Daring to live outside boxes: an intensive weekend with Pandora

Her name means All-Gifted. Her name means All-Giving. Her name means All-Endowed. Her name means She Who Sends Up Gifts.

treasure chest

In just over a month, Expanding Inward will be returning to the beautiful Cedar Valley Unitarian Universalists in Cedar Falls, Iowa. We have a special place in our hearts for this venue, as it was the site of our first-ever event, and we’re so grateful to have the stellar team of Brittany Flokstra and Sue Hill organize for us again. As of the time of this post, there are only 12 spaces left! If you were thinking about registering, now is definitely the time. We expect the event to sell out. The event starts on Friday evening, October 17 and ends on Sunday morning, October 19. Click here to register via Ticketleap.

Pandora’s story is a challenging one. A gift from the gods who gave the gift of Everything to humankind sounds like it should be a story of benevolence and abundance. Instead, Pandora becomes the archetype of the scapegoat. She opens a jar that “scattered pains and evils among men.” Humanity suffers, and Pandora is made out to be the source of that suffering. This beautiful gift, born of Earth and Air, becomes a punishment from the gods.

Pandora becomes the representation of fear itself. She is the Other that, senselessly, released evil into the world. She is a punishment. Her creation is clothed in angry words. And seductive ones.

What is beautiful, enchanting and dangerous? What is the ruin in our heart that we love? It is hatred. Hatred as a response (some even, briefly, feel as an antidote) to fear. It is the belief that there is a nice safe box somewhere and as long as we put the thing we don’t like – the things that scare us – in that box, and keep it closed, don’t be enticed into opening it! – we will be safe.

And, of course, this is no one’s experience. That box gets opened over and over. And we hate Pandora even as we are Pandora – hate the one who opens even as we open.

What difference would it make if, instead, we thanked Pandora – Earth Mother Goddess – for ALL of life? If we resolved never to close those boxes again? To defy the siren song of hate and let fear be mostly what it is – a reminder to love what is precious and ephemeral.

Pandora has been Blame. She is, instead, open-eyed embrace of life at full spectrum. In releasing her from one, and honoring her as the other, how will we change our lives? How will we change the world?

Join Expanding Inward as we explore these questions and more on a weekend-long journey through one of the oldest of the Greek myths. Together as a community, we will send energy toward breaking free of the boxes of hatred. We will form or strengthen a relationship with Pandora and her story using the tools of discussion, storytelling, trance, music, embodied movement, and much, much more.

Join us. Be a part of this potentially world-changing work. Be a part of a group that is daring to be brave enough to live outside of boxes. Laugh at the jealous gods who call this life a punishment. Know it as a rich, rich blessing.

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2 thoughts on “Daring to live outside boxes: an intensive weekend with Pandora

  1. Janice Hays Khan September 24, 2014


    I would love to be on your email list/website for upcoming events. I knew you years ago at Dianas Grove (Janice Chadha) which your “little boy” was a toddler. I can’t come to this event as I just don’t have enough lead time. But it sounds wonderful!


  2. River Roberts September 24, 2014

    Janice – so lovely to hear from you! I’ll make sure that Brittany sees this comment. (She and Sue are organizing this event, but they aren’t on the facilitation team.) We do events all over the place — and we’ve been to the St. Louis area twice already… all signs point to us heading back there sometime in the future. You can sign up for our email newsletter here: http://www.expandinginward.com/newsletter/ That will give you some more info on when and where we’re going to be. Hope we get to see you sometime soon!


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