What I Do

Alice Holstein, Ed.D

My Work: Sharing a place of grace

My work includes being a mental health champion, a revolutionary futurist and a spiritual guide and companion. I write, teach and speak about these things. I facilitate and consult, and I seek a larger role to optimize my effectiveness in the world. Now, in my mid-70s, I am experiencing the wisdom and creative focus of a lively elder role. I “retired” in 2017 from a position as counselor to veterans with mental illness, but I am more productive than ever. In December of 2017 my work took an unexpected turn in that I wrote an essay on “A Movement That Can Shift the World: A New Civilization Movement” that called out to be shared sooner rather than later with the larger world. This effort has become a prime thrust with the hope that the rest of the essays for We The People: Blueprints for the Revolution will also be published..

Some of my work takes me out into the community as a volunteer Being a board member for several Mental Health organizations is an opportunity to share my personal experience as well as my background in systems change and integration.. On many occasions I speak in the community, sharing my “Tough Grace” speech (see “Articles” section of this website) My book, Tough Grace: Mental Illness As A Spiritual Path, has been used as a supplementary text at the university level. It presents a revolutionary view of coping with mental illness that gives hope to many. Audiences say that this first-hand storytelling is often life-changing. For me it is a chance to speak for “the voiceless ones.”

A beloved part of my life is writing. One of my unpublished works is Affirmations of Hope (Meditations on Healing Mental Illness), available at the website as a Book PDF. Proclamations from the Humanarchy: From Madness to a New Era In History is a book of prose poems that has been shared in booklet form. I hope it will find a publisher. Seeker: Claiming A Spiritual Not Religious Path , is on the horizon; it will contain essays of lessons learned and wisdom gained. I joke about my final book, to be written in my last years, which will bear the title, Ahead of My Time, Out of My Mind, Two Steps Behind, Right on the Dime.

My role as a “Spiritual Companion” in both an individual and group capacity, is the result of having graduated in July, 2017 from an intense, 3-year Spiritual Direction Preparation Program. This work involves accompanying people who want to go deeper in life, finding more relationship with the divine, however, that may be defined. It is an opportunity to share empathy, caring and wisdom as I witness to this sacred work.

I describe myself as teacher, perpetual student, visionary, synthesizer, futurist, catalyst, mystic and revolutionary, but being a good listener is at the heart of my being. The people who listened to me on my journey saved my life in large and small ways. As Paul Tillich said, “the first duty of love is to listen.” I try to live my life that way in the mentoring I do and the nurturing of a family of choice and a strong support network. Much of this abundance comes from standing on many tall shoulders, but it comes as well from reframing my suffering as a “tough grace,” and that has made all the difference. My fondest hope is that you too will find a place of grace through the material you find at this site.