Wisdom — An Online Series Beginning June 4, 2020

I think one of my favorite parts of this online series that I’m co-hosting with Quanita Roberson, that begins June 4th is this notion:

In these days,
it is not more tools that we need; it is more connection.
It is not more information that we need; it is more wisdom.

This series is NOT a training of easy steps that assure neat and tidy outcome. It IS a communing of people readied by life circumstance to develop a different relationship with forgiveness, and the doorway that creates to wisdom.

This online series mixes teaching, sharing stories, asking questions, wondering and wandering to territories known and not known. There will be whole group and small group interaction. This series mixes insights found in both words shared and silence welcomed.

Week 1: Anger
Week 2: Grief 
Week 3: Compassion 
Week 4: Grace 

We want to help all of us go deeper, more able to insert wisdom — thought, heart, belly, spirit, and practice — to the plethora of chaotic circumstance that accompany 21st century life.

Registration is open. Join us as a wisdom seeker and wisdom contributor.

Blessing (Inspired By Flight)

I’ve been reading a bit of John O’Donohue lately, the Irish Poet and Writer (1956 – 2008). Reading with delight. With instinctive pause after seeing his words, knowing that I want them not just in my mind, but in my belly.

A favorite, and goto book for me is his Book of Blessings. It’s dandy. Soulful. Accessible. Loaded with great imagery. I was glad to hear recently from my older sister that she was moved by the copy of “Book of Blessings” that I gave to her. A favorite for her is this blessing “For Equilibrium“.


For Equilibrium

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.”


Inspired a bit by the flight I was on yesterday, marveling again at what it feels like to be above the clouds, and then return to earth, I wrote this kind of blessing — that I wish for others and for myself, that I wish for the groups I get to be with, and for the individuals that mingle among them.

May the open sky, should we ever be able to see it,
remind us of our vastness.
May we have clouds to catch us,
or perhaps create a perception of being caught and held.
May we never forget what is below, in ourselves and in others,
nor be negligent in our willingness to get there and to explore there too.

Grace — Anne Lamott


This morning I walked in my neighborhood.

Down Lakeview Drive, which if you stretch your gaze past industrial development in the distance,  you can actually see Utah Lake. This is an area of Utah County that I often describe as “rural meets urban.”

Along Lakeview there are a few farms, holding up the rural part of the meeting. One of those has goats, that seem quite ready to have little goats with this arrival of Spring. I took this goat’s picture this morning, who came near me at the fence.

I hadn’t planned on walking this morning. I needed it. I just didn’t know that. Something in me wanted grounding, the physicality of the place in which I live. There is grace in the encounter. I was changed, ever so slightly to the delight of the simple and the physical — just a guy taking an early morning walk. And then there were goats.

Anne Lamott, an American writer and activist says of grace,

I do not understand at all the mystery that is Grace —
only that it meets us where we are
but does not leave us where it found us.

I used these words yesterday as an “end point” for a circle of 10 of us that were present for The Circle Way Board Call. This was not the grace of some miraculous transition. This was the simple grace, for me, of turning to one another, not just willing to be moved, but expecting to be moved.

Whether just taking a walk, or expecting to be moved because of how we attend to what we attend to — like we did in yesterday’s board call, I’m glad that grace is available.

To leave us changed, and I would say opened, from where we began.




The Need For Grace

I’ve been thinking lately that in times such as these, we all need grace.

I suppose you could say in every moment and as part of a grand spiritual story. That may be important, but I’m not thinking that kind of grace. I’m not thinking rescue. I’m not thinking penance or guilt or shame. I’m thinking more about the intensity of times. About the natural complexity within which most of us live. We all wear many hats. We all are compressed for time. We all are bombarded with massive amounts of information and distraction. We are all asked to cooperate.

What I’m able to see in myself and in others, personally and professionally, is that we all will have our moments when we aren’t at our best. Not because we aren’t trying for the better. Not because we aren’t aware and committed to some layer of “higher self” (which might just be letting go into all of who we already are). Life and work is full. And sometimes contradicting. And sometimes just befuddling. And sometimes not fair. And, and, and….

The need for grace is inevitable. Among us. Between us. In ourselves, for ourselves.

Yesterday was a bit of a melt-down day for me (and when I say “bit” I mean “full on”). I’d returned with my two adult children (one of whom turns 21 today), and my young teen. We’d been on family vacation to British Columbia, meeting as we have for so many years with my parents, and with my niece and nephew and their respective partners. It’s a 15 hour drive one way. It’s a lot of car time. It’s listening to music. It’s listening to a few movies (and watching for the non-drivers). It’s grazing on a packed lunch of bunwiches. It’s eating sunflower seeds, just the right level of activity to promote alertness. We’ve learned how to pass that time, and, well, I love the feel of the open road. But I was exhausted. The transition from family space to regular life, catching up life in Utah was a bit abrupt.

Not my best self yesterday. Not my most grounded self. Not my most patient self. Not my most aware self. I was just tired. Enough to burst into sobbing tears when alone.

To be clear, I’m for emotional responsibility and maturity. I’m not oriented to free-style dumping emotions on someone with an expectation of fix. I’ve witness too many adult tantrums disguised as expressions of higher emotional IQ. But, having said that, let’s get back to grace. Every living human won’t be at best all of the time. That’s rather obvious, right. And yet, as obvious as that is, I’m learning to simply be kind with self and others in the reality of those times.

My friends remind me that kids will make mistakes and do stupid things. They are supposed to figure things out. They are supposed to fail a bit, or maybe a lot. My friends remind me that we all live in phases. Some as young adults wandering. Some as teens overstating most everything. Some as more-cooked adults learning the basics, again, and then again, again.

Grace matters. For all of us. Not just them. Not just us. All of us. It’s inevitable. Not a failure of development. Just a reality of life, as common as the rising sun.