A community is as strong and vibrant as its members. Indicators like homelessness, domestic violence, addiction, and other public health-risk behaviors that have reached epidemic proportions reveal the need to more effectively help community members understand new possibilities and their inner resources to move from often seemingly endless adversity into a new universe of opportunity.
Whether a basketball team like the 2013-14 North High Polars, last place in the city at North Minneapolis Community High School (with only 165 students in a building that used to hold 1,200), Vigario Geral, a community in Rio called the worst slum, a large chain like Marriott Hotels, or Plaza Athenee in NY, a single international 5 star boutique hotel, Continuum Center’s Discovery of Self trainings provide necessary information, inspiration, and accessible tools for individual transformation with an engaging common vision. The evolving community then provides reinforcements for shifts set in motion by the training.
“The positive responses from the employees that experienced the Discovery of Self program confirmed the importance of our embracing the messages and learning that you shared as they can make a difference in our personal and professional lives.”Chuck Harstad – VP, 3M
The shared vision is to create a community that’s about health and success, beating odds and thriving, about sending a message of hope and optimism. This documentary about the Polars transformation illustrates the impact of concepts and strategies, principles and practices of Discovery of Self, as does the participant feedback that follows. True North: Science, Streets and Skating Rinks of Optimism 9 min preview:
“My personal feedback would reflect the feedback I received from the women here. As you know many of them are victims of domestic violence and abuse. Other instances are profound stories of grief and tragedy. With what you explained to them, and what they were able to practice in the way of the techniques, was life changing for them, as I knew it would be…Other patients reported that prior to being exposed to the information you provided, they didn’t really want to stay sober long term necessarily as they could not see a way to experience life without being threatened by intrusive symptoms and/or thoughts. Many reported thereafter that they can make different choices to better engage their present moment for a desired effect and outcome. The time you spent with us was transformational for, from what I understand, all that were present.”Lynda Iglesia
“The four supervisors we sent to your seminar have had a fundamental shift in how they view themselves in the world and this shift has positively altered how they interact with those who report to them. As a community of recovery helping addicts and alcoholics achieve long-term sobriety and self-sufficiency, we are all about finding ways to move people to a paradigm of hope and possibility and DoS provides a whole new toolbox”. Kevin Lynch – President, Rebuild Resources
Our Discovery of Self trainings provide a dramatically different – but evidence-based and culturally integrative – view of the brain, mind, and reality than conventional models which have been unable to stem the rising tides of epidemic dysfunctions from school drop-out rates, to violence, addiction, incarceration, and suicide.
Community Leadership and team building
The strength of any size organization lies in the clarity of its mission and the innovation to drive it, the range of motivated team members who advance it, and the resources they have at their disposal. Employee engagement – of lack of it – has been a tremendous drain on organizations of all shapes and sizes. Evidence shows that meaning matters. People want to be part of a meaningful vision, valued for who they are and what they can contribute, and they want leaders who can inspire them and help them grow personally and professionally
Continuum Center’s Discovery of Self trainings have gone to Fortune 100 executive and medical professionals as well as homeless adults and the most seriously emotionally behaviorally disordered youth. Our DoS trainings have been used for leadership development, staff development, community development, selfhealth, diversity/equity, and academic and sports performance. Our programming has been to reservations, large corporations, 5 star New York hotels, slums of Rio and homeless shelters, University of Chicago, St Kates, and one of our exhibits was in its way to Morehouse when COVID hit.
Our programs synthesize the leading edges of science with time-honored cultural teachings to provide
A framework for understanding a new, more optimistic and empowering set of operating assumptions for life, relationships, health, learning and business
Access to profound internal resources, currently underdeveloped, for finding needles in haystacks, turning adversity into opportunity, and attracting resources out of thin air
Leadership is more than technical, logical and strategic thinking. It’s about big picture thinking, intuitive/creative insight, and about inspiring a team – however large or small – to greater performance because they’re happier, healthier and more focused, able to work more effectively and harmoniously with others – across all manner of professional and social divide – toward visions that inspire.
“Your presentation makes one examine how we think and our everyday assumptions – it opens the mind. Compared to other personal/professional development programs, Discovery of Self comes across as more real. Your delivery and experience makes one want to hear more.” Chuck Harstad – VP 3M
“Discovery of Self is filled with valuable insights into our existence. It is a treasure destined to become a leader of its genre.” Ed Belbruno – President, Innovative Orbital Design, former Dean, NASA Academy
Robust research indicates that a sense of meaningful connection is vital and that humans are wired to thrive and shine with a sense of interconnectedness, but we’ve been fooled by the illusion of our 5 physical senses to perceive separate physical objects. Ancient and indigenous cultures have warned of this illusion and visionary voices from science and politics are just some of a growing number from many directions who echo the need to transcend physical limitations that otherwise hold us back from the best of who we can be individually and collectively.
To build effective teams, leaders need to address issues of meaning, and social connection/impact, as well as productivity, staff wellness and work-life balance. The DoS mix of information download, stories, whole and small group discussion, and a few simple exercises and activities can meet those objectives.
“For many years I’ve used what I learned from Discovery of Self personally as has my husband and sons, and we’ve all seen the results. As President of NAACP-Mpls I’ve used the concepts and methods with my team, for problem-solving and strategy, and in the community to help bring people together for a common cause even when there are disagreements.” Cynthia Wilson – President, NAACP-Mpls
Equity Mindset: The inner road to inclusion
Laws can change, new policies written, and more dollars spent on conventional resources, but if you don’t change hearts and minds, those uninterested in equity will find ways to skirt laws and policies, and those receiving needed resources will too often deplete them due to ongoing drama and crisis.
Based on Continuum’s 40 years of working with internationally known and leading-edge physicists, physicians, biologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists and cultural leaders, our methodology represents not just a needed change but a whole new paradigm of human abilities and possibilities for creating new and better realities. A more equitable system comes the way a healthier community evolves – when individuals develop the mindset and internal resources to – regardless of obstacles – create their own opportunities, challenge stereotypes (others’ and their own), and feel/forge connections where there are divisions.
As the following video shows, a needed change is a transformation that begins within, a shift of focus from managing externals variables to first managing internal states, perception and mindset, that can move both sides of the imbalance. Social/emotional intelligence is key to both transformation and justice, demonstrated in this 12 min Response to Racism from the Inside Out:https://vimeo.com/538878753 featuring 3 DoS alumni, including Jordan Powell Karis who led the construction and installation of the 12’ fist at the George Floyd memorial sit.
People who have felt marginalized and those who have had more options to fit in, can move from a perception of separation to an interconnectedness eliciting a creativity, receptivity and a caring to engage and collaborate. The foundation for change begins within.
“Ms Barrash, it was an extreme pleasure to have you here to present to our men. Your message of positive hope and change of lifestyle fits exactly with the needs of these men. Many struggle with a myriad of issues. The men’s response to your class was very positive; they still mention some of the things you pointed out. We are able to talk to the men about feelings and emotions that you brought to light. I look forward to an increased awareness and a more positive outlook from them thanks to your assistance.” TJ Jones – Urban Ventures, Center for Fathering
Many people have talked about positive thoughts and feelings, but no one before ever gave me tools to make that happen. Teacher – Little Hoop Tribal College
Discovery of Self takes a unique and effective approach to self-actualization. We now make this program available to a wide cross-section of our clientele, ranging from the chronically chemically dependent American Indian women in our Kateiri residence to the chemically dependent men living on the street, served by our Alliance of the Streets program. In addition, DoS is part of our homeless shelter program and in our efforts to prepare long-time welfare recipients for the workplace.” Ed Murphy – Executive Director, St Stephen’s Human Services
Our program provides insight to why we have been using only a fraction our brain/mind capacity and how to access the proverbial “other 90%” for a new universe of opportunity Teaching revolutionary concepts and developing crucial inner resources, participants in all sized communities:
Develop a new perception of personal responsibility and possibility
Develop a new empowering set of operating assumptions for life
Learn how to attract positive people and opportunities
Strengthen psychological equanimity and ability to turn negatives into positives
Begin cellular “recalibration” and transform brain and body chemistry
Understand why buttons get pushed and how to eliminate them
“The information related to self, care for others, and attitudes was most useful. This seminar is much mire extensive than any I have previously attended – it embraces all areas: interpersonal, medical and others. It has been conducted in a most fruitful manner. I highly recommend it to any institution and am confident it will help us in all the job activities.”Sakho Ibrahima – Hotel Plaza Athenee
We draw from a range of ancillary resources like films. This one, produced by the Gegax Foundation (Tom Gegax was founder of Tires Plus), explores systemic racism’s roots and remedies. Highly affirming for a black audience, It was produced with a white audience in mind, likely unaware of some astonishing facts. The film has a wide range of compelling interviews, images and stories, sparked by the murder of George Floyd. SPARK provides an overview and ways through to a new sense of “us”, and of possibilities. Spark: A Systemic Racism Story 9 min trailer or go to the www.spark-doc.com to see full-length 32 min film.
Understanding how it is that we can shape our realities, and taking responsibility for playing a role on either the dominant/advantaged or dominated/disadvantaged (consciously or unconsciously) “side”, are crucial steps toward a needed quantum leap to not only level the playing field but create new fields and new levels of play.
“Jane Barrash presented a program which I believe has the ability to enhance and enrich the lives of every Gateway employee and their families. I recommend this program to ALL employees. It would be a powerful tool if Gateway was to help lay the foundation for career and life success. Our employees’ success creates our success.” Anthony Hilger – Supervisor, Gateway Computers (acquired by Acer)
Nobel neuroscientist Roger Sperry said “Consciousness is a causal reality”. “Causal” means “can make things happen”. Understanding the profound potential of inner states to level outer playing fields and influence the behavior of other players is a study and application that goes way beyond Mindfulness, the benefits of which are but the tip of the iceberg. If we don’t recognize that iceberg of consciousness and human capacity, symbolizing the hidden depths of our capacities, and open people to their fuller humanity and interconnectedness, we will see continued division and cause for anger, anxiety, depression, and other emotions now called mental illness.
The overall development of character and social/emotional intelligence leads to new relationships and allyships. Positive new connections and interactions are the soul of social change and equity outcomes. Discovery of Self helps participants make deeper dives into who they are. When you go deep enough it takes you to a deeper connection with all people, better able to see, hear, feel, and support others as well as self in ways that benefit all.