What is heartfelt listening?Scientifically, the heart is the organ that pumps the blood. Philosophically or spiritually, however, the idea of "heart" is more difficult to put into words. Heartbreak is emotional anguish. Heartland is the center of a country. The heartless are unfeeling; to know something by heart requires intimate familiarity; and a heartwarming moment… Continue reading What nuns, monks and poets know about heartfelt listening and how we learn compassion
What do spiritual practices do? Practice is how people develop the skills to become adept at anything. Music students practice their instruments. Gymnasts practice routines, yoga students practice poses, swimmers practice strokes, and tennis players practice their serves. Successful organizational leaders practice self-mastery and teamwork. Just as all these people practice to become more proficient, spiritual… Continue reading 23 Spiritual Practices Taught by The Rule of Benedict
It's been 16 months --almost the duration of two full-term-pregnancies--since I left the blogosphere. It's been an Beyond the Looking Glass wild kind of adventure. Please forgive my mysterious non-disclosure about the details behind my disappearance. I'm keeping them quiet for 2 reasons: It's too freshly painful to recount sensibly and sensitively--memoir needs a lens of distance to achieve objectivity; And more… Continue reading Hello world, I’m back; I’ve changed.
This series is an alphabetical exploration of 26 options for living well, despite everything. It answers the question-- How can a person live well with an unsolvable, unfixable problem? B is for Breath! Breath--the inspiration of oxygen and exhalation of toxins--performs marvelous healing work in the body and for the soul. Breathing is natural. Babies do it… Continue reading B is for Breath: living well, despite everything
See the problem as an impetus for change; Consider what it means to live your best life, then assess whether you are, right now, living the life you always wanted; Forsake playing-it-safe, because you suddenly understand that being conventional, so you can have financial security, is not what you want--you want to share deeply of your… Continue reading 5 Positive Reactions to a Major Life Shake-up
I've been told that repeating the same ritual twice makes it a tradition. Today we visited Conimicut Point in Rhode Island, making it our new tradition to spend Easter listening to the crash of waves. Here's the poem I wrote when we spent Easter morning in Rockport, Massachusetts. Toward Daylight We face the sun we cannot… Continue reading Easter Morning
The Appalachian Trail, a hiking path from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, over two-thousand miles long, is like chronic pain. They both go on and on until they become grueling. Strangely, oodles of people have chosen, of their own free will, to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Their stories inspire thousands… Continue reading If Chronic Pain is a Journey, then Hope must be North
I adore a gentle breeze, a nice little hair-ruffling tickle, especially on a warm day, with butterflies flitting around in the wild flowers. The audiologist who tested me said I hear like superwoman. Don’t whisper if I’m in the same auditorium--I just might understand every word. My preferences are wide-ranging and quirky. I (and two… Continue reading I’m color blind, and 9 other random things about me
There are days when the absolute last thing I want to hear from a perky person is, "Cheer up." When I don't feel like smiling, I really don't feel like smiling.When life is going the wrong way (meaning it's going a different direction or a different speed from the way I want it to go)… Continue reading Smiles–when you can’t muster them, make them!
Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste. It's what everything else isn't. Theodore Roethke When I discovered Sieglinde (Sissi) Shattuck's art, I found a place of quiet attentiveness, leisurely breathing space, respite from a hasty, noisy world. Because her paintings moved me so deeply, they made me curious about who she… Continue reading Sieglinde Shattuck–Fine Art and Zwetchkenknödel