Wellness Center

Cecile Andrews


Cecile Andrews is the author of the (new!) Living Room Revolution: A Handbook for Conversation.
A former community college administrator, Cecile has her doctorate in education from Stanford where she teaches in Stanford’s Health Improvement Program.

She is founder of the Phinney Ecovillage in Seattle. Her work has been featured in the PBS video “Escape from Affluenza” and the TBS video “Consumed by Consumption” (featuring Cecile, Ed Begley Jr., and Phyllis Diller), CBSNews “Eye on America”, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, and various PBS and NPR programs. Cecile received her doctorate in education at Stanford University and gives workshops and presentations; she has written a column for the Seattle Times; and she has co-hosted a local NPR program.


    Community/Common Good/Communication

    Personal Development

    Professional Development


  • Convivial Conversation

      Conversation—that ancient art that brings us enjoyment, laughter, friendships, and intellectual stimulation—is on the endangered species list. Too often our interactions with others are rushed, insensitive, competitive, hostile, or just non-existent. In this workshop we will discover how to engage in conversations of increased depth and vitality, explore how to better manage awkward social situations; learn how to deal with difficult interactions of disagreement, criticism, hostility, and saying no; explore how we can create more friendship and vibrant community in our lives.

  • Slow Life—The Good Life

      Slowing down may be one of the most important things you can do for your health and well-being. It’s more than just moving at a slow pace, it’s about having experiences with more depth and enjoyment as well; it’s about eliminating the things that drag you down and drain you. Ultimately, it’s about making conscious choices about your life.

      We can learn from the “Slow Life” movement that has begun to spread around the world, starting with the “Slow Food” and “Slow Cities” movement in Italy. In this workshop, we’ll explore what the “slow life” can mean for us.

  • Creating Community: The gifts you give and receive

      A basic human need is the experience of community—feeling valued, accepted, cared for and recognized for your true self. Without joyful, exuberant conversation we feel isolated and depressed and pursue the empty paths of shopping and watching television. When you learn to care for those around you, you start to care for all of life.

  • Living with Joy and Balance

      More and more, people feel that they are working too much, consuming too much, and rushing too much. There is no time for friends and family, no time for community and creativity, no time for a sense of connectedness with the rest of life.

      The Simplicity movement is a response to this dilemma. It is about living consciously in order to live more fully, thinking through the effects of our behaviors in terms of the consequences for the well-being of people and the planet. It’s about asking what’s important, what matters. It’s about redefining the “good life.”

      Voluntary Simplicity, an age-old philosophy explored throughout human history, has once again captured people’s imagination as we struggle to build lives of high fulfillment and low environmental impact.

      The concept of Simplicity is not, as some might think, a life of “self-deprivation.” It is a turning away from activities that have failed to deliver satisfaction—activities such as shopping and scrambling up the career ladder—in order to embrace activities that b ring true joy and meaning—creativity, community, and the celebration of daily life.

      Simplicity is “the examined life” in which we explore not only what creates fulfillment in our personal lives, but we ask which public policies create societies of justice and environmental well-being. Simplicity touches all aspects of our lives, including the issues of time, work, vocation, community, spending, consuming, health, social justice, and spirituality.

  • How to Give Workshops that Enlighten, Enliven, and Inspire
  • Simplicity Study Circles

      Across the country, people are joining simplicity study circles. The study circle is a small group, peer-led egalitarian self-education and social change. It’s a form of social innovation used extensively in Sweden where study circles to as “education by the people, for the people, and of the people.” Sweden has been called a “study circle democracy,” and indeed research has found that people who participate in a study circle are apt to be more involved in the common good, regardless of the topic of the study circle.

      Simplicity study circles are designed to help people discuss the idea of Simplicity and to make concrete changes in their lives. Simplicity study circles are at once a support group, a discussion group, and a method of behavioral change. They focus on building community, creating support for personal change, and engaging in critical thinking for societal change. Topics addressed include Finding More Time, Creating Community, FInding Your Passion, Transforming the workplace, Reducing Your Consumerism, Creating Healthier Life Styles, Linking Simplicity to Social Justice, Exploring and Defining One’s Spirituality.

      Simplicity study circles are designed for maximum participation and a minimum of competitiveness within an ethos of acceptance and caring.

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Tamela Thomas