Southwestern College



Posts by Donna Harrington

What I Love About My New Home in the Southwest by Lauren Hamilton

 It has officially been two months since I've made Santa Fe my home, and the beauty I have been discovering over these past 60 days has been absolutely unreal. Moving here from Colorado, I was a little worried coming to a place that at first thought invokes mental images of cacti and dusty desert plains. While…
Continue reading


Reduce Shame, Enhance Love: Reflections on Self-Love and the Journey to Find It

It was during my second week at Southwestern College, the second meeting of Tuesday’s Psychology of Altruism class, that Ann Filemyr presented us with this lesson: “reduce shame, enhance love.” We talked about feelings of shame and the aching, overwhelming presence it can have in our daily lives. Shame that can continually haunt us whether…
Continue reading


Several Levels of Generosity

I value generosity on several levels: On the physical or material level, generosity could take the form of giving money, food, shelter, etc. On the emotional or heart level, generosity is about giving others my attention, love and compassion. At the level of intellect, am I willing to share my ideas and…
Continue reading


When I Lose My Discernment

Several times in the past, I've gotten excited about the latest spiritual practice I'm doing, and I've lost my sense of discernment about it. I start thinking it's the best thing ever—everyone should be doing it! I become a true believer, thinking it's the right thing for everyone; the world would just be a better…
Continue reading


What is Empathic Presence?

When I started learning to empathize with others, at first, I found myself awkwardly guessing their feelings and needs (often, incorrectly). Gradually, I built my feelings and needs vocabulary, and eventually, I was able to guess feelings and needs more easily and more accurately. However, my empathic reflections still felt somewhat awkward and contrived. I'd…
Continue reading


Life Without Scapegoating

In these turbulent times, there are many people promoting their personal vision for the future, and asking for our support in making their vision a reality. This article is about who I look to for leadership, and why, and how I choose to lead my own life.What is Scapegoating?I'm remembering a talk by an environmental…
Continue reading


When My World Fell Apart

(This piece is based on a journal entry of mine from January, 2009.)The last couple weeks have been very challenging for me. I've been feeling anxious, off-center, low on energy, and afraid. Lots of things have changed in my life all at once.Watching Everything Fall ApartThe nonprofit that I've been leading for the last year…
Continue reading


Letting Go of Control

When we stop trying to control ourselves and others, what happens? Perhaps that depends on the extent to which we're resting in love. When we're resting in love, the distinction between ourselves and others evaporates. We start getting attentive to all needs that arise—both for ourselves and others.When we stop trying to control, we stop…
Continue reading


I Am That, But You Are Not Me

There's a paradox: from one point of view, I am that. From another, you are not me. I believe it's important to remember both of these viewpoints.Remembering "I am that" reminds me of the unity of all things. It reminds me that the entire universe is my body—so of course, I aspire to love it…
Continue reading


How to Resolve Conflict by Naming Expectations

I find that naming expectations helps me avoid and resolve conflict. An unnamed expectation is an unconscious, unspoken, implicit "should" or "should not" hanging between myself and someone else. I'm not saying expectations are a problem—shared expectations are the essence of culture, and culture is what allows us to relate with one another easily and…
Continue reading


How to Make Difficult Experiences More Meaningful

I'm finding I can make difficult experiences more meaningful by using them to cultivate compassion. For instance, let's say I'm feeling lonely—needing more love and companionship in my life. Feeling lonely can be uncomfortable, and loneliness can seem bleak and meaningless. However, I can make my experience of loneliness more meaningful by using it…
Continue reading


How to Stop Doing Things You Regret When You’re Angry

When I'm angry (that is, "triggered"), I'm often tempted to gain relief from my triggered state by protecting myself in some way—usually, by setting a boundary. The problem with this is that setting a boundary tends to be a unilateral decision that's unlikely to meet the other person's needs for care, consideration, connection, and inclusion—especially…
Continue reading


10 Tips to Thrive in Grad School at SWC

I make war with what comes in contact with a person's health or happiness, believing that God made everything good..." ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby Grad school is a unique, generally rigorous, and ideally outstanding life experience which will push you to your intellectual, emotional, and physical limits. At the end of year one…
Continue reading


How to Stop Rushing

Why do I rush? Often, it's because I'm trying to finish up something tedious I've been doing (so I can get to do something I actually want to be doing!) I want to get through the boring stuff so I can move on to the good stuff. The problem is, the good stuff never really…
Continue reading


back to top