Family Constellations in Dubai
April 8th, 2017

The modern nation of United Arab Emirates, in which the city of Dubai is located, is a federation of seven emirates formed in the 1950s on a roughly U-shaped stretch of land which has the Persian Gulf to the west, and the nation of Oman and the Gulf of Oman to the east.  Much of the country is desert, although there were very unusual heavy thunderstorms there for several days when I arrived.  The rains led to flooded roads as there are no stormwater runoff systems, and there were green shoots everywhere in the desert as rainfall is typically limited to brief episodes a few days each year.

UAE is a nation of great wealth due to the discovery of oil reserves in the middle of the 20th century.  Under agreements with British oil companies, exploratory drilling began in 1950 with the hopes of replacing national revenue lost when the pearl industry collapsed.  Exports of oil began in 1969, leading to increasing wealth and the eventual development of the modern  Read more...

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How Polyrhythmic Drumming Has Supported My Family Healing
March 1st, 2017

On April 18th I’ll celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first time I experienced a West African drumming ensemble.  It was a Saturday morning dance class with the Uhuru Drummers at Ebster Community Center in Decatur, Georgia- the town in which I have now come to live.

Included among the drummers that day was Brother Yusef Crowder, the man who was my first teacher, who taught me how to carve the djembe, and who profoundly influenced my life through his teaching, his gentle inclusiveness, and his humble Muslim faith. That first day with the drums and the rows of dancers was overwhelmingly energizing.  I can still feel the sense of being pulled into a roaring ocean, and then under an enormous wave as I walked across Trinity Street from where I parked and entered the old gym. Once I made it to the stage- knowing no one there- I stood very respectfully behind the line of drummers and played a steady pulse on the tambourine or cowbell I brought to the  Read more...

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Better Me Than You
December 31st, 2016

“The psychogenesis of the spirits of the dead seems to me to be more or less as follows.  When a person dies, the feelings and emotions that bound his relatives to him lose their application to reality and sink into the unconscious, where they activate a collective content that has a deleterious effect on consciousness.”   -Carl Jung, The Red Book Liber Novus


What might it be like for someone to die suddenly, through illness or accident, and not have an opportunity to say goodbye to parents, siblings, a spouse and children, and beloved friends?  Nor to express their love and appreciation, and begin to come to peace with death?  While the ability to communicate through present consciousness is ended through a tragic death, the emotional connections that join loved ones remain, are flooded with grief and continue to inform.  The pain and loss may take years to be absorbed and integrated by the surviving members of the family  Read more...

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Being a Representative in a Constellation
November 30th, 2016

One of the essential, inexplicable experiences in a Family Constellations group is that of being a representative for someone's family member.  By being willing to be in service to someone else’s healing, you make yourself available in order for the presence of a key member of the family system to take their place in the whole.  You also report on the impressions, sensations and emotions you experience in full consciousness while you stand for the family member. Because the process of a constellation is holographic, you may experience a kind of dual awareness as a representative that affects you, and which can provide insight into a challenging situation in your own family.   In the intake phase of a constellation the facilitator asks basic factual questions about the issue holder’s family history, in order to determine a starting point.  The goal is to find a direction in which to look for the origin of the pattern or entanglement from  Read more...

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Taking Responsibility for Our Part in Standing Rock
November 1st, 2016

Consider for a moment the place that you live.  If you own a house or townhome on some land, you either have a mortgage on which you pay regularly, or have fulfilled the payment agreements you originally made with a bank to pay your loan in full.  You pay property taxes in exchange for receiving certain services. If you rent the apartment, condo or house where you currently reside, you had to make specific promises and agreements to acquire the rights to inhabit the space with caveats that you or the owner could decide to end the agreements under given conditions protected by legal foundations.


How would you feel if you had used the threat of force, or actual violence, to take the place of the previous occupants of the space in which you now live?  What if they resisted, fought back, and you, with superior weapons, had injured some and killed others, then claimed ownership of that living space without atoning for your crime? Let's say for the  Read more...

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