Editor’s Desk: Be Optimistically Curious

  Several years ago, I joined with two friends in a 10-week spiritual practice which consisted of ten life-revealing questions. I’ve listed these Questions to Contemplate for you at the bottom of the post. We started with one question each week: We would meditate on it, journal about it, and share with one another what comes up for us. We wrote about what we understood about the question, what we didn’t understand, what we accepted, and what we were struggling with. There were days when I felt quite resistant to the questions, but I’ve noticed over time that my heart
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Editor’s Desk: The Joy of Living In The Question

It was Joseph Campbell from whom I first heard this Rilke quote: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” from Letters to a Young Poet. Today, as I
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Editor’s Desk: Descent into the Cave of Regret

  My heart is aching and tears are forming in my eyes as I watch a family joyously having a squirt gun fight in a scene in the TV series Council of Dads. I pause to check in with my body trying to understand what triggered my tears. Was it the mother, the kids, the supportive men, or the absent father that touch something deep within me? Am I still missing Michael? I count on my fingers, tick off the years that feel like yesterday: 2012-one, 2013-two, 2014-three, 2015-four, 2016-five, 2017-six, 2018-seven, 2019-eight, 2020-nine. I ponder: Does the backyard scene
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Editor’s Desk: Encounter With A Horse In A Bar

    As I steered the car into my designated parking spot in my apartment complex, my cell phone rang. My whole body was smiling as the name Anne Palenske, my dear childhood friend, flashed on my dashboard screen. We don’t talk often, however, when we do speak our conversations are lively, full of laughter, and great memories. As I reached to press the button on my steering wheel to accept the call, I was transported to an earlier memory of Anne. Anne and I share a love of horses. In fact, it was she who introduced me to horses
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Editor’s Desk: Mother-Work: God Is Like A Mother Hen

My dear Circle Sister, Ann Smith, wrote this essay several years ago and I feel it is appropriate for us now as we approach and celebrate Mother’s Day. Along with me, she is a Millionth Circle Convener as well as the Regional Coordinator of the Southwest Florida chapter of Gather The Women. -Justine Willis Toms MOTHER-WORK: GOD IS LIKE A MOTHER HEN When I was part of an Episcopal Women to Women trip to Jerusalem, we went to a chapel called Dominus Flevit on the western slope of the Mount of Olives just across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem. The
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Editor’s Desk: Thoughts on Staying Calm and Centered

  Even if I limit my check-in with the news, a barrage of reporting creeps into my life through invisible corridors. It seeps under my doorsill and through the open window. It resides in my heart as a low-grade anxiety. I feel it impacting the way I’m responding to others as a heightened sensitivity and quickness to take offense. I get frustrated more easily. In general, the pervading cultural scenario is akin to a “shock and awe” bombardment to my senses. I feel a constant tension in my belly. And, I know I’m not alone. I ask myself, “What can
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Editor’s Desk: THE WAYS OF COMPUTERS ARE PERFECT AND MUST NOT BE QUESTIONED

In a recent interview, meditation teacher Tara Brach led me through a guided meditation to help me work on a particular issue that often triggers a negative reaction on my part. I get triggered when technology is not working causing me to make a phone call to try to get tech help. More often than not I get connected to a bot (an artificial intelligence) that is asking me questions that don’t really apply to my issue. I’m then on an endless loop trying to get to a “live” person. Frustration is building and it’s really, truly hard to not just
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Editor’s Desk: Birdwatching Changes Your Attention

  Jenny Odell, a multi-disciplinary artist and author of How To Do Nothing: Resisting The Attention Economy, was a recent guest on New Dimensions. The interview with her Finding an Antidote to the Attention Economy (Program #3689) was broadcast in November 2019. She shared her wisdom about how social media and the Internet are always vying for our attention. She also spoke about how being a birdwatcher taught her something about the quality of our attention. She said, “[There are] different qualities of attention and they affect your sense of time. In the attention economy, for example, the effectiveness of
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Editor’s Desk: Everyday Miracles

  My dear sister of my heart, Linda Merryman, with whom I’ve been in circle for more than 25 years sent out the following piece that she was inspired to write. I love it so much and I received her permission to share with all of you. I hope you relish it as much as I do. During the storms of life, it’s such a fine reminder that there is much to be grateful for. Enjoy! -Justine After many hours somewhere dreaming this and dreaming that and forgetting and resting and replenishing, oh miracle of miracles, I awake. I am still here.
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Editor’s Desk: High Noticing Versus Habituation

When we choose high noticing, we have the ability for our eyes to be wide open and to be more aware and conscious. It helps us stay curious and open to new strategies, behaviors, and energy. Whereas habituation is patterned behavior. It’s looking from the viewpoint of the groove of what has worked before. It’s a place where we are asleep and without noticing we take the path that we’ve taken so many times before. As the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” I’m suggesting we look deeply at where
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