"I believe we heal and grow best when we are connected to a small group of people where we can be accepted fully, and feel seen and known. Throughout all of my different jobs I have been fascinated with resiliency - with how people find hope in the midst of suffering. My time as an ordained minister and pastor helped me learn how to sit with people who were suffering, rather than try to fix them. My time as a Philosophy and Religion professor taught me to ask the deepest questions: the questions of purpose, meaning, longing, and that which some call God, or Source, or Divine Love.
Recently I am resonating with what author Susan Cain calls the Bittersweet. In an interview with Tim Ferris, she says: "Bittersweetness, itself, I define as the state in which you know, you accept, and you truly inhabit the idea that life is always simultaneously joy and sorrow. It’s light and dark. There’s an amazing Arabic expression, “Days of honey, days of onions.”
Over the last 15 years I have been taught by some of the most resilient people I have ever met. The rural communities of Ethiopia are filled with people who, despite overwhelming challenges such as a 6-hour daily walk to find water for their family, still manage to find a way to experience joy, contentment and connection. That feeling, that despite the bitter you can still experience the sweet because you are connected to a small community of people that allow you to feel held, seen, and known, this is the key. I designed this course as a tool to help all of us build this kind of resilience."