The Cup. Paying Attention To What Fills and Drains

The Cup. Paying attention to what fills and drains

We are like a cup in which energy both fills and drains. But we can grow by paying attention to the cup and understanding the fillers and the drainers.

It was always a challenge to get them to care for themselves. They were always giving out to others, and I could see that life was being sucked out of them.

I explained that you can’t give out of an empty cup, but self-sacrifice and martyrdom had been drummed into them from childhood. They remembered that Sunday School song – J.O.Y. Jesus first, Yourself last,  and Others in between sung to the merry little tune of Jingle Bells.

But now all that giving out was leading to their fragile body forming cracks. The body was breaking down. It couldn’t keep on giving out. Illnesses came,  sleeplessness, anxiety, depression. The body was trying to send a message – Stop abusing the cup. Continue reading “The Cup. Paying Attention To What Fills and Drains”

How to relax? You need to Feel Safe and Known

How to relax? You need to Feel Safe and Known

Few of us know how to fully and deeply relax. The noisy neighbors can keep us from the rest we need, but when we feel safe and known, we can restore.

He almost went to sleep. That was the first observation he shared with me after a short spiritual meditation exercise we went through — silence, peacefulness, quiet focus, and a ‘stepping away’ from the noise.

He stepped away from needing to be someone and to do something into a pose of quiet acceptance.

Breathing in, breathing out. Centering the thoughts and feelings away from the past and the future to being present in the now. Right here, right now.

Do you know how to relax?

It’s a serious question. Continue reading “How to relax? You need to Feel Safe and Known”

The Reason Why So Many People Walk the Camino de Santiago

The Reason Why So People Walk the Camino de Santiago

Three hundred thousand pilgrims walked the Camino de Santiago in 2017. These ancient pathways in Northern Spain have allured people from all over the world. But why? What is the reason that these trails have drawn so many pilgrims for such a long period?

Camino means ‘Path.’

Just a little introduction to the Camino de Santiago. In 812 AD the bones, supposedly of St. James, were discovered in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain. Ever since pilgrims have traveled various routes to visit and pay homage. Continue reading “The Reason Why So Many People Walk the Camino de Santiago”

Becoming Fire-Proof: Protecting Ourselves from Burnout

After years of teaching high school in downtown Los Angeles, my wife accepted a job four hours away.

On top of my daily stressors of dealing with students and colleagues and deadlines at the school, I now moved to a tiny studio apartment, commuted to see my wife on weekends, and applied for hundreds of jobs, all while we were desperately trying to get pregnant after years of no success.

On top of that, I was stuck in a negative emotional response to my situation. Continue reading “Becoming Fire-Proof: Protecting Ourselves from Burnout”

Questions and Answers about Mindfulness

Recently I have been reading and practising Mindfulness. I have found it very helpful, so I thought it would be good to get some advice and guidance around Mindfulness. I tracked down Richard Johnston who has a website dedicated to Christian Mindfulness.

So I sent him some questions.

1. What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is our universal human capacity for attention and awareness. All people have the capacity to pay attention and to develop greater awareness regardless of faith. Continue reading “Questions and Answers about Mindfulness”

Why You Need to Welcome Ravens for Your Mental Health

The rawness of the meat was either inviting or disturbingly unappealing. Stories shared, honesty held as holy, the powerless being empowered.

For some it was too raw, too up close and uncomfortable for them to receive the gift God was offering. To take in this gift there would have to be a open vulnerability to the poor, the broken, the unqualified. Continue reading “Why You Need to Welcome Ravens for Your Mental Health”

Do You Have A Rhythm of Nourishment?

I almost overlooked it. There it was, a small little camellia flower. Deep pink, just beginning to burst out of its green cocoon.

I had almost walked passed it without noticing its gift to me. While I was busy pruning and looking at some straggly looking shrubs, I saw this little flower. Here amongst the overgrowth was a small camellia, starving for light but desiring to express its beauty out to the world. I stopped, looked and took in nourishment for the soul.

This gift of beauty was for me, right here right now. I studied its beauty and imbibed its petite delicateness.

Do you take time to smell the roses/camellias?

Continue reading “Do You Have A Rhythm of Nourishment?”