Life is a series of transitions. Some transitions we barely notice like moving from adolescence into young adulthood. While other transitions can mark significant change and sometimes difficult adjustments, such as moving from college into the work force or from being single to getting married. The death of a parent often has a profound impact, whether it comes early or late in life. Transitions like divorce and remarriage are common, but not universal. The transition from work to retirement can offer new avenues for one to explore but can also cause one to feel at a loss. Finally, we don’t like to talk about it, but ageing is actually a constant and ever present transition. So, what are the commonalities of these transitions? Can we manage these transitions better if we learn to anticipate them? This course will discuss a variety of transitions and the patterns common to the transition process. Recommended reading: Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes by William Bridges. (A limited enrollment class)
This discussion-based course will examine how people make difficult decisions. We will explore ethics through a psychological lens. What are the motivational, emotional, and cognitive processes that impact how we come to choices that pit multiple values against one another. Our primary sources will be How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living by Rushworth Kidder and Integrity: Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason by Barbara Killinger. (This class will meet off campus at a location to be determined. Students will need to call the office to register. A limited enrollment class)
Our families profoundly influence who we are as individuals and how we experience life. They provide us with our greatest joys, deepest sorrows, and most intense frustration. How can one group of people hold such sway over us? In this class we will study the dynamic inner world of family life, examining theories about how families work and what causes them to break down. We will explore current ways in which family therapists look at families—as small, human ecosystems, whose whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. We will consider how one’s family of origin effects one’s personality and lifelong styles of relating. We will examine how families change, resist change, and explore options for changing the dance in our own ecosystem. The format will allow students to apply concepts discussed in class to their own lives. We will cover the material in the book, Inside Family Therapy: A Case Study in Family Healing by Michael P. Nichols. Students have the option of purchasing a copy of the book.
Dealing with life's stresses from a peaceful, non-reactive place seems more and more difficult in these modern times. Yet, many issues can be effectively addressed by viewing our challenges from a larger perspective. To achieve a life of harmony is to understand the context of how life fits within a greater picture, and finding inner and outer balance therein. In this class using teachings from the world's spiritual traditions—science, psychology, sociology, and other lenses—we will see how we can achieve a life of harmony. We will analyze the specific triggers that move us out of peace and into habitual anxiety and stress. By using techniques that bring us back to the present moment, learning to set boundaries, and dissecting the stories we tell ourselves, we can identify and disarm these triggers. With reactivity gone, we will see situations with newly empowering and insightful perspectives. Through the power of harmony, we can change our consciousness, and our world. (This class is a part of a series of classes in which Liz Weiman explores the continuing journey spanning stress and serenity, dealing with difficult people, and culminating in choosing freedom over fear. A limited enrollment class)
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, nor to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha Through the centuries, sages from multiple spiritual traditions have passed down “prescriptions” that address the mind’s incessant traveling and mental noise. In recent years, studies have shown that negative mind patterns can bring on chronic stress and negatively affect our mental and physical health. These studies have further shown that mindfulness-based programs can profoundly break the cycle of ongoing stress. The practice of mindfulness can be defined as a state of non-judgmental, open attention to the present moment. It involves observing our present thoughts, emotions, and sensations, and breaking the long-standing habit of being caught up in a maelstrom of thoughts about the past or future. In this workshop we will continue to rediscover the wisdom of contemporary and ancient sages and learn to open our eyes to the miraculous quality of each moment. (This course is a standalone course that can be attended without attending the previous courses. A limited enrollment class)