The Vienna Period: The Hope Rooms

Hope

The machine pumps like a heart in the background. An awkward double-clicking on the inhale, the sound of pressure releasing on the exhale. Click, click; psssssh. It is a sound many others have heard in similar rooms—in rooms where the common denominator is hope. The Hope Rooms, where every day is a coin toss, where things can go this way or that way and no one really knows. The rooms where life and death plea their cases.

Who is the ultimate judge?

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The Vienna Period: On being a gypsy soul

You’re approaching 30. Tick tock. You should focus on buying a house, a more reliable car – a bigger one, for the children that should come in no time. Family is the most important thing. Put your money into a 401K – read books about 401Ks and shit. Money is important. Appliance shopping is fun. Continue reading

The Vienna Period: Letting nature run its course

I left Sedona when everything was dead. Not dying; dead.

At the time (a little over one week ago now) I sensed Spring would be any day now–the bones and the guts said so. And it wouldn’t be such a struggle this year, as in previous years where the sprouts writhed to break through in the dank cold. In fact, if you looked closely, which I did, you could see the daffodil shoots just barley poking through the mud already.

But there would be, of course, one more downpour. We received a lot of precipitation before my departure and the entire weekend I cried with the rain. (I’m not afraid to say publicly that it’s been a hard time. American society’s definition of weakness and mine are very different.) I was alone; have been alone; will be alone now. My leaving America for a long period forced a long, hard goodbye I had been struggling with to finally become final–a war of a goodbye. I was in need of a good cleanse.

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The forgotten element of wellness

Originally posted on Wellness & Writing Retreats and Consulting website on November 14, 2013.

soul polished

Did you know they took the soul out of psychology? Psyche as defined by the dictionary is “breath, principle of life, soul.” Psychology, then, must be the study of such a soul, I thought. But when I scrolled a few lines down in the dictionary to the word Psychology, I found this: “the science of mind and behavior.”

Hmmm…

I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked then at the omission of “soul” from the definition of “wellness,” too, which is “the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of a deliberate effort.”

I am shocked, though, and here’s why: Until we nourish our souls, wellness will never be completely had. That’s right, never; because wellness is in fact about the soul—it’s a direct relationship. Any “good” feelings of health are only cursory without awareness of and attention to the soul. Continue reading

My coming out story — but not the one you’re thinking of

John O'Donohue quote

I was punished time after time during my years at a Christian private school (pre-K until 4th grade) for everything from teaching the boys how to kiss to adamantly offering my opinion on the extreme bullshit of the parting of the Red Sea.

Overall my life has not been about religion or even the core beliefs at the base of each one of them: Love, Compassion, Joy, Wellness, Community.

No, no, no.

Bars, drinks, women, parties, shitty food, consumerism, emotional infancy, overall toxicity—these are the things that I know. Driving down the road of life, these were the exits I made, over and over again. These were my habits. Any signs—invitations—that dealt with higher consciousness, I rarely saw, and if I did, I scoffed at them and partied on.

That changed by accident about seven years ago when I moved to Portland, Oregon, and inadvertently fell into the rabbit hole of spirituality by guise of physical health—there emerged an unrelenting voice in my head telling me I needed to start being healthy to my body, or else. Continue reading