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The Perfect Ceiling


One amazing Friday evening, I was hosting a workshop at an enlightenment center; a converted church where most of the original amenities remained. A beautiful building that had seen better days, its sacredness endured. The workshop, “Writing Your Spiritual Truth,” explored how participants found their faith, what life events lead them to their specific path and why they’d passionately adhered.

We talked about various religious beliefs, some organized, some not so much and each member of the group wrote in their personal journals using prompts to open their memories and explore details. Of the 35 people there, from vastly different backgrounds, no two held the same truth in their hearts...


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Dinner with Ghosts

            Late one afternoon, I decided to pick up the ingredients to make my mom’s famous Swedish meatballs. It was a chilly Saturday and they are my definitive comfort food. I was hungry for memories, though I’ll confess, I’d made just a few changes in the recipe since she passed away 16 years ago. The occasional rumblings beneath my feet were undoubtedly her shifting in her grave. Change was not easy for her, so I can imagine how she handled the ultimate transition. A morbid smile creeps across my lips - we had a complicated relationship.  

            My mother, Thelma, always followed her mother’s recipe with psychotic conviction; half devotion and half terror. This one recipe unlocks the mystery of my ancestry. My grandmother, a bitter woman named Hilda, was everything her name implies – a staunch, strict, steadfast Swede with a strong, taut mouth and pinhole eyes. Veering from her tried-and-true recipe was risky at best.

            Hilda could freeze ice with a glance. I know this because her vintage portrait still hangs in my hallway...

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Sometimes the past still tries to teach us something – even if it’s just to move on.
Peeling Labels

          When fronting one of my Spiritual Exploration workshops, I ask that participants bring pen and paper and be ready to write. As a first step to self discovery, I tell everyone to number 1–10 on the page. At the top, they write the statement… “I am…” and then fill in the blanks.

          At first, it seems easy; the obvious readily springs to mind. “I am… a woman, man, mother, father, daughter, etc.” How we identify in relation to others invariably comes first. Occupations usually come next; groomed from birth to identify with our professions. Ethnicity — ancestry, roots and history follows. The first 10 are comparatively easy, but rarely comprise what makes us unique as individuals. After completed, I ask for an additional 10 identifiers...


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Closet Space


            Friends are like clothes, they suit us, and we select them several ways. You don’t need a closet crammed full of them. If you do, you’ll discover over time most of them don’t quite fit anymore, or you can’t recall what you were thinking when you selected them in the first place. As you read on, keep that metaphor in mind.

            Some clothes might have holes, worn elbows or frayed edges. There will be certain ones that may not look their best anymore, they may have faded, lost their brilliance, but they’re your absolute favorites because they’re comfortable. They’re there for you when you need to feel warm, and safe, and they disguise your flaws. They’re shaped just like you. They don’t look for checks and balances for the time you spend with them. They don’t get mad when you haven’t visited for a while; they know you have your reasons.

            A full closet means nothing. As a rule, it should be periodically explored, evaluated and purged...


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Like clothes, the friends we choose say a lot about who we are… maybe it’s time to clean house.

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