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


[Right Speech] highly resonated with me and my current needs for growth. I cannot be more thankful for the support of this community, and our instructor Meg…With the guidance and support of the Mindfulness Coaching School I can see that I am closer to a life of purpose and meaning. Thank you Ann-Marie, instructors and fellow coaching students for creating this wonderful community.
Ruby OrcuttStudent CoachDerby, NY
The course [S-T-R-E-T-C-H!] allowed me to ‘stretch’ my ability to practice what I preach. Philip was very competent and helpful to all of us. It was a great experience. Thank you Ann-Marie, Philip, and Brittany!
ElKhansa KaicerStudent CoachLos Angeles, California
Business Alchemy helped me grow into and clarify my purpose in coaching. I was able to create the story of me that brought me to where I am and my passion to inspire others on their journey. Ann-Marie’s guidance through understanding service marketing was heartening, powerful and inspiring. Sarah’s encouragement and gentle way of pulling the essence of us to the surface was spectacular! Thank you both, as well as my fellow students, for an incredible experience! And I’m getting clients!
Brenda FaganStudent CoachNew Orleans, LA
Fabulous course to get you into or back into writing fearlessly and joyfully! [Writing, Creativity, and the Mindful Coach]
Lara AbreuStudent CoachPleasanton, CA
This class will give you a coaching community in just a few short months. I now feel that I have colleagues and a support system that I can reach out to in times of need. So grateful for having the chance to know these remarkable individuals.
Alicia UpchurchStudent CoachBrooklyn, New York
I’ve been a therapist for years now, but still get the jitters every time I begin to work with a new client (probably the “fixer” in me). It was a joy to watch Ann-Marie in action [during Skillful Means: The Coaching Skill Set] and realize that we don’t need to feel like we have all the answers for the client!
Jeanna SmithStudent CoachPhoenix, AZ
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
More than just a class to help us eat more mindfully, Mindful Eating, Mindful Life is a great class for anyone interested in the topic, anyone with a desire to practice mindfulness in a new way and for anyone wanting to dust off or deepen their meditation practice. The course and materials may seem small, but they are so expansive. Thanks to Brittany for bringing this topic alive and for the school for providing such an amazing course in mindfulness.
Gretchen LarsenMCS GraduateBirmingham, AL
The Dynamic Trio: EMDR, Positive Psychology and Coaching, is a wonderful opportunity for professionals to learn varied techniques and practical applications for including an integrative approach into both their professional practices and personal lives. As a behavioral health therapist, LADAC, EMDR practitioner, yoga instructor, and health educator I found this class and Ann-Marie’s expertise and teaching methods both inspirational and mindfully practical. I look forward to further classes with Ann-Marie. Thank you!  
Misty Gay McArthurMSW, LCSW, LADAC, EMDR Trained
This course [Skillful Means] is life changing personally and professionally. Skills are not only learned, but internalized so that the coach can be an effective listener. I would highly recommend this to any coach — experienced or a beginner.
Sandy Wright, M.A.Student CoachFayetteville, AR