Receive Generously: Getting to the Core of Our Human Thirst

I was 13 when, due to a number of conducive circumstances — including being immersed in gorgeous choral singing in a candlelit chapel, and my own spiritual fervor — I experienced my first conscious glimpse of God’s unconditional love. Of being bathed in the incredible love and grace that is there to partake in.

The experience stands out for a number of reasons, one being that it remains a blessed memory in my life’s journey. Another — which leads me to the theme of today’s blog — is that it pointed to one of the paradoxical ways I see us dear humans repeatedly tripping over our own two feet.

There I was, gifted with what I recall as a piercing, overflowing, all-encompassing love. Completely amazed and blown open by the fullness and generosity. Me? Little me, loved like that? Read more

You’re It! An Invitation to Show Up Fully

Remember that feeling when you played tag as a kid and got caught? “You’re it!” And there was no more running away, no swerving or turning back.

The only way onward was to be it, to go for it, to play and run. Do you recall the mixture of yikes and excitement that would arise just seconds before you got tagged?

It’s that blend of “yikes” and “excitement” and what possibilities emerge when we’re “it” that I’d like to explore today. Which, really, is every moment. Life is tagging us each moment; we’ve just become so good at hiding out, we don’t always notice the tap on the shoulder. Read more

For the Interim Time…

This past week, I have been living life with tears just behind the layer of daily functioning, joys and busyness. The troubles of this world, the craziness of our humanity and the suffering we inflict and experience have felt so close, also the contortions, confusion and tangled webs we weave… It has felt as if my soul were getting cracked open a bit more.

Such times — when my skin feels thinner, and the darkness beckons more intensely — happen every once in a while. It is tempting to turn away. To distract myself. To give up and get cynical. Or angry, even allow a moment of “f*** it all.” Despair calling from just behind my ear, reaching with deliberate grasp, pulling on my coat sleeve, and yanking down.

What to do? As we grow up (as in “waking up”), our awareness increases. We become more and more conscious. We see more, and we feel more. Not just the good, beautiful and true, but also the deepest grief, suffering and ugliness. The illusions are stripped down. What’s on the other side is not always pretty. Read more

Can You Be Grateful for What You Don’t Like?

Lying under a starry night last week while camping and looking up for shooting stars with my 8-year old daughter, our conversation turned to gravity, what it is and how it keeps us from spinning off the face of the earth. We both lay there, letting the significance of gravity sink in, noticing our minds grappling with the immensity of it, and then turning our attention back to the Great Dipper and the Milky Way. The next day, as we shared grace before lunch and spontaneously expressed gratitude for a variety of things, my daughter spoke: “And thank you for gravity, even if I don’t understand it.”

I pondered her “thank you” over the next few days, especially noting gratitude’s freedom from cognitive understanding: We don’t have to fully understand something in order to acknowledge and see it as a gift. We don’t have to make sense of it to say “thank you.” Read more