Coming Home is About You.

2018 has been a challenging year in the Santa Barbara area. The destructive Thomas Fire, ultimately the largest in the history of the state, followed by devastating mudslides, threatened both Pacifica Campuses in the early months of the year. Staff, faculty, and students were evacuated multiple times and for weeks on end as the community reeled under the onslaught of these natural disasters. Pacifica Alumni Association’s signature Coming Home event for 2018 was postponed—twice!—along with numerous classes and events.

At the same time, in the wider world, we continued to witness numerous natural disasters, refugee crises, political unrest, civil violence, environmental distress, and significant social issues virtually everywhere on the planet. This era in the history of our planet is fraught with challenges.

Yet, there is much to sustain us, even in the throes of distress. The gift of community, especially one that is steeped in understanding of depth psychology and the workings of the unconscious, shores us up across the distances that seem to separate us. Our common bonds founded on strength, empathy, creativity, and compassion—with input from myths, dreams, and symbols; our love for the Earth and all its beings; and our joy in the companionship of like-minded others while honoring diversity in every form—all serve to provide us with context and meaning. Yet, how do we maintain our connection to community and to one another in trying times? There is hope to be had, and it sparks human resilience at its deepest and most profound levels, if we but pause to listen and engage.

We are delighted to invite you to join Pacifica Graduate Alumni Association (PGIAA) and Pacifica Graduate Institute (PGI) for our new offering, “Coming Home 2018:  Community & Connections – Inspiring Resilience and Hope.” This special event takes place both on campus and online. We welcome those who can participate live at the Ladera campus, and are also thrilled to make the main events available online via Zoom video broadcast for the first time for those students, faculty, and alumni who are scattered around the world and unable to attend in person.

“It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe… a collection of things, tangible and intangible, that feed your soul. It’s that sense of calm and peace, that the world is ‘right’ as you step through the doorway. It’s that feeling of comfort, like a favorite pair of jeans. It’s where nothing needs to be said, no-one needs to be there, but you know you’ve just been greeted by your best friend.

It’s that one place in the universe where you can just be ‘you’, surrounded by the things you love, the memories you have, and where the people you care about are allowed ‘in’. At the heart of it, coming home is where you can be most vulnerable because you feel safe, and all your senses are fed.”

~Sheila Azeller

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