Past Topics and Classes Taught
All classes include film-viewing, lecture, discussion, journaling and exercises. Most can be formatted for either a one- or two-day workshop or on-going groups.
Exploring Dying as a Way to Live More Fully
“How Shall I Live, Knowing I Will Die?” ~ Wayne Muller
Using death as our “advisor,” we explore ways in which we can live more fully and which obstacles get in the way.
A One-Day Introduction to the School of the Examined Life
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” ~ Socrates
We explore some of the feelings we put in the “long black bag we drag behind us.”
“I kept trying to make others see my worth instead of seeing it for myself.” ~Steve Demasco
We explore the ways in which we find self-worth, the ways we don’t, and what gets in the way of valuing ourselves
Exploring the Unlived Life
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time this expression is unique.” ~ Martha Graham
* Which parts of you are unlived or hidden?
* And what keeps you from expressing them?
Exploring Mothers & Daughters through Film
“When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself.” ~ Nancy Friday
There are two kinds of mothers: too much and too little (or both!). This class is suitable whether you are a mother, a daughter (or both!).
Exploring Relationship through Film
Many of us want to move into new paradigms of love and relationship. How might we wean ourselves from the myth of romantic love? How can we keep the beauty of romance and yet break the spell of its illusion? How might we drop projections and expectations of the Other? How can we move away from family of origin issues in our marriages? How can we grow as individuals in our relationships? How can we get over what John Bradshaw calls “Post-Romantic Stress Disorder”? How does the “Battle of the Sexes” play into our relationships? What does the statement ‘only those who are already married can actually get married’ mean? What is the relationship between love, loss and dependency? These are some of the mysteries that we will be exploring in this class.
Exploring Soul through Film
“Put your ear down close to your soul & listen hard”~ Anne Sexton
We will explore ways in which we reject parts of our souls and why.
Do You Accommodate? How to Say No
“When you say Yes to others, make sure you are not saying No to yourself”
~ Paolo Coelho
We will be exploring ways in which we accommodate, why, and what our obstacles are to saying “No”
Exploring the Enneagram
This workshop is for those who have a rudimentary sense of the Enneagram and which type they are. It is about next steps in working with your type in becoming more authentic. We will cover wings, sub-types, stress and heart points, and transformational tasks. We will also touch on how different types relate with one another, and how to make interactions go more smoothly. Although all types will be at least briefly covered, we will focus on those types present at the workshop.
Exploring Emotions through Film
Part of being whole is understanding & acknowledging ALL of our emotions, even the unpleasant ones.
- Loneliness / Dark Night of the Soul
Exploring Right & Wrong through Film
We will explore notions of morals and ethics, especially through films that illustrate moral ambiguity, including the “dangers of certainty.”
Exploring Fathers & Sons through Film
“What was silent in the father speaks in the son, and often I found in the son the unveiled secret of the father.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
For men, whether you’re a father, a son, or both, this class will allow you to explore the dynamics that have been (or still are) alive for you. For women, whether you are a sister, wife, mother or daughter, this class will give you an opportunity to explore men’s experience.
Exploring Fathers & Daughters through Film
“As a daughter grows up, her emotional and spiritual growth is deeply affected by her relationship to her father. He is the first masculine figure in her life and is a prime shaper of the way she relates to the masculine side of herself and ultimately to men.” ~ Linda Schierse Leonard
The father-daughter relationship can reverberate all throughout our lifetime. In this class, we will explore variations of this bond.
Exploring the Empty Nest through Film
The empty nest stage gives us the opportunity — and the challenge — for the relationship between parent and child to become more separate and yet, paradoxically, more connected.
Exploring the Masculine
“The thousand and one statements that are made every day – “Isn’t that just like a man…women are more sensitive than men” – have to be swept from the mind like tattered autumn leaves from the garden path before it is possible to think clearly at all.” – Margaret Mead (1949)
Our relationships with the other sex start from the inside; within each of us exists templates, or archetypes, created by early personal and collective conditioning (family, society, school, religious institutions, trauma). In order to change the outside, our inner landscape needs to change. Through these classes we explore which templates are in operation within each one of us, and see if there are ways that we can open up to a broader spectrum of our experience of maleness, using film as the main way into these questions.
The other component of our exploration will be in which ways masculine traits exist inside of us. Jungians offer the thought that the feminine brings us into the depths & the masculine shows us how to get things done out in the world. (This isn’t about which gender we are — it’s about how we use masculine and feminine principles inside of ourselves). We’ll have a look at who the male inside of us is, how he helps or hinders us in the world, and how we project him outside.
Exploring Family Dynamics through Film
“If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.” Ram Dass
We explore various dynamics within the family structure: parents/children and siblings.
Exploring the Upper Limits through Film
Most of our psychological inner work is spent trying to uncover the painful aspects (trauma, wounding, etcetera) of our psyches.
Through film and dyadic inquiry, we will explore the emotions of the “upper limits” of our experience (for instance Joy) and why, counter-intuitively, we seem to resist experiences that are “supposed” to be desirable and feel good.
Exploring the Inner Critic through Film
The Inner Critic (or Super-Ego) is an inner structure which interferes with our joy, self-actualization and ability to thrive. Until we learn to understand and deal with this structure, we will be hampered in our movements towards self-actualization and growth.
Exploring Emptiness Workshop
Fear of emptiness (also known as The Void) keeps many of our strategies, defenses and distractions in place. Foundational to inner psycho-spiritual growth work is stretching our capacity to enter into our depths by facing this fear of emptiness.
Exploring Women & Aging through Film
“I feel myself becoming invisible at the time of my life where I have the most to say and offer.” Betsy Lewis
How can we become “visible” to ourselves? How can we truly inhabit our lives so that invisibility becomes irrelevant? Come explore these questions and more through film, discussion, and self-inquiry exercises.