Using your body to take your place in life

prison-cell-hands-bars

Imagine you are in an 8×12 cell in the county jail. The cell has bunk beds, so add another person. The jail is overcrowded so add a third person who sleeps on a cot on the floor. And add a toilet. You’re in this cell for 18 hours per day; if there’s an incident in the jail, then you may be in your cell for 23 hours per day. This is the situation at the Skagit County Jail where I serve on the jail chaplaincy team.  Continue reading “Using your body to take your place in life”

Inserting Trampolines

Noam Sauls drawing
[image from ”The Body Keeps the Score”. Drawing by Noam Saul]

“On September 11, 2001, five-year old Noam Saul witnessed the first passenger plane slam into the World Trade Center from the windows of his first-grade classroom at PS 234, less than 1,500 feet away. He and his classmates ran with their teacher down the stairs to the lobby, where most of them were reunited with their parents who had dropped them off at school just moments earlier. Noam, his older brother, and their dad were three of the tens of thousands of people who ran for their lives through the rubble, ash, and smoke of lower Manhattan that morning.”

This story is told by Bessel Van der Kolk M.D., in his book, “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma”. He continues.. Continue reading “Inserting Trampolines”

You should have seen the Look on His Face!

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[Or, ”I Want to Share My Joy with You, Part 2]

One of the gifts of St Ignatius that the Jesuits have carried on is the idea of Composing the Place or Entering the Story. I’ve done this here and there on my own and in Skagit County Jail in my jail chaplaincy there with Tierra Nueva. Basically, you take a scripture passage from the gospels – one with Jesus in it – and enter into the story in your imagination using ALL five of your senses. It’s an embodied experience. And you are basically doing Improv with Jesus as you go. [ I wrote about this in Fall 2013 when I did this with inmates and we entering the story of Jesus Calming the Storm ]

A few weeks ago I spent a week on an Ignatian spiritual retreat. It was a new thing for me. I was alone at a cabin on the Olympic Peninsula. Continue reading “You should have seen the Look on His Face!”

I want to share my Joy with you

fulani girl

Well it’s been three months since I’ve written.
March/April in sum: busyanxietybusyWakinginthenightbusyworkworkgogogo.
(And then at the end of April, as we say in improv with the swipe of the arm)… ” And….SCENE”   [lights go out]

*  *  *

Sabbatical as Salvation

First week of May. HoldenVillage. Glorious. Mountains.
Feet of snow still melting
Speed of multi-tasked life still melting
Cell phone, computer, car and the
BuiltWorld of their assumptions
Set aside, for the time being.

Space to embrace the rhythms of  Continue reading “I want to share my Joy with you”

reincorporating by walking

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If you know me at all you know that I am a book lover. I read mostly non-fiction, and yet reading good novels for me is like taking a walk in the woods. I love it! And remark to myself, “Now why am I not here more often?”

And as much as I love to think, cogitate, ruminate, ponder, I also sense the need for a fully-embodied existence — one that is not just stuck in my head (As Anne Lamott once remarked: “My mind is a bad neighborhood that I shouldn’t go into alone”). Continue reading “reincorporating by walking”

Slowing Down to Connect

art-of-possibilitySeveral years ago I read a book called The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander. She’s a psychologist. He’s the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. I’m going to re-read it this summ
er because the book is about thinking outside-the-box, imagining in a new way, being open to possibility.  That’s what improv gives us and it’s what’s needed in our current times.

The frames our minds create define – and confine – what we perceive to be possible. Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear.

The authors suggest that the reader ask the question: ‘‘What assumption am I making, that I’m not aware that I’m making, that gives me what I see?” Continue reading “Slowing Down to Connect”