| Anne Williamson |
Invitation is tough. It involves risk, courage, vulnerability… Will they like my idea? Will he say, “Yes”? Does she value my friendship like I value hers? Will she show up? Gladly? Lovingly? Will I sound like an idiot? Will they care as much as I do? No, but will he show up anyway?
Sometimes, for fear of what we may hear, we're not even sure we want these questions answered. Past experiences, current insecurities, ignorance, all make us wary of extending that invitation, of extending ourselves. It’s far easier and much safer simply not to ask.
For all we risk in invitation, though, the alternative is actually far riskier.... Read More
| Sabrena Suggs |
I once would have loved to convince you through this article that I am a phenomenal writer. I honestly would have hoped to write such an intriguing and thought-provoking article that you would share it on your social media or bring it up at dinner with family or friends. It sounds vain, but it’s the truth. I have often hoped that my words or actions would be seen as impressive by people in order to secure my esteem with their admiration, acceptance, or approval. Although many are likely to identify with these same desires at times, my journey has shown me first hand how this growing obsession of our culture has made us unhealthy. My obsession at times caused me quite a bit of mental and emotional instability – so much so that my instability began to take on the form of anxiety and depression.
Acknowledging this fact was quite a challenge.... Read More
| Ageeth Sluis |
I remember that it was shortly after I had moved to the US in 1989 that I saw the now iconic Bill Moyer interview series with Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, which showed an aged but nonetheless beaming and brimming Campbell as he took viewers, and most certainly me, into the fascinating and mysterious world of ancient myths, connecting symbols and archetypes to everyday lives and the world of now, my world of now.
Campbell was inspiring, especially to someone having come to the US to study. His way of being an academic was refreshing. A renowned expert on Comparative Religion, Campbell nonetheless took an “iconoclastic road” as a scholar, teacher and writer. He was, in the words of one biographer “an ecstatic scholar,” who, rather than adhering to the scientific rationalism that characterized the academy during the post-World War II era in which he found himself, recognized that “Life was not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.” His “Tao of Scholarship” took him “beyond the hallowed halls of traditional academia and into a spiritual and psychological view of mythology, which embraces the transcendent Reality referred to by the saints and shamans that can be directly experienced.” 
It was this enthusiasm, irreverence and lived knowledge (as well as the fact that Campbell seemingly could care less about religious dogma and doctrine and that for him all religions and spiritualities were equal, similar in their messages and mythical archetypes) that grabbed me.... Read More
| Anne Williamson |
I find it difficult to share a definitive opinion on controversial subjects. One reason I see as positive: I am at ease in the gray, generally believing I am one conversation away from understanding someone else’s perspective. The other reason is often problematic: I like to be liked, for others to think well of me.
Take last week; for example. I come out as a person who doesn’t like the word “blessed” or the phrase “everything happens for a reason.” That should be easy enough for me to share, but it wasn’t. Soon after the newsletter sent, I read a friend’s Facebook story about a little girl battling cancer who finds solace in a song titled, “You [meaning, God] know better than I.” And, immediately, I felt like an asshole. Then, two people unsubscribed from the newsletter, and I couldn’t help but feel a little rejected.
The good news is I now recognize this self-talk for what it is: the ego, fear. And, perhaps not coincidentally, through my own current exploration of the Enneagram, our topic this fall, I’m coming to understand this personal dynamic even better. ... Read More
| Anne Williamson |
It’s 5:00a, and I can’t sleep. I am listening to Daniel Goleman talk to Oprah about his ground-breaking work on emotional intelligence. I remember when his initial book on the subject came out. It was 1995; I was 14 years old and struggling beneath an eating disorder and depression. His book was a life line for me: for the first time, I glimpsed a future where my deep emotions and thoughts might not be weights on my life, but propellers toward success, or what I now call wholeness. Goleman’s work cracked open my current paradigm. Thank g/God.
In any particular moment in time, it is easy to believe nothing will ever shift our perspective so dramatically.... Read More
| Anne Williamson |
Whatever word to which you're drawn - vocation, purpose, meaning, work, calling, etc. - most of us believe its creation is at least a joint one. That is, our life is not wholly predetermined. If this is the case, then, how do we, as our vocation's joint, if not sole, creators, discern what to create?
There appears to be a common theme in the collective thinking around vocational discernment: it's a dance between being and doing, letting go and pursuing, listening and to borrow Martin's words in last week's reading, "[putting one's] butt in the chair." It doesn't matter whether we believe the inspiration is g/God's, our own, or some combination of the two; the dance is the same.... Read More
| Ashley Parsons |
Since we moved into our home, four years ago, I have been looking for a sweet little saying to put on the arch that is over the nook in our kitchen. You know, something that every time I look up at it I am reminded, reassured, and re-inspired. The first saying I nearly committed to was, “Don’t Mind the Mess, the Children are Making Memories.” I do, still, really love this one. First of all, I get to pretty much justify any mess in the house because, really, who is going to question the making of memories by my sweet little cherubs? Also, it reminds my husband and I that it is good to stop and enjoy the moment. I much prefer enjoying the moment to cleaning. Every time. Always. My husband, maybe not.... Read More