The Task of Nothing

There are multiple benefits to thinking of death often, not least of which is the overcoming of fear and the ability to sense new threads connecting me with my loved ones who have died. Similarly, to think of nothingness is to press the mind to its limit and expand our cognitive maps of the universe. If welcoming thoughts of death into our daily consciousness can demystify the great equalizer that so many people work feverishly to avoid, then coming to grips with nothing can throw the wild variety of our being into relief and perhaps help us to engage with the Great Mystery.

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What about Everything?

In this parallel post to “The Task of Nothing,” Will combines the grief work and educational insights that we at Inviting Abundance work with clients to cultivate. Specifically, Will is interested in figuring out what “Everything” is all about, and how the analysis of this idea helps him to process the death of his son.

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Death Literacy and Celebrating the Departed

How we think of death, how often we think of it, and the desire held by so many to ignore it altogether culminates in the multifaceted notion of Death Literacy. Forwarded as the main theme of the 3rd Annual Death Faire, Death Literacy helps us cultivate community resilience and individual creative grief practices. In this post, Will reflects on these themes and the artistic elements of the Faire, held November 3, 2018, in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

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Independent Thinking Skills! Learning Outside of the Academy

True thinking has nothing to do with Fox News or CNN and it only occasionally appears in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Instead, true thinking happens to us, and it happens when we learn to see the world anew through the embodied and self-conscious exploration of everyday life. Do you want to know more? Do you want to feel the vibrancy of Independent Thinking?

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Full STEAM Ahead

Will recently had the opportunity to write about STEM curricula in higher education and, more specifically, the importance of adding art into the mix. In acronyms, this topic is understood as the move from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). I’m sharing my thoughts on this blog in order to make my language available to anyone who finds themselves in need of advocating for the arts in education.

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Celebrating (with) Our Dead: Samhain & Dia de los Muertos

Halloween was the first big holiday that Will and I (Joanne) had to face after our first son Finlay’s inexplicable death during childbirth in June 2014. Other people’s kids coming to our front door wearing costumes, smiling, laughing, and being so… well… alive seemed like the worst possible thing that we could endure at that time.

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Abundance Thinking & Permaculture Design

Permaculture design aims to generate and harvest abundance throughout the year. I completed my Permaculture Design Certificate in February 2016, when I was beginning my 2nd trimester of pregnancy with Phalen. It was an emotional time for me as I felt guided to permaculture by my first son Finlay, whose death threw my entire life into question, and I was now physically sharing this learning space with his brother.

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Holding Space & Sitting with Grief

On a beautiful Saturday morning we met in the home of a workshop attendee (herself a palliative care doctor) and dove into the material. Deeply impacted by the influential work of Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, Amy brought our focus to three main related areas of discussion: companioning the bereaved, strengthening support networks, and the place/purpose of ritual.

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“Dead Reckoning”: Finding one’s way amid life’s challenges

In order to live and thrive while grieving for the deaths of my son, father, stepfather, and friends, I have to reckon with death: How do these people’s deaths affect my ability to navigate through the social world? How do their deaths change my relation to life, generally? Is death really an end, or is it more like a threshold that opens onto a new beginning? By asking these philosophical questions, I feel that I am arranging the deaths of my family members into an order, one that acts like a trail capable of leading me in a specific direction.

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“Pedagogy”: What’s in a word?

What do you feel in your body when you see this: παιδαγωγικός? When you encounter a foreign word, do you have a bodily reaction? How about when you encounter a word you don’t know in English? What if you are reading out loud in a group and stumble over a new word? How does that make you feel? Do you feel any shame when it is discovered that you don’t know how to pronounce a word or what a word means? All too frequently, we feel shame when we encounter our own ignorance. I tackle that feeling here by exploring a word dear to the heart of all teachers: pedagogy.

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