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Category: Family Systems


Complexity and Layers

In this family systems work I am doing every time I make a new discovery it leads me down a whole new trail of inquiry.  Every question leads to a dozen more.  Each thread I follow leads to a whole new landscape for exploration.  It is exciting work and speaks to me of the complexity of who we are as human beings. Layer upon layer reveals an inexhaustible depth to our stories if we consider them rooted in the spiral of stories I spoke of the other day. My father was born in Riga, Latvia, the city of his father’s ancestors. When

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Abbey Bookshelf: Pilgrimage

And it was then that in the depths of sleep Someone breathed to me: “You alone can do it, Come immediately.” -Jules Superveille, from ‘The Call” You cannot travel the path until you have become the path. -Gautama Buddha Wayfarer, the only way is your footsteps, there is no other. Wayfarer, there is no way, you make the way by walking. As you go, you make the way and stopping to look behind, you see the path that your feet will never travel again. Wayfarer, there is no way – Only foam trails to the sea. -Antonio Machado I have written here

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Landscapes, Maps, and Pilgrimages

Tomorrow is my birthday and lately I have been longing for some retreat time.  I was wise enough to block off the next few days to rest in some stillness at home while my dear husband is away.  This time of retreat is partly in preparation for a much larger pilgrimage I will be taking in just a couple of weeks and partly because I find birthdays invite reflection as I celebrate the anniversary of my own birth and sit in vigil waiting for what needs to be revealed for this next phase of my journey. This past week I wrote about the need to be willing to

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Wonder and Despair

I have come to recognize a deep despair that resides in the shadow part of myself, the shadow being of course those things about ourselves we don’t want to embrace.  And yet the journey toward our own wholeness is precisely about naming our shadows, welcoming them into the inner rooms of our being, and listening for what they have to say to us. Those of you who have been reading along here for a while know that I am engaging in some family systems work as a part of my spiritual journey.  My father was someone who let despair consume him,

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Into the Wild

I am still living into the gifts of my 12-day trip down the East coast in March re-visiting family and friends, walking in familiar places with new eyes, tending to memories of formative times. In the last couple of days of my trip I watched the film Into the Wild from my hotel room one evening.  (Spoiler alert — if you do not know the ending of the film, I do give it away further down in the post).  It is the story of Christopher McCandless’ journey away from the dysfunction of his parents toward the solitary promise of Alaska. 

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