We’re living in what’s been termed “the age of loneliness”: we’re more connected than ever before, and simultaneously, more isolated. We rely on social media in place of face-to-face contact. We bemoan the deterioration of conversation as we spend more time looking down at our screens than up at the people we’re talking to. But, really, the problem is that we do not give ourselves permission to talk about the things that truly matter.
One of our biggest sources of resilience in combating loneliness is what psychologists call “common humanity”: the degree to which you see your struggles as part of the human experience. “To feel less lonely in your stress, two things help,” writes Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal. “The first is to increase your awareness of other people’s suffering. The second is to be more open about yours.” -- Jennifer Bailey > > > Read more
Addiction is manifested in any behavior that a person craves, finds temporary relief or pleasure in but suffers negative consequences as a result of, and yet has difficulty giving up. In brief: craving, relief, pleasure, suffering, impaired control. Note that this definition is not restricted to drugs but could encompass almost any human behavior, from sex to eating to shopping to gambling to extreme sports to TV to compulsive internet use: the list is endless.
"Addiction is neither a choice nor a disease, but originates in a human being’s desperate attempt to solve a problem: the problem of emotional pain, of overwhelming stress, of lost connection, of loss of control, of a deep discomfort with the self." -- Dr. Gabor Maté
Let us be women to lay down our words,
our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance
and fill the earth with extravagant Love.
Let us be women who Love.
Let us be women who make room.
Let us be women who open our arms and invite others into an
honest, spacious, glorious embrace.
The Opening of Eyes
That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.
It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.
-- David Whyte
Photography is a deeply contemplative practice. If we approach it with reverence and intention, it can help us to see the holy moments all around us. In this online class you will be invited to take your camera out into the world each week for photographic journeys based on an adaptation of the ancient monastic practice of lectio divina and specific guided themes. In the process of slowing down and lingering over moments of beauty, you will cultivate sacred seeing, your ability to see the world beneath the surface appearance of things.
Details of an online course starting April 17th, 2017 > > > here.
Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile soil.
The first seed said, “I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth’s crust above me … I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring … I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!”
And so she grew…
The second seed said, “Hmmmm. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don’t know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me I may damage my delicate sprouts … what if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe.”
And so she waited…until a yard hen scratching around in the early spring ground for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it. 
The fear of danger is what keeps people from pursing an active, passionate life — thus, they are not truly living but just surviving. But to just survive is close to being dead, and what is the point of playing dead before you’ve actually died? You will die anyway, sooner or later, so choose to live fully and intensely, savoring every single moment, before it’s too late.
“If we can be mindful, thoughtful, and soulful, what would it mean to be bodyful? For me bodyfulness would mean . . . that each morning I would awaken and listen for how my body wanted to be nourished that day, through food, movement, and the pleasure of touch.” --- Christine Valters Paintner
The Joy is in the Journey