Friday, March 8, 2013

Spreading the word

A few days ago, thanks to an invitation from the director of Spiritual Directors International, I had the wonderful joy of participating in an interview with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. She was working on fascinating story that follows a number of folks who have felt led, in the second half of life, to drop everything (figuratively speaking) and prepare for ministry work. I fit in with this group because after a long and enjoyable career in publishing (or perhaps, more accurately, in addition to my career in publishing), I felt led to go to seminary to prepare to be a hospice chaplain. That original intent blossomed into chaplaincy but also teaching and spiritual direction. I now see spiritual directees in the lovely, peaceful sunroom of my home (backed up against the woods) and I am deeply honored and fulfilled by this beautiful opportunity to companion people on their spiritual journeys. It's beautiful and amazing work and God, in my experience, always shows up!

It's worth a thought, a prayer, or a little intention: Who are your companions on your spiritual journey? If you feel you're all alone as you learn and grow and reach, I have some good news for you--others will come alongside you in love as you travel this path. I am convinced it is not meant to be a solitary undertaking, even for those of us who are happy introverts. God's blossoming is all about Love, and while we can love God with all our hearts, minds, and spirits, I believe it's also God's intention to "knit us back together" in harmony and beautiful, rich, expanding love. Our relationships enable us to see and bless and understand Life, and our very own beings, in ways that transcend what we could grasp alone. Maybe that's why God needs us, too. :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Nourishing ourselves on purpose :)

Life is SO fun. Week before last I was blessed to be able to speak to a group of 40 dear women about my spiritual journey and my connection to nature. Two night ago, I spoke to a lovely group of deeply caring and awake people at Elaine Voci's "An Evening with" series about "Finding the Spiritual Heart of Earthcare."

And today I recorded the first episode of my new web radio show, Nourish! This is so much fun. In this first episode, "From the Inside Out," I explain the premise of the show and offer some ideas on how the ways in which nourishing ourselves on purpose can bless not only us but also our surroundings, our loved ones, and our world.

In future shows, I'll be interviewing people who work in all sorts of areas connected to ways we can nourish ourselves, and I'll also add a call-in feature, so start thinking of questions you'd like to ask!

Here's the link to the first show! Let me know what you think. All comments welcome. Peace. :)

Listen to internet radio with Nourish on Blog Talk Radio

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Loving a Single Cell

More and more (and MORE) my work seems to be about becoming open to and aware of embodiment, as well as what seems to be a contradiction: the dissolving of boundaries that divide. How can we be both embodied and *not* embodied? How can we be One if we are separate beings? These questions  emerge in everything I'm doing lately. I am convinced of the Oneness; in fact, there are times lately when I don't even see separation (which is quite wonderful). But obviously our existence is a both/and. I get that. And I'm exploring it. And what's more, I think the answers are beginning to take shape within (and without) me.

This morning the simple idea of beginning at the closest point, of loving a single cell with the intention to establish connection, is figural for me. A single cell, anywhere in your body. Microscopic--so small that it almost doesn't believe in itself--and one tiny player in a vast universe of cells, some with much more important functions, but all needed to support your life in this exact moment.

If you're game and curious about this too, take a moment to find that little cell right now. In your foot, your calf, your ankle, your heart, your lungs. Maybe it's in that ache you've been feeling in your lower back. Or maybe it's the place behind your left ear that itches just now. Stop and take a deep breath and listen to your body. Invite a cell to let you know it wants to be the one.

When the cell has made itself known, smile at it. Just smile. Let your eyes smile. Let your hands relax. Feel your heart warm. When you feel ready, thank that cell for its part in supporting your universe. Smile as you say it. Thank it for working in harmony with all the other cells to do what needs to be done. Thank it for giving you the opportunity to reflect on spirit-in-matter: your own. Bless it and wish it well. Express your desire and intention (if that's true for you) to support it and be open to learning more about it and the cells with whom it serves.

Let a conversation emerge naturally. This is you loving you, remember. Perhaps you will feel things like, "I want to do a better job of nourishing this cell," or "I really haven't been paying attention to how much I'm straining my back lately." All this feedback is good feedback, helping you discover what current blocks you have to your own conscious loving of your cells.

When the words stop flowing for you, sit in silence and breathe gently. Listen. Perhaps this cell has a word or image for you, too. Let your mind and heart be open to whatever you receive. When you do sense something, accept it gladly, as you would a gift, and make an internal choice to act on the body knowing you receive.

When you feel a sense of peace and completion, prepare to say goodbye and thanks to the cell. Perhaps you'll meet again, but perhaps not--cells don't live very long, you know. Be sure your endings are full of thanks and gratitude, and include yourself in that gratitude, for having opened to the possibility and promise of loving a single cell. You're different now, and your cells are different now. And that is the beginning of all possibility. :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

New relationships, new gifts

It is interesting how love inspires us to love more, and loss heightens the sense of love mixed with longing, propelling us forward--eventually--into the possibility of loving again.

Recently my youngest son Cameron brought his new guinea pig home for me to meet and babysit for two weeks. She is the calmest, sweetest guinea pig I have ever known. Her name is Penelope. She is still a baby, likes to be held, and joyfully jumped her way through an obstacle course we constructed in the spare bedroom. When Cameron took her back to school (it was one of his roommate's turn to take her home), we missed her. And two days ago, I decided (with my daughter, grandson, and my daughter's friend) to stop by a pet store to take a look at their guinea pigs.

But none of them were Penelope. They were all grown and pretty ordinary. None seemed to have her spirit--or her coloring. She is a pretty mix of orange and white, with lots of orange with big blots of white and a hundred cowlicks. None of these ho-hum shorthairs held a candle to her.

But then we walked back through the store, and met this different-specied guinea pig:

Hi. I'm Olive.
And after holding her and playing with her, we knew we had to bring her home.

Ever since, I've been discovering that from that moment of love joyfully overflowing, lots of results emanate. This means life changes for my two older dogs, Georgie (a very senior citizen) and Pearl, who is two-and-a-half and a true pacifist (and not used to a puppy biting her feet and hanging on to her tail). For me, this also means back to puppy potty training, puppy proofing wires and such, and learning once again (and once again and once again), how to let love guide me through days that turn out differently than I plan.

Love brings incredible blessings, and it also asks us to expand and open and be more flexible and trust that Love really is the Answer. This is sometimes asking a lot, especially when we were happy with our settled, known, controllable lives and are being stretched and expanded to welcome more, and more, and more love into our lives. :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lessons from the garden hose :)

As I care for my gardens in the hot-hot-hot of this summer, my garden hose is teaching me about working in cooperation with the flow of life. For instance:
  • One little crimp in the hose can completely stop the flow. When we get knotted up about something--the way he said that, what she did, what I wished I had instead--the flow of peace in our life gets damned up while we fret and stew about whatever issue has temporarily crimped us.
  • The best way to uncrimp the flow is to move the hose *in the direction of* the crimp. This seems important to me because when I have a problem in life I sometimes resist it or ignore it or try in some way to negate it (by pushing the other direction). When I push the hose in the direction of the crimp, I am accepting the situation and putting my energy and focus where it needs to go to solve the problem, and the crimp releases easily and the flow continues unobstructed, almost like it's cooperating with me. Ahhh.
  • Crimping builds up pressure which will need to come out sometime. Sometimes when I move the sprinkler from one spot to another, I temporarily stop the water flow by folding the hose in on itself. But then, after I put the hose down and release the crimp, the water flows with twice the energy it had before it was damned up, which usually means I get wet. I can see that in my life, keeping energy, faith, love, honesty, and trust *flowing* is much better and healthier for me than saving it up, moving it around, judging where to let it out. That creates a kind of unnatural pressure that may cause it to gush out with abandon when that's not what I intended. I think an even, natural flow, with no damning, is a beautiful thing.
Happy watering today! :)


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Eco-Spirituality Convergence :)

If you are drawn to a closer understanding and practice of the organic of eco-spirituality, you might be interested in the Summer Symposium on Religion and Environmental Stewardship being offered by Yale Divinity school in June (June 5-7, to be exact). The subtitle for the conference is "Environmental Education for Clergy, Lay Leaders, and Seminary Faculty Bringing Together Science, Theology, and Ethics." Doesn't that sound fascinating?

I am planning on going myself...if your soul is stirred by this subject too, take a look at the link below! Here is info provided by the Forum on Religion and Ecology:

Summer Symposium: Religion and Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Education for Clergy, Lay Leaders, and Seminary Faculty
Bringing Together Science, Theology, and Ethics

June 5-7, 2012
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven CT

Sponsored by:
Yale Divinity School
Berkeley Divinity School at Yale
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale

Dear colleagues,

We invite you to join us for a conference that the Forum on Religion and Ecology has organized between the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity School from June 5-7, 2012 on Religion and Environmental Stewardship.

The program is listed below and the URL for registration is

Please note that students can participate free of charge.
We look forward to seeing you there!

With all good wishes,

Mary Evelyn Tucker & John Grim
The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale