“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
This program explores various ways depth and archetypal psychologies can help us answer the poet Mary Oliver’s key question about vocation—“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” We’ll mine myths, stories, poetry, biography and memoir, indigenous wisdom, archetypal astrology, typology and other typing systems, our embodied experience of bliss—to name a few of our tools—in an attempt to excavate our authentic vocation, and to discover, uncover, and/or recover our soul’s purpose, power, and pleasure.
THIS PROGRAM WELCOMES PARTICIPANTS WHO MAY BE
Feeling stuck at a vocational impasse or stopped at a professional dead end
Considering a career change or a way to be enlivened with their current work situation
Seeking a deeper psychological understanding of their vocational choices in order to find the courage to change
Struggling with the tension between the external demands of the marketplace (how do I make money?) and the internal demands of the soul (how do I make meaning?)
Wishing to live a vocational life more in alignment with their sense of purpose and in attunement with their sense of calling
“There is perhaps nothing worse than reaching the top of the ladder and discovering that you’re on the wrong wall.”
Participants are welcome at any stage of life, whether they are just beginning their vocational journeys; whether they find themselves in midlife with their ladders against the wrong wall; whether they are of retirement age, seeking to do work in the world in alignment with their souls; and any stages in between.
After an opening three day residential, we will continue the study of vocation online. Every two weeks, a new module will open in our online learning platform. Modules include required reading (approximately 50-100 pages), an audio or video faculty presentation on the material, a discussion assignment including engagement with the faculty and the other participants, some suggested journal for deeper reflection, and bonus content including videos, audio lectures, readings, links, and more.
Midway through the course, participants will be invited to schedule a thirty minute private session with the instructor to discuss how the course is furthering their vocational wanderings and wonderings.
The course culminates in a final reflection paper where participants explore the question, what have I discerned about how I want to live my one wild and precious life?
MORE ABOUT THE RESIDENTIAL
“Tell me what you yearn for and I shall tell you who you are.”
The residential will be a time to gather on the gorgeous campus of Pacifica Graduate Institute to create our temenos, the sacred container within which we do our soul work together. It’s a time for both deep witnessing of where we’re all at in our vocational journeys, and deep listening for the yearnings of each of our souls. It’s a time to create those healthy connections Somé speaks of, to receive the support of others in bringing your unique gifts into the world. It’s a time for intentionally creating a community of companions. Etymologically, companion comes from pan—the breaking of bread, and com—together. During the residential, we will literally and metaphorically break bread together, making our subsequent time together online feel more like sitting around the kitchen table sharing a rich meal with friends, rather than sitting in isolation in front of a computer screen interacting with strangers.
The residential will serve two other major functions: content and process. Jennifer will introduce the participants to a content overview, laying the ground for our inquiry into vocation as a sacred calling. She will also introduce participants to the online process, so everyone feels confident upon leaving campus that they know how to access the course and navigate it with ease.
“Another way to begin to welcome your gift is also to find people who are just as crazy as you are. At least you know that they know what it means not to be able to deliver your gifts. So you can begin to create the healthy connections among each other so that you can begin to bring that gift out in the world—because without people who believe in who you are and what your gift is about, you will spend your entire life wishing you had done it.”
MORE ABOUT THE MODULES
Sleuthing our Childhood for Vocational Clues
“Follow Your Weird”: Joseph Campbell’s Original Advice
Money, Money, Money: A Noose or a Necklace?
Is it Written in the Stars? What Archetypal Astrology May Reveal About Our Vocation
Individuation as Vocation: The First and Second Half of Life
“The Tyranny of the Shoulds” and Other Internalized Parental and Cultural Voices
What Type Systems Can Reveal About Our Vocational Superpowers
The Archetypal Goals We Say and the Roles We Play
Indigenous Perspectives: Ancestral Calls and Responses
The Caller, the Called, and the Calling Christine Downing
This talk will resituate the understanding of vocation in the context of a conversation that is always already underway and that goes on throughout our lives. Martin Buber’s idea that every moment of our lives calls us to respond moves the whole theme of vocation away from the exceptional into the ordinary, the everyday. This, in turn, helps free us from the illusion that I either shape my life or that it happens to me, and helps us recognize that our lives are inescapably dialogical and relational. Of course, we also recognize that we don’t always respond with all of who we are—we are asleep, deaf, avoidant, narcissistic, fearful—but the point is that we aren’t actually called to be heroes of dialogue, just participants. We are called to accept our ordinariness and to learn what a gift it is to have had the possibility of living an ordinary life, to have been part of the conversation.
The Hero/Heroine’s Journey: A Quest for Wholeness
In 1949, Joseph Campbell presented a model of the mythological journey of the hero, which has been used as a template for the psycho-spiritual development of the individual. This model, however, did not address the specific task for today’s woman, which is to heal the wounding of the feminine that exists deep within herself and the culture. The journey entails an initial separation from feminine values, seeking recognition and success in a patriarchal culture, experiencing spiritual aridity and death, and turning inward to reclaim the power and spirit of the sacred feminine. The final stages involve an acknowledgment of the union and power of one’s dual nature for the benefit of all humankind. In this talk, we will explore the stages of both The Hero’s Journey and The Heroine’s Journey, examine how each model supports our vocational “call” and how that “call” may change throughout life.
Called to a Coherent Creative Life Dennis Patrick Slattery
There are many subtle links between a coherent life and a creative life. This talk with explore such connections through the film, Paterson (directed by Jim Jarmusch) and starring Adam Driver as Paterson and Golshifteh Farahad as his wife Laura. Their mutual love for one another is expressed in part by the creative lives each leads separate from one another, Paterson as a poet who drives a city bus through the streets of Paterson, New Jersey and Laura as a creative in her home where she designs fabrics, bakes and begins a career as a country/western singer. The film depicts what happens when the creative elements in Paterson’s soul fractures, leaving him in a life that no longer coheres. The film explores the deeper connections between a life of creativity and one of coherence with remarkable insights.
Jennifer Leigh Selig, Ph.D., has been in the classroom as either a student or a teacher (and often both at the same time) ever since she was five years old, and considers herself vocationally blessed. In addition to teaching, she is now devoting herself more fully to following her vocational bliss as a writer. Her forthcoming book, Deep Creativity: Reflections on the Intersection of Life, Art, and Soul (Shambhala Publications) co-written with Deborah Anne Quibell and Dennis Patrick Slattery, explores fifteen meditations on the concept of “deep creativity,” which they define as a natural propensity of the soul, and which Jennifer will bring to the subject of “deep vocation” as well. Jennifer has been teaching and lecturing on vocation in institutional and international venues for the last twelve years of her career. Jennifer’s many other books, writings, and public talks can be found on her website, www.jenniferleighselig.com.
Christine Downing Ph.D., is a core faculty member in the Mythological Studies Department, she has made extensive scholarly contributions to the fields of Religious Studies, Mythology, and Gender Studies. She is Professor Emeritus in Religious Studies from San Diego State University where she taught for almost twenty years. She has also taught concurrently at the San Diego campus of the California School of Professional Psychology, and at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. She lectures frequently to Jungian groups both here and abroad. Her undergraduate degree is in literature is from Swarthmore College, while her Ph.D. in Religion and Culture is from Drew University.
Maureen Murdock, Ph.D., is a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Barbara, CA where she teaches weekly memoir classes and leads workshops internationally. Since 1990, she has taught memoir writing in the UCLA Extensions Writers’ Program where she received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 1995. She was Core Faculty and Chair of the M.A. Counseling Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute and continues as adjunct faculty. She is the author of the best-selling book, The Heroine’s Journey, which explores the rich territory of the feminine psyche and delineates the feminine psycho-spiritual journey. Murdock is also the author of Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory; Fathers’ Daughters: Breaking the Ties that Bind; Spinning Inward: Using Guided Imagery with Children; and The Heroine’s Journey Workbook. She is the editor of an anthology of memoir writing entitled Monday Morning Memoirs: Women in the Second Half of Life and has published a Kindle short entitled The Emergence of Bipolar Disorder: A Mother’s Perspective. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages. You can read her blog on her website: www.maureenmurdock.com.
Dennis Slattery Ph.D., is a core faculty member who helped shape the development of the Mythological Studies program. He has been teaching for 44 years from elementary to secondary, undergraduate, and graduate programs. He has received the prominent rank of Distinguished Core Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. His areas of emphasis include the poetic imagination, writing and reading as mythic activities, the relation of psyche, spirit and matter, and the place of contemplation within the academic settingty.
LOCATION: Program will be located at Pacifica’s Ladera Lane Campus