Living with chronic illness is a hero's journey
Learn to map this complex world and mine its treasures so that you can navigate from a place of empowerment and wisdom rather than fear or resentment.
This course teaches and uses the Integral philosophy of author Ken Wilber to provide a powerful map to orient us into the territory of illness.
This online course begins January 3, 2023.
Living with illness often feels disempowering. Your body isn’t functioning at 100%. You’re navigating a healthcare system that is complex and confusing — at best. No one really knows how to help you. You can feel alone and as if the world outside is rushing along at 1,000 miles an hour, leaving you behind.
Caring for a loved one who is ill can create the very same experience — and present the same opportunities.
No matter whether you’re ill or caring for someone who is, navigating illness is an experience that few of us are prepared to face alone. Join us to learn more about managing illness i the company of others who are doing the same.
Empowering Yourself, our 6-week live virtual course, will take you from confusion to clarity and introduce you to a supportive group of friends, many of whom have been grappling with these issues for decades and a have a lot to share.
It will provide a map to guide you through the journey of chronic illness, tending to all the layers of your experience that need attention, from the practical to the spiritual. You will walk away with the power and tools to navigate chronic illness so that it can be more than something you endure and suffer through and instead become a path to waking up and to growing up.
This Course Will Help You to:
- More effectively navigate both the project and the trauma of illness
- Interact skillfully and compassionately with others involved in the world of illness, including family and friends
- Use chronic illness as a springboard to personal and spiritual growth
- Work with the koans that illness presents to you
This Course Is for:
- People who want to improve relationships with others in the world of illness
- Caregivers who want to find ways to help their loved ones
People who want to better communicate with others about illness
- Providers who want to understand their patients and clients better
- People who want to have smoother interactions with the systems that affect chronic illness
“... healing occurs - and must occur - on all levels of being: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.” – Ken Wilber
What you'll receive
— 6 modules packed with helpful ideas, questions, and practices.
— Multiple materials ranging from pdfs. to videos
— Links and referrals to helpful resources
— 6 live Zoom calls which feature both teaching and discussion, recorded and archived on the site
— A supportive group of participants to share with and learn from
Overview. Course Information. Introductions. What Is a Koan?
Week 1: Chronic Illness Basics and the Integral Map
Week 2: The Disempowerment of Illness. Heroes in Disguise
Week 3: Taking Back Your Power: Mapping the Territory
Week 4: Taking Back Your Power: Working with the Trauma
Week 5: Taking Back Your Power: Managing the Project
Week 6: Communication and Integration
Empowering Yourself is part 1 of our 6-part Koan of Illness series.
Each of our live, 6-week, stand-alone courses addresses a part of the illness experience and is designed both for people suffering from chronic illness and caregivers. You can begin with any of the courses, pick and choose, or do them all.More info about the KOI Courses
The Koan Of Illness series
The Koan of Illness 1: Empowering Yourself
Does the complexity of chronic illness management overwhelm you? Do you struggle to navigate the paperwork, the emotions, the lifestyle changes that illness brings?
Everyone who deals with illness, whether patient, caregiver, provider, or administrator, deals with a complex mixture of personal, technical, institutional, and spiritual issues.
The Koan of Illness Part 2: Healing the Trauma
When you learn that illness is a part of your life and likely to be for some time, it is often a traumatic event. You may begin with denial and move through other stages such as anger or grief. You find that illness touches every aspect of your life – from your physical existence to your spirituality. Often it creates havoc with your relationships , your self-esteem, and your beliefs...
The Koan of Illness Part 3: Healing Your Relationships
Chronic illness brings changes and challenges to every relationship – your partner, children, parents, employer, friends, and even yourself. Your relationships can fracture or deepen depending on how you integrate illness into them.
The Koan of Illness Part 4: Illness as a Springboard for Personal Growth
Chronic illness can seem like a prison sentence, isolating you from life and taking away opportunities you might have had. However, illness is as valid a life path as any other, and, often, people with illness are able to use that difficulty to deepen their personal growth. In this course, we use the integral map to look at the process of individual growth...
The Koan of Illness Part 5: Chronic Illness and Spirituality
How does one find spirit in the midst of pain and loss? How can illness offer opportunities for spiritual growth? In this course, we use the integral map to look at the spiritual aspects of illness and explore how illness offers a path to awakening and an opportunity to develop spiritual intelligence.
The Koan of Illness Part 6: Integration: A New Vision for Healing
How can I create a personal plan for growth in the midst of the complexity that is illness and personal development?
How can I relate to the systems in which I have to operate?
What are my Koans?
Dr. Lynn Royster Fuentes
Lynn is a college instructor, educational course designer, and a mediator with a BA, MA, JD, and PhD. An experienced classroom and online instructor, she has designed and taught courses in transpersonal psychology, writing, planning, chronic illness, and conflict management at DePaul University, where she also founded and directed the Chronic Illness Initiative, a program to help students with chronic illness obtain a degree.
A devoted student of Ken Wilber and integral philosophy, she has published integrally oriented essays and articles on conflict resolution and illness management and weaves integral ideas into her course design and teaching. She follows an integral life practice of physical, psychological, meditative, and cognitive development.
Lynn has volunteered in many capacities – with battered women, people in the recovery community, and people with chronic illness – and served on the board of the Solve ME/CFS Association of America for many years. Despite her study of many disciplines, Lynn regards her greatest learning as long-term caregiver for severely ill family members.