Embracing the Unexpected

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I want to introduce you to Donna.  I met her at a Deep Writing Workshop at Kripalu in Lenox, MA.  When I dropped myself down into the chair next to her, we somehow both knew we were meant to meet.  Over our time there, we discovered that we shared many people, places and experiences including our age.  Both of us count among our teachers in life people and places like Alaska, Thich Nhat Hahn (who we had the pleasure of seeing together), endurance exercise, attending college at institutions that had only recently become co-ed, particular life challenges, writing, mindfulness and a deep interest in lifelong learning.  Throughout their marriage, Donna and her husband, Cliff, have trekked…..I mean serious trekking.  Long treks, all over the world. In August, just after completing a 200 mile trek, Offa’s Dyke in the United Kingdom, Donna learned that she had stage 4 colon cancer.  

What?!?!?!  

Well, in Donna form, colon cancer has become a part of her journey - it is a trek she hadn’t known she was training for.  As she recently told me, “cancer is only about 2% of my experience, and who I am right now.”    She is facing this cancer head-on, all while she is also planning her next trek:  Via Francigena, 2020!  A 1,200 mile pilgrimage from Canterbury England to Rome.

She is blogging about her experience.  If you’d like to be inspired, I highly recommend that you read her blog - one she started long before being diagnosed with cancer.  The blog is called We’d Rather Be Walking.  As she describes it, it is “an honest, daily chronicle of the travel adventures of one baby-boomer couple and their sage travel companions as they take on long-distance walks, hikes and treks cross-country and around the world.  

I recommend starting at the August 7th blog which is entitled The Unexpected Journey.  Each blog is an inspiration for living fully, every day of our lives!  Enjoy.  

Mutual Anointing

In the Mutual Awakening Practice, we heal one another each time we enter into a practice. By looking into one another’s eyes, and seeing clear through to the Origination Point - that space of pure "divine” energy that exists within each of us - we anoint one another with love.

As anyone who has suffered with significant trauma or struggles with demons knows (and dare I say that is all of us), ritual anointing of this type is cleansing, calming, and necessary for healing. We can do this practice with and for anyone who chooses. No one is excluded, except by their own choice to not participate.

Victim Advocate

As many of you know, I care deeply about advocacy. In fact, I founded a site called the Heart of Advocacy because I believe that advocacy contains the potential for deep healing for each of us as individuals, and for society as a whole. When we learn to connect core to core, from that place that Thomas Merton calls the “the point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion…” we spark the deepest point of potential hidden within.

Please listen in to Erica Heilman’s podcast, Rumble Strip, about Victim Advocates. You will be awakened and inspired by the women she interviews, and the valuable and too often invisible work they do.