"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious..." Carl Jung

As I am reading:  HEALING INVISIBLE WOUNDS, paths to hope and recovery in a violent world by Richard Mollica, MD, I find myself deeply touched -- over and over --  and wishing this were required reading by?... whatever Authority others (who have not read this book) accept. This may read like a book review but "hold it" gently in gratitude that people like this man exist. 

 

An example of his thinking: beauty and nature are not adjuncts to healing but are essentials. Common sense, eh?  Richard Mollica speaks for all of us who share these values

prose poem for today

“There is a brokenness out of which comes the Unbroken,

 

Shatteredness out of which comes the Unshatterable. 

 

There is a Sorrow beyond all grief

 

which leads to Joy

 

and a Fragility out of whose depths emerges Strength. 

 

There is Hollow Space too vast

 

for words through which we pass with each loss,

 

out whose darkness we are sanctioned into being. 

 

There is a Cry

 

deeper that all sound

 

whose serrated edges cut the heart

 

as we break open to the place inside

 

which is unbreakable and whole,

 

while learning to sing.”      

 

                                Rashani

Family Independence Initiative

We Believe

FII’s work with cohorts of families in cities across the country shows that low-income people can advance together if we:

  • Make resources and funding available more directly to people, not just institutions
  • Allow families the freedom to determine their own paths, instead of taking direction from case managers and social workers
  • Encourage and reward personal initiative, instead of penalizing or reducing eligibility for help if a family makes progress
  • Support and promote mutuality and building social capital, instead of helping individuals outside of the context of their families and communities
  • Honor resident leadership and expertise, instead of professionals and outside intervention
  • View families as consumers with valuable feedback entitled to hold services and programs accountable, instead of needy victims
  • Direct Outcomes From FII’s Approach 

FII’s approach has been demonstrated in several cities across the country. Families in these projects show significant near- and long- term economic gains as well as a host of other outcomes that show increased control over their lives and choices for the future.

In Boston:

In June of 2010 152 individuals, including 81 children, from 35 families enrolled in FII’s Boston demonstration project. In just six months by working together they made tremendous progress toward the goals they set for themselves. Outcomes include:

  • 13% increase in average household income (excluding subsidies and FII payments)
  • 22% increase in average savings
  • 25% of children improved grades
  • 20% improved attendance

The families are pursuing a range of initiatives to move forward and are focused on quality of life issues like more time with their kids, for themselves, building relationships, better access to food, self care, and education. The families reported over 500 initiatives and positive “sparks” from June to December of 2010. Families are also taking steps to raise their credit rating by getting financial counseling, paying bills on time, and reducing debt. 

Read more about FII–Boston

Control & Choice

Everyone wants control over their circumstances and a reasonable set of choices for their children's futures. FII operates under the assumption that, like most middle and upper class people, most low-income families are capable of taking tangible steps towards establishing control and choice in their lives. What these families lack is sufficient capital and access to opportunities and information that are more readily available to the middle and upper income.

Mission Statement

Where the personal story can be safely explored and expressed.

Ashlar Center for Narrative Arts is an arts driven non-profit organization designed to serve the Personal Story. In our workshops people create their narratives in various media. Additionally, we have a selection of easily adapted self-care practices that are necessary to foster resilience. 

We have learned over the years that  the most powerful and underused resource in our communities are its "ordinary"  people. So, our goal is  empowering  people  to tell and share their stories in a culturally relevant way that is also healing -- a collaborative model one in which we are all students and learners. Learning about and respecting cultural practices is very important and is our  growing edge.  We are very interested in how different communities and  cultures meet the challenges of being human.  

 Our goal is to nurture relationship, encourage learning and teaching through community involvement. We are committed to creating a climate of  well-being and providing  lay people the means to become Narrative Arts Facilitators where it would best serve them and their communities.  

 Stay tuned and continue to look through the site.