My Everyday Disruption

Most of us are busy with our daily lives, taking care of our families, showing up for work, cleaning the house, just doing our thing. Some of us have chosen a unique path a little outside the mainstream, perhaps in a spiritual space, as I have. As I connect with life coaches, therapists, healers, bishops, people of faith, shamans, and yogi’s, one thing is abundantly clear – to those who have chosen this path, our lives are dedicated to supporting humanity. One of the reasons people are drawn to this work is because somewhere along the way, we began healing ourselves. Whether it was overcoming childhood trauma, transitioning out of damaging relationships and patterns, or an insatiable quest for knowledge, the truth and ultimate freedom. As we learn techniques and methods for overcoming and creating abundance in our lives, it is only natural for some of us that the next state of progression is to begin teaching and sharing what we’ve learned to benefit others. Some do it through pastoral care, some through private programs, some through workshops and conferences, some through writing books and giving lectures. There is an abundance of resources and individuals available to help people transition from where they don’t want to be to somewhere more positive, happy and alive. Somewhere along the way though, we can get stuck with being so positive, happy and alive, we become oblivious to the pain of the humanity that surrounds us, forgetting we were either there once ourselves, or if it wasn’t for our work, we could be there now. It is to the point that if we are uncomfortable,...

What is “negative”?

We’ve whitewashed our language to the point that anything that doesn’t make us feel good is perceived as negative. To this, I have to say, must stop. There are major issues in the world however, we are truly only concerned with OUR world. As a collective, we  seem to have lost our curiosity and become resistant and unaccepting to the plights and perils of human suffering. There is a subjective line between what is actually negative and what is simply us, choosing denial. It’s the difference between what is acceptable and what is not – to us. Who are we to dictate how others should show up? Why do we feel the need to control everyone’s emotions, passions and the moments of deep intensities that challenge humanity? “The response to war is to live like brothers and sisters. The response to injustice is to share. The response to despair is a limitless trust and hope. The response to prejudice and hatred is forgiveness. To work for community is to work for humanity.” ~ Jean Vanier As I have begun to speak up for injustice and abusive practices, some of my community feels that my sharing has gotten angry. As a meditation instructor, I think people have an idea that people who have a strong meditation practice live a calm and care-free existance. Maybe in some circles, but I refuse to ascribe to an idea of how others choose to live a contemplative life. For some people, that works. For some, choosing to remain in that state is their saving grace. Not for me. I am too outspoken and too passionate to live a life of...

Pondering the Holidays

It’s been four years now. Four years since the Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions I had mastered came to an abrupt halt. For sixteen years, the holidays were a time of baking, sharing and joy. Hiding presents until the kids fell asleep. Putting them out in the middle of the night. Making printables of footsteps leading from their rooms to the tree, knowing how excited they would be on Christmas morning. No matter how old they got, the traditions of magically filled stockings on Christmas morning was anticipated in our home. It was then time for our usual homemade Christmas morning brunch and the day was on. Visiting family, relaxing or just playing with all of the new things that had been received. When something like that ceases to exist in your life, overnight, it can be a bit jarring…or rather should I say, debilitating. I am reminded of the tragic story of Madonna Badger who lost all three of her daughters and her parents in a Christmas day fire. To have your entire family wiped out overnight, who could bear the pain of such loss and grief? She has been very open about her suicidal thoughts and time spent in psych wards on heavy sedatives. Though fortunately, neither I, nor my loved ones, lost their lives, my family was literally ripped out of my life, virtually overnight.  I found myself ill-prepared for what happened. From where I stood at the time, they didn’t want anything to do with me. I swirled downward from there, disassociated with all of my friends (I didn’t want them to see me that way) and began to...

To Sit In the Darkness

At times, the kindest thing we can offer a friend in pain is to sit in the darkness with them, removing the burden that they change, feel better, or heal in order for us to stay close. It may feel like urgent action is being called for and that we must shift their depression to joy, their sadness to bliss, or their hopelessness to hope. But in doing so, we disavow the jewels that are hidden in the dark soil of the body. Let us love the other so much that we refuse to pathologize their experience, doing what we can to help them see that they are not broken, that no mistake has been made, and that they are not a problem which must be corrected by psychological or spiritual process. Let them know in their hearts that we will not remove our love, our affection, our attunement, and our presence simply because their experience is not conforming to our personal and collective fantasies of happiness and light. As we weave a home for our own unmet sadness, disappointment, and despair, we withdraw the projection of our unlived lives from the environment around us. For it is to the degree that we can provide safe passage for the unwanted within that we can truly love another. While it is very natural to have a bias toward positive states of being – toward the peaceful, the joyous, and the clear – the beloved does not appear to share this bias. For she is ready at all times to equally invoke the magic of the dark *and* the light in...