Transformation through Self-Denial (Avoiding Compulsions)

There is this space where you can hold yourself and experience transformation. You and everyone else have anxieties which drive your behavior, especially compulsive behavior. Your compulsive working, eating, talking and fidgeting are all moves to stop the feeling of anxiety or neutralize it. We believe that feeling anxiety is “bad.” If you feel any anxiety at all, it should be comforted or go away. What if you tried to avoid doing any compulsive behavior at all? Don’t look at your phone, don’t fill the silence with words, don’t think about “what you should be doing right now.” That is uncomfortable space to occupy, but there is freedom there. That space is where transformation can take place because you are not just fighting to get rid of anxiety. You are allowing it to change you. Read More

Creating Something Beautiful: The Synthesis of Our Pain

Creativity is the only thing. We all enter these states of confusion, disrepair and darkness at times. These can be particularly distressing if you don’t know what they’re about – what you can mine from them or what their meaning is in your life. But the secret is in the sauce: making sense of and meaning of your brokendownness. It’s about what beauty you can make from the ugliness, the despair. All beauty emerges from darkness. What else is life about? Read More


And I wonder if this broken-down-ness is supposed to be. Everything created enters a state of disrepair at times. Your car breaks down – you kind of expect that, but there’s brokenness in the natural world, too. Sometimes things do not work just right. Babies are born with deficits. There is disease in the human body, and turmoil among people and wildlife alike. Read More

Growth through Connection

The only real way to grow is through connection. Sometimes we think we need to pressure, prod, or push growth by telling people what to do or making a plan to which they must adhere. The only real growth in the natural world around us, though, is through cells connecting with one another. There is no real laid out plan for how plants should grow (except maybe their DNA – the plans are encoded within), and there is not someone there demanding they straighten themselves up and reach out further toward the sun. The cells just come together and through some magical interaction, plants grow. Read More

Pain as A Gateway

I am in pain with my brother. People say a lot of things when you are grieving, and you don’t hear most of them. They don’t land. They don’t even make sense. You are just in pain and all you need is for people to be there in your pain with you. You don’t need them to say anything or try to interpret why this happened or tell you it’s going to be alright or “God has a purpose.” None of that helps. Only your presence helps, your commitment to be there grieving with them until they are done. I stay in pain with my brother as long as he is in pain, however long that takes. If that takes a lifetime, I will be there. Read More

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