Everyday Mystery School
The Everyday Mystery School is a learning community providing guidance and inspiration to help people come alive to the inner wisdom needed for these times. Our focus is on re-learning how to cultivate a relationship with the earth, our ancestors, and a personal path of meaning.
Living in these times, it’s a wonder that more of us are not going totally crazy. We’re facing bigger, more complex problems than ever before in the environmental, political, economic, and social arenas. Our institutions are failing us and the old solutions don’t seem to be working anymore. Many of the leaders we once felt we could go to when times were tough, have fallen from their pedestals, completely unraveled by their human imperfections. It can be even harder to know where to turn, as our social fabric has become threadbare and relationships lack the depth we seek. This has sent many people we know searching for something new — a new perspective, technology, or medicine — that might possibly heal their own hearts, their families, their community.
What just may be our saving grace in these crazy times, is that there are enough seekers on the path, and collectively, we are starting to find some answers that are working for us. The funny thing is, what many of us are finding to be helpful, is not a new invention, but the oldest of technologies — of sitting in a circle, knowing that each person is both student and teacher, and through simple practices, help each other to kindle our own spark of wisdom and aliveness.
The Everyday Mystery School was founded for these crazy times, and is dedicated to the lost arts of community healing and ritual — practiced in its modern form as family and systemic constellations. In constellations we are guided through practices of seeing, acknowledging, and remembering. Every experience is different and is improvised in response to who is in the circle.
We have seen how many of our friends were totally burnt out from living in systems of covert and overt oppression. But then become revitalized through renewing a connection to nature, to spirit, and to their ancestors. It is most definitely possible to become filled with your own life force and personal power, more in touch with your own intuition, more attuned to the magic in the everyday.
We look forward to welcoming new friends, as fellow teachers and students on this path, and hope to see you soon in one of our circles.
Alissa is a constellations facilitator, a design thinking consultant, and founder of the Everyday Mystery School. She offers coaching for personal and professional growth, and for finding clear next steps on a path of meaning and purpose.
The long version:
“I have been studying the mechanics of how inner and outer transformation works for over two decades. It began with perceiving a world of balance and a sincere desire to change things for the better. This desire was accelerated after 9/11, when several of the wisdom teachers I met pointed out that in order to create peace in the world, I needed to learn how to create peace in myself. This began a path of mindfulness and meditation that has been part of my daily practice ever since.
Over a period of 7 years I spent a significant amount of time on retreats with the Community of Mindful Living in Plum Village, France and in the SF Bay Area. I was part of the delegation that traveled with Thich Nhat Hanh on his return trip to Vietnam in 2005 after 40 years of exile. I organized mindfulness retreats for young adults and was part of the Peacebuilding Sangha.
This also connected me to an extended family of engaged Buddhists. I was part of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship’s Buddhist Alliance for Social Engagement training program mentored by Susan Moon. I also developed a heart connection with the Peace Pagodas of Leverett, MA and Grafton, NY who are known for long distance peace walks, ending nuclear proliferation, and findings ways to support native indigenous communities. I was part of several walks around New England including a climate change walk in 2004 that walked from Western Mass to New York City.
After years of practicing “being peace” I became interested in learning more ways to effect change at scale and became inspired by Mata Amritandamayi and her massive worldwide humanitarian organization. I was involved with service projects at her center in the Bay Area, until I moved to India and was a volunteer with Embracing the World for 2 years. During this time I lived in Amma’s community and traveled to nearly 20 countries on world tours, living up close and personally with an ethos to “love and serve.”
All the while throughout these explorations I have worked as an Experience Designer, consulting with small businesses and startups to launch their social innovation projects. I began working on the greatest technological marvel of our time, the Internet, during the first dot-com boom in the late 90s. I have a background in behavioral research and have directed many user research and ethnographic studies. This involves looking closely at people’s lifestyle, habits, and worldviews and learning how to anticipate whether this new thing we are creating will fit in to the world of everyday people; and with the zeitgeist of the culture.
Since returning from India to the US in 2014 I have been integrating what I have observed about inner and outer transformation in a way that is relevant for American culture. I am currently completing a masters in Consciousness and Transformation at JFK University, creating a theoretical framework for what I found through direct observation and personal practice, and from hearing about the experiences of so many friends and fellow pilgrims seeking answers to the big questions.
As part of my training in family and systemic constellations, I have learned from Dan Cohen, Emily Blefeld, Francesca Mason Boring, Elisa Novick, Suzi Tucker, Stephan Hausner, Sieglinde Schneider, Ron Young, and all of the incredible people who show up for these circles.
Currently I consult with social innovators on wicked problems using an approach that draws from systems thinking and design thinking. I also consult with individuals and small organizations to launch their passion projects.
I work individually with people to help them find clarity about what their purpose is, how to restore a sense of meaning in their lives, and how to find the next step on a path that is resonant for them. I use family and systems constellations as my primary tool, and bring in elements from mindfulness, Buddhist psychology, and indigenous wisdom traditions.
Beginning in September 2018 I started hosting Community Constellations, facilitated each month by a network of emerging facilitators I have had the privilege of getting to know through this amazing work.”