Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray to the Lord my soul to keep. If I shall die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless everyone. Amen.
This was the prayer I grew up saying every night before bed. Can I just say that rather than comforting me it scared the crap out of me? I would lay there and think, "What is a soul and why do I have to ask to keep it?" and "Could I die in my sleep?" Is it any wonder that I had countless nights where I was completely terrified to go to sleep for fear of not waking up. I was afraid of the Lord because I had to ask him to keep my soul. Why would he take it from me? I didn't put two and two together until I was a young adult that this prayer not only instilled fear in me but it left me tired and grumpy morning after morning because I would stay awake until my eyes could not stay open any longer. I was terrified of dying in my sleep or of someone stealing my soul. As I got older I revised it to....
Now I lay me down to sleep. I ask the Lord to lay with me. May the angels protect me all through the night And wake me with the morning light.
It felt better but since I have used this prayer with my daughter, I still feel like I can do better. I have tried a few different prayers and so far we like this one the best. People and kids especially take things and life so literal. Be mindful of the ways you choose to describe people, places, things, loved ones, life, etc. Make sure your words leave you and your child feeling comforted, confident and loved. Ask your child how things and words make them feel. What works for one might scare, intimidate, discourage, or sadden another. Night time can be a scary thing for children. I hated the night and would pray after my mom tucked me in for it to be morning and sunny forever. Find ways and words to comfort them so they relax peacefully into their beautiful, sweet dreams.
As I lay my head on my pillow tonight, tucked in snuggly and tight, I thank the good Lord for the day and the night.
I pray for all the hungry children in the world. May health and nourishment be the norm for every boy and girl.
May my dreams be beautiful and sweet. May I awake feeling renewed and complete.
God bless everyone. May tomorrow bring lots of love, hugs and fun.
Danielle, in her own words: I am a young woman seeking out ways to help and heal my life. I am releasing my fears and worries to enlighten and lift my being in order to better myself, my children and the world around me. I am learning to be responsible for my energy and my contribution. I live in tiny town in the middle of Illinois on 2 beautiful sandy lakes surrounded by family. I have 14 beautiful healthy nieces and nephews and 2 amazingly bright children that help me to live life on the silly side. Children are so pure and free to be. They inspire me to let loose and live optimistically. Danielle writes the column "Buddha Babies."
Mindfulness is simply the moment-by-moment awareness of life. But it’s not always so simple. We so easily get caught up in our own thoughts and self-talk that we are scarcely aware of life as it passes us by. This is very true of our eating. We eat meal after meal, snack after snack, barely aware of what we’re eating and how much we’re consuming.
Mindfulness is a return to paying attention to life. When we pay attention to our food---really pay attention---we begin to notice all sorts of wonderful aspects of the food, and we become aware of how much we’re putting into our bodies.
Mindful eating can both help you to build up your mindfulness meditation skills, and help you to eat a healthier diet. Try this simple exercise to promote mindful eating, adapted from Thich Nhat Hahn's book Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life (Bantam, 1992).
Time Required: 15-30 minutes
What You Need: • Food • A quiet place to eat • An open mind
1. Choose a time and place for eating that promotes mindful eating. Try eating in a quiet, distraction-free environment. This means no eating in front of the television.
2. Before you begin eating, look down at your food. Take in what it looks like, how it smells, and think about where it came from. See if you can notice the urge to eat (e.g., your mouth watering, the feeling of hunger), before you take a bite.
3. Put a bite in your mouth. Notice how the food feels in your mouth and what it tastes like. Before you swallow, notice the things that happen in your mouth when you put food in. Notice how you salivate, notice the urge to swallow, notice the sensation of chewing.
4. As you swallow your food, notice what that feels like. How does your stomach feel now that it is one bite fuller?
5. Repeat your mindful eating for each bite until your meal is finished. Try to decide when the meal is finished based on the sensations in your body (e.g., the feeling of fullness in your belly, no more sensation of hunger) rather than on whether your plate is clean.
Five Practical Ways to Stop Beating Yourself Up So your Inner Superstar is Free to Shine
By Amy Ahlers
“If only I were thin enough, rich enough, better-looking...THEN I could stop being so hard on myself.” Have you ever had that thought? If only your circumstances were different you could then magically shift your internal dialogue into an empowering, nurturing, loving one, right? After more than a decade of coaching people from every walk of life, I finally got it: we are hard on ourselves despite our external circumstances.
We beat ourselves up for both the big things and for the tiniest imperfections. And all this punishment isn’t helping us become more successful or to feel more fulfilled or even to get more done.
And who can blame us for being so hard on ourselves? Women have a lot on their plates: careers, romance, kids, health . . . the list goes on and on. We’re supposed to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, have incredible sex with our partners (never letting him forget he’s a man — that is, assuming he is a man), get the laundry and housework done, have healthy, accomplished kids, and a tight butt and perky boobs to boot. And it’s no easier for men. The demands of modern life make us feel like we’re supposed to enjoy being pulled in a million directions at the same time. And that we’re supposed to be as flexible as Gumby on muscle relaxers. But we’re only human.
What would happen if we gave ourselves a break?
First, it is vital that you identify the critical, catty, judgmental voice in your head as your very own Inner Critic. And I’ve got news for you: Your Inner Critic is a Big Fat Liar! She/he tells you Big Fat Lies to try to maintain the status quo and keep you in your comfort zones - even if your comfort zones aren’t all that comfortable.
If you want to take control of your happiness, it’s time to take Your Inner Critic out of the driver’s seat.
Try the five tips below to ditch Your Inner Critic:
Tip One: Identify Your Inner Critic’s Top 10 List of places, situations, and environments where she/he likes to show up and criticize. Is it at work? Social events? In bed? Whenever you look in the mirror? Once you know what circumstances are likely to trigger Your Inner Critic, you can be better prepared to deal with that voice.
Tip Two : Draw, doodle or sketch a picture of Your Inner Critic. Is he pudgy with big glasses? Perfectly pressed in pink? A slob with a cigarette in one hand and a martini in the other? Don’t worry if you think you can’t draw. No one will ever see this but you, so go for it! Having a mental image of the voice that tortures you – particularly a funny image – can instantly take away some of Your Inner Critic’s power.
Tip Three: Get to know Your Inner Critic on a deeper level. Notice what makes him louder, and notice what diminishes her power. What happens if you just yell “Shut up!”? What if you just look her calmly in the eye and reassure her that everything is going to be all right? Maybe he needs a compliment every now and then? After all, Inner Critics need love too.
Tip Four: What are Your Inner Critic’s favorite Big Fat Lies about you? What does he/she say to you over and over? Is it, “You’re a Failure,” “You’re Unlovable,” or “You’re Not Enough?” Your Inner Critic will collect evidence to make the case that you’re not good enough, even twisting things around when necessary. Your Inner Critic will do everything possible to back up those favorite punishing, disappointing, sad stories about you and your worth, so it’s up to you to remember the good stuff about you, no matter how convincing she/he seems.
Tip Five: Do this powerfully simple three step process to see through Your Inner Critic’s Big Fat Lies:
· Step One: Ask yourself, “What is my Inner Mean Girl/Inner Critic saying?” Give voice to the Big Fat Lies you are believing. Speak them – get them out of the darkness and into the light so they can be healed. Don’t hold back here . . . rant! Let it out!
· Step Two: Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and ask yourself, “What does my Inner Wisdom know?” Sink into the land of your Inner Wisdom’s Truth. This is the place that feels grounded. It feels like home. Really let the Truth wash all over you and disintegrate the Big Fat Lies. Ahhh . . . that feels better!
· Step Three: Lock in your Inner Wisdom’s Truth by repeating it (aloud if possible) accompanied by a physical gesture that reinforces the message. My Inner Wisdom has me lightly touch my heart; I have one client who waves his hand as though he were testifying in church and another who touches her belly. This gesture becomes your touchstone, reminding you to step into Truth and feel better.
Shifting your focus to your Inner Wisdom will always bring you in line with your Truth and Compassion, and you will always feel better. As you practice this process more and more, you’ll find your Inner Superstar coming to life.
Amy Ahlers ,the Wake-Up Call coach and cofounder of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School, is the author of Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves: Ditch Your Inner Critic and Wake Up Your Inner Superstar. Visit her online at http://www.wakeupcallcoaching.com/
Once a year a special day rolls around, a truly American holiday where we actually pause, give thanks, and count our blessings—individually, and as a nation. If your family is like mine, once everyone is seated around the Thanksgiving table, a quick prayer of thanks may be offered, but when done, we dive in like vultures to taste, savor and overindulge. Forget gratitude, let’s eat!
To make sure my family was aware of the many blessings in our life, I wanted to find a way to extend and deepen this all-to-brief moment of gratitude. If you care to deepen your Thanksgiving experience, as well, allow me to share a Gratitude Ceremony I devised to mark this special day, to make it one we would not soon forget.
THE GRATITUDE BOWL
Choose a large wooden bowl and fill it with clean sand. Place it in the middle of your holiday table.
Place votive candles—one for each person at the table—into the bowl.
One-by-one, have each one light his or her candle and say aloud something they are grateful for.
That's it. Simple, but powerful.
Here is what transpired at our family table the first time we performed our "Gratitude Ceremony."
Once all were seated, grace said, I informed my family what we were about to do. Upon hearing they would have to express something aloud they were grateful for, the usual reactions set in. My two daughters loved it and excitedly began to chatter about what they would say. My son did the expected— a deep sigh of exasperation accompanied by a dramatic roll of the eyes. I could hear his mental wheels turning: "Oh, no! Another one of mom's weird things." Other relatives looked ill at ease.
My daughters went first, thinking it great fun. Each one lit her candle and offered a sweet token of verbal gratitude—one for the presence of our loyal, loving dog; the other for friends and family.
Now it was my son's turn. He remained eerily silent. "I can't think of anything I'm grateful for," he said, and continued to stare into the bowl with the hope that an appropriate gratitude would emerge from beneath the sand. No such luck. I reassured him that it was alright, that perhaps something would come to him and he could share it later.
Mine went something like this: “I am so grateful to have each of you to love.” Other relatives chimed in with thoughts of health, employment, and so on.
As we ate our meal, the candles burned brightly. I occasionally glanced at my son as he continued to gaze into the flickering flames. I knew he was still pondering what he could possibly be grateful for.
Our dinner came to an end and it was time to begin the monumental task of clearing and washing the dishes. My son halted our movements in mid-stream by his proclamation—"I've got one! I've got a gratitude." He was grateful for the dinner and for all of us being together. His final comment took us by surprise. "I really liked this Mom, this candle thing, I mean. Can we do it again next year?"
A chorus of concurring voices chimed in.
Someone then asked if we could repeat the whole scenario at Christmas. Of course, I said, yes. A deep sense of love and appreciation washed over me. And, I must admit, I felt like doing a little happy dance, complete with victory whoops. I was able to get them to do one of those "weird" things where we make a special memory and move to a deeper place in our relationships. Chalk one up for the Gratitude Bowl!
This holiday season, I invite you to explore unique ways in which you and yours can proclaim your gratitude and blessings to one another. The Gratitude Bowl does work wonders, but it is just a prop. Each one of us can learn to seek out and express the blessings that surround us. A “gratitude attitude” can be ours, moment by moment, not just at holiday times, but every single day of the year.
Everyone Longs for the Awakened Heart by Elizabeth Glixman
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you." ~ Margery Williams The Velveteen Rabbit
Today when I woke up my green Gund Bear Teddy was doing the legs up the wall pose Viparita Karani at the foot of my bed. He wore the purple beads my mother won at bingo when she was old and walked with her walker through the halls of the housing complex nudging aside those in her way- she was determined to be first at the game room to get the best seat. Teddy is a winner too, a different kind of winner. He is less bold, more introspective with his goals He does not articulate them even to me. With his legs up the wall I can see him abdominally breathing. My mother’s beads and the string the Lama gave me at the meditation group blessed by Tibetan Buddhist monks falls downward around his body. He is not disturbed by this dangling. Teddy is one pointed and mindful. He has what it takes to create an awakened heart. I admire his resolve I do not want to break it by telling him he is not real.
Elizabeth P. Glixman is a poet, writer and artist. Her poetry, fiction, nonfiction, interviews and artwork have been published on the Web and in print magazines and anthologies. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, A White Girl Lynching (2008) and Cowboy Writes a Letter & Other Love Poems (2010), both published by Pudding House Publications, Ohio. A new poetry chapbook The Wonder of It All will be published by Alternating Currents. Elizabeth uses mind body spirit modalities to help manage and heal from chronic fatigue syndrome. Read more at http://www.spiritofchange.org/alternative-medicine/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-more-than-just-being-tired
Check out Elizabeth’s blog to find links to her recent work and check out her crossposting blog where she posts information on urgent homeless dogs and cats in animal shelters. http://elizabeth-inthemoment.blogspot.com/
Within its pages, she invited the reader to begin keeping a gratitude journal. She wrote: “... you simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life."
I was taken by the idea and pulled together a group of kindred women to study her book and to begin the process of living with “simple abundance.” We met every Monday and agreed to begin our personal Gratitude Journals, though a few of us were rather skeptical about the promised results.
I know I was, especially the first day of journal-keeping when I could not complete the basic task of writing down five things you were grateful for. I could only come up with three. Life was difficult then. My marriage was failing and I was struggling with poor health ...
Needless to say I remember the three things I did write to this day as if they were cast in stone:
The sounds of birds outside my window
The smell of coffee brewing in the morning
The laughter of my children in the next room
That was it. That was all I could come up with in terms of gratitude on that cold February day.
I persisted through the process of recording my "gratitudes" daily and our group members did too. It got easier; gratitude grew. (I was able to finally come up with five each day—sometimes even more.) This journey felt like we were at the health club, lifting weights together, growing our spiritual muscles by the day, gratitude by recorded gratitude. Within three weeks we were stunned by the results. We were more grateful, appreciative of life, in tune with the simple, yet extravagant pleasures of our daily lives. Life was good--no matter what was happening.
As I write these thoughts today, my heart still floods with gratitude for all the small, seemingly insignificant things that find their way into my daily awareness:
A warm and soft bed to sleep in each night. The gentle breathing of my husband in the middle of the night. A cell phone that keeps me connected to my children far away. The sound of birds calling at dawn’s first light. This computer with which I can write this words. And coffee, always the satisfying and pungent aroma of the day’s first cup ...
These simple things sustain me. What are your simple and daily abundances?
This magazine, its gifted and selfless writers, along with its readers, continue to inspire and delight me. I am grateful for all that we are and all that we are becoming here. We are changing, as you can see. And we will continue to do so over the next few months, so we thank you ahead of time for your patience and support.
There is a new sparkle and verve within its pages, as is the ever-present invitation to ground and center ourselves in the majesty of the moment; to live awake and aware so that not one precious day of life is wasted; and to keep our hearts open to ourselves and others. To be born as a human being, as the Buddha taught, is a rare and priceless gift. May we honor, live and use it as best we can.
I invite you to feast on these gratitude-inspired articles. I'm confident that lift your heart and help you soar through your day with appreciation:
And, on a personal note, I am deeply grateful these days—heart open wide—because of Jack Kornfield’s new book, A Lamp in the Darkness. I share my thoughts on it in a review that accompanies our monthly Giveaway. To do, as Jack advises ...
“Be the potter of your own life. Center yourself at the wheel. Find the stillpoint.”
... will always bring us home to the domain of the open heart and of gratitude.
Jan Lundy, Editor
Buddha Chick Life
p.s. Congratulations to two winners! Aimie will be the recipient of Healing Touch by Dorothea Hover-Kramer and Terry is the winner of Deva Premal's CD, "Password." Enjoy these fabulous resources!
Laura is a mother, wife, visual artist, writer, singer-songwriter and experiential educator combining art, yoga, meditation and Jewish spirituality. She is also a Creativity Coach, SoulCollage® facilitator and Spiritual Director. Throughout the past 11 years of child rearing, teaching, facilitating and eventually coaching and spiritual direction, she has also been ill with a wide variety of symptoms receiving several different diagnoses. On September 3, 2009 after an emergency room visit, she was finally diagnosed with RRMS (relapsing remitting ms). While no longer able to work outside her home, she continues to be engaged in the world through blogging regularly and offering individual services via the Internet and phone conferencing. As challenging as living with a chronic, disabling disease is she feels that in many ways, MS has expanded her heart, mind, soul and appreciation for all the things her body IS able to do. “It seems that as the neural connections in my central nervous system decrease, my compassion toward my own lived experience and toward all beings increases. For this I am deeply grateful.” Laura's columns focus on "Healing with Gratitude."
In a world where we have routines for nearly everything—our route to work, our physical fitness regimen, our weekday schedule, and taking care of our children and family—it’s amazing how many women forget to create a routine for meeting their spiritual needs. We run around in an attempt to be on time to our many appointments and to meet our many obligations. In our efforts to be as productive as possible, however, our spiritual needs tend to take a backseat. After all, taking care of our spiritual needs doesn’t directly pay the bills, get food on the table, take our kids to basketball practice, or tone our bodies to match the perfect woman we see on the covers of magazines while waiting in line at the grocery store. We may even wonder who has time to meditate or write in their journal when there are more pressing matters to see to. The truth is that nurturing ourselves spiritually is what gives us the energy and grounding we need to make sure that our lives stay on track. Women need self-compassion and we need it now! Nurturing your spirituality is indeed a daily act of compassion that leads to joy, peace and contentment.
How you choose to nurture yourself spiritually is a personal choice. For some people, meditating once a day or engaging in prayer may be what they need to stay centered. While spending 10-20 minutes with your eyes closed and your brain devoid of thought may seem like a lot of time doing nothing, this state of "nothingnes"s actually allows you to stay calm and focused so you can be as productive as possible. It brings clarity that allows us to make wise choices. Writing in your journal everyday lets you stay in touch with yourself so that you are always tuned in to your feelings. This is one of my favorite practices and one I have come to appreciate. When you write down your thoughts and emotions on paper it allows you to see what area (s) in your life you're experiencing growth spurts and also where you may need to work to "let go" of negative mindsets. Have you ever written yourself a "love letter"? I know it may sound silly but it will cultivate your divine essence as a woman and make you feel so darn good! Repeating affirmations for success, happiness, and well-being on a regular basis can help you live with optimism and enthusiasm and create what you want in life.
Having a routine for nurturing your spirit, one that you do each day, lets you feed energy to your soul and can serve you well if your life suddenly takes an unexpected turn toward a difficult period. Every single day there will be something that will pop up to can shake our foundation. When this happens to me, I am able to calm my mind with "Metta Meditation." I start my day with fifteen minutes of yoga then prayer and meditation. This kind of routine grounds your spirit in your body so that you stay anchored in your true self as you move through each day. Nurturing yourself spiritually allows you to not only stay on course in life, but it allows for your life to stay in alignment with what your spirit wants and needs. It brings you equanimity in the midst of what can feel like a stormy sea.
As women we put somewhere far way down on the list, even last. We can actually convince our self that we are doing a great job juggling work, home, and daily life when, in fact, we are ready to explode, and may not even be aware of it. As women, in fact, the most important "to do" each day is to live with a heart of self-compassion by placing our needs on the top of our own list. I know what you may be thinking, "That is being selfish, self-absorbed, not anyway near how I was raised to be a wife, mother or career woman." These thoughts are actually causing you self-sabotage. When you place your very being, your spiritual needs and wants first, you are cultivating happiness, love, joy, and peace in your life. When you are spiritually happy you have more of yourself to offer. When you feel happy, you will make others feel happy; when you feel contentment, others will feel contentment. I am sure by now you are catching on.
Be the "woman you were meant to be." Awaken to live in alignment with Spirit and watch your life manifest calmness, clarity, and a heart of love and wisdom.
Cindy Hively calls the Roanoke Valley in Virginia her home. She is surrounded by beautiful mountains that inspire and heal her everyday. Having worked twenty five years in the retail industry, she moved up quickly and loved her career, but had to quit work due to chronic illness. She is on a healing journey through Metta meditation, mindfulness practices and self compassion. Read more of Cindy Hively here:
Under Cover Buddha Chick: "Contemptuous Companioning"
by Under Cover Buddha Chick
Good Church Lady wakes up with a start! Peering over Inner Buddha Chick’s shoulder from the back seat, she barks, “Where’s that book that you studied back in the ‘80s - Unmasking the New Age? I think it’s time you take another look at that!”
Gently, I remind Good Church Lady that I am learning a new way and ask her if perhaps there really isn’t anything new under the sun as the wisdom writer suggests in the book of Ecclesiastes.
Driving along, I consider how I lived back then - Reacting out of fear and ignorance, and programmed resistance, it was a time of keen suspicion and outright fear of all things “New Age,”
May God have mercy.
Now, I wonder what I may have missed. Well, here is a second chance. A time to consider the likes of Rumi - another wisdom writer -who said,
Listen. Make a way for yourself. Stop looking in the other way of looking.
From here on, I am looking in a new direction – away from fear and towards peace and calm. To help me learn this new way, I’ve adopted a practice that involves choices – letting go of old habits – developing new habits – all the while reminding myself over and over again, that I can reinforce the cultivation of authentic living – tempered with healthy self awareness, self-compassion and loving kindness by repeating as a mantra, Inner peace is mine, one choice at a time.
A variation of that chant is Inner peace is mine, one thought at a time.
These phrases reinforce new learnings and help me remember that it really is as simple as changing the radio station when weed thoughts begin to choke out my peace.
Good Church Lady doesn’t want to hear any of this – in fact, she panics at the mention of the word MANTRA.
I take a deep breath. Good Church Lady’s hyper vigilance is wearing thin. I’m finding her presence to be a bit of a drag. She hangs like an albatross around my neck. I find myself feeling ashamed – at a loss for wasted years. Glancing in the rearview mirror, I see her smirking and smug in her certaintudes and strict conformities. Her scorn drifts overhead like a thick fog that threatens to smother. I sigh. In a way, it was so easy to live behind the mask that she wears. Narrow as her dogma is, I knew what I believed and why. Now it seems that I live with more questions than answers. Besides, I clearly see that that mask covers my true self. Yet, Good Church Lady and I have shared a lot of experiences and she is part of my identity. Reviewing what Thomas Merton has to say about identity, I recognize that my personal beliefs and convictions are being challenged.
What is meant by identity? For practical purposes here we are talking about one's own authentic and personal beliefs and convictions, based on experience of oneself as a person, experience of one's ability to choose and reject even good things which are not relevant to one's own life.
(Some helpful thoughts from Contemplation in a World of Action by Thomas Merton. Notre Dame, Indiana: Notre Dame Press, 1998 pg. 61.)
I have to admit that I am in a place of theological upheaval Oh; it terrifies me to admit that some things no longer work for me. I’ve come to a place where there is more that I’ll have to let go of. One of those is my cramped God concept. Even so, I don’t think that that is the main issue here. The question is what do I do with Good Church Lady? I don’t like her gawking over my shoulder with contempt and criticism while I explore all these new learnings.
Taking another deep breath, I refocus. Clearly, it has become more than apparent that Good Church Lady is Ego. I realize that by letting her dominate she appears like an alien life form on a mission of Ego Abduction. Self awareness gives me cues – here is where choices come in. In this case, I recognize that she tries to keep me disconnected from my True Self – my authentic self – my spirit self. The temptation is to reason with her – try to explain how all these new learnings will …..Yet, intuitively, I sense that this will drain my energy and take away from my focus. I want to learn how to be compassionate with Good Church Lady. Might I even be able to befriend her? There are times lately where I find her despicable. Sometimes I feel myself wavering under her scrutiny – I want her to just go away. She is a hard task master. Yet, she is a part of who I am and I am getting the sense that I have a great deal to learn from her. How then, can I disengage – viewing her more dispassionately as one who has shared in so many experiences without allowing her to define who I am. This feels like I’m right back at the beginning - It feels like some kind of crazy line dance. Not really getting anywhere, it feels a bit schizophrenic. I suppose that a more compassionate way of looking at this is to say that this is a sacred dance –two steps forward, one step back. All’s I know is that I need some help. How can I befriend her? How can I meld the old with the new? Meld - The word suggests a softening – an actual melting – a letting go - and a steely strength of deep listening and feeling as I simply let my little light of authentic life shine. This is integration.
Undercover Buddha Chick is a woman who longs to live more and more out of her true self – to live authentically. To live simply. To live without fear – or, at least, to be courageous in the face of fear. To live with an open heart. To be more mindful - as one who has eyes to see and ears to hear what’s really going on within herself. One who dares to lay down pre-conceived notions, prejudices and judgments.
She’s someone who longs for authentic community – who longs to engage in conversation without manipulation or pretense. She longs to come out of the shadows and live clear, calm and wise. In short, she wants to be a better human being.