Absolute and the Dissolute and the Resolute Solution

Jan 25, 2024

by: S. Yael Dennis, MD, PhD ACC
Facilitator of:
*Body Electric
*Coaching Leaders for Today’s Challenges

Friends, we all know we live in trying times. We’re still feeling the impact of Covid and the lockdown experiences in many ways, and the polarization in our political landscape is fierce.

These big picture stresses make their way into our workplaces. And they follow us right back home.
The result?

One of my favorite and most esteemed teachers, Catherine Keller, writes:

“Between the absolute and the dissolute, be resolute.”

This beautiful sentence may seem vague and mysterious but with a little unpacking, it gets easier to understand. I’ve grown to love it and use it in my daily practice.

First let’s unpack what it means to be absolute or dissolute, then we’ll explore how to become resolute.

The “absolute” are folks who in the face of challenge, become even more one-sided, hostile, and add to turmoil. Alienation and hostility ooze out of them.
In the name of whatever good they’re trying to achieve, they justify negative ideas and actions.

They aren’t aligned with the highest values of justice, peace, and integrity.

The “dissolute” are folks who give up or get overwhelmed. Alienation and burnout paralyze them.
They feel powerless to fight back against the fiery hatred they feel coming from the absolute.
They don’t want to add to the turmoil, so they withdraw, not knowing what else to do. They are conflict averse.

Now what is the third option beyond dissolute complacency and joining the mob of absolute?

What is it to be resolute?  For me it means leading from your Core Self-energy. The place within where you meet the moment with:

✨ Calm in the face of chaos.
✨ Clear knowing of everyone’s inherent worth & dignity.
✨ Compassion for yourself and others.
✨ Courage to take the next step toward wholeness.

From this place, you embody wholeness as it unfolds.
You’re able to hold space for the intensity of the moment without it overwhelming your nervous system.
You remain steadfast in your values, without demonizing or dehumanizing people who are struggling.
You know you’re only one person, but you also know that change only takes a few positively committed people.
PLUS, you’re committed to being the best version of yourself no matter what. You know that your best Self is your best gift to the world and yourself.

We have been taught to stand in judgment of the absolute. Their polarization clearly causes the problems, right? Or to blame the dissolute, because why won’t they DO something?

But here’s the thing: anyone can struggle with feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that are either absolute or resolute. Often within an hour! In judging the absolute or dissolute we become them. In being resolute, we are sovereign in our own energy field. We are present in the moment.

It takes practice to embody the positive resolute qualities inherent within each of us. Especially if, through cultural programming and societal influences we have been taught to snap to absolute, dissolute judgemental states of being.

A daily commitment to creating profound shifts in the world begins at our own cellular level.

This is why I love teaching at MCS. We get to practice being our best selves. Using somatic methods and mindfulness practices we help ourselves develop self-regulation. We embody our positive, resolute aspects, and in doing so, offer these skills to others who wish to embody their own powerful, self sovereign wisdom and love.


1 Comment

  1. Anita

    Great blog! Thank you for sharing these wise words.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Posts


The Art of Engaged Mindfulness has been one of my favorite classes at the Mindfulness Coaching School. I truly appreciate how Ann-Marie has combined the science and spirit of mindfulness. She creates space for students to play and get creative with meditation and find their path to practice. And the resources provided for further learning are priceless!
Brenda FaganStudent CoachNew Orleans, LA
S-T-R-E-T-C-H! Becoming The Incredible Coach You Truly Are was amazing; a must do class for anyone wanting to become a coach or anyone who is already a coach and needs to feel refreshed and revitalized by the possibilities of coaching and the difference the practice can make. I would thoroughly recommend this course, it is not for the fainthearted, you need to be all in – but it’s hard not to be when it’s delivered with such passion and commitment by Ann-Marie, and all your colleagues and peers are so invested. A total life experience, eye opening, breath taking and consciousness deepening. This is a course I will come back to again and repeat!
Alison CallanPrincipal Consultant and Coach3C Coaching
I have never thought of myself a leader. The designation just didn’t resonate, and I thought If Steve Jobs Were Your Coach: Leadership Skills to Thrive class might be an odd fit for me. This class helped me rethink what leadership means to me. I learned that leadership qualities are powerful everyday tools that I can call on to generate energy and shift perspective in any life circumstance! I came away from this course with an array of creative strategies and lenses to choose from, as I meet challenges in my own life and as I work with coaching clients facing their own challenges.
Ilse ThompsonMCS GraduateAuburn, ME
[The Dynamic Trio] was a great class that mixed experiential learning with incredible tools that I could use immediately with clients.  Ann-Marie was an incredible instructor with a myriad of knowledge and experience from many different backgrounds. I really appreciated her ability to interact so personally and intentionally with students in the class all while teaching a strong skill set.
Dawn GabrielMA, LPCCastle Rock, CO
The Art of Engaged Mindfulness provides a wealth of knowledge, tools and resources, which are directly applicable to coaching individuals or groups!
Mandy Murphy ACC, CDWF
I highly recommend Business Alchemy if you want to learn practical and specific advice and tools to establish and grow your coaching business! This course helped me go from skeptical and uncertain to energized and equipped to create the thriving coaching business that I want for myself and my clients!
Matt WaldschmidtStudent CoachBruce Township, MI
In this class, the “engaged” piece of Engaged Mindfulness is just as important as the “mindfulness” piece. I was inspired by this dynamic exploration of the subject of mindfulness, from the evidence-based, scientific arena — where we learn about the measurable, practical benefits to humankind of mindfulness practice — to the deeply personal space — where I clarified and re-engaged my own meditation practice both on the cushion and in how I move through the world
Ilse ThompsonStudent CoachAuburn, Maine
Great introduction to the MCS program. Highly recommend it!
Joy Patton, Ph.DMt. Juliet, Tennessee
I recommend that all coaches, regardless of the industry in which they work or the type of coaching that they do, explore mindfulness coaching. The skills practiced and explored in the Mindfulness Coaching School promote successful coaching outcomes. For example, practicing the skill, “global listening” was powerful. As a seasoned coach, I will integrate more global listening into my coaching engagements, knowing the power of this skill to provoke powerful questions can drive positive forward movement.
Cheryl D. Jordan, PhDCincinnati, OH
I had a superb experience in Where Mind Goes, Qi Goes: Somatic Coaching with Qigong. There is a universe to be explored when it comes to understanding somatic work. I just got more and more curious.
Ruby OrcuttNCC, LMHC, CASACDerby, NY