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New Existentialists

Embrace Your Tears

08/06/2014
Embrace Your Tears
When was the last time you cried? How long did you allow yourself to cry before putting the lid back on? Did it take you by surprise? Did you feel it building up and flowing over? Did you quickly wipe away your tears, or did you allow them to linger on your cheeks? I am intrigued by how people cry. Often, I watch them holding their breath in the moments before their tears appear. I feel their reluctance to let go. Then comes the biting of the lip as they look up to the sky, in the hope that the tears that are beginning to fall will defy gravity and roll back up. When their tears rebel against...

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New Existentialists

Now It's Personal

08/05/2014
Now It's Personal
My dear friend Joseph died today. Joseph was a professor of continental philosophy at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. He and I also went to high school together. He was one of the few people in my life who knew me way back in my caterpillar days but also knew me as we both emerged out of our cocoons into existential butterflies, if such a thing exists. He “got” my existential jokes. I could wish him a “Happy Being-in-the-World” Day on his birthday and he knew the reference. We could talk about Heidegger and Husserl and its relationship to Buddhist and Tao...

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New Existentialists

Waxing Existential: Summer of Awe

08/04/2014
Waxing Existential: Summer of Awe
This time of year, I often remember the summers I spent on Cape Cod, at sleepaway camp. I was an anxious kid in many ways, quiet and introverted. My self-confidence was unformed, my shame immense. I never loved sleepovers, unless they were at my house, so the thought of going to sleepaway camp for eight weeks was literally nauseating to me. I was 13 years old and I desperately didn’t want to go. My little sister, on the other hand, was raring to go. The Amtrak left from Stamford, CT, and I know of at least one snapshot of me that my parents took where I am looking back, my face defining...

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Rethinking Complexity

Leading Across Boundaries - The ISSS-2014 Conference in Washington, D.C.

08/04/2014
Leading Across Boundaries - The ISSS-2014 Conference in Washington, D.C.
The 58th meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences was held George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.  Gerald Midgley  president for this year, and his conference team, are to be commended for creating a great week of learning.  The theme of the conference was “Learning Across Boundaries: Exploring the variety of systemic theory and practice.”  That theme was reflected in both the keynote presentations and the individual papers and workshops.  More importantly (for me), were the many...

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Rethinking Complexity

Learning Across Boundaries - The ISSS-2014 Conference in Washington, D.C.

08/04/2014
Learning Across Boundaries - The ISSS-2014 Conference in Washington, D.C.
The 58th meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences was held George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.  Gerald Midgley  president for this year, and his conference team, are to be commended for creating a great week of learning.  The theme of the conference was “Learning Across Boundaries: Exploring the variety of systemic theory and practice.”  That theme was reflected in both the keynote presentations and the individual papers and workshops.  More importantly (for me), were the many...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

08/01/2014
Existential Roundup
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. While we may be going through the height of the summer season, we also have to recognize that summer, with its bright sunshine and colors, also brings with it its darkness—its heavy downpours and dangerous lightning. Therefore, this week’s blog features a sampling of some of the darkness that has turned up this summer. According to The Atlantic, some people literally find the summer dark and depressing...

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New Existentialists

I Am, We Are, This Is Me: The Wounded Healer in Nature and Sacred Community

07/31/2014
I Am, We Are, This Is Me: The Wounded Healer in Nature and Sacred Community
In my personal life beyond my work as a professor and a psychologist, I am blessed to be a member of two loving and healing spiritual communities that feel like a family and tribe, in a deeper sense than I could once have ever imagined. At the time of this writing, I reflect in a liminal space between events connected to both groups. I have just returned from a five-day spiritual retreat at The Crows Nest Center for Shamanic Studies, where I was immersed in sacred breathwork sessions, sweatlodge ceremonies, shamanic and earth-honoring rituals, deeply spiritual conversations, tepid breezy...

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New Existentialists

Landing in the Right Place

07/30/2014
Landing in the Right Place
The career market used to be open a little wider. Greed and politics are narrowing our options. As I struggle to find means to support my family and pay my student loans, people often reassure me that I am worth hiring and will eventually find the place where I belong. These days, I don’t know that there is such a place. Twenty years ago, I would have endorsed these ideas. Today, I see them as luxuries best afforded by the rich. These days, we just do what we need to do to survive. It is easy to think of the place that is the right fit when things are going generally right: you have a...

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New Existentialists

The Poet as Revolutionary: Thoughts on Presence

07/29/2014
The Poet as Revolutionary: Thoughts on Presence
I believe that being a poet is a revolutionary act. Please note, I did not say writing or reading poetry. I said, “Being a poet.” For me, this means witnessing the world and one’s self with poetic vision. Poetic vision includes a potency, a quality of existence that both descends and transcends beyond self into a vivid attunement that, regardless of pleasant or unpleasantness, brings aliveness and vitality. To me, poetic vision is a form of presence. I believe that in this day and age in which we are treated like lab rats by the media, the government, and even psychology,...

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Rethinking Complexity

The Evolutionary Journey of Life

07/28/2014
The Evolutionary Journey of Life
Life is a journey. I have been keenly aware of that for a good portion of my life.  I guess I became aware of the power of the metaphor in my early twenties when I broke away from some cultural patterns that diverted me from what a friend called “the franchised life” — that more or less predictable and predefined path for a Mexican woman, or for anyone who doesn’t question their status quo.  I just returned from three weeks in Europe: two weeks working in Germany with The Journey Network and then one week in Patmos, Greece, co-learning with my dear friends of...

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