Before we can see properly we must first shed our tears…

Before we can see properly we must first shed our tears to clear the way.
– Ancient proverb

Hi everyone,

In regions of the world where mass atrocities, genocide, sexual assault as a weapon of war, famine, displacement and countless other hardships are far too commonplace, some of the “lucky” ones are granted refugee status and get relocated. San Diego is one of the US cities with an extremely large number of refugees from all over the world, including many from countries in East Africa. Beginning in 2012, Living Ubuntu had a project in San Diego focused on trauma recovery within the East African refugee community. In 2012, (Phase 1) we did a simple survey to get more information on the rates of Post Traumatic Stress in that community. In 2013, (Phase 2) we did a 6-week series to educate refugee leaders about trauma. In 2014 and 2015 (Phase 3), we conducted a research project utilizing Dr. David Berceli’s Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (more on Phase 3 here).

This past year, data was statistically analyzed and we were all extremely pleased to find that the results were very good. Watch the above video to find out more.

We have a lot of really good things coming up in 2017. Scroll down to the bottom of this email to see all the amazing events coming up in the first few months of the new year.

Even though we are a small, all-volunteer, grassroots organization, enacting projects requires funds. If you like what we are doing, please support us with a year-end one-time contribution. Or to be even more helpful, sign up as a monthly donor. Amounts as small as $10.00 a month are affordable for many. We are grateful for gifts of any size.

Donate here. Continue reading

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We need empathy to come back to life | Pre-registration for Earth Day events through Wed Apr 20


Hi everyone,

International Trauma Expert Dr. David Berceli wasn’t able to accept the invitation to speak at the 10th Annual Golden West College Peace Conference on Friday, April 22. Instead, he create a video. We felt it was a very important message about how the inner process facilitates outer paradigm shifts, so we have chosen to circulate it in advance of the conference rather than within it. You can view it here.

Since our defense mechanisms are designed to help us cope and feel less pain, we can be grateful that they work so well when we need them – and – sometimes their effectiveness works against us, especially when we get stuck in defensive patterns needlessly. In a defended state we lose the sense of being part of the whole, and too often harm our self and surroundings without perceiving the consequences of our actions. We lose sight that living life while numb isn’t really living life. Many of today’s problems can be attributed to this pervasive disconnect. It is really getting us into trouble.

When we have unplugged from our own inner state, we lose access to self-reflection and no longer experience our rhythmic, pulsating existence as part of the alive natural world we live within. We lose the perception of this earth as a self-regulating living organism that we are part of. We fail to experience that our planet cannot self-regulate well enough to compensate for how extensively we have interfered with its natural rhythm causing it to head toward a state of organismic chaos instead of life-supporting coherence. Within the disconnect, we lose some of the ability to step into someone else’s shoes, and that empathy, in a healthy state, has application regardless of species.

We need empathy to come back to life. We need empathy to reveal compassionate living. And we need each other to do what needs to be done in this life. We need to come together. There is too much at stake to ignore the crisis and the urgent need to change the paradigm for how we live life on this planet.

Please make time to join us for the Earth Day events listed below. I know you are busy, that is part of what is keeping us traumatized in this society. We are all too busy. We live with chronic overwhelm. Yet, this is an opportunity to participate in bringing about critical changes in this world. So, I am asking you to please make time to be there. It is important.

Online registration for both events ends Wednesday evening, April 20.


Also,
Nicole Jafari has generously offered her beautiful Anaheim Hills home for a Fundraiser Brunch and Silent Auction for Farm Sanctuary (with Gene Baur) on Sunday, April 24, 11am – 2pm. For complete details, send me an email: info @livingubuntu.org. I hope you will come join us that day also and offer your support to the remarkable work Farm Sanctuary is doing. Continue reading

Wisdom figures are hard to come by | Gene Baur at Soka April 23, 2016


Hi everyone,

There is a short list of people that I have personally met that have dramatically changed the way I see the world and the path I choose to walk in this life. One of those I speak of often is the international trauma expert, Dr. David Berceli. Back in 2004, it resonated deeply when I first heard him speak of trauma as our invitation to evolve as a species with its resolution supporting our growth toward wisdom.

When we do not feel safe, we contract, resulting in increased fear, competition, resentment, reactivity, and anger. When safety is sufficient to allow for trauma recovery and great self-reflection on life’s hardships, we do not go back to the way we used to be, we go forward, forever changed for the better by our experiences. In the best case scenario, our sense of empathy and compassion expand as part of a much bigger, broader worldview. We move from the tightly contracted limitations of a self-centered worldview of “me” into the species-preserving benevolence of pursuing the common good in a worldview of “we”.

In 2015, I had the extremely good fortune to meet yet one more of these rare individuals who have met with significant adversity, and come out on the other side with increased wisdom and compassion. That individual is Gene Baur, the Co-founder and President of Farm Sanctuary. Bearing witness to animal cruelty for three decades would cause many to get utterly stuck in cynicism and bitterness, yet, Gene has managed to remain inspirationally optimistic, while embodying groundedness. After 30 years, he carries an amazing amount of knowledge; beyond that, he carries his life experience with grace. His organization seeks “Compassion for All” and gently reminds us that animals are “Someone not Something”.

Wisdom figures are hard to come by in this world. For me, that fosters a profound sense of gratitude when I meet one. Continue reading

In a Gentle Way You Can Shake Your World – early registration thru Feb 3 (Forks Over Knives tonight!)


Hi everyone,

This coming Wednesday, February 3, is the last day of early registration for In a Gentle Way You Can Shake Your World, a 5-session group series to learn and refine the practice of the method created by Dr David Berceli, Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises. (What is TRE?)

We are a highly traumatized culture, in denial about it, and it is dangerous. We desperately need a better understanding of trauma to enter the mainstream so we as a society might make better choices as to what we think of as solutions.

While the current race for US President stands out as an exceptionally good example of our culture’s trauma, it is by no means the only one worthy of recognition. It is the new norm in our society to live feeling chronically overwhelmed by the day-to-day routine, with most people not recognizing that as trauma. A human nervous system might beg to differ. Beyond overwhelm, we have come to applaud narcissistic grandiosity, disconnection and hyper-independence. Humiliation and bullying have become sources of entertainment, as if sports. It is easy to place blame externally and say if only so and so would do it differently, we could live in a better, healthier, happier existence. Continue reading

Please support Living Ubuntu — tomorrow is the last day for 2015 tax-deductible gifts

I think there’s a mythology that if you want to change the world, you have to be sainted, like Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela or Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Ordinary people with lives that go up and down and around in circles can still contribute to change.

 – Jody Williams

Hi everyone,

We are coming to the end of a year where Syrian refugees have been demonized, those from African countries utterly forgotten, fear of terrorism ruled the day amid unchecked domestic gun violence, phrases like “Black Lives Matter” astoundingly still stir controversy, more than nine billion land animals died in the U.S. to produce meat, dairy, and eggs — and — the ‘best-ever’ global climate deal is a gross mismatch of goals and substantive approach. What’s next?

Human beings are generally homeostatic creatures. It sometimes takes crisis or desperation to stir us. The good news is, that is often our very best opportunity to seek and accomplish something better.

I reflect time and again on the words spoken by some of the much needed wise leaders of our time who hold vision for what ‘better’ might look like, and how we get there:

Naomi Klein speaks of climate change as the ultimate call-to-action-game-changer that gives us a chance, in fact, insists that we see the world and how we operate within it from a totally new and dramatically different paradigm, i.e. “This Changes Everything.”

David Berceli speaks of global trauma as our invitation to evolve, “…into a more ethical, moral and caring species.”

Gene Baur speaks of our food choices as the opportunity to reduce suffering by pausing to ask ourselves, “What would be the kind thing to do?”

Carl Wilkens speaks of the need to “…recognize in each one of us, there’s such a potential for good and there’s such a potential for evil.”

Daniel Siegel speaks of how we are all in this together: “To make this world different we have to realize that the self is plural, it’s an absolute delusion that’s killing the planet to think that the self is separate.”

In the coming year, may we all find ways, more so than ever before, to reaffirm, embody and express our shared connection to goodness.

On a final note, tomorrow is the last day for year-end donations to count as tax deductible for 2015. We really need your generous support to be able to keep going. Please consider giving to Living Ubuntu. Contributions of any size will be received with much gratitude. DONATE HERE.

Happy New Year :)

Thank you for staying engaged,

Barbara English, LMFT, CBT, TRE Certification Trainer
Co-founder and Executive Director, Living Ubuntu
livingubuntu.org
(949) 891-2005

[Ubuntu] n. Every human being truly becomes a human by means of relationships with other human beings

When elephants fight, it is the grass below that suffers.

When elephants fight, it is the grass below that suffers.
– African proverb

Hi everyone,

It is beyond time for the collective to deepen its understanding of trauma. The vast majority of social ills we struggle with are rooted in unresolved trauma. Many of us have been deeply disturbed by the trends we have seen this year, suggesting many others among us have lost their way, becoming deeply embedded in destructive mis-perceptions. It is a dangerous thing to ignore the state of our collective nervous system. When fear has its way with us, that which is self-serving takes over. When numbness and disconnection rule the day, we fail to experience that we are part of the greater natural world. Yet, when we are in health, in calm, in subjective safety, we are available one to another. We are able to seek and support the common good, for all living things. As part of the whole, we become more compassionate.

As we near the end of the year, here are a few highlights of what Living Ubuntu accomplished in 2015. We started out the year with our 10th Birthday Celebration and greatly enjoyed the privilege of having Dr. David Berceli out here teaching Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) in person as part of that celebration. Our research project, Trauma Recovery for East African Refugees in San Diego, continued its success and expanded beyond the female-only groups to include two groups for the men. We provided scholarships for several members of the refugee community to begin training to become TRE Providers. We also participated in two well-received community events, Neurogenic Yoga in the Park, one in San Diego and one in Orange County.

Orange County for Climate Action (OCCA) also had a busy year, raising awareness on a variety of highly significant issues ranging from Water, to Animal Agriculture, to Carbon Fee & Dividend, and more. We held our first ever climate rally and followed up with a second that was extremely well-attended.

You can see our 2015 events here. You can see many of our photos on our website or Facebook.

As climate change progresses, it increases the risk of expanding our collective trauma. Both urgently need more attention and resources.

Please consider including Living Ubuntu as part of your year-end giving. Donate here.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated and will directly enable our teeny-tiny little, all-volunteer-run grassroots organization to keep addressing these critically important issues.

Thank you for your ongoing engagement and support.

Happy holidays,

Barbara English, LMFT, CBT, TRE Certification Trainer
Co-founder and Executive Director, Living Ubuntu
livingubuntu.org
(949) 891-2005

[Ubuntu] n. Every human being truly becomes a human by means of relationships with other human beings

:::UPCOMING EVENTS:::

TRE Group Shake
Thursday, January 7, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Newport Beach

“This Changes Everything” Tugg Screeningticket deadline: Jan. 5
Wednesday, January 13, 7:30p
Aliso Viejo

Grace, Grief & Gratitude:
Using TRE to Increase Resiliency & Compassion in a Traumatizing World
more info soon!
Saturday, January 16, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Newport Beach

Orange County for Climate Action (OCCA) Meeting
Wednesday January 20, 6:30-8:00p
1151 Dove Street #210, Newport Beach CA

Resolving Trauma is a Necessity — Early registration ends tomorrow, March 31

Trauma patterns repeat because they seek full resolution.

Hi everyone,

One of the great things about teaching is that it reminds you of what you already know and helps deepen the way you know it. Yesterday, after talking about symptoms of trauma at In a Gentle Way You Can Shake Your World, I kept thinking about the phrase ‘History repeats itself’ and the way we are often willing to accept this as if that’s just the way it is. Yes, history repeats, yet one aspect of that stems from the fact that unresolved trauma drives us to repeat patterns again and again. We are not doomed and destined to stay stuck in the endless loop of same ol’, same ol’ as if that is the only possible outcome. Trauma patterns repeat because they seek full resolution. Resolve the trauma and we are freed into forward motion, positive paradigm shifts and continuing on the path of healthy collective evolution. Continue reading