Remembering All We Have Lost — #TDOR

 In the back of the kindergarten classroom, there was a play area. Every day, we kids were allowed free time to play back there, at least on the days it was too cold or rainy to go outside and play on the playground.The play area was divided in two halves. One for boys, one for girls. In the boys’ play area, there were lots of wooden and cardboard blocks, and some metal trucks. There was also quite a bit of empty floor space, perfect for creating construction zones and imagined b … [Read more...]

“Radical Gratitude: Hearing the Call” – a poem

    November is national gratitude month. With that in mind, I wanted to share a poem with you that I wrote about choosing gratitude, perhaps with grateful self-talk, even and especially, through the hard things.This poem is from the perspective of my "grateful-self" talking to my "needing-encouragement-self". I hope you enjoy it. Radical Gratitude: Hearing the Call By Riley O'Brien PowellCome hither dear and hear the call,Through the rustling … [Read more...]

Unboxing

They’re nothing more exciting than a box. Cats love them - usually empty. Kids use them as fuel for endless expressions of imagination. We get gifts in them. Send gifts in them. We get practical things out of boxes and extravagant things. Boxes are great. And so, it’s no wonder that we talk about the way we see the world as putting things in boxes or insisting that we are box breakers.From early in life we learn to categorize and order the world around us. Mom usually gets her own box. Then c … [Read more...]

Slave to Love

When did this happen?  She felt like an overcooked porkchop...Where was her essence, flavor or juiciness for life?  Curiosity dried up;  just a slave to lists, responsibilities and have to's.  When had she last danced a samba naked, wild  pulsating heart matching a sultry bassline?  Her heart restless and  bones dry, she desired passion and tenderness whether in the forest alone or beneath the covers with her lover. She had read in 1 corinthians 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, I don't … [Read more...]

I am not you but I am not other than you, either

Taking my title one step further we read James Finley's words:"As this soaks into me, what are the implications of this in the way I act in the world, in relationships with other people?"Such is life.We travel across the ocean to see the eiffel tower's dazzling lights This very same afternoon as we strolled the belgian blocked, pedestrian-only streets, apple tarte tatin in hand we came upon a walking skeleton of a man. He didn't speak any English and put out his hand … [Read more...]

When Church Island Crumbles

Spoiler Alert: If you have not seen Disney's Inside Out, this post contains the basic plot of the story but without giving away the ending.I’d like to introduce you Riley. She is the blond, 11-year-old girl who stars in the animated hit, Inside Out. The story of Inside Out revolves around the adventures of the emotions that make up who we are, and what happens when they start to change. In the movie we not only see Riley as she navigates a big cross country move and all of the uncertainty t … [Read more...]

The Long Overdue Conversation about Mental Illness

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you. - Rita Mae Brown Mental illness is the last frontier. The gay thing is part of everyday life now on a show like Modern Family, but mental illness is still full of stigma. Maybe it is time for that to change. - Eric McCormack Trigger warning: This post describes an incident of self-harm and mentions su … [Read more...]

El Camino: A Pilgrim’s Path To Inner & Outer Peace

El Camino: The Sacred PathWhat is pilgrimage? Wikipedia, our new god of definition, defines it as: a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance.What is pilgrimage? Is it leaving the world behind or is it carrying it on your back? Is it both?Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land called Venice Beach, on my mutual birthday with one of my closest friends we took a pilgrimage to Los Angeles and found our way to tattoos. Mine, on my wrist, reads: Every Journey is a … [Read more...]

Buddha Inside/Jesus Outside

Tonight Great Spirit said,' your story is ready to be birthed. Your peace has been lodged in the birth canal and is fading from lack of inspiration. Breathe forth!!!'Two years ago I dreamed of a paper with two paths drawn— one labeled ‘wounded healer’ and the other I could not decipher but knew it said the same thing. I lie in the French Broad River of North Carolina in early July and expose my palms announcing, pleading really, ‘Open my wounds to grace and reveal God’s glory!’. I really need … [Read more...]

Hurtful Words Hurt

Who has helped you utter these words?  And whose spirit spoke from your mouth? (Job 26:4 NIV)There are millions of new combinations of words created every day, combinations that are put here, on the web, for anyone to view. And there’s one thing that not enough people are concerned about, one thing we think can't be helped, one important thing about all those words.A lot of them are hurtful. Some intentionally so.Talking with my therapist Wednesday, I said, “I just don’t understand wh … [Read more...]


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