New Republic of the Heart - Book Review and I’m Going Back to School

Posted on Wednesday July 31, 2019 by Jacob Campbell.

Several months ago, as I was deciding whether or not to move forward with my application to the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) for their Ph.D. Program - Transformative Studies, my mom recommended this book, the New Republic of the Heart. While in general, I could probably talk about an integral perspective, it’s not a topic or understanding that I have fully fleshed out. While this book is not just really about the integral perspective, it describes things from that perspective. So she shared the audiobook with me. I listened to the first 75% of the book pretty quickly, but I knew I wanted to write about the book as well. Life was pretty hectic, and I was also in the middle of making the move to have my content in this website format (I’m pretty happy with the move so far… although I’m still pretty sure eventually it might bite me in the butt).

Basically, I haven’t been exposed very much to a specific viewpoint on transdisciplinary work or even work that integral in nature. My experience in social work, and especially coming from a more generalist perspective, has given me some good foundation looking at how we use the scientific method to determine the work we do. Furthermore, my mostly eclectic practice style lends itself pretty well to trying to integrate those perspectives into a bigger understanding. With social work, especially from a mezzo and macro perspective being able to connect and understand other disciplines is a vital skill. I’m sure in the future I’ll write more about these topics, but it seems to be a pretty great connection.

I am really and truly excited about moving forward with my Ph.D. and completing my studies at CIIS. That being said, there is always that fear that is there. I know a number of people that are ABD (All But Dissertation - meaning they didn’t finish their doctoral programs). College is expensive (I’m still paying on my loans for my MSW) and I have to figure out again how to balance family/ school / work / and life.

School, Work, Family, Life Balance?

Especially as I was initially considering CIIS, I was worried about the program and what my degree should be in. Is this the right program, is this the direction I should be going in, what’s the best course of action. Not only in general about what the program is, but about the Transformative Studies program specifically. Could it be that it is a bit too “‘Hippyish.” I sat in on a zoom meeting with some of the faculty and prospective students and when they were talking about the dissertations that people completed, two of the examples were around ayahuasca. Really it’s not that I have a problem with ayahuasca or for that matter studies using hallucinogens for medical purposes (it’s fascinating and there is quite a bit of literature around the topic). If you are interested, you can read my blog post New Experiences and Broken Things, where when I was in the Peruvian jungle I went through an ayahuasca ceremony with some shamen. My hesitation was more around if they are a bit too much on the scientific fringe.

I don’t know exactly what I want my dissertation to be on, but my current school of thought is around trauma and kids. I talked to my advisor about this as I did my admissions interview, and they thought it sounded like a very viable option. Really, it was like I was as I was going through this minor existential crisis (I’m sure it is not the only one I will be going through), that my mom recommended this book to get some perspective on integral practice.

A New Republic of the Heart Book Cover

A New Republic of the Heart -- An Ethos for Revolutionaries -- A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change

by Terry Patten and The New Republic of the Heart

Jacob says
A Great Book!

The book was pretty great. Like many of my book reviews, this isn’t really a comprehensive review of the book, but more some stuff that stood out to me. It’s also been a while since I listened to the majority of the book. I ended up listening to a couple of the books in the Red Queen Series books that I recently wrote about that I recently wrote about.

In general, it is a very soundly put together book that is interesting and has some pretty common-sense arguments. It is especially interesting in that he uses the kind of integral perspective and really applies it to a specific subject, that of climate change. But really, it is a pretty generalist in its thoughts and approaches.

One of the topics that I found the most interesting was the concept of the “We-Space”

“People are already spontaneously evolving a new global tribal practice by meeting in camps, seminars, group outings, and online conversations, as well as classes, conferences, and celebrations with international participants. There is an inherent systemic necessity at work: the urgent need for human maturity to guide our collective decision making. How will these global conversations evolve? One thing is clear: we will need two kinds of conversations. We need open forums that welcome new participants and draw new people into this practice of conversation. But we will refine our praxis and be personally transformed by deeper, more personal and intimate conversations in closed groups of people we can get to know. These can become communities of practice where we and our tribes can actually evolve.” (pp. 575-576 from the Apple Books version)

Having a strong community is something that I’ve always wanted to have more of and be more involved with. If you are interested at all in climate change, and really we all should be, I’d really recommend the book. You might take up some of the mantels of an advocate that is so needed in these days.

Floating the River - Summer Fun

Posted on Tuesday July 23, 2019 by Jacob Campbell.

I absolutely love doing anything outdoors, and one of my favorite things I do every year (hopefully a couple of times this year), is being able to get some people I care about and getting out on the river and just floating. It’s slow, but to me it is so relaxing and a beautiful experience (even if we don’t get out of the water until it late in the evening.

You can see this on my website, Floating the River - Summer Fun or on the GoPro Sharing Service - Floating the River.

Snapchat image of a Tree Filled with Lost Items Photo of river with floating cooler Photo of the river at sunset Photo of the river with a Bokeh with the inner-tube in the foreground
Some selected photos from us floating the river. Being on the river at sunset is one of my favorite reasons to float the river, even if we don’t get out until it’s completely dark.

Soundtrack: KRANE - Daylight
Shot on my Hero Black and my iPhone 10.

Getting Out of my Head - My Latest Audio Book Series

Posted on Sunday July 14, 2019 by Jacob Campbell.

Several years ago, I started going out for walks every night. It has been good to me. When I first started losing weight several years ago, I think that starting to have an exercise regiment (while it is not very hardcore) was what really started it. While I have plateaued in the last six months and started gaining some of my weight back, having that simple daily exercise has been good for my body. For my weight I probably need to start working more on my diet and changing my eating habits to move to the next level. Over the last year I have averaged over 10,000 steps, 38 minutes of exercise (normally it is walking, but sometimes my own form of yoga, swimming, hiking badger, and if you follow my snapchat often my bike).

Graph showing my exercise based on distance walked or ran for the last year. Graph showing my exercise based on steps taken during the last year Graph showing my exercise based on minutes of exercise
A gallery showing graphs of my exercise during the previous year.

Getting out and walking has been good for my mental health as well. There are some days that I just can’t leave and walk, and those days I feel like I’m going to go a bit crazy. With my crazy schedule and doing more things than I probably should (between my two jobs, family, and social life), being able to go out for walks seem like less of a nice thing and more of something mandatory.

As I’ve written about many time on here, I am an avid listener to podcasts (by the way, anybody want to make a podcast with me… I’d love to be a creator of one someday as well). I listen to some music, but I spend most of my listening time listening to a number of great podcasts. I decided that I needed to also have some input into my brain that is just fun as well. In my life, I find if I can box things around something I already do I can get really good at doing it. Basically, if I can find something that I already do regularly and just add a little bit or do something a little bit different to that… I find that I am much more able to keep those changes going in my life. Building on something that we are already doing can really make making changes in our lives much easier.

So about a year or year and a half ago, I started listening to audio books as I walk. I pretty quickly went through all of the Game of Thrones books (they are great… and I’m still excited to get HBO at some point and make it through the TV seres as well). I listen to Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, another one that I would highly recommend for a good read / listen.

Various Red Queen Book Covers
The various covers for the books in the Red Queen Series
Book Cover for Broken Throne

Red Queen Series - Broken Throne

by Victoria Aveyard

Jacob says
A fun series

As you can see, my interests tend to be pretty focused on being able to be taken to some sort of fantasy world. I’m a big fan of both Fantasy and Science Fiction genres. My latest series I’ve just made it through is the Red Queen Series by Victoria Averard. It’s another great selection to listen to. It is around a world divided by red and silver blood types and people with superhuman powers. But as always, it is more about the people that you learn to love and hate in the book and the stories that get told.

In particular, one of the things that I especially enjoy about the Fantasy and Science Fiction generes is that they can step outside of our lives and make a case for some larger societal norms and how we treat each other. Anyways, I did really enjoy the Red Queen Series.

Building in Evidence-based Practices to our Parenting

Posted on Tuesday June 25, 2019 by Jacob Campbell.

Parenting can be difficult. I have found that to be true in my personal life, in the lives of my clients, and from what I see in our culture. Different people give different advice as to what to do and how to best raise our children. Long hours working can make being consistent difficult (or at least that seems to happen in my own life).

As a part of my role at the Pasco School District, I worked with the Bridges Program. It is a district level set of classrooms that work with students K-12th grade to help support some of the students who have some of the most severe behavioral impacts. One of the ways that I would commonly describe my role is as building a home - school - community connections.

Graphic depicting that connection between home, school and community.
Graphic depicting that connection between home, school, and community.

I have spent a lot of time during the previous several years working to help support parents learn new skills, and learning from parents how they best work with their children. It has been fabulous. As a part of my role in the Pasco Discovery Coalition, I’ve been able to do some of the same. Several years ago, I was able to get trained to be a facilitator for Guiding Good Choices. It’s a pretty great evidence-based parenting program. I’ve enjoyed being able to implement training in it.

Last week I was able to get certified to implement the Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14. One thing that I find especially interesting and exciting about this program is it has components for both youth and parents. While Guiding Good Choices does have a component that youth participate in, the entire Strengthening Families Program is family-centered and both parents and youth are concurrently and working together learning skills. The program seems very interactive and engaging.

I’m a believer, that just like in therapy (I also just listened to a great episode of the Social Workers Podcast - Therapists as Writers: Interview with Lori Gottlieb where she expressed the same view about therapy), everybody can improve their parenting skills. We should all be trying to learn as many new skills and practices as we can.

2019 Family Trip to Leavenworth

Posted on Tuesday June 4, 2019 by Jacob Campbell.

I’m still figuring out how I want to share more personal things about my life. While I’m still currently on Facebook (and probably this post will be shared there), I almost never post there. I’ve actually turned off the notifications (other than for messenger). Sometimes I post to Instagram, but that seems somewhat rare as well. I probably most frequently post things to Snapchat, as I like that it just disappears, but I don’t really have many friends there.

Sometimes I share photos sometimes directly with people through the Sharing Suggestions in Photos, but I’m still figuring it out. I have a couple hundred photos and video’s I took while we were in the Leavenworth area over Memorial Day. I wanted to share share something, so I put together this video using the Quik App on my iPad, which is such and easy way to put together a pretty neat looking video quickly.

You can also also see some some of the photos from our trip.

Photo of Leavenworth WA with Mountain in background Photo of Leavenworth WA with city in Black and White Photo of inside our Cabin outside of Leavenworth Photo of river outside of cabin Viking Hat inside the Wood Shop and Hat Shop in Leavenworth WA Hotdog Hat inside the Wood Shop and Hat Shop in Leavenworth WA Bunny Derby Hat inside the Wood Shop and Hat Shop in Leavenworth WA Hot Tub Photo in Leavenworth WA
A selection of some photos from our trip.
Photo of our Jacks Cabin
From the waterfront side, Jacks Cabin

We got the opportunity to stay in Jack’s Cabin, through airbnb which was a phenomenal experience. The video take you on a bit of tour, but there is really nothing like being able to walk out the back door and have a river and and little waterfall right outside.

Presentation at OSPI’s 2019 Student Support Conference - Better Together: Collaboration, Coordination, and Compassion

Posted on Friday May 24, 2019 by Jacob Campbell.

The classrooms I get the opportunity to serve at the Pasco School District feels like a real privilege. I feel the work that I get to do is meaningful and really get to make an impact on the lives to staff and students. One of the reasons why it feels so meaningful to me is that fact that we try (while we don’t always implement) to use best practices to address our students needs.

Earlier this year, I got the opportunity to join the Washington State Association of School Social Workers and attend their annual conference. One of the presenters there from OSPI talked about the upcoming Student Support Conference and described that they would be making a request for proposals for conference presenters. I decided that I wanted to stretch myself some, although this is not the first conference that I have spoken at, and apply to present about our program and the best practices for classrooms serving students with emotional and behavioral disabilities.

The following is the slides from my presentation (or view on Notist) and I figured that I would share it hear as well. You can see more information about the conference at OSPI’s Student Support Website.

View Foundational Aspects of Evidence Based Classrooms: Supporting Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities on Notist.

It’s a little bit late tonight, but I will also say that while I didn’t get the opportunity to stay for both days of the conference (I had some other stuff come up that I really had to do), the other presentations that I got to sit in on were great and it’s good to see how much focus on both mental health and trauma there is for our students.

Privilege It’s a Thing and We Should Care

Posted on Monday April 15, 2019 by Jacob Campbell.

Privilege is a topic that has been coming up and that I’ve been mulling over recently. I am a true believer that it is a topic that we should keep coming back to and reevaluating what our privilege is. When I was working on my degrees in social work at Eastern Washington University, I wrote a paper The Ethnicity of Non-Ethnicity: The Ethnic Autobiography of the Dominate Culture back in 2008.

Audiobook cover for Ta-Nehishi Coates Between The Worlds and Me

Between The Worlds and Me

by Ta-Nehishi Coates

Jacob says
A powerful story

I had been planning writing a review about Ta-Nehishi Coates audio book, Between The Worlds and Me, which I recently listened to (and I think think this blog post will suffice). Michiko Kakutani From the New York Times provides a good review of the book which is written as a type of letter to Coates’s teenage son about the realities, feelings, and symbolism associated with being Black in the United States. There were many points that stood out to me and gave me pause to think.

When coates was talking about his years growing up, and the safety of his body, really struck me that even with all of my travels and sometimes dangerous positions, that I’ve not really lived in it and my privilege that frequently they were positions I had put myself in. I was also struck by his comments about people who “think they are white.”

All in all, it was a powerful story and well worth a read or a listen. If you do listen to it like I did (and I must give a shoutout to public libraries and being able to download audiobooks), I love books that read by the author as I feel like I get even more of their voice. I was thankful that my mom recommended it to me.

While, I still haven’t finished the episode yet, I am still working my way through listening to Reconcilable Differences - Episode 101: Duke of Bits (Overcast Link and Website). I highly respect John and Merlin and appreciate their thoughtfulness in life and the way they broach all sorts of topics. In this episode they talk about both privilege and status and it was a great listen and through provoking. It is so important, as they said that people recognize that privilege is a thing and we have to keep reminding ourselves of that. The idea that how we can be fearless to be able to go about our life, and know that everything will be ok. That is so true for me and I can highly relate to saying that many times I can be fearless where not everybody else can.

Graphic stating what makes you so fearless

One area I’m able to be somewhat fearless in is pursing more education. I’m sure I will write more about this as time goes on, but I’ve been accepted to the California Institute of Integral Studies Doctorate in Transformative Studies program. The mere fact that I can look into pursing this puts me in such a position of privilege. And while I don’t have the type of excessive privilege of the somewhat recent news about U.S. Charges Dozens Of Parents, Coaches In Massive College Admissions Scandal I still have a whole lot more than many people.

Is it Spring Yet? Duck Pond & River Fun

Posted on Saturday March 16, 2019 by Jacob Campbell.

It feels like Spring is finally here. We went to the Duck Pond at Columbia Park and fed the ducks.

I will say, after I was posting about buying bread to feed the ducks, a friend reached out to me and told me about the problems related to that, so you should consider feeding them something else. Fun video though.

Photo of sign stating not to feed ducks bread
Don’t Feed Ducks Bread.

Video shot on my GoPro and iPhone and Made by GoPro Quick using the song Straight West.