About Jarem Sawatsky
Hi, I’m Jarem Sawatsky.
In a world afraid of dying, not achieving and not succeeding, I reflect on the gift of losing my mind (my friends have always thought I had holes in my head but now my doctors have also confirmed their accusations). So I am exploring how peacebuilding and mindfulness insights might help those of us facing chronic disease and dementia.
I was a university professor, author, and researcher in peace and conflict studies until I was diagnosed with a fatal disease called Huntington's Disease (HD). Now I am stumbling (literally) my way into learning about loving, letting go and living in the now. You can learn more about that journey on my blog Dancing with Elephants: A Beginners Guide to Losing Your Mind.
While my blog posts use my experience with Huntington's Disease as a springboard, they raise issues which may be of interest to anyone for whom dementia or disability has touched their life. In some ways this is a blog about being human - a fragile way of being for all us. To that end, I write stories and reflections about learning to laugh and let go. I do not hold out myself as a model of success. Models of success are part of the problem, not the solution.
My goal is to create insightful, disturbing and perhaps inspiring content that you can put to work in your learning to dance with the elephants in your life.I typically post twice a month. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe via e-mail. It’s quick, easy, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Here are some of my favorite posts
Most Recent Book
I recently had the privilege of partnering with 17 fantastic peacebuilders from around the world. The project was called "How Peacebuilders are Transforming Their Worlds." We asked them to share stories of inspiring peace work, tools and strategies of peacebuilding in a variety of settings and resources that have helped shape and inspire the author's peace practices. The book was endorsed by 25 peace leaders, including two Nobel Peace Prize winners. Click here to learn more.
I live in Winnipeg, with a great family, and a great dog named Kobi. I like (spilling) red wine and spending time at the lake.
Exploring Healing Justice
In the mid 2000s, I was fortunate to spend some time in England, Canada, France and Scotland exploring communities that had some practice of healing justice. I wrote about what I learned from these brave communities - Hollow Water, Iona, Plum Village. It is called The Ethic of Traditional Communities and the Spirit of Healing Justice.
Co-Founding the Canadian School of Peacebuilding
I spent most of my professional career as a professor, researcher and author based at Canadian Mennonite University. During my time there I was the founding Co-Director of the Canadian School of Peacebuilding. I had government-funded research grants that allowed me to explore healing justice in communities in Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Israel, Scotland, England, Canada, France.
What if justice was more about embracing than about excluding?
At heart I am a peacebuilder. I think justice is very important but I don't think justice is as ugly as injustice. If injustice is about excluding, taking away, breaking and being shamed, then should justice be more about embracing, giving back, connecting and becoming radiant? I wrote a guide for peace and justice workers so that they could root their imagination in this kind of a justpeace approach to life. I wrote a book on exploring this topic: Justpeace Ethics: A Guide for Restorative Justice and Peacebuilding.
The Canadian School of Peacebuilding, under the kind leadership of my friend Jarem Sawatsky, is a place where the peacebuilding of all traditions is nurtured, Indigenous traditions are respected, and Elders and youth of all traditions can learn from each other.
Ovide Mercredi, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
I have so enjoyed Jarem's spirit, energy and understanding of the importance of spirit in conflict transformation work.
Michelle LeBaron, author, Bridging Cultural Conflicts
Jarem... a wonderful grace-filled soul of a person, of a quality that made everything and everyone around you better.
John Paul Lederach, author, Building Peace
Jarem's contribution, the insightfulness and wisdom of his work on restorative justice and peacebuilding, has been profound indeed.
John Braithwaite, Author, Crime, Shame and Reintegration
Jarem is passionate for, not only the field of peace building, but peaceful existence as a way of life.
Nicole Enns Fehr, peacebuilder
He is a wonderful friend whom we love so much. In Sri Lanka and in Canada he displayed to us his great global vision.
A.T. Ariyaratne, founder Sarvodaya Movement
How to Contact Jarem
However, another way to say in contact is to subscribe to my blog and author updates. If you do, you’ll receive my free ebook Justpeace Ethics: A Guide for Restorative Justice and Peacebuilding.
Just click the button below to subscribe: