The Key Building Your Own World

new world map

“If you can’t survive in this world, you had better make a world of your own.” – Jeanette Winterson

This quote has been North on my life’s compass for about a decade now, since I was first introduced to the mind-expanding works of Ms. Winterson. When I first read it I underlined it not once, as was standard, but twice—and then sprinkled stars around it. I knew I had found scripture.

As someone who often felt and at times expressed that “I wasn’t made for this world,” this quote was a warm blanket—a knowing that I wasn’t alone in an otherwise lonely world.

When I was in my mid-20s, high on the first glimpses of enlightenment, convinced I could change the world through a bumper sticker, I created a website called The Passion Project. I loved that project with my whole soul. The entire mission of the website was driven by the above quote: I was trying, through extreme measures, to make a world of my own. A lot of people in my life thought the website/idea was radical but I brushed those comments off because, hello!, I was and am and always will be radical. Radical is who I am—proudly. If you don’t know that by now, you don’t know me. Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

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