The connections that get made, the community that is formed, and the experiences they have are life changing. Here are a few we’ve been told about:
"Saybrook rattled me to a core," said psychology alumna Monica Dixon, "and I loved every minute of it. It was the very thing I was seeking ---- a different way of operating. I began to question everything, and that has never stopped. I'm just asking bigger questions now."
"I'm always so impressed by the things that people are doing," says psychology and social transformation student Gianina Pellegrini. "At other schools people have jobs that are just getting them by, and then I go to Saybrook conferences, and I sit with other students who are on peace committees around the world and have done all this amazing work in different countries, and I'm so impressed, and I'm really motivated: I always think, this is what it's all about."
"Saybrook was the first time that I could really pursue anything that I was really passionate about pursuing,” said Human Science student Nick Rorbers. “I look at the Residential Conferences like they're a vacation."
Now, what’s your experience? Use the comments section below to tell us about your fall 2011 Residential Conference experience. Good, bad, or just plain interesting, we want to know.
Leave a note below!
Christina Roberts has some answers. Her Saybrook dissertation was a study of creative older individuals, and she found a clear link between their creative work and their sense of having lived an authentic life.
It may be, she suggests, that living authentically is itself a creative act.
She writes about her finding at The New Existentialists. It's a must read.
Ever notice that your workplace has patterns?
Of course you have - every organization does. In fact, understanding the "systems archetypes" of an organization -- common and usually reoccurring patterns of behavior -- can be a key to curing organizational dysfunction.
Each archetype has its own distinct storyline, and being able to change that storyline is a key leadership skill.
At the Rethinking Complexity blog, Saybrook Organizational Systems PhD student Jorge Taborga has gone over the research involving systems archetypes, listing some common types and explaining how to manage them -- even plan for them.
It's worth taking a look.
We try to scare kids about the dangers of drugs, about the dangers of gangs, about what will happen if htey don't get an education, about what could happen if they talk to strangers, about drinking, about driving, about drinking and driving ... you'd almost think we enjoy scaring kids, we do it so much.
But it's effective, right?
At The New Existentialists, Saybrook psychology student Makenna Berry has gone over some of the evidence -- and it turns out that "scared straight" style interventions do little to no short-term good and negative long term impacts.
Fortunately, there are better approaches we can take to help children navigate a world full of pitfalls.
I am presently living in Coconut Grove, Florida with my husband Kurt and two Black and White American short-haired cats named Oscar and Felix. Coconut Grove is a village in Miami that was settled by Bahamians and white settlers in the 1800s and became an artist colony in the 1940s – 1960s. My background is in Theater in performance, directing and writing. I have worked with my husband in professional film and video production and studio design, as well as computer software engineering. I went back to school and received both a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Public Administration with a specialization in Homeland Security Policy and Coordination (emphasizing emergency preparedness). For my MPA thesis, I focused on how the community is the actual first-responders. I found a resonance with working with people first as a director, then in organizational behavior in business school and finally in the importance of the community around us.
Saybrook first caught my eye in 2003 and I have keenly watched its development. After I graduated with my MPA in 2008, I decided to apply to Saybrook. To me, Saybrook was where I wanted to attain the jewel of my academic crown, a PhD. It is important to be a part of an institution that is comprised of such stellar human beings, which is the essence of humanistic psychology and life. At the first residential conference (RC), I had a chance to be amongst strangers and landed running. I say this because it is this exhilaration that I still get many RCs later. I especially like the structure of the RC because it establishes a foundation on which all learning is based at Saybook. In fact, it was at a Summer RC that I first learned Kundalini yoga and have continued my practice of it along with my husband. We are looking forward to becoming certified Kundalini instructors, so RCs can be both illuminating and motivational in encouraging one to continue practices learned at a RC.
One of my favorite aspects of Saybrook's MBM program is the close affiliation with the Center for Mind Body Medicine (CMBM). The CMBM conferences were what initially inspired me to enroll at Saybrook for a more intensive learning experience in the field of Mind Body Medicine.
It was also after I attended a CMBM conference called Food as Medicine (FAM) that I was inspired to start a non-profit that is now my full-time job. The non-profit, SuperFood Drive, was founded in early 2009 to help get healthier foods into food banks to ensure that all people have access to nutritious meals. Since its inception, SuperFood Drive has been tremendously successful in leading the movement towards nutrition banking instead of just (processed) food banking. We started by focusing on educating the general public about why it is important to donate nutritious non-perishables during food drives (for example, black beans instead of refried in lard, fruit canned in its own juice instead of syrup, and whole grain pasta instead of mac n cheese). We are now working collaboratively with Feeding America and other national organizations, including government programs, to create a holistic implementation model that can be used to turn all food banks across the country into nutrition banks.
It's a common assumption among medical professionals that biochemical conditions must involve biochemical treatments -- you need to pop a pill for your depression and take medication for your blood pressure.
But that doesn't necesarilly follow. High blood pressure is often best treated by diet and exercise, and depression -- even assuming it is a biochemical condition -- is frequently better addressed by talking with a therapist and changing your life.
Writing at The New Existentialists, Sarah Kass notes that a recent study has shown that practicing yoga "helps to calm the schizophrenic mind."
And why wouldn't it? While the benefits of yoga have only been acknowledged by western medicine relatively recently, it has thousands of years of history behind it as an aid to meditation and a way to help unify mind and body. The notion that this is inferior to a pill because ... because ... wait, why exactly? Oh right, because it isn't "medicine." Well, that's a notion that doesn't make any sense.
Healthy approached that take the whole person into account should be medicine of first resort, not last - especially since practicing them is still a good idea when you're already healthy. Unlike medication, the "side effects" of yoga are all positive if you do it right. It can even serve as preventative medicine - the best kind.
In a recent planning meeting with the Dean of LIOS Judy Heinrich and Organizational Systems Chair Mark Jones, we were reminded of one of the great educators, Parker Palmer. Parker wrote a book and founded a program called” the Courage to Teach.” As we thought about LIOS Graduate College, the phrase “the Courage to Lead” was uttered and it was one of those YES moments. I want to expand upon the concept of “the Power of Yes.” But first, let me begin with the alternatives to Yes.
Our minds know all too well NO (all of us are familiar with the terrible twos that are filled with NO’s); we are quite familiar with the MAYBE’s, the NO-BUT’S, or YES-BUT’s. However, in contrast, there are those YES moments in life that our consciousness can fall into, those YES’s that exist beyond our doubts, the YES’s that have no end. When I speak of “the Courage to Lead,” I am reminded that we must have the courage to attend to, to pay attention to, those YES’s.
Courage as a concept and as a word is rooted in the heart. The head of leadership is more about theories of practice and practice of theories. The heart of leadership, “the Courage to Lead,” is about our values and dreams. It is difficult to talk about courage without exploring fear. It has been said that courage is fear that has said its prayers. Let me tell you a true story about the first tightrope walker (taken from Mark S. Lewis’ commencement speech at University of Texas, 2000).
In 1859 the Great Blondin -- the man who invented the high wire act, announced to the world that he intended to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Five thousand people including the Prince of Wales gathered to watch. Halfway across, Blondin suddenly stopped, steadied himself, backflipped into the air, landed squarely on the rope, then continued safely to the other side. During that year, Blondin crossed the Falls again and again--once blindfolded, once carrying a stove, once in chains, and once on a bicycle. Just as he was about to begin yet another crossing, this time pushing a wheelbarrow, he turned to the crowd and shouted "who believes that I can cross pushing this wheelbarrow." Every hand in the crowd went up. Blondin pointed at one man.
"Do you believe that I can do it?" he asked.
"Yes, I believe you can," said the man.
"Are you certain?" said Blondin.
"Yes," said the man.
"Yes, absolutely certain."
"Thank you," said Blondin, "then, sir, get into the wheelbarrow."
Like that man in the crowd, we often know a lot of things, some with apparent certainty. But also like that man, there will be times in your life when knowing things won’t matter as much as how scary the situation is--and when that happens you’ll have to decide whether or not to get into the wheelbarrow. There are times when, in order to succeed, you will have to trust --when you will have to take a big leap of faith--and when that time comes I hope you will face your fear, say your prayers, and take appropriate action.
What you have earned as graduates of this amazing institution is the ability to move on, to dare to do anything. What you retain as graduates of this amazing institution is the privilege to return any time--to return emotionally, spiritually, or just to visit. And it is what you've learned at LIOS that will in part determine what you do out there.
And my hope is that “your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.”-anonymous
Writing at Rethinking Complexity, she suggests that American politicians are very good at causing system problems but not at fixing them. The only kind of solution congress ever looks for are piecemeal solutions, with little regard to the big picture or long-term consequences.
As a result even good ideas can push us deeper into the hole we’re digging … because systemic problems require system-wide solutions.
I currently work as the data manager for a federally-funded program called Indianapolis Healthy Start, geared at reducing infant mortality in the United States. Additionally, I serve as an adjunct faculty member at Ivy Tech Community College wh