We all have to do the work of honoring and healing the vulnerable, tender places in our hearts. But the good news is that as we do so, more space inside opens up. And that is the space to fill with moments that bring you alive and fill you with joy.
It does not matter if you are young or old. It does not matter if your ethnic heritage is unfamiliar to me. It does not matter if your political beliefs surprise or confuse me. If you need love, we will show you that we care for you. Our earth home, with magnificent trees, flowing waters, birds, animals, sun, wind, and sky, is the gift that we share—in harmony, in peace, in compassion, and in love.
There’s nothing wrong with comfort and security. There’s also nothing wrong with pursuing passions and dreams—despite fears. Comfort and security can come in the form of confidence that if you fail, you are capable of getting up and trying again. Comfort and security can come from faith that Spirit will see you through. Comfort and security can come from friends who encourage you to put your gifts out in the world. The real risk is not losing comfort and security. The real risk is not trying at all.
What brings you that awe-inspiring universal connection to something greater than yourself? What makes you truly happy? What passion helps you feel most fully alive? Where do you find Spirit? Doing what you love doesn’t require tangible worldly results that are only measured in numbers. It’s difficult to define or measure intangibles like compassion, joy, mindfulness, happiness, and love. But if you come alive, then that is enough.
Our lives are worthy, not because of what we do. And certainly not because of what we own, where we live, or how we look. Each of our personal stories—regardless of the details—is sacred. They are sacred because we are spiritual beings. As Marge Piercy once shared in a poetry workshop that took place right after 9/11, art is how we give shape and meaning to our lives. Sharing our stories (and other creative expressions) is also how we connect with one another.
There are people struggling with the ills of poverty, outlandishly expensive (but necessary) medical procedures, destruction of beautiful, natural environments, and all the challenges and loss that life brings to each of us. There are also millions of people joining together to find new solutions to age-old problems. In Buddhism we are taught, “Do not turn away from suffering. Learn to see others through the eyes of compassion. Create a better future for our children.”
For me, taking some time for self-care, quietly breathing, and doing something that nourishes the soul allows space for inner calm to surface. Gratitude also helps. Whatever negative thing may be gnawing at your serenity, find one thing in your life for which you can say “thank you.” My gratitude today is for my circle of friends. When times get tough and the night seems long, they are like Carrie Newcomer’s Three Women song, “Here's to the women who bind the wounds tight … And here’s to the strength in women, holding hands.”
Home > Blog Index > A Vision for Our Planet “We must teach our children a new way, in order to ensure that future generations will experience the beauty and abundance the Creator has given to us.” —Grandmothers Counsel the World, by Carol Schaefer Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Listen. It [...]
If a woman, of any race, feels called to follow a life of God, then maybe she will be the next Pope, Buddha, Prophet, or Messiah . . . as she lovingly tends to all in her care and gently nurtures Mother Earth. Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things, says, "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way! On a quiet day, if you listen carefully, you can hear her breathing."
"Who are your role models? Whose life do you admire? Who reminds you to stay strong when you feel discouraged or feel like giving up? Who models the values and life choices that inspire you to be your absolute best self? Who helps you have the courage to voice your deepest desires and heartfelt dreams?"
Listen closely, quietly. Place your hand over your heart. Can you feel your heart beating? Here is what the heart knows: Music, laughter, family, love, dancing.
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful gift this holiday season to invite someone to a meal or celebration—only with the intention of wanting to better understand that person’s religious or spiritual practices? Or maybe you could share your beliefs with someone outside your traditional religious or spiritual group by inviting a friend (or relative) to attend a Winter Solstice celebration, Hanukah ceremony, Kwanzaa feast, Christmas Eve service, Buddhist meditation gathering, Hopi & Zuni Soyala Festival, and so on. Perhaps, we can learn from one another how to pray, sing, dance, chant, and celebrate, together.
If we look back to the work of Jesus, in his time, women were the victims of disparate and cruel treatment. Individuals who were poor and individuals who suffered illnesses fared no better in those social structures. Jesus stood up for those who were oppressed. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out for the freedom (and legal rights) of all people. Gandhi likewise spoke for the imperative right to equality for all who were considered outcasts. These men risked their lives on behalf of others . . . in service to justice and fairness. God does not discriminate is the message they carried. God is love.
Home > Blog Index > For What Does Your Heart Long? “May I walk with Beauty all around me. As I walk the Beauty way.” -Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation (citing a Navajo prayer) “Each morning we are born again. What we do today matters most.” --Buddha I spoke with a woman this [...]
Home > Blog Index > Building Relationships In Love “We must learn to speak with love again.” -Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk “Human relationships provide the ultimate litmus test of how healed, or whole, or spiritually mature we really are.” -John Welwood, author of Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships I want to share a few Buddhist [...]
Home > Blog Index > Stepping into our Calling – Ordination of Maria Thornton McClain “The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience.” -Leo Tolstoy I’ve been thinking about the ordination of the former nun, Maria Thornton McClain. When we feel called in [...]
Home > Blog Index > Earth Lessons “I’d rather be a forest than a street, yes I would, if I could … I’d rather feel the earth beneath my feet …” -Simon & Garfunkel, “El Condor Pasa” song lyrics “I know we’ve come a long way, we’re changing day to day, but tell [...]
Home > Blog Index > On the Journey of Change “Hear the children crying (One Love!); Hear the children crying (One Heart!), let’s get together and feel all right.” -Bob Marley – One Love (song lyrics) What does it take to embody great change? Love, kindness, respect . . . There’s a remarkable video [...]
Home > Blog Index > Healing the Heart (Relationships and Forgiveness) "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” and Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22, New International Version “Being motivated by compassion and love, [...]
Home > Blog Index > Kindness “People livin in competition. All I want is to have my peace of mind.” --Boston, Peace of Mind (lyrics) “It’s not about the money, money, money . . . We need to take it back in time. When music made us all UNITE.” --Jessie J, Price Tag [...]
Home > Blog Index > Works in Progress “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.” --Rabindranth Tagore “Where there is great love there are always miracles.” --Willa Cather Spiritual and self-help books make everything sound so easy. In five simple steps or seven easy lessons, [...]
Home > Blog Index > The Highest Love “Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.” --Martin Luther King, Jr. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." --Martin Luther King, Jr. I recall an image from the civil rights movement of an angry [...]
Home > Blog Index > From the Heart “I can see clearly now, the rain has gone. Oh yes, I can make it now the pain is gone. All of the bad feelings have disappeared. Here is the rainbow I’ve been praying for. It’s gonna be a bright, Bright sunshiny day.” --Jimmy Cliff (lyrics). [...]
Home > Blog Index > The Feminine Divine “If that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For I have been with you from the beginning.” --Starhawk, The Spiral Dance “God is coming, and is She pissed.” --Bumper Sticker Last night, I was thinking a lot [...]
Home > Blog Index > Indigenous Wisdom “We’ve miscommunicated with our environment for a long time, not knowing its language.” -Bear Heart, Muskogee Nation “I deeply feel that the indigenous peoples of this planet are keepers of the cultural and spiritual map to another good place. If we all collectively contribute our energy, [...]