Inspirations and Resources

The intention of this page is to share some of the major inspirations and resources I draw from for this work and website.

People and their programs

  • Dr. George Bonanno – Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab—next to being a good friend, George’s ideas around how people can make use of flexibility as a way of increasing their resilience toward trauma has helped me understand more deeply the value of not sticking with (potentially) outdated strategies of coping
  • Tim Freke—while I know of Tim’s work for only a fairly short amount of time, I found his view on the emergence of the psyche as part of the evolutionary process of the universe fascinating, and his understanding of the interplay between higher and lower levels of complex systems insightful
  • David Fuller – Rebel Wisdom—together with Alexander Beiner, David has provided the space for a community of thinkers tired of the “old game” (Game A) to come together and imagine a future in which we can make “common sense” by relating to our own and each other’s sovereignty. And I have found and made many good friends there
  • Dr. Jordan B. Peterson—one of the most important aspects I drew from his first book, Maps of Meaning, is the limitation of thinking about the world in primarily material terms (objects, forces, natural laws, etc.). Instead I try to focus on how the world feels, its narrative elements, and how those relates to the experience of meaning
  • Marshall Rosenberg – Nonviolent Communication—after studying NVC over the past couple of years, I have a strong experience of benefiting from several of the core concepts, particularly shifting from an intention of control to an intention of connection. Rosenberg’s work provides clear practices and language to help make that shift, taking responsibility for one’s own feelings and inquiring into needs as the source of all life
  • Paul Schwartz—I have been incredibly inspired by Paul’s willingness to venture into new artistic territory over the years that I have followed him. His music, films, and the theater production I saw have each touched me deeply on an emotional level, and I believe that there is much to learn from him as a role model for a more courageous approach to life

Books, Articles, etc.

  • Good Reasons for Bad Feelings” by Randolph M. Nesse (2020)—this book helped me resolve a puzzle around wanting to take responsibility for my feelings. They provide habitual experience templates, being shaped by evolution and learning over which we did not have control at the time. By providing space to feelings in the here and now, we can allow for change
  • Lost Connections” by Johann Hari (2018)—our world can easily look fairly bleak and depressing if we do not find ways to connect to our values, to our deepest experiences, and to other people. Johann shines a spotlight on the conditions, which are part of our modern environment, that can lead to feelings of disconnectedness
  • Momo” by Michael Ende (1973)—in this novel, a young girl discovers the Grey Gentlemen, time thieves who rob humans of their capacity to act consciously and with intention. I draw from it courage and the intuition that bringing people back to a sense of sovereignty can be transformative in how they relate to and engage with their life
  • Say What You Mean” by Oren Jay Sofer (2019)—Oren pulls together the tradition of Mindfulness (compassionate presence with experience) and Nonviolent Communication (a spirituality of intention that seeks greater connection through focusing on feelings and needs), providing a clear roadmap for more honesty

Mentors and Friends

  • Marianne Brandt
  • Dr. Hedy Kober
  • Jessica Waite
  • Kim Rice Whittemore
  • Liz Wiltzen