US: Exceptional but not The Exception

“We may be exceptional, but we are not exceptions.” This above insight was shared with me recently by a friend. At the time I felt I was having an exceptional experience. And it was. Exceptional. But this in no way made me, or others involved exceptions. What does this mean? It means we are not special in a way that sets us apart from others or the natural world. We are all bound by natural (nature’s) laws, and ideally, we are internally directed by ethical boundaries and spiritual principles that remind us of this interconnectedness. Whatever this exceptional experience is—some … Continue reading

During Such Times, What Matters?

Many of my writerly friends and students have contacted me recently discouraged and confused. What does any of “this” matter?, they ask. “Who cares what I write about?” Besides, they claim, “my story is not unique.” Let me respond first with a personal story. I found myself looking in the mirror lately with dismay. I see an old woman.  At the core of me I know a truth: that I am aging, and that I am doing a fine job of it. With the awareness that all judgment involves projection I looked around me. What do I see when I look at others? Do … Continue reading

Our Bridges to the World: The Art of Being & Writing

“You can perish in the famine of your own making.”  John O Donohue, Anam Cara Great scenes are like our souls––both depend heavily on the emotions and senses to reveal their true story. What is going on in a scene within our life or on the page needs an awareness and expression of our emotions. To write and live authentically means to be listening to the soul and “the body makes the senses thresholds of the soul.” (John O Donohue, Anam Cara) “A renewal, indeed a complete transfiguration of your life, can come through attention to you senses. Your senses are … Continue reading

Our Secret Lives

“After all, conventional wisdom recommends the divided life as the safe and sane way to go: ‘Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.’ ‘Don’t make a federal case out of it.’ ‘Don’t show them the whites of your eyes.’ These are all clichéd ways we tell each other to keep personal truth apart from public life, lest we make ourselves vulnerable in the rough-and-tumble realm.” –Parker J Palmer, Let Your Life Speak Writing is a true vocation for me. A benefit of being a writer is that I find clues to my own true nature’s voice in my writing. My … Continue reading

How Not To Be Discouraged

. . . it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe– should be clear; the darkness around us is deep.   –William Stafford, A Ritual To Read To Each Other For many of us these can be discouraging times. Then again, I doubt any of us get through our lives free of discouragement. Like me, you may be discouraged by the outpour of support for Trump. Or you may be in a job or relationship that undermines you. Or you have experienced a great … Continue reading

The Importance of Being

If “well-being” — [defined as] functioning well as a person, not as an instrument — is the supreme goal of one’s efforts, two specific ways stand out that lead to the attainment of this goal: Breaking through one’s narcissism and breaking through the property structure of one’s existence. –Erik Fromm, The Art of Being What Fromm means by “breaking through the property structure” is for us to focus less on doing and having and more on being. In my view, if we are secure in who we are, strongly rooted from a sense of self, our actions and “property” (stuff) will … Continue reading

Ask The Expert This

  There are no experts on a subject. I trust the teacher (doctor or friend) who is still learning about their subjects. I trust the one who continues to explore subjects. When someone stops exploring, they stop learning and this “quitting” interferes with their capacity to truly contribute. When they stop their exploring their view becomes increasingly narrow where they ignore a wider berth of possibilities. I don’t seek “experts,” unless they are willing to engage in authentic conversation. In this authentic conversation we both explore together, so that we may discover what is truly possible. If we “already know” then we are unlikely to discover anything new.  For … Continue reading

Here: What’s Truly Possible

Is what you want possible? In any given situation what is truly possible? I use to say that my therapist saved my life. Now I understand, he helped me to see life through the lens of possibility. Possibility is a powerful energy. When we experience something as possible, or see the possibilities inherent in a situation, doors open. And they open wide. It can be a bit of a chicken and egg thing – we explore something, experience some positive results and then witness what is possible for us. But to even explore something we have to know, if even … Continue reading