Choose You

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“The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence, an artist of her life... the resurrection of the world begins.

 —Joan Chittister



I've Been Thinking...

The other day, I found myself sitting around with nothing to do (remember that I gave up busyness for Lent). Then something profound happened.

I found myself getting into a really long, deep, meaningful conversation with someone. It was the kind of conversation that takes its time. The kind that you could only get into if you have nothing else pulling at you. The kind that stays with you and makes you think a lot about life, relationships, and yourself—both how you see yourself and how the world sees you.

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Loving Everyone More This Season-- Even When You Don't Know How

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(This message is dedicated to all of us who long for more meaningful relationships, even with people who mean the most...)

My father is no longer alive. But when he was alive, I always had the fantasy that I would have an intimate conversation with him. It would be a bit like the Brady Bunch dad, cut with some Gandhi, Tony Robbins, and my favorite therapist. He’d ask me, “How would you describe the meaning of life? ” Or “How can I support your essence most?” But, instead, my father, a practical and private man asked, “So, what’s the population of Denver?” I’d cave with disappointment and shrug my shoulders as an answer and a rebuke.      

“Delta flies over here at least twice a day,” my father said, as though this was a clue to all existence. We sat together on the front porch of our house in Brooklyn, way before Brooklyn was cool. I flew 2,000 miles to be back home, and not on Delta, to see my parents, and this is what he wants to share with me. Flight patterns of major airlines. I am already telling the story to all my friends in my mind. I am drowning at this point in my life and crave support. But that’s not what’s for dinner here.   

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Fighting the Instrument

snowy-mountain-ridge-with-footprint-in-blizzard-picture-id1010514668 The storm is not as important as the path it opens
Often the instruments of change
are not kind or just
and the hardest openness
of all might be
to embrace the change
while not wasting your heart
fighting the instrument.


The storm is not as important
as the path it opens.
The mistreatment in one life
never as crucial as the clearing
it makes in your heart.


This is very difficult to accept.
The hammer or cruel one
is always short-lived
compared to the jewel
in the center of the stone.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection - Leaning In

*Photo Credit: Nick Hillier Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection - Leaning In

I’ve sat in hundreds of cafés, watching lives pass by, each eager to meet someone, each desperate to get away. I’ve stared into hundreds of photographs, each a window to another patch of time and space, where beautiful souls were falling down and getting up. Still, I can’t quite grasp how many of us there are and how each of us is a world unto ourselves. Right now, in this café on Fourth Ave., an older woman in a sweater is wheeling a small, lonely suitcase toward the door. While across the street, a young Hispanic man is delivering cleaning supplies to a Vietnamese restaurant. He’s almost dancing. And there are twenty-five others around me, each wanting a pain to stop, each wanting some moment of love to linger. Now the jittery woman next to me tosses her hair and wobbles on her heels, heading back into the stream. Once outside, she passes an Asian man in argument, his arms folded. We are so easily hurt as we bounce along the pavement spilling our expectations. The young couple in the corner looks tired and tender as they lean into each other in silence. When this open, I can see into the hearts of others. Now a grandfather dotes over his granddaughter, running his fingers through her month-old hair. I hear everyone’s dreams and disappointments which, next to each other, reveal a depth I can’t live without. If it weren’t for gravity pulling on us, I’d swear this is Heaven.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a favorite café you have visited. Why is it your favorite? What have you learned from going there? What makes you want to return?

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Where Are You?

lostball Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Where Are You?

My teacher appeared to me

in the midst of my grief for him.

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