been cancelled and you’re waiting in line to get an alternate flight, you can tone,” Linda said. “And the effect is magical. The stress reduction is immediate. You are happier. You won’t be a pain to the poor clerk who has to deal with a bunch of grumpy people.”
In addition to one’s own happiness and the happiness of others, Linda confirms that the skill can make the entire world a happier place.
“We can also use our self-created sound to heal our planet,” Linda said. “There simply is not enough time to fix the mess we’ve made through technology. We have to activate every healing mode available to use. And this one is so simple and pure and beautiful—the projection of love on a current of sound. We can change our world. All this and the physical, emotional and mental healing benefits of the tuning forks and bowls. How could I not want to share this incredible potential?”
Linda has 15 grandchildren, four of whom are great-grandchildren. Her four-year-old granddaughter loves the sound and loves the tuning forks.
“She would scoot a chair over and ‘steal’ them, even when she was barely two,” Linda said. “Over a year ago, her dad had to deal with a traumatic death situation, and he was very upset.”
He called Linda to see if she could keep her great-granddaughter while he took care of some immediate issues, and upon dropping her off, he was crying and upset. Linda told him to come inside to calm down before driving. Her granddaughter came in and got some tuning forks.
“It’s OK, Daddy, we’re going to fix you,” she said.
“She actually tried to treat him herself, and then handed the forks over to me,” Linda said. “This story still chokes me up.”
Linda enjoys teaching through Communiversity for several reasons.
“[It] gives all of us who teach a medium through which to reach people who would like to learn more about what we all do,” Linda said. “And the class attendees can be such a cross-section of demographics—young and old, conservative and liberal. You never know who is going to show up and that is fun. Last semester, George Moon was able to teach a young man just graduating from medical school about the energy bodies. How cool is that? This young man had his potential knowledge base broadened and deepened considerably. We all get to share what we have, and that’s a wonderful thing.”
WORDS LINDA LIVES BY:
“Life is for learning! But that’s too easy, so I’ll add that I recently finished a book by a former Methodist minister in which the author challenges his readers to think about their own credo, within the framework of the Bible, tradition, experience and reason. Although I would include all the scriptures on the planet as ‘the Bible,’ this did get me to think. I came up with a very simple credo that I feel meets all of those criteria: Love is the underlying principle of all existence, and it is my job to express that Love. What better what to express love than to teach what we have to teach?”
Linda encourages all people to think about how we are expressing our Love.
“If we’re going to fix our mess, we all have to participate in whatever way we are able and called to do,” she said.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND LINDA:
To take a class with Linda, search Communiversity’s database by “Convener Last Name” and type in “VanBibber”. Her next class, Toning for Beginners, will take place this Thursday, Feb. 6.
To learn more about Linda, visit her blog!
JUST FOR FUN:
If Linda were an animal, she would be a bear.
“This is winter,” she said. “Right now I’m in dream-time mode to create the next year.”
By Jessica Turner and Linda VanBibber
One Week Until Communiversity’s Wholistic Health Fair!
Communiversity’s Wholistic Health Fair will take place on Sunday, Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the UMKC Student Union.
For 14 years, exhibitors have gathered bi-annually to share with others their alternative health philosophies with the public. The event will include more than 60 booths, 20 workshops, and a Silent Auction that will feature an array of healthy products.
“The Wholistic Fair was a trigger for me,” exhibitor and natural health advocate Eric Soriano said. “It was the start of a whole new paradigm in my life.”
Soriano was invited to the fair last year, and was far from a believer in some of the methods presented to him.
“I thought, ‘Well, this is kind of kooky,’” Soriano said, “’but I’ll go.’”
Soriano joked that as a resident of Missouri, the “Show-Me State,” it took some convincing.
“So show me, right?” Soriano said. “And these people—they showed me. I think a lot of people think, ‘These are a bunch of quacks,’ but if they just try it…it’s amazing what your body will do for itself.”
Soriano and his family have been on a journey towards a healthier life for almost a year. His wife has eliminated her arthritis. He and his daughter attend seminars and lectures and research healing methods such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, essential oils, and listen to testimonies along the way.
Although young college students at UMKC may not be particularly concerned with health issues at this point in their lives, the material presented consists of practices that can be adopted early to form beneficial habits for future wellbeing. Relevant information can also be transferred to other interested friends and family members.
“I wouldn’t have done all these things if I hadn’t gone to the Wholistic Health Fair,” Soriano said. “It all sounded too good to be true, but I kept checking it out. And here we are, 10 months later, and it all worked. I got rid of a number of conditions that I couldn’t get rid of before.”
Linda VanBibber is the owner of a new business called Harmony Energetics, is also an exhibitor at the health fair.
“It’s a great place to see what’s new and hook up with like-minded people who care enough about their health and quality of life to take charge of it and accept responsibility for it,” VanBibber said. “It’s a good group that shares the latest innovations in alternative and holistic health care. Great people.”
VanBibber looks forward to sharing modalities involving sound and scent, explaining that they impact the body and brain through olfactory and auditory senses. She will conduct demonstrations using tuning forks and crystal bowls. Her friend and fellow participant, George Moon, will demonstrate with essential oils.
“I took a Communiversity class this weekend and loved it,” senior Courtney Versluis said. “Herbal Remedies with Regina [Compernolle]. It was very cool.”
Versluis expressed a desire to attend the health fair based on her other positive experiences through Communiversity. She has taken Chuck Harper’s Letterpress Stationery and Bookbinding classes.
“I have loved all three classes,” Versluis said. “They were fantastic opportunities to learn something I’d wanted to learn under an experienced and passionate instructor. I would really like to attend the Wholistic Health Fair.”
Many Communiversity instructors have reserved booths and will teach workshops in the Multipurpose Room 401 at the Student Union.
“We’re all on this journey together, and we learn from each other,” Soriano said. “We attend these functions, and now I just want to help other people learn about these gentle, relatively inexpensive means to greater health. Now, that’s profound. That is worthy of my time to share.”
Soriano added that many people don’t know that, not only do they not have to take seven different pharmaceutical drugs, those substances are actually toxic to their bodies.
“I think we have the wrong expectations and culturally, we’ve been conditioned to believe that if you have any kind of major degenerative disease, it’s going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars to correct it,” Soriano said.
The stories he has heard from others along the way have inspired him to reach out and teach what he has learned.
“I’m inviting everyone to the Wholistic Health Fair right now,” Soriano said.
He described his personal database full of hundreds of individuals who receive his emails.
“People don’t even know this stuff, and they’re dying needlessly. If I can get 10 of them there, and they learn something like I learned and they can go forward and heal themselves,” Soriano said, “that’s a success.”
He described UMKC’s Student Union as “a beautiful venue,” and called the Wholistic Health Fair “the premier event in the Midwest for people to expose themselves” to alternative health.
“They’ll never hear about as many natural healing modalities in one place, at one time, as they will at the Wholistic Health Fair,” he said. “I’m really excited to be a part of it.”
To learn more about Eric Soriano, visit his Facebook page, “I Am Healthy and Abundant 365“.
By Jessica Turner
Previous versions of this story have been published in Evolving Magazine, Spirit Seekers, and The University News
CONVENER CORNER: MEET DENIS GREENE!
President of Church Development and Communiversity convener Denis Greene is holding two classes this week. The first will take place on Oct. 24, at the Plaza Library at 7 p.m. and is called, “Wheelie Through the Baboons: A Strategic Thinking System”.
“On a motorcycle trip across Africa in the 1970s, I encountered a pack of baboons when I was going 100 miles per hour on a rare paved road,” Greene said. “The challenge required me to shift consciousness and come up with a creative solution, or die.”
Greene explained that a better decision can come from shifting consciousness at the right moment.
“The skill will help you avoid quiet desperation, avoid getting outsourced, avoid doing the wrong thing and help you find meaning, self fulfillment and kindred souls in your altruistic activities,” Greene said.
The highlight of Greene’s year happened on a camping trip this summer when he was hiking through a canyon in northern Utah, following a stream looking for Indian petroglyphs.
“We chanced upon a deep and wide pool formed by eons of erosion,” Greene said. “After swimming all through the pool, my daughter said, ‘Dad, let’s climb the waterfall!’”
“Well, okay,” Greene responded, with much hesitation.
“On the cliff overlooking the pool, I watched her eyes examine the pool depth, trace an imaginary trajectory, calculate probability, measure the distance to the pool exit, take a deep breath and flex all her swimming muscles in sequence, then size me up,” Greene said.
“Well, old man, would you hold my hand as we leap into the pool?” Greene’s daughter asked him.
“If my wife had been present, it might not have happened,” Greene said. “On the count of three, we leaped. As we surfaced, her beaming smile spoke volumes about her, and what I can expect from her in the future.”
Greene has also organized a class that will take place this Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Westport Library at 10 a.m. called, “How to Ask for Donations”. Personally, Greene has raised an average of $1,000,000 per month for the past 20 years for different charitable organizations in their capital campaigns.
Greene enjoys teaching through Communiversity because “you are kindred spirits for me. I am happy to share what I’ve learned over the past 40 years of practice,” he said.
WORDS GREENE LIVES BY:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
-Henry David Thoreau
WHERE YOU CAN FIND GREENE:
To take a class with Greene, search Communiversity’s database by “Convener Last Name” and type in “Greene”.
To find out more about Greene, visit his website!
Follow this link to visit Greene’s Stewardship System!
Watch Greene’s 2-minute video here!
By Jessica Turner and Denis Greene
Rick playing a guitar his dad built, with his good friend, John Miles.
CONVENER CORNER: MEET RICK MARESKE!
As Communiversity members, many of you may already be familiar with Rick Mareske. Not only is the devoted coordinator of our community of shared knowledge, but he is a convener himself. He has taught classes such as “The Early Game of Tennis”—which met at 7 a.m., “Beginning Gypsy Jazz Guitar,” “Plain ol’ Beginning Guitar,” “Go with Others”—an introduction to the Chinese game of Go, and “Tai Chi for Health”.
On Wednesday, Oct. 23, Marekse is teaching “Beginning Jazz Guitar” from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. He has been playing guitar for 45 years, and has taught the class for about 10.
“I started singing harmony when I was five,” Mareske said. “I love music. It follows me around relentlessly.”
Although he “resisted taking lessons for many years,” Marekse finally took classical lessons with Doug Niedt around 1981.
“I took lessons with Kansas City jazz icon, John Elliot, for several years after that,” Mareske said. “He was a piano player, arranger and jazz theorist who had a better understanding of guitar than any guitarist I’ve ever met. He could write an arrangement for guitar out of his head while correcting me as I attempted to play my lesson. He demanded recitation of chords in all keys. It was an invaluable learning experience that I carry with me every time I play the guitar or arrange a piece of music.”
Mareske’s class consists of three sessions.
“I try to give people a tiny taste of how and why you might want to keep common tones when you play chord progressions,” Mareske said. “It’s really hard and most people can’t get it but some do, and I think it changes how they approach the guitar for the better.”
Mareske enjoys teaching through Communiversity because of the “rich diversity” of people who are likely to show up.
WORDS MARESKE LIVES BY:
“I believe the truth is only found in stories, whether that be science, literature, history or spiritual. If we take these stories too seriously, we become hardened and fundamentalist. If we don’t take them seriously enough, we become apathetic and alienated. Not all stories are equal. Devotion, commitment, usefulness, openness and love are essential to a good story.”
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MARESKE:
To take a class with Mareske, search Communiversity’s database by “Convener Last Name” and type in “Mareske”.
JUST FOR FUN:
If you were an animal, what would you be?
“Sometimes porcupine has come in handy.”
By Jessica Turner and Rick Mareske
CONVENER CORNER: MEET APRIL BOYD-NORONHA!
Author, skills consultant, retail trainer and Communiversity convener April Boyd-Noronha will host her class, “Good Bosses Gone Bad” Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Central Library.
Noronha worked for years in retail management and now feels that it’s important to discuss the topic with others who are unhappy in their jobs.
“Many workers are frustrated with their current work environments, mainly due to their bosses,” Noronha said. “Years of working in toxic work environments prompted me to write and self-publish my first book, ‘Good Bosses Gone Bad,’ in 2012, in hopes of inspiring employees stuck at workplaces where their bosses have ‘gone bad’.”
Her course description explains that “never before have so many employees been so dissatisfied,” but most of these employees tend to like what they do for a living and get along with their peers.
“Surprisingly, the main source of their daily dread is their boss,” Noronha states.
In “Good Bosses Gone Bad,” you will have the opportunity to take a quiz to see if your boss has ‘gone bad,’ and what you can do to “maintain your sanity while keeping your job”.
Noronha has also developed a class called “Living with Lupus,” which will take place this Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in Royall Hall on UMKC’s campus. She was diagnosed with Lupus in 2013.
“Since being diagnosed with Lupus, I am a patient-advocate encouraged to educate fellow Lupus patients, their families and caregivers,” Noronha said. “There is so much research and dialogue needed concerning the autoimmune disease.”
The class will discuss the five ‘side effects’ of how Lupus impacts one’s life “from a non-medical perspective,” and a guide will be provided for each participant.
Noronha enjoys teaching through Communiversity because of “the freedom and flexibility of topics to teach”.
WORDS BOYD-NORONHA LIVES BY:
“Learning is a life-long journey… Let’s get started.”
WHERE YOU CAN FIND BOYD-NORONHA:
To take a class with Boyd-Noronha, search Communiversity’s database by “Convener Last Name” and type in “Noronha”.
To learn more about “how to survive the workplace when your boss sucks,” visit Noronha’s website!
By Jessica Turner and April Boyd-Noronha
CONVENER CORNER: MEET ILENE KIMSEY!
You can meet her in person THIS MORNING!
Ilene Kimsey is a Communiversity convener who has been working in the field of human and spiritual development for more than 30 years. For the last 10 years, she has incorporated the ancient wisdom of Hawaii in her teachings and as part of her practice.
“An interest in indigenous wisdom drew me to Hawai’i where I lived and studied the ancient culture for twenty years,” Kimsey said. “My whole being resonates with the Hawaiian teaching that we are spirit in human form and one with all creation. Living Aloha means shining from our light of spirit greatness and learning to see and seek this unconditional love essence in others. In my private mentoring, seminars, and writing I provide practical pathways to access our uhane’ nui–spirit greatness and live in lokahi – unity with self, spirit, others and All That Is.”
Kimsey believes it’s important to share her skill with others because at this stage of humanity’s evolution, we are being called to align spirit with body and consciously harmonize with all life forms.
“Ancient indigenous teachings assist in reawakening sacred wisdom within us,” Kimsey said. “Each person’s unique expression of Spirit is an integral part of Earth’s transformation and attunement with the Divine. Ancient Hawaiian practices are simple yet profound tools for the art of living pono–connected to Spirit, your soul, and the sacredness of all life. It is time to E’ ho’omau—be who you are!”
Kimsey enjoys teaching through Communiversity because “it is a wonderful way to reach out and connect with the community.”
“On a recent trip to Hawai’i, I hiked to one of my favorite sacred places on the island of Oahu. As I looked out over the vast turquoise blue Pacific Ocean and consciously breathed the sacred breath, I could feel infinity. I was one with every rock, every water drop in the ocean, and every molecule of air. It was a clear, fresh morning and as the sun rose I could see the islands of Maui and Molokai. There was a bit of sadness as I took the path to the highest peak for I knew it was too late in the season to experience the magnificent Koholā—whale. Each year the humpbacks make the 3,000-mile journey from the Gulf of Alaska to Hawai’i to breed, calf and nurse their young. Then, the new Hawaiian family returns to Alaska.
“One reason for being on the mountain this day was to return a pohaku—lava rock—to the island that a friend found in her mainland garden. After offering an ancient chant I was guided to the perfect place for the pohaku and performed a coming home ceremony. The aina—land—opened her arms and rejoiced. Following is a photo of the homecoming.
“Feeling full of gratitude for the morning magnificence I walked down the path and paused at the Makapu’u Lighthouse. It seemed appropriate to sit and honor how we are guided by light in so many forms. I closed my eyes and connected in my heart to Creator and the wisdom that flows through all creation. Because I was sitting at the top of a mountain looking upon the Pacific Ocean, I offered special appreciation for the ancient wisdom of the dolphin and the whale. I thanked the whale for returning year after year reminding us of the infinite spiral of life.
“In that moment, I heard the wondrous spouting sound of the sacred breath of the whale! I looked up and sure enough, there was a mother whale with her calves, spouting, swimming, playing. And a second group…then a third. My heart was filled with such delight that the joy was spilling over as tears and blessing the moment. I continued to breathe consciously to take it all in and I kept saying, ‘Such an abundance of makana—gift. Such an abundance of makana.’
“The whale families headed north and I headed on down the mountain. I continued to smile and say aloud, ‘Such makana! So much makana!’
“In the distance I heard the excited voices of keiki—children—and as I rounded the corner I saw a group of 30 primary school children with their teachers. Everyone had on a blue t-shirt with their school name printed across the front, MAKANA! Yes, an abundance of makana in the ocean, on the land, and in the others. Gifts are everywhere when we open to see.”
WORDS KIMSEY LIVES BY:
“Simplicity is Profound!”
WHERE YOU CAN FIND KIMSEY:
To take a class with Kimsey, search Communiversity’s database by “Convener Last Name” and type in “Kimsey”. She is teaching “Power of Aloha” at 10:30 this morning at the Student Success Center on UMKC’s campus.
JUST FOR FUN:
If Kimsey were an animal, she would be a nai’a—or dolphin—“because they are all about joy and being in the flowing wisdom of that state of delight.
By Jessica Turner and Ilene Kimsey