Are we too busy to be compassionate?

Hi everyone,

I recall a study on altruism that I read awhile ago.  It involved a bunch of seminary students.  They were divided into two groups and both were given instructions to go to another location.  One group was told they were late and needed to rush, the other group was not told that.  A person in distress was planted in their path as part of the experiment.  Can you guess which group was more apt to help the person in need? It wasn’t those who thought they were running late… (see “The Good Samaritan Study”).

I am concerned about many of the recent trends in our society, especially, the short and long term consequences of the gadget-ridden, multi-tasking, over-scheduled pace that has become the new norm.  We are all in a hurry, all of the time, and it is accepted like that is just the way it is.

What price do we pay in lost ability to respond compassionately when someone is genuinely in need of help? And what are we losing in self-awareness, close relationships, and the ability to think novel, creative thoughts?

The psychotherapist in me suspects there are deeper issues going on.  In our quest to evade the distress within, we stay distracted.  Yet the cumulative stress of chronic busy-ness in and of itself can create the same states in our bodies as actual traumatic experiences, thereby increasing distress.  It is a no-win cycle.

Our good friend Tarra Stariell will be in Orange County on Saturday, February 26 to present No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this me? Tarra is a psychotherapist in private practise with over 16 years of experience.  She specializes in working with trauma, auto-immune and dissociative disorders and we are delighted to have her present on this timely topic.  This workshop is a service to the community and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  Please see our website for all details.

Warmly,

Barbara English
Living Ubuntu
livingubuntu.org | blog | facebook

PS:  I hope to see you tomorrow (Saturday, Feb 12th) evening at the screening of On Our Watch, a powerful documentary about the ongoing genocide in Darfur.

PPS:  The irony of marketing two events in one post is not lost on me. :)

No time to think, No time to breathe…
Is this me?

by
Tarra Stariell

 No time to think, No time to breathe... Is this me?

presented by

Living Ubuntu
Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis

Saturday, February 26 2011
9:30a – 1:00p

Orange County, CA

Why is it so hard to keep up?  Where is the time for me?  Why do I feel so lost in my own life?

Join us for a workshop about our overwhelmed lives and how to find our way back to a healthy balance.
This is a not-for-profit event.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Advance registration is required. Please visit http://livingubuntu.org/events for more information.

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What does lasting peace require?

“There are now almost daily reports of aerial military assaults by Khartoum (which alone among the combatants in Darfur has air assets) on civilian targets, especially in the Jebel Marra region. Every such flight is a violation of Resolution 1591, and yet the Security Council does nothing ….

China must not be allowed to manhandle evidence and intimidate the Security Council and its representatives on Darfur. The Council should vote immediately to publish the findings of its own Panel of Experts on Darfur, and if China vetoes the move, then it is the obligation of other members of the Council to make the document public—and much more importantly, to act forcefully. “

– Eric Reeves, Arming Khartoum: China’s complicity in the Darfur genocide (link)

Hi everyone,

Finding Peace: When security comes at too high a price (Saturday, Oct 30 2010)

Finding Peace: When security comes at too high a price (Saturday, Oct 30 2010)

We are huge fans of Eric Reeves.  He and many others have been staunch advocates for the Sudanese who’ve suffered terribly for many years now.  Time and time again there have been numerous prescriptions for Sudan.  Omar Bashir needs to be held accountable.  China needs to stop supporting the genocidal government of Sudan.  The United States must do more to aid those who suffer. We know what needs to happen to get to peace.  Yet, rarely do we hear how to go about doing this.  The path seems cloudy and riddled with doubt and skepticism.  Pure intellectual prescriptions are not enough.  At the heart of every successful human endeavor lies a relationship that is based on mutual respect and trust.  Do we have that at the international level?  Does China really trust the United States?  Have our actions and behavior allowed for such trust to develop?

It’s times like these we need to grieve.  Grieving brings us back into the reality of this moment.  The challenges we face are immense, yet our leaders seem extremely ill equipped to deal with them.  We rarely address the root causes of problems.  It’s been 7+ years since the Bashir government launched their genocidal campaign against the people of Darfur.  Yes, they signed a peace deal with the South in 2005.  For a while there was less violence and chaos.  But did this sow the seeds for lasting peace?  Has the Bashir government genuinely changed their ways?  Will they allow the Southern Sudanese to secede?  Is the south capable of standing on its own?

To better answer these questions, we are in the midst of planning a discussion with our Sudanese friends from San Diego.  We’ll be holding it at St. Mark Presbyterian in Newport Beach on Saturday, Nov 13th.  Save the date!  More details coming shortly.

One of our goals in Living Ubuntu has been to explore and address the root causes of conflict and war engulfing our world today.  We need to start by acknowledging that there are significant wounds on both sides of any issue.  Superficial remedies, prescriptions, peace deals on paper do nothing to address these deeply buried wounds and will not help bring about lasting peace and reconciliation.  We hope you will join us next Saturday, October 30th in San Diego for — Finding Peace: When security comes at too high a price. Early discounted registration ($40) for this workshop ends this Saturday. Please make our lives easier and register online.  All details are on the website.

Warmly,

Barbara & Anshul
Living Ubuntu
livingubuntu.org | blog

“The willingness to stop and be present leads to seeing and relating to circumstances and events with more clarity and directness.  Out of this directness seems to emerge deeper understanding or insight into the life unfolding within and before us.  Such insight allows us the possibility of choosing responses most called for by the situation rather than those reactively driven by fear, habit, or long-standing training.”

– Saki Santorelli

Why is saying “I can’t” so difficult?

“Unfortunately, most people do not stop to feel their tiredness. Faced with the pressures of life, they believe that it is a matter of survival to go on as they have been. Feeling tired raises a deep fear that they may not be able to continue the struggle. Many find it difficult to say, ‘I can’t.’ As children, they were taught that where there’s a will, there’s a way. To say, ‘I can’t,’ is to admit failure, which is seen as evidence that they are unworthy of love.”

– Alexander Lowen

Hi everyone,

No time to think, No time to Breathe... Is this Me? (Saturday,  June 5th)

We still have space available for No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this me? this coming Saturday, June 5th. I really hope you will join us, and here’s why.

It has become commonplace to joke about our crazy-busy-multi-tasking-non-stop-over-scheduled lives, yet how did we get to this place of taking it so lightly? Are we really willing to collapse into resignation and say, this is just the reality of life in current day society? We accept overwhelm as the new norm?

What is this driven-ness to be super-human, defy all limits, and push beyond our natural reservoir of energy?

We are in trouble when start using our emergency inner resources on a day-to-day basis just to get by. The good news / bad news is we can adapt to ever increasing demands really well, but not without paying the horribly destructive price that we stop feeling what we are really doing to ourselves. Eventually we reach exhaustion . . . of course we might not even notice that. Sometimes we just get numb and stop feeling. Despite the exhaustion we just keep going because we don’t feel much of anything anymore. We fail to recognize the self-cruelty in this, and the result of vicarious traumas we have yet to process.

Our bodies were designed to push and stop, run and rest, exert and recuperate, expand and contract. When we stop abiding by the rhythm of life itself, we lose the ability to know our own inner state, think creatively, and grow in consciousness. We also lose the ability to resonate with one another and the greater world around us. We sacrifice our capacity for that which is ultimately human, to relate, bond, connect, empathize, care and love.

None of us deserves this sort of mistreatment. And we will all pay a hefty price if it persists. We need to push the “pause button” and get re-centered. We all need some help with figuring out how to do this.

I hope you will join us this Saturday. If there is any financial hardship, please do let us know. This workshop series is a service to the community and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Barbara Engilsh
Living Ubuntu
livingubuntu.org | blog | facebook

No time to think, No time to breathe…

Is this me?

by

Tarra Stariell

No time to think, No time to breathe... Is this me?

presented by

Living Ubuntu
Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis

Saturday, June 5 2010
9:00a – 12:00p

University of San Diego
Manchester Conference Center
5998 Alcala Park I
San Diego, CA 92110

Why is it so hard to keep up? Where is the time for me? Why do I feel so lost in my own life?

Join us for a workshop about our overwhelmed lives and how to find our way back to a healthy balance. This is a not-for-profit event. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Advance registration is required. Please visit http://livingubuntu.org/events for more information.

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Facing Disappointment… Heartbreak in your life, your community, the world (Saturday, April 24th)

Hi everyone,

“Stand in solidarity with the people of Darfur and keep them in your hearts”
“Write a letter, sign this postcard, and end the genocide”
“Rally, protest, shout… call your congressman and urge him to do more!”

Is all of this really going to make a difference? Can we really stop the genocide? Am I really helping the people of Darfur?

These are not simple questions. And have no easy answers.

One of our goals in Living Ubuntu is to address trauma not only at a global level (genocide), but also at an individual/personal level. To truly live “ubuntu”, requires being open not only to the pain of the people of Darfur, but also our own pain. Pain is pain. And most of us have elaborate ways to not fully ‘feel it’. And ‘act it out’ in various ways.

Are we genuinely open to the pain of the victims?
Or are we frantically acting because we don’t really want to feel that kind of helplessness and vulnerability?
Are we acting out of guilt, obligation or ???
How do we balance our daily struggles of life against the immense suffering of the people of Darfur?
How do we sit with the pain of being witness to the horror of their suffering?

This is why it feels very timely to present a Workshop on Disappointment, Grief and Heartbreak (issues all too common in the non-profit and activist world). We are honored to have Vincentia Schroeter PhD present on such a difficult topic. Vincentia has been a psychotherapist for over 30 years and brings a unique capacity for heartfelt sensitivity, wisdom, and strength to these issues. This workshop is a service to the community and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

All details are on the website. I hope you will be able to join us.

Anshul Mittal
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
ocfordarfur.org

Facing Disappointment

Heartbreak in your life, your community, your world

by
Vincentia Schroeter, PhD

Facing Disappointment, workshop by Vincentia Schroeter

presented by

Living Ubuntu
Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis

Saturday, April 24 2010
9:00a – 12:00p

4010 Barranca Parkway, Ste. 253
Irvine, CA 92604

What does it mean when it keeps hurting? Why do some people move on more easily than others? How can we deal better with the endless chaos in the world?

Join us for a workshop on healing from loss, grief and heartbreak. This is a not-for-profit event. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Advance registration is required for this event. Please visit http://livingubuntu.org/events for more information.

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