30 March 2010

Good Words: William Stringfellow

From A Keeper of the Word: Selected Writings of William Stringfellow, Stringfellow, a white Harvard Law educated lawyer,  writes about being himself in East Harlem:

"In order that my life and work there should have integrity, I had to be and to remain whoever I had become as a person before coming there.  To be accepted by others, I must first of all know myself and accept myself and be myself wherever I happen to be.  In that way, others are also freed to be themselves."

May we be free to accept ourselves and be ourselves so that others could also be free to be themselves.

29 March 2010

On Spirituality & Being Episcopalian

reflections of a very non-dogmatic sort

Yesterday, I drove to Oceanside to meet up with a new and good friend, Karen, who lives in San Diego.  I met Karen a few weeks ago on my UN trip and quickly connected with her.  During our conversation over Thai food, Karen said, "You're one of the most spiritual people I know.  I could tell as soon as I met you."

I was dumbfounded.  First of all, I wasn't sure if I had heard her correctly.  Did she really just say that?  And if so, why?  What does it even mean to be a "spiritual" person?

I drove home up the 5 thinking about this and asked J. when I got in.  He said, "It means that you're willing to make everyday decisions that enrich and reward your spirituality."

I pressed him.  How did he define spirituality?  J. answered by saying what it was not, "It's not religion, it's spiritual.  It's private, it's personal, and yet it's not just personal or private.  It's something other than.  It's something more."

I felt where he was going with it even though it was vague.  Spirituality, spirit--it's hard to define or explain in concrete terms.  Half the time, I don't even know what I mean.  But if pressed, I would say that it's a deeply enriching search for meaning and the experience of meaning making, encounters with a deep true self and of the divine that is consistent with reality and relationships with others.

26 March 2010

Currently Reading: The Martha Rules

The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Build, or Manage a BusinessErin Sullivan of Erin Sullivan Photography referred The Martha Rules to me  as one of the top business books that have influenced her.

I'm on Chapter 3 and already smitten with this savvy businesswoman.  If you're interested in starting a business or attracted to the idea of entrepreneurship, this book is a good way to get your feet wet.  An easy, well-paced read on Martha's business know-how.

25 March 2010

the month of march

{Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA}

The month of March was a whirlwind.  Manhattan, UN, Boston, back home, and then a road trip up to San Francisco, Oakland, Napa, Sonoma, and all the way back down the coast through Big Sur, San Simeon (Hearst Castle), Pismo Beach, and Santa Barbara.  Big Sur was glorious and I can't wait to go back and do a retreat at New Calmaldoli Hermitage.

It was my first road trip with J. and we had a blast.  We went to a wedding in Sonoma for a dear childhood friend and danced under the stars and got merry on winery wine.  We reconnected with old friends from high school and made a new one from Seattle that get this, owns a chocolate cafe!!!  We spent our nights in the Oakland Hills and enjoyed the soft gray morning light and beauty of the trees and deer nearby.

14 March 2010

back home

after a whirlwind trip back east where i encountered an international community of politics, religion, and ngo work, i am back in sleepy orange county.  things are so laaaaid back here.  i suppose you need both to have some semblance of balance.  orange county is relaxing but so disconnected from the pace of things in the rest of the world.   how do i keep doing the things that i love and that are on my heart here?  we'll find out together.  i'll be here for another year at least.