Yes to Life – a Two Year Journey

Starts: April 27 @ 8:00AM     Ends: April 30 @ 4:00PM

Life is inviting us all the time. Each breath is an invitation to be present, not conditioned by the past. Each encounter is an invitation to love and receive love, not conditioned by habits of thinking or reacting. Each moment contains an invitation to hear the small, still voice inside us and discern the calling of Life. Each relationship is an invitation to experience a depth of connection with others and self. Life is calling to our particular soul, to the unique expression of life that we are, inviting us to live into our purpose.

With Stephen Michael Tumolo & Janine Harris Degitz

There are currently no tickets available for this event, but you can still make a donation.

Yes to Life – a Two Year Journey

This two year journey is a chance to say yes to the Life's call - to live into the joy and authenticity that is our birthright. Drawing on ancient spiritual traditions and the work of Robert Gonzales, Philip Shepherd, and Marshall Rosenberg, we will form a community of learners, supporting each other in saying Yes to Life.

Central to this journey will be four retreats, each taking place from Thursday through Sunday at the Pendle Hill Retreat Center.

The heart of this two year journey will be four four-day retreats at Pendle Hill. Twelve nights lodging, three nights each retreat, and all meals are included in the cost. In addition to these retreats several opportunities to learn, grow, and integrate our learning have been created. These include:

  • Journaling in response to one question given before and after each retreat;
  • Regular empathy calls with the members of your community over an eighteen month period;
  • Three conference calls with the entire community and both facilitators; and,
  • One individual phone or skype session with one of the facilitators.

In addition, participants will be asked to identify and meet with a local practice group weekly or biweekly for the length of the program. The Yes to Life community and facilitators will support each other in finding practice groups if needed.

In order to support an ongoing sense of cohesion and connection this retreat will be limited to the first 21 registrants.

Key themes are:

1. The Core Principles of Robert Gonzales' Living Compassion

2. Four Components of Empathy

3. Dwelling in Living Energy of Needs

4. Cultivating an Integrated Awareness of our Inner Life

5. Recognizing Self-Judgement and Judgment of Others

6. Listening to our Soul, Experiencing our Essence

7. Vulnerability, Wounding, Protective Structures Protection and Persona

8. Staying and Allowing

9. Recognizing the Residue of Trauma in Ourselves or Others and Offering Support to Re-regulate the Nervous System

10. Grounded-ness, Rooting our Experience in the Body

11. Self - Care

12. Experiencing Wholeness

About Our Fees

  • Fees represent what is needed to make this experience sustainable by Heart-to-Heart. Any contribution above the fee amount is most welcome. All contributions enable us to make this experience accessible for returning citizens, to offer financial assistance for others in need, or to support our work in jails and prisons.
  • Returning citizens, men and women returning to society from jail or prison, are especially welcome on the Yes to Life journey. At least two places are reserved for returning citizens. Significantly reduced rates are available. Please inquire with us.
  • A limited amount of financial assistance for Yes to Life may be available, depending on registration. Our fees are requested amounts. Please inquire with us.
  • Our request is that ¼ of the two year fee be paid at time of registration and that the second ¼ of the fee be paid at least one month prior to the start of the first retreat. We request that the balance be paid three months prior to the third retreat. If you need to request an alternative payment plan, please inquire with us.

Meet the Facilitators

Stephen Michael Tumolo, MA, SEP

Stephen Michael grew up in South Philadelphia and moved with his family to New Jersey as a teenager. He studied at Boston College, earning degrees in Philosophy and Economics. It was during this time, through volunteering in a Catholic Worker soup kitchen and in a home for boys, that he learned he loves to serve. Simultaneously, he encountered a God who loves him and who is undying in compassion and second chances. Stephen Michael went on to earn a Master's Degree in Theology with a concentration in Justice and Peace at the Maryknoll School of Theology.

In 1995 Stephen Michael moved to New Mexico, where he worked as a high school teacher and educator in the field of faith. In 1998 he was invited by Sister Mary Jo Boland to co-facilitate a healing, learning journey for incarcerated men called Comienzos, which means beginnings. Over the past eighteen years men and women in jails and prisons have had a profound impact on him. They have introduced him to the twelve steps and twelve recovery. They've modeled courage and vulnerability and drawn out his passion for healing, justice and a lasting peace.

Stephen Michael returned to New Jersey in 2008 and brought this healing work with him. He co-founded Heart-to-Heart: Comienzos East, bringing life changing education to jails, prisons and communities. Now serving as Heart-to-Heart's Executive Director, Stephen Michael continues to educate in and out of correctional facilities. He leads groups for men who survived childhood sexual trauma, facilitates restorative dialogues, and provides training and coaching to individuals, couples, families, faith communities, businesses, and nonprofits.

Stephen Michael is a coach and trainer in Heart-to-Heart Communication. He is an accredited T'ai Chi Chih instructor and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. He has personally studied and is forever indebted to Marshall Rosenberg, Robert Gonzales, Philip Shepherd, and Sister Grace Myerjack, MM. For more on Stephen Michael and Heart-to-Heart go to

Janine Harris Degitz

Janine has been studying Non-Violent Communication (NVC) since 2005 with a primary focus on Robert Gonzales's work of Living Compassion. She is a graduate of Robert's 2009-2010 LIFE program and was an assistant for Robert in the 2012-2013 LIFE program in Portland, OR. She has spent over 700 hours practicing and supporting Robert and his work. In addition to NVC Janine has been studying conflict resolution, restorative circles, community building, mediation and restorative justice for the past 19 years. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Restorative Practices at the International Institute of Restorative Practices in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Janine lives in Columbus Ohio with her life partner of 29 years, two children and several hives of bees. Janine regularly facilitates classes and workshops in her community on embodied practices of living compassion. In addition she is the creator and owner of Fermenting Abundance, a certified teacher of The Embodied Present Process as developed by Phillip Shepherd and a teacher mentor of Urban Zen Integrative Therapy. Each of these passions lead Janine in practical ways to support others in sensitizing to their true nature and returning to the wholeness and connection to the passion in their life.

Certifications, Special Study & Training:
BS, Information Systems, Kelly School of Business - Indiana University (1987)Masters certificate - The International Institute of Restorative Practices(IIRP) (2016)Masters degree candidate - MS Restorative Practices - (IIRP) Compassionate Communication Center of Ohio (CCCO) - facilitator/teacherCompassionate Communication Center of Ohio - Board of Directors Co-PresidentThe Embodied Present Process (TEPP) - certified teacher (2016)Graduate of Robert Gonzales' 2009-2010 LIFE programAssistant to Robert Gonzales' 2012-2013 LIFE programUrban Zen Integrative Therapist - certified teacher/mentor (2014- Present)Natural and Sustainable Bee keeping - Spikenard Bee Sanctuary - Certification (2013)

Event Location

Pendle Hill
338 Plush Mill Rd
Wallingford,, PA 19086

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