Mindfulness in the Messy Middle: Holding Space to Explore the Place Between Grief and Joy

[Online Live, Real Time Retreat/Workshop]

Where are you in your journey? What season do you find yourself in?

  • Are you feeling exhausted, stuck, or anxious?
  • Are you hard on yourself because you feel you “should” have done more by now?
  • Are you struggling with disappointment, loss, or trauma from the past season?

No matter where you find yourself, in a valley or on a mountain top:

You are not alone.

You are experiencing and walking through a lot — you are worth it to pause and honour all of it.

If you want to make space to cultivate the good seeds and the sh-tty fertilizer from this season, but:

  • You don’t know where to begin…
  • You don’t know how to do it without toxic positivity bypassing…
  • You don’t know where you can process and share safely, with all the struggle and joys simultaneously.


Gather with us for this highly interactive, guided creative journey to compassionately explore the joys and griefs of your journey.

We are making room to be present in the messy middle, to create meaningful connections — to ground yourself, and connect with others in solidarity.

Focusing on creative exploration (and less on precise technical how-to’s), this workshop experience will empower you with expressive lettering as a tool for self-care and self-discovery. 

Come with an open heart, ready to be present and to engage with curiosity.

You’re invited to experience:

Creative Self Advocacy

Show up for yourself, slow down, refill your cup. Honour all that’s going on in your heart and life in a supportive, collaborative space. Manage stress, increase self compassion, awareness and alignment in your life.

Guided creative reflection

Practice mindfulness and reflective practices that will support you to walk through any season, from peaks to valleys, and the messy middle. Reflect in an intentional space through guided prompts, visualization, journalling, and creative exercises.

Honest conversations

Speak your truth by sharing (if you feel compelled to). Support others’ voices as you listen compassionately, countering disconnection and isolation.  Deepen insight and solidarity by holding space for and being held by others on the journey.


Perspective + PUrpose

Gain fresh insight in your purpose for this current season of life. Increase calm, clarity, confidence, and intention as you explore your unique perspective and place in a rapidly changing world where the world needs your Light to shine.


All of you is welcome here, whether you’re feeling stirred to be still or to speak, whether you’re dressed and in your office, or taking zoom calls from bed in your messy bun with the camera off. Come with an open heart, ready to be present and to engage. 

What’s Included

Mindset for Confident Creative Expression + Compassionate Rest
Facilitation of Safe Space for Creative Reflection + Honest Conversation
Prompts for Compassionate Creative Expression
Community of Thoughtful Creatives

Come As You Are

stressed out, Seeking Rest

You’re exhausted, but you struggle to slow down, deep down, your thoughts swirl. Mindfulness, meditation or journaling feels like a struggle.

• You don’t remember the last time you’ve had some “me time” or creative time.

Renaissance or Closet Creative

• You miss being creative and want to reconnect with the carefree spirit of your younger days.

• You’re multi-passionate searching for a new outlet. Or, you’re a seasoned calligrapher or  journaler seeking to grow in self discovery.


Curious Explorer

• You have zero lettering experience (bad handwriting welcome here!) but are curious to try your hand at it.

• You may not identify as creative, but you love stretching your comfort zone, trying new things, and developing yourself.


real time learner

You believe in the power of being seen and heard, live, in a supportive community.

• You know that showing up in real time better supports your growth. You have too many untouched webinar replays. You know that inspirational affirmations are empty unless they are integrated holistically.

What Our Community is Saying

Justine’s approach was very engaging, and I found myself really pulled in and actively participating immediately. Every step of her process was unique. Her leadership through the exercises was clear and approachable, kind and full of grace. Never in my life have 2 hours flown by so quickly! Still, days later, I am thinking about some of the things we worked on, and I will be building in some time to my schedule each week to look through the notes and build on them, while working on some of the questions that came up for me during the session. Thank you Justine! It was a life-changing session for me!


I came in to the space with a mind full of thoughts and feelings. During the session I felt validated and had permission to bring the messiness of it all to the table. It was a safe and restful place where I had permission to be myself. I loved the aspect of being able to share and hear from others journeys. Thank you Justine for creating this safe space for us to explore areas in our lives we normally may not have the intentional time to dig into.

Justine always does a great job in providing a safe and intimate space (even online) that makes people feel comfortable to share their deep feelings. I loved the raw emotions people showed. I felt heard and supported by others, and I was able to do the same for others. The energy felt so genuine. And the journaling questions were really good prompts that helped me reflect and get in touch with my feelings and emotions.

This Mindfulness in the Messy Middle workshop, using a variety of creative and mindfulness practices, was really helpful as I ponder this past year of living in a time of the pandemic. In the past, I would’ve tried to put my experiences into a neat and tidy package. However, life is complicated and through the creative practices during the workshop, I was able to begin to understand that in such a difficult time, there are a lot of struggles – and there also can be a lot of joy. And, this is all okay.

I have some questions...

If you're feel drawn or curious to join us, but a little unsure about showing up and participating in an event like this, it's normal to feel a little nervous. Or maybe you have a more practical question. We're here to help you come with you whole self, as you are.

Which class do I start with? Is this the right one for me? Will this teach me "how to" write calligraphy?
Good question! All of our class experiences are designed to be accessible to beginners, so it really depends on what your main goal is.

EXPRESSIVE LETTERING WORKSHOPS are more about creative exploration and using lettering as a tool for mindfulness, such as a supplement for your journaling practices, gratitude, vision boards, etc.

In these spaces, we do not spend any time on the technical aspects of how to write calligraphy.

If you would like to learn the TECHNIQUE of calligraphy, you can find out about our technical how-to workshops here>>

If you have any questions or need further help in choosing the right course for you, feel free to send us a Direct Message on Instagram or contact us with your question.

What can I expect from these creative workshops and conversation circles?

You can expect a guided journey, connecting through:

  • creative reflection/expressive exercises
  • mindfulness/visualization exercises
  • facilitated journalling
  • curated conversation prompts

There will be ample time to reflect on your own, but also to connect with and glean from the group's collective experience and wisdom. You will have opportunity to share with others, but it isn't mandatory if you're in more of a contemplative listening mood.

Do I have to share verbally? Will I be called on to speak?
No. Sharing is never mandatory. It's important to us that you participate in a way that is supportive to you. You are the only expert-of-you that determines what that looks like.

There will be multiple ways that you will be invited to choose how you can engage your participation. This means you share at a level that you decide, when you feel ready or feel compelled to speak, with or without the camera on.

We do not support “peer pressure vulnerability”. Sharing is always optional and you reserve the right and have full permission to pass.

Come as you are, your full self. And if that means you're in a more contemplative listening mood, that is totally okay.

If something comes up for you that you prefer not to share with the whole group or in your small group, but you would still like to have a 1:1 conversation about it, you can always reach out for a conversation in a private chat, or at the end of the session where there will be extra space to connect.

Do I have to have the camera on?
You're welcome to show up just as you are, whether you’re dressed and in your office, or taking zoom calls from bed in your messy bun with the camera off.

That being said, we invite you to consider keeping your camera on if you are feeling up for it, as studies have been shown that can have an effect on the sense of engagement, connection, and community in the virtual space, both on your end and on ours as we facilitate.

If it's because you have pets, partners, or kids running around, know that we don't view them as unwelcome distractions. Just keep your microphone on mute.



What if I don't identify as artistic or creative?
Come as you are. All are welcome here. All workshops are designed to be accessible to beginners.

For Creative Expression Workshops, we will engage in creative reflective practices equipping you with tools you can walk away with for self awareness, self discovery, and empowerment.

These include options such as writing, drawing, speaking, meditating, visualizing... Multiple options and levels will always be provided, and you get to decide what is the most supportive way for you to engage.

No prior experience is necessary by any means.

We believe every human being is creative. So our teaching approach is grounded in giving you on a strong foundation cultivating the mindset needed to fully and freely engage in the creative process holistically, from knowledge and skill, to mind and heart.

  • This means, you'll be focusing on your experiences and meditating on the meaning, themes, and connections.
  • It's more about the journey of creativity and not about the end output. 
  • This means perfectionism is not allowed here, and we will create a safe space for practicing and processing and getting messy.
Does the cost of your workshops include supplies?
For online mindfulness and creative expression workshops, you will be given a list of suggested supplies to bring. Many will already exist in your house, without the need to make additional purchases (unless you want the excuse to indulge, of course ;) )

For in person workshops, all supplies are provided.

Who is facilitating this session? What are your credentials?
JUSTINE HWANG is a mental health advocate, facilitator, workshop coach, social impact calligrapher, with a Bachelor in Communication and certifications in facilitation (in person and virtual).

With 20 years of experience in leadership and spiritual development, adult education, and communications, Justine crafts talks and facilitates workshop experiences that are supportive, engaging, and encouraging.

Her passion and skill is to create transformative experiences that empower people with practical tools.

She takes her role of creating safe and welcome space for all seriously, rooted in her experiences of exclusion growing up, making her an advocate of creating belonging.

We also collaborate with GUEST FACILITATORS who are experts in their respective fields. You can read their bios on the event registration page.

What's your Refund Policy?

For online workshops, refunds are available up to 14 days before the session date. You may also choose to defer the value of your ticket to a future date (you will receive a unique credit that you can use for anything in the online shop). Or, you may transfer your ticket to a friend. Email your request and reason for refund to justine @ itjustflows.com or you may use the contact form on this site.

For in person workshops, refunds are not available due to the nature of venue rentals and limited seats, however you may defer your ticket to a future workshop, (you will receive a unique credit that you can use for anything in the online shop). Or, you may transfer your ticket to a friend. Email your transfer request to justine @ itjustflows.com or you may use the contact form on this site.

For ALL workshops, if the workshop is cancelled by It Just Flows for any reason, including not reaching the minimum number of participants required to run it, you will have a choice of deferring your ticket to a future workshop, or receiving a full refund.

Will there be a replay available?
  • Reflective and Expressive Lettering workshops will not be recorded in order to provide full safety and confidentiality for participants to share freely in the live experience. The main magic of these sessions is the connections that form with live interaction in community. So we encourage you to sign up, block off the time, make a date with yourself, and add it to your calendar.
  • We may or may not decide to record for our own internal reflective purposes of capturing the teaching segments. We will always check in with the group at the beginning. Either way, there will not be a replay available. None of the participant dialogue will ever be shared in any way publicly or privately. We take confidentiality very seriously.
I really want to come but can't make the date. How often do you run your workshops?
Frequency: We typically run workshops every 2-3 months, but may consider doing them more frequently based on interest/demand. So the best thing to do is to pop us a quick message DM on Instagram or from my site here to let me know what topics you're most interested in. Then join our email community for the latest workshop release dates.
Do you teach in person classes or online only? Where are you geographically located?
We teach online live, real time workshops.

We currently do not offer on-demand pre-recorded videos. Let us know if you are interested in this option, and we will consider it if there is enough demand.

We are based in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada, where we teach in person workshops but have been known to travel to do workshops in other cities. Obviously this is currently on pause until further notice due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Do you teach private workshops or lessons?

Yes, we love working with existing communities (staff team, bridal parties, group of friends for a holiday party, etc.) to create a workshop experience tailored to your group. Find out more on the private art party page here. >>

Introductory Calligraphy Course title in script style lettering with calligraphy supplies on a desk

Mindfulness in the Messy Middle

[Live, Real Time, Online Class]

Expressive Lettering workshop

Free – $99.99

Canadian dollar ($)
United States (US) dollar ($)

How to save your seat:

  1. Choose a date.
  2. Note that a supply list will be provided for your preparation (you will be emailed a materials list + PDF of the workbook). In person workshops include all supplies.
  3. If you would like to reset the options, REFRESH the page, or hit CLEAR on the bottom right, just after the Options, before the “Add to Cart” button.
  4. Add the number of tickets you wish to purchase to your cart.
  5. Proceed to checkout.

80% OFF, automatically discounted at check out