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Overwhelmed by your to-do list? Read this.

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There is enough time in the day to get done the things you need to do. (A life coach told me this one time. It’s true! Changed my life.)

Also, whatever you’ve done today? It’s enough.

You’re to-do list does not define you.

You’ve got this.

You’re dreams matter. Your voice MATTERS.

People need that gift that only you can give. Even if you don’t know what it is yet.

Everything is figure-outable. And you will figure it out.

The turkey is going to taste great.

No one will care if the bathroom doesn’t get sparkling clean before the guests arrive. REALLY.

You are enough.

You are enough.

YOU are enough. Just as you are.

And so much more.

That injustice you’re fighting? You are making a dent. I swear it. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.

I see your strength. And I am so flipping inspired. You are going to change the world.

But it’s okay if sometimes you need to stop to cry or make yourself a sandwich.

That crazy dream? Listen to it. Trust your intuition. Your gut is good.

I am so bleeping thankful for you. I mean that. You’re doing good and holy work in the world.

Keep on going for it. Love you.

Love, me

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process.

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Nearly every Sunday Tuesday Wednesday (still working on picking a day!*), I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

*Real talk: I’m struggling hardcore to consistently write a weekly newsletter. I’m telling you because I value transparency. And I think it’s important to keep my word (and admit it when I don’t). But I’m working on it! And I can promise you this: I won’t spam you. And when I finally do figure it out, it’s going to be amazing.

I’m racist

Racist

 

“The issue is not, ‘What must I do in order to secure my salvation?’ but rather, ‘What does God require of me in response to the needs of others?’ It is not, ‘How can I be virtuous?’ But ‘How can I participate in the struggle of the oppressed for a more just world?’ Otherwise our nonviolence is premised on self-justifying attempts to establish our own purity in the eyes of God, others, and ourselves, and that is nothing less than a satanic temptation to die with clean hands and a dirty heart.” +Walter Wink, Jesus and Nonviolence: A Third Way

I read this two years ago, preparing for a TED Talk audition that I did not get, and it sucker-punched me in the gut. When I offer spiritual teachings in this space, they’re usually of a softer nature. But some occasions call for a tougher variety of love.

Wink proposes that creative nonviolence in the face of oppression is best. But that creative nonviolence is not the same thing as passivity and in cases where it’s not possible, violence is far better than apathy.

I’m not much for violence. I don’t have the stomach for it. Though, I do understand why some of my friends and neighbors feel it’s necessary to riot right now. I’ve been thinking and meditating and stewing all day on what my job is here. After a lot of mulling, I feel like all I really have to offer is this painful confession.

I want you to know how racist and privileged I am. Yes, me. The wife of a black man. The mother of mixed children. How I struggle with my own personal prejudices. Because I’m human. And a product of my society.

I’m not condemning myself to hell. I honestly don’t think it was anything I did on purpose. I live in an unjust world. I desperately want to be a part of the solution. I don’t think I can do that until I can admit that I have been a part of the problem.

I do know this. Something odious has been wrenched out into the light. That’s good! It’s getting harder and harder to deny that racism is alive and thriving. It’s also uncomfortable, of course. And hard for all of us, each in our own way.

Let’s not waste time asking the wrong questions. Let’s find the small work that we, as individuals and communities, are called to do right now. Let’s do it with all our heart.

For me, it has to start by admitting these embarrassing struggles. Maybe for you, it’s something completely different. Or maybe it’s the same.

I do know that it’s probably something. Everyone has a job to do. Let’s get to work.

 

Image: NBC News

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process.

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Nearly every Sunday Tuesday Wednesday*, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

*Real talk: I’m struggling hardcore to consistently write a weekly newsletter. I’m telling you because I value transparency. And I think it’s important to keep my word (and admit it when I don’t). But I’m working on it! And I can promise you this: I won’t spam you. And when I finally do figure it out, it’s going to be amazing.

Immortal Diamond :: The courage to act as if

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I told him it was time to remove the makeup. Immediately, my son was a puddle on the floor. Sobbing, he barely managed, “But I just wanted to be a kitty cat.”

I’m breaking chapter two into parts. At least two, maybe three. I got four or five pages in and realized the content was so deep, I had at least a blog post already. And the chapter is 30+ pages long. I stopped at page 36, for those of you following along at home.

The Four Major Splits

I am trying like mad to wrap my head around these concepts. No luck yet. My head is not long enough.

“There are four major splits from reality that we have all made in varying degrees to create our False Self:

1. We split from our shadow self and pretend to be our idealized self.

2. We split our mind from our body and soul and live in our minds.

3. We split life from death and try to live our life without any ‘death.’

4. We split ourselves from other selves and try to live apart, superior, and separate.”

 

It kind of reminds me of horcruxes. Except perhaps not quite as dire. The universal horcruxes we all make to survive.

Also, “splits” is a very strange word to say and write and look at over and over again. But I digress.

Rohr contends that each of us will have to—at some point in our lives or shortly after—overcome all of these fallacies. I’m working on a blog post about the secrets adults keep—the little white lies we tell to make it seem to the rest of the world that we have our shit together. Because that’s what adults are supposed to have. And we clearly don’t.

The idea here, I think, is that the fact that we don’t—that we’re all misfits and messes in own ways—is precisely the point. And, more than that, it’s okay.

But the world we live in says it’s not okay. So we hide our crap under the bed and hope like hell that we’re good enough liars to pull it off.

But let’s back up.

Define “Not Bad”

Rohr begins the chapter with the idea that “False” does NOT mean evil or crappy or even bad. Your False Self gets you going. It’s the gunshot at the beginning of the race. It’s the quiet boy who insists on being a purple kitty cat. It’s dressing up in a seriously cool Katniss costume. It’s temporary. It has to fade eventually, because it was not built to last.

It’s good for a time—necessary—but better if we don’t wait to scrub it off until the paint gets on our pillow and is smudged with deep purple berry juice from the frozen fruit your mom gave you as a treat before bedtime. Because if that’s the case, inevitably, you will have purple tinted eyebrows for days afterwards.

The Limitations of Therapy

I have considered and am still considering going back to school to get some kind of counseling degree. I’ve also thought about spiritual directing, but admittedly have sort of, at this point, written it off as a softer, better person’s job. I feel too enterprising to be a spiritual director. Who knows, perhaps that will change some day. And I feel like my message is a kind of an informal (and perhaps blasphemous (in the best way possible)) almagamation of life coaching and spiritual directing. Either way, I’m not saying never. Just not right now.

I find the conversation Rohr has on therapy vs. spiritual directing hard and beautiful and fascinating. This one line—

“We too often prefer accolades to actual achievement.”

WHEW. Preach.

Eventually, he lands here—

“Good therapy will allow you to cope with greater serenity and efficiency because you will learn how to do your human job well and with personal satisfaction. True spiritual direction can link that human job with your divine job without dismissing your human job in the least.”

He explains the good reasons the therapeutic world is afraid of religion.

“Many religious people use God talk far too glibly, too quickly, and naïvely, and each religious denomination has its own vocabulary, land mines, and agreed-on clichés. Thus, the professional world of psychology naturally mistrusts religion and backs away from any reference to the transcendent or the ‘transpersonal self’ or even a Higher Power. Any kind of God talk is still risky and embarrassing for many counseling departments, and they are rightly afraid of it.”

He adds—

“But I do not have to be. I often think I have the greatest job in the world as I try to put it all together.”

And to that, I add the boisterous exclamation—

ME TOO!

I have reached that searing turning point in the entrepreneurial life where I either have to start making an actual second income for my family OR, I’m going to have to find a “real job.” For now, I’m rejoicing in the fact that decision day is not today and I can write and love and be with my family and in my pajamas.

Once You Get It, You Won’t Need Me Anymore

That’s my business plan model. And what Rohr proposes true spiritual teachers offer. It’s a doozy. Because, like I said, I’ve reached a crossroads in my business. It’s the only way I know to be authentic. Maybe I’m naïve, but I refuse to stop believing that it’s possible to be well paid and do good work in the world.

He talks about Jesus.

“The real healing for the paralyzed man was the courage to act as if—and then his mind and body followed in step.”

With that, I’m going to walk it out.

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process.

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Nearly every Sunday Tuesday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

When you’re too tired to pray

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(Update: This piece was originally published on February 13th 2013. Brooklyn is doing wonderful. He had one more seizure after this one, about a month later. I learned a lot in the process—ultimately they stopped when I changed his diet, dropped all antibiotics, and added a daily probiotic. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that TED Talk. But I haven’t given up. And, that Lent eCourse? It became bigger than I ever dreamed. Running it for the third time in 2015.)

Exhausted. Brooklyn had a febrile seizure last night. His temp spiked. Again. The first one happened over Thanksgiving. He’s doing better, thank God. Before we left the hospital, he was waving and eating Cheerios like a champ. But x-rays revealed a spot of pneumonia. What? He had bronchitis over Christmas and an upper-respiratory infection for Thanksgiving. Poor little dude.

The first time, I was terrified. To watch your child go through something like that, it’s heartbreaking. But today, I’m just angry. Mad at the germs and the seizures and 104.7°F temperatures. And, honestly, I’m mad at the timing. There was already so much going on this week work-wise, but I was feeling really optimistic and it was all falling into place. Now, I’m completely overwhelmed and I just want my baby to be okay.

I’m too tired to pray. I’m trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I have one of the biggest auditions in my life in 30 hours. Yesterday was so strange. I woke up to the news that our tax money had arrived. I double launched this blog and my very first eCourse. I finalized the final draft of my TED audition and shared it with Jermaine, and began to feel really confident about content and where it could go. And on my run, I ran into the most picturesque sunset I’d ever seen.

And then, chaos. The convulsions. The ambulance. That horrible contraption used to take baby x-rays. On one hand, I was much more calm: on my knees, on the floor, whispering my love and presence as my baby seized beside me. Clearing his airway as Jermaine checked his breaths and listened to the instructions of the 911 operator. On the other hand, the entire evening was more scary than the first time, because it wasn’t the first time. My son didn’t have a febrile seizure. He has febrile seizures. According to the doctors, it’s now something he does.

And I know it could be so much worse. But that doesn’t make it better. I wish I had a tidy way to tie this up. We’ll carry on and trust God and love and all that. But it doesn’t work sometimes. It’s just messy right now. The beauty that exists doesn’t stop the mess from breaking hearts.

Please pray, friends. And, if you need specifics, these are the prayers I need today:

For Brooklyn’s health and safety. And no more seizures! Please God, let this be the last one. But, if it’s not the last one, please give me the intuition to know what he needs. And the strength and gentleness and dedication to keep the records of his medicine times and hold him and nurse him as much as he needs me.

For safe travel tonight (the audition is in DC).

For concentration to rock this TEDx Talk audition Thursday morning. That it may change minds and lives and help us to realize that we really can make the world a better place. That God will guide me in the what and how I need to say and stand and be. And to help me find the last killer example that I need.

For this crazy, scary, exciting Lent eCourse adventure. That the people who need it will sign up. That it will bless them. And will create community and connection and draw us closer to God and each other.

That I may be present and kind to my family through all of this.

Last week, Steven Pressfield said all breakthroughs come with a fever. God I hope he meant that literally.

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here. I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for spiritual entrepreneurs and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process.

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Nearly every Sunday (although I’m taking a minor break while I sort out how best to offer my subscribers true value), I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

Week Eleven :: God’s Wrath

Brandy Blogs the Bible

 

The Paraphrase (Numbers 8-20)

Chapter 8—God tells Moses to tell Aaron to set up the lamps and let there be light. Then God tells Moses how to set the Levites (the priests) apart from the rest of the tribe.

Chapter 9—God reminds the Israelites to celebrate (and remember!) the Passover. They ask what to do about unclean people and God instructs them to let everyone (clean, unclean and foreigners alike) participate. The last part of the chapter describes how God dwelt with the people, as a cloud during the day and as fire during the night. God showed them where he wanted them to go by actually leaving and going somewhere else—they were to follow.

Chapter 10—Mmmm. The two silver trumpets. Bad. Ass. The second part of the chapter records the first time the cloud of God actually lifts from their tabernacle and the order in which the tribes follow. In the last part of the chapter we get a little glimpse of a story—Moses pleading with his brother-in-law, Hobab, to stay with the Israelites because Hobab knows the desert. He finally agrees.

Chapter 11—The people are complaining about their hardships. So God, in anger, sends a fire to burn up the outskirts of the camp. And Moses complains to God, saying that this whole thing is just too much for him. God has him call 70 elders and God puts the Spirit into them and they prophesy (and it looks like there might have been some sort of scribal error—either they prophesied and “did not do so again” (11:25b) or “continued to do so” as described by the footnote). The fire doesn’t stop the people from complaining. This time it’s about food. They are sick of Manna. They want meat. So, God gives them quail, but with a fatal catch. “While the meat was still in their teeth (11:33) God strikes down all who eat the quail with a severe plague.

Chapter 12—Miriam AND Aaron start speaking out against Moses because his wife is a Cushite. God is not happy with them and strikes Miriam with a bad case of leprosy. Moses pleads with God to heal her, but God insists she endure the punishment for a week.

Chapter 13—12 leaders are picked to go explore the promised land. They go. And it’s beautiful. But its inhabitants scare these explorers. And all but two (Joshua and Caleb) “spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land” (13:32). Joshua and Caleb seem to grasp how dangerous this bad report could be and beg them to stop.

Chapter 14—Sigh. Too late. God is REALLY mad. He wants to kill them all. Moses talks him out of it, saying that it would give God a bad rep in Egypt. Interesting note: Moses asks God to forgive them. And God does. Plan B includes making them wander the desert for 40 years. Until all people 20 years+ who failed to trust God’s plan are dead. With the added detail that the children of the Israelites, whom the griping people said would be taken as plunder, will be able to enter Canaan. Shortly after that, some of the people take back what they said and decide to go up to the land anyway. Moses tells them they’re crazy, and that the Lord will not be with them. But they don’t listen. Yeah, you can probably guess what happens to them. It’s not pretty.

Chapter 15—A word about offerings—when you get to the promised land and when the nation unintentionally sins. Also, defiant sinning punishable by death (complete with a real live example—a man gathering wood on the Sabbath is stoned to death). (Small aside: God commands the Israelites to put tassels on the corner of their garments as a tangible reminder of who they are and to whom they belong.)

Chapter 16—Yikes! Korah, Dathan, and Abiram raise up a Levite rebellion against Moses. They, of course, die. Or rather, the earth swallows them up. Moses is very angry with them – but at the same time he seems to have pity on their followers—pleading with God not to kill everyone for the sins of these guys. God does kill their 250 followers. Finally Moses and Aaron scramble to make atonement for their sins so that more people won’t die.

Chapter 17—To further drive the point home that God decides who is in charge, God has the tribes line up 12 staffs—one for each tribe. Aaron’s staff sprouted, blossomed and produced almonds. I’m not sure I understand the significance of the nuts. At the very end of the chapter the Israelites lose it, exclaiming that they are all going to die. Which, in all fairness, is very true.

Chapter 18—This seems like a really good time to go over the priestly Levite duties. And so God does.

Chapter 19—God commands the Israelites to sacrifice a red heifer without defect. I’m not sure exactly why. I think it has something to do with cleansing. There is a lot of talk of clean and unclean.

Chapter 20—The Israelites are complaining that they have no water and that they are going to die. Moses and Aaron plead with God and God tells them to use their staff and speak to a rock to get water. They take the credit for getting the rock to bring forth water. As punishment, God tells them that Moses is not going to make it into the promised land (and eventually, he tells Aaron the same). Next the scene switches, Moses is trying to talk the leaders of Edom into letting them pass. Edom flat out refuses. The chapter wraps up with the death of Aaron, followed by a period of mourning.

My Own Scattered Thoughts

I love that God mandates feasting. And remembering. And that includes everyone. So freaking awesome.

I don’t love all the punishing. It’s weird, reading this through in the past, I’ve always struggled with judging the Israelites. But right now? I’m really struggling with judging God. So often it feels that the punishment does not fit the crime.

Like the guy who got stoned to death for working? Really? That’s nuts.

Jesus was a Sabbath breaker. For the first time I really feel for the those high up churchy guys (the pharisees, sadducees, etc). I mean, COME ON, if the penalty for working on the Sabbath was stoning, I’d be concerned, too.

It has me wondering . . . was this their interpretation of God’s wrath? I have more thoughts on this . . . but they aren’t fleshed out enough to go deeper, yet. I’ll just plant this seed and come back and water it later.

 

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here. I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process!

Every Thursday, I blog through the Bible—trying to get through the whole thing in the next two years. If you found this post interesting and helpful and you’d like to continue to follow along as I go through, you can read the intro to this project, along with week one, the detour we took into original sin, week two, week threeweek fourweek fiveweek sixweek sevenweek eightweek nine and week tenNext week, read Numbers 21-31.

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Nearly every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

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