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April 2016



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Apr. 27th, 2016


Sigh. Home. Resilient. Good.

Drove to NY to see Dusty this am, then drove to Newark to teach.

Not remarkable, except I did it in Jade, my new manual car.

Many things went wrong, including stalling out on two hills with cars behind me, twice.

I did find exactly the right kind of parking.

I paid through ParkMobile and got a ticket anyway, which I will contest since I can show I was paid up.

I ended up driving home late in the dark and my phone died and Jade's plugs don't work so I couldn't juice up and access my GPS, and I couldn't call Michael for help. I just drove around until I recognized something and finally got myself home.

So, even though I was hard on Jade and she smells like burned rubber, and things went wrong and I was scared, all went well, overall.

And I am very proud of myself. : )

I am brave and resilient, and I can do scary things with perseverance.

Dusty made three signs for my car before I left, to tape onto Jade's rear windshield and two side rear windows. They helped the second half of the drive so much!

They said:

Apr. 21st, 2016


Joy joy joy

The first student I began working with when I arrived defended her dissertation a few weeks ago, to my great joy. She was cleaning out her mailbox today and found an email from 2012 that she originally sent my predecessor. Kindly, she decided to resend it to me.

Reading it has made my heart happy. I share it here:

"I just wanted to take a moment to thank you again for connecting me with Dr. Chase (Sabrina). She has been working with me for approximately a month and during that time I have made more progress and gained greater clarity than I had in the past two years.
She has given me tools to motivate and encourage myself as well as mechanisms to hold myself accountable for my progress. I am excited that she will be joining the faculty shortly and I am certain that she will serve as an invaluable asset to the students."

I feel as though I am fulfilling the work I have been sent to do during this part of my life. Happy, shining joy...

Apr. 13th, 2016


What matters

Love matters; status doesn’t. Having a roof over our heads matters; having a mansion doesn’t. Peace matters so much that by comparison, literally nothing else does.

~ The Benevolent Guide…Insight from Martha

This makes a lot of sense to me.

I'm cheerfully letting go of everything I can that doesn't serve me right now: clothes I don't wear, belongings that don't bring me joy, resentment, bitterness, sugar, and ick in any form. Mostly, I want peace, work sprung from my life's calling, good physical, emotional and mental health and the very best kinds of good-feeling, positive love.

Apr. 12th, 2016


Something of substance

One of my dear hearts told me today that if I really understood how much love exists in the world for me, I'd be overwhelmed.

It's better that you don't know, he said.

He may be right. I've been amazed at all the love that has been showered on me since my car accident.

Maybe I can expand a little, to let all this love in.


Today I said no to a dear mentor regarding a project I'd loved to have joined. My gut said it would overload me, so I listened and stepped aside. I wish I could have worked with him. But I hope that in the future, it still might be possible.

I exchanged peaceful wishes with an old flame. May we both flourish in happiness and our hearts be eased.

My friend and shamanic healing teacher Caroline let me know that she thinks my car accident on Sunday was caused by a shell (part of a dead person's left over being) that attached itself to my car while I was driving by his home, which had burned the night before. The man who died in that fire had been a neighbor of mine.

She also said divine intervention and spirit help kept me alive during that accident. I believe it.

Finally, another dear friend's house burned last night, and she lost all her belongings. She and her son were not at home, thank gods. There's a GoFundMe project to help her. We've contributed, but I want to do more.

On a positive note, I've started having fun conversations with someone I've known as a professional for a long time who is now becoming a friend. He's geeky and kind, and also has extensive shamanic training. Pretty interesting.

I'm curious about all the changes coming my way.

For now, though, I'm just glad to have some time to relax and go read.

Apr. 9th, 2016


Useful Self Care Guidelines

If I am not 100% aligned with something, don't do it.

My gut's messages are the most important data to consider.

When in doubt, say no to others so I can say yes to myself.

I am not here to take care of the wants of others.

Remember the beauty and peace that comes with choosing the life I long for.

Trust others to meet their own needs.

Relax into allowing my dreams to manifest for me now.

Say no with love: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/how-to-say-no-with-love_1_b_8078422.html

Apr. 8th, 2016


Letting go

My big insight from the last six months:

Sometimes the biggest boosts come from not from what you gain, but from what you release.

In the last six months, I've let go of so much, and this has freed me in important ways.

I'm still doing it---still paring down, still giving away, and still saying no to good things, good opportunities and good people because anything that takes up too many mental, emotional or physical resources can act as a powerful drain.

I've realized that the opportunity I was so excited about yesterday and the day before will actually overload me to an unreasonable level, and I am sadly going to have to say no to it. : (

Not every wonderful opportunity, person or situation is a good fit for me at any given time, and sometimes, I would flourish much, much better by finding the strength to say no.

It's a hard lesson---a very grown up lesson. I am finally starting to learn it. It's hard to say no, and painful to disappoint good people.

But the additional inner spaciousness and reduced outer demands---physical, emotional or mental---that letting go brings is absolutely priceless.

Apr. 7th, 2016


Crazy new development

Hey, you know what's really cool? The first blurb on the back cover of that book I reviewed closely (see last post) is mine.

I am now not only a person who's written a book, I'm a person whose recommendation promotes other books.

*shaking my head in pure delight*

Apr. 6th, 2016


Work Squee

This has been a good week for showing me some of my impact on the world. Two days ago, my first official PhD student defended his dissertation, which built on mine in positive ways. He created something new and wonderful with what he saw in my work.

One of my RAs was quoted by Elle magazine and another appeared in a new documentary on the affluent Black community of 1920s Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Three of my students are applying for prestigious grants, and I think they have a good shot.

A book similar to mine appeared in my mailbox today. A year or so ago, I reviewed ita initial draft in great detail and gave the author a whole lot of feedback on how to make it even stronger. Basically, I gave her the guidelines I wish I had received when I was writing.

It's a beautiful book. I feel like a proud grandma.

And finally, my mentor Ben called me and asked me to come help him with a grant. He'll put me on as co-PI and give me access to his data so I can write some of it up. I hope some of my students will want to help me.

It felt great to pick up the phone and say,"Hi Ben! What do you need?" and hear him say, quietly, "Well, I need you."

I think my work is helping the world. Pure joy!

Progress made real

In the last two weeks my first two PhD students successfully defended their dissertations. This is utterly beautiful, and brings me great joy.

Both are smart, compassionate, competent researchers who want to bring positive transformation to urban communities. One intends to undo educational tracking in K-12 education. Tracking is very bad for minority kids and poor kids, and eliminating it would go far to improve their chances in life (read "Ain't No Makin' It" to learn more). The other wants to help heal health disparities in poor urban communities by promoting interprofessional health care teams. This is critical for improving our lagging health care system as a whole.

Did I mention that I am very, very proud of them?

For one, I've been both acting chair and dissertation coach. For the other, I've been the official chair.

I think this is the first physical manifestation of the dream I've been attempting to make real for the last several years: the creation of a new academic tradition of urban scholar-activism that prioritizes balance, self care, personal wholeness and right relationship with self as important tools for transforming the outer world.

Those of you who are familiar with the academic world are now either gaping in astonishment or laughing at me in incredulity.

"But Sabrina," you might be thinking, "graduate school creates the *exact opposite* of wholeness and balance in new scholars!"

This is generally true.

But I think it can be very different. And Desi and Yuri are the first two graduates who I hope will prove this general rule wrong.

May they be the first of many subversive scholar-activists who turn the world on its head in the best of all possible ways.


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