Friday, January 28, 2011

Brene Brown, PhD

I attended a 3 hour conference this morning listening to Dr. Brene Brown, a professor in the graduate school of social work at the Univ. of Houston.  She was amazing.  For more than 15 years she has researched shame and human connection.  I'll just share a tidbit from her lecture.

Research shows that the top three expectations of themselves held by women and men, and for which they feel the most shame are:


1.  Thin
2.  Nice
3.  Quiet


1.  Primacy of work
2.  Emotional stoicism
3.  Power over women

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Small group update

It looks like the Monday evening group is winning out over the afternoon meeting time.  I'm happy to do both, so if you are interested but have not yet spoken up, please let me know the time that works best for you.

Also, let me say again, please do not allow cost to prevent you from participating.  I am happy to agree on a sliding scale fee, confidentially.  If you want to be there, I want you to be there.

Groups begin Monday, Feb 7th.  The evening time is 6:30; the afternoon time is 2:00.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


One of the most beautiful pieces of music composed in recent years has to be Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.  I love hearing him sing it; I love hearing KD Lang sing it.  Recently, however, I was introduced to the version by the Canadian Tenors, and it blew me away.  (turn up your volume)

The reason this version grabs my heart is the perfect, pitch-perfect, harmonies.  In my own personal experience, nothing is more exciting or inspiring than singing in harmony.  Why I haven't found a way to do it more frequently is a topic to ponder at another time.

Hearing this beautiful arrangement, sung by four tenors, reminds me of how it can feel to live harmoniously, and how painful it is to live "off."  I have had the privilege of singing in multiple choral groups and well remember how often the director would stop us mid-note to declare, "whoa, whoa, we are off...let's try it again."  The huge pay off for all the practicing and rehearsing came when we could hear for ourselves that we were "on," blend our voices and soar with the music.

I think Life requires a lot of rehearsing; learning to hear the Music is no easy task, much less finding and mastering our place in the Choir.  But I gotta tell ya, nothing is more satisfying, healing, and inspiring than the actual experience of knowing, however briefly, that you are "on."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Small group

Working and sharing within a small group of people with a common goal is inspiring, fun and educational.  The desire to "go deeper" in our journey toward authenticity and trust is all that is required to participate.

Two groups are forming to begin in February, one during the day and one in the evening.  Both will use Richard Rohr's book, Everything Belongs as a basis for discussion.  The group provides an opportunity to raise questions and share insights with one another, discuss personal issues in a confidential setting, and support one another's intention to deepen our trust in Life.

Meeting times will be Monday afternoons at 2:00-3:30, and Monday evenings at 6:30-8:00.  The groups will meet for six consecutive weeks.  The first meeting will be on Monday, February 7th.  The fee is $210 for the six sessions.  If the fee is a hardship, please contact me for other options.

To register to participate in one of the groups, you may call or email me, or leave a comment on my blog.

It'll be fun!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I have made the decision to resume my private practice of spiritual direction.

Years ago I served as a doula-- a woman who attends and encourages women in childbirth.   In significant ways, that work laid the groundwork for my work as a "spiritual doula."  When I was 29 years old, after having given birth twice myself and endured and survived a frighteningly dark period in my life, I wrote the following lines:

A woman should never be left to labor alone,
No person should ever be forced to labor alone.
She should be able to look about her and see and touch
A woman who has labored and birthed and survived.
Every laboring person needs to see and know at least one survivor.
Some day, someone in heavy labor will look up and see me, and
I will giver her hope, and
She will continue on, to the finish, to the new beginning...

Spiritual growth and development can be as frightening, arduous and last much longer than labor and childbirth.  It is immeasurably comforting to have someone hold your hand and whisper words of encouragement who absolutely believes that all will turn out well.  A spiritual doula has utter faith in the process and in God, Love, Allah, The Force, Life, the Nameless.

I am not a psychotherapist, coach, nor ordained clergy.  I am a fellow pilgrim who has battled through several spiritual crises, a seeker my entire life.  I also discovered years ago a trustworthy inner voice that I rely on and share with others.

My work takes various forms: individual sessions, meditation instruction, Spiritspeak poems, small group experiences, and contemplative retreats.  My background and tradition is Christian, the language I am most familiar with, yet I respect all religious traditions as well as agnosticism and atheism.  I have studied A Course in Miracles for more than 20 years, and have benefitted from 24 years of membership in AlAnon.

There is nothing I would rather do than befriend someone who is struggling to achieve authenticity, trust and faith,  in large part out of gratitude for the dear souls who have befriended me over the years.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New small group experience....

I’m tempted to say that I have come full-circle and am revisiting my former life, but that would not be accurate.  It does feel familiar to be teaching meditation classes again, and now I am offering a small group experience as I did years ago.

However, we never go back.  I have changed; my work has changed; the world has changed.  It’s a new day.

Beginning in February, I will host and facilitate a small group of folks who want to explore a more contemplative life while living the life they already have.  We will use the lovely book, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, by Richard Rohr as a touchstone for discussion.

I am open to afternoons or evenings, so am asking for feedback from anyone who might like to participate to let me know what time works best for you.  We will meet for six weeks, once a week.

The fee for the group will be $210 for all six weeks, and the number of participants will be limited.

Call or email me, message me on Facebook, or leave a comment here if you are interested in participating.  I’ll get in touch with you.

Monday, January 10, 2011


There are millions of places and situations where I do not belong.
There are very few where I do.
If I'm needed, I'm already there.
If I'm not, I'm not.
I need not worry about where I belong...
I belong where I am,
and don't where I'm not.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Extroversion

When I've been blessed; I tell it,
When I tell it: I betray it,
When I betray it; I doubt it.
Uh oh