I’ve been thinking a lot about homeostasis, from the family systems perspective. I need to re-read “Generation to Generation” – it’s been a number of years since I last read it. I should also see if I can find my notes from a workshop that Edwin Friedman gave at the seminary I attended. This workshop was on Friedman’s last book, “A Failure of Nerve.” I have to admit it was pretty awesome to be in that workshop with him, sitting at the feet of the teacher. It was also really sad to learn of his death a few months later, before the book was completed. I never bought “Failure of Nerve” because I have those notes….but now I’m thinking it would be a good idea. Just because I have a Masters of Social Work and specialized in family systems for congregations doesn’t mean I remember all this stuff. Anyway, I think I’ll begin with “Generation to Generation” and continue my thinking about homeostasis – that desire to restore balance and order. Sometimes the restoring balance and order based on what feels normal and familiar, is no longer the healthy balance and order….


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
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12 Responses to Homeostasis

  1. Rev SS says:

    If what felt normal and familiar ever was healthy! I never got to hear Friedman, but one of his students (can’t recall his name right now), who continued his work, led workshops for our Presbytery on his Family Systems materials. Good stuff!

  2. Sounds interesting. I’ll have to look into it. Love the new picture, btw!

  3. That is so true, and yet it does seem to be the default of so many people when change “threatens.”

  4. Beach Walkin says:

    Strange… we talked about this last night in Bible Study. In the world… we are taught to always maintain homeostasis… and I believe that this has turned us into navel-gazing… back deck sitting… 8 foot fence surrounded people. Jesus teaches that the life of discipleship means taking risks… and every time we feel comfy… it’s time for us to take the next risk-filled step… out into the world. For some reason the church has latched on to the idea of no change is good… perhaps copying the world… but in Jesus’ reality.. we should latch on to risk and change… and everything else that lends itself to us never finding a comfort zone… except in the cross… in baptism… in bread and wine… and in word.

  5. karlajean says:

    YOu are the third person in as many months that I have heard say, I need to re-read Generation to Generation!! So, I bought the TOME, and must admit I am a little intimidated, but hope to read some of it….oh…soon, I guess. I agree about healthy balance and order.

  6. Jan says:

    I’m so impressed that you got to be at a workshop with Friedman teaching! WOW! “Generation to Generation” has been a powerful book in my life, even though I am not an official pastor. How is that other book of his?

  7. Jennifer says:

    I’m another big fan of Friedman. I was blessed to hear him give a lecture way back when. You have many good resources, external and internal.

  8. ah yes i could pull that off the shelf right now too…to restore a healthy balance… that’s the dream isn’t it?

  9. Kievas says:

    I’m on the fence…homeostasis would be nice at home, but at work it has turned into stagnation. Maybe there’s a middle ground.

  10. RevDrKate says:

    Ah, balance…remember what we learned about it in yoga?

  11. Sherry says:

    I’d never thought of that frankly. That homostasis could be change rather than a return to known elements. I have something to think about. thanks for the idea!

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