Wednesday, April 26, 2017


It remains shocking to me that as of last Friday I entered my sixth decade. A friend that crossed the same threshold shortly before me asked me how it could have happened. “We didn’t die,” I replied. And so here I am, still upon the planet, and now in a sixty year old body. I wanted to find a fitting way to enter into this new decade, something representative of how I intended to sojourn the trek to seventy. When I turned fifty I went tandem skydiving. For me that was facing my fear of heights and also my reluctance to really rely on other people, especially men. Since that time my fear of heights has abated and I am now happily married.

Approaching sixty it became clear to me that it wasn’t an activity that would capture the spirit I am now seeking to embody. I did indeed plan a short theatre trip to my former home of New York City. I ended up spending the evening of my birthday in the same Broadway theatre and in almost the exact same seat in which I had sat forty years prior. In 1977 I thought my life was going to take a very definite route, and I had the invincible sense of an enchanted twenty year old with the world at my dancing feet. Waiting on the show to begin last week I pondered the many detours my life has taken and how radically different my life has turned out compared to what I thought would happen. The reflecting had a tinge or two of sadness, but was mostly just sweet. Really, truly, deeply sweet. I felt affection for that young dreamer, and I felt warm waves of compassion for the man who would come to see many of those dreams shattered.

It has not turned out the way I thought it would. I am not doing what I thought I would be doing at age sixty. I thought I would be the one on the stage, not the one sitting in the audience watching. And at the same time I truly know that this entire journey has been about so much more than my personal goals, aspirations, dreams, or success. It has been about so much more than what I have done or what I have not done. It has been about so much more than I could have ever comprehended at age twenty or even forty.

It has been about so much more.

I know that I am now living the expression that is perfect for me at this time. I know that I have said yes to the authentic call upon my life, and that I am dedicated to staying obedient to that call. I know that every single thing that has happened during these previous decades have been in service of the Unfoldment of my higher self. I know that mine was, is, and shall ever be a life of service. That unfolding has been far from comfortable, and there have been many struggles and pains. I am continually called to die to personality aspects of myself that get in the way of my effectiveness in serving others. But I know now with certainty that I belong in the audience and not upon the stage. And I also know that my rightful place is in front of a congregation, sharing not a role but what is most real in my heart.

And that is so much more fulfilling than I ever dreamed my life could be.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


I grew up in a mid-western Evangelical church that had an ongoing and profound effect on who I came to be. During these days preceding Easter I have a plethora of memories regarding that theology and the traditional meanings surrounding this season. Some of those memories are sweet in their remembrance, and many are admittedly painful. I recall as a small child staring intently at the enormous cross suspended over the baptismal of the church. I remember the feelings of remorse and shame as early as age seven or eight, and how I prayed to Jesus to forgive me for my part in his atoning death. The glory of a resurrection was lost to me compared to the detailed descriptions of his agonizing death.

A lot of internal work and integration has gone into seeing this depiction differently, and into my own healing from those deep feelings of shame and personal regret. I now see that the death of this magnificent way-shower was a political reaction to a spiritually empowering message. That message threatened the leaders of the time. Personal empowerment would have meant less dependence on the patriarchy and on the ruling class.

I do not in any way believe in a God-demanded sacrifice or in a vicarious atonement for the sins of the world. Human beings have historically killed those who came to earth with a torch of great Light. It is no different today, except that we do not deify them and connect the murder to a God-ordained act. We do not build a religion around them that often shrouds the beauty of the original message. Though it is by no means exclusive the one thing often missing from the traditional Christian message is the overarching gospel of the love he came to teach.

For me the power of Easter is in reclaiming the cross and in the deeper meaning of the symbols of this profound season. This Holy week for me is an opportunity to look more deeply within myself at the energy patterns of crucifixion and resurrection. The pattern of crucifixion is resistance, and the releasing of the resistance results in resurrection. It is a process that does not happen in my head. It happens in my heart and in my body. It is the Christ pattern literally happening in me. It is not historical. It is personal. It is devoid of shame and pregnant with Divine potential.

I was tormented in childhood by the image of that huge cross. Today I have reclaimed it. I know it well. I hung on my self-imposed cross for years. And now I am free. I am resurrected. And at times I nail myself back to the forces of the world, and I once again must die to self. It is a pattern that gets repeated daily. But the Power of the risen Christ is within me; because I am atone with It. That is my own personal Easter. It is that I celebrate this week.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


I have been noticing with increased rapidity the tendency in our culture to interact with people as though they were “smart” devices.

While it is not exclusively true I find it rarer and rarer to leave a conversation and truly have felt heard. This is the case whether the interaction is via phone or face to face. On the phone I often hear the subtle click of computer keys, and a general vagueness coming from the other party. Reactions to what I have said are frequently delayed and just as frequently irrelevant to what I was actually communicating.

In person I watch the darting and averting eyes, and I most often feel as if I am being scrolled. If there is a device anywhere near it largely takes priority over the conversation I am attempting to have. The distancing is palpable and disconcerting. It is in a felt-sense way dis-heartening. I recently stopped what I was saying to someone mid-sentence, as I realized they were in no way present, and they didn’t even notice I had stopped speaking.

The fascination and identification with information is shutting us down. It puts a power off on heart to heart connection and intimacy. The next byte is far more important than what a feeble heart may be trying to say. With an ongoing barrage of data we never have to stop and feel our hearts, feel our connection, feel our natural compassion, and feel the often painful experience of being real.

It is a new and startling kind of lonely. You are right there. I see you. I hear you. And I in no way can feel you here with me. I often want to stop and simply ask “is anyone home?” I think the lights are on. I know at some level you are in there. But are you really home? Can I really connect with you? Can I get close enough to feel you present, and feel myself being felt by you? Will you listen and hear me when there is no social media like button to handle your reacting?

I am committed to being a home space for you. I am committed to being truly present, and to listen and to hear. I am committed to releasing the habitual multi-tasking in any form. When I am speaking with you I will listen. I will remain in the interaction, and I will feel before I respond. I will hold your gaze and I will stay. You will be central to me and I will be home for you.

Is anyone home? I am.