A Recent T Encounter

It is not all that easy to share ourselves and our experiences with others, but it is necessary for connection.  Amidst all of society’s weights, imposed norms, stereotypes, power dynamics, and increased elevation of individualism, this man trusted enough to share a bit of his story with me, and that means a lot.

Ruth NkemontohComment
Reflections from Spiritual Directors International 2013

When clinicians and other care providers who are part of the circle of care for others are willing to communicate with each other, the impact is astounding.  Not only are medical and therapeutic outcomes maximized, but there is also an increased likelihood for deep and lasting bio-psycho-social-emotional and spiritual transformation for the client/patient.

Lauren SpahnComment
What do we mean by…Alignment?

It may sound strange for us to use such a technical word to describe a spiritual reality, especially when most people think about car tires when they hear the word alignment...

Being spiritually aligned means being attuned to your truest and deepest self and acting in our day-to-day lives in line with what is within us. 

Still HarborComment
Spiritual questions for leadership in service

This question – “Who am I?” – can be answered simply and also contemplated deeply. There may be one life-long response or an infinite number of answers. For example, I may answer the question by telling myself, “I am a changemaker.” But what happens to me when changemaking is not needed?

Lenten Series: What are you taking on?

A lot of people think of Lent as a time of the year to test our willpower, asking what things in our lives can we give up – chocolate, Facebook, soda, or swearing. This season at Still Harbor we are inviting each of us to consider a deeper spirit of Lent as something we are taking on. Join us this Lenten season for a time of reflection and meaning.

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What do we mean by…Contemplative Practice?

The promise of contemplative practice is a chance to quiet our minds amidst the stresses and distractions of our everyday lives, bring into focus an awareness of our connectivity, and develop deeper compassion, concentration, and insight.

Still HarborComment
What do we mean by…Accompaniment?

Accompaniment is an ancient contemplative practice that spans many different religious traditions. It involves the attention we give to one another as we work to make sense of the experiences of our lives. Accompaniment is not fixing or rescuing, but the opportunity to explore life’s spiritual questions and be challenged to live out our spirituality.

Still HarborComment
Today's trends in religious and spiritual identity

In 2008, I founded Still Harbor based in part on the 2007 research from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that demonstrated a trend of people in the United States leaving organized religion while maintaining a belief in God and/or some recognition of a spiritual life.

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Our Five Senses

I write now with the month of May having swept me by in a way that I can hardly remember. For me, this has been a month of planning and of preparation, which has meant a certain  degree of living in the future at the expense of the present. While certainly we have to plan and prepare, I am working very hard in my life to experience what is happening around me right now.

Still HarborComment
Two Challenges

I couldn’t find a way to zoom in on just one item or topic this month, so I’m passing on two thoughtful pieces that will hopefully stimulate a bit of reflection and attunement. Check it out, explore what speaks to you, and find a way to integrate or act upon some of the challenges I propose.

Still HarborComment
Alignment in the Leap Year

I would like to suggest that Leap Day—today February 29—become a celebration of alignment. This “extra” day, tacked on to the end of February every four years, exists to compensate for the extra five hours and 46 minutes of our annual journey around the sun that is not taken into account in our regular 365 day calendar year. In other words, Leap Day is the day that we allow the earth to catch up with us.

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Paradox and Wisdom

A few of us at Still Harbor have been reading a book called Falling Upward by Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who has written extensively on spirituality and who founded a Center for Action and Contemplation in New Mexico. In the introduction, Rohr writes:
“If there is such a thing as human perfection, it seems to emerge precisely from how we handle the imperfection that is everywhere, especially our own… In fact, I would say that the demand for the perfect is the greatest enemy of the good. Perfection is a mathematical or divine concept, goodness is a beautiful human concept that includes us all.”

Still HarborComment
Looking for the positive

Do you ever have that feeling of panic when you realized you haven’t done something on time … and furthermore there is no real space to do it with any urgency? I woke up yesterday morning, realized November was over, and felt that kind of pang. For me, the feeling is always quickly followed by some mild berating and judging of myself—assuming that I’ve disappointed everyone and that I’m not good enough to gain back their approval.

Still HarborComment
Nature and Love

In the northeast of the United States, we are now fully in the season  of fall. It is a time where the leaves on the trees die, when grass  stops growing, flowers stop blooming, and essentially all of the  wonderful foliage around us begins to appear dead. Wherever we are   living in the world, we are most likely able to embrace that the plants  around us go through cycles with the seasons and through the stages of  their growth and maturity. We even recognize that they need us to tend  to them despite how they may appear during dormant seasons or  particularly vulnerable or unwieldy times in their growth.

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Sacred space

More and more people across diverse professions and walks of life are realizing the fundamental human need for space. As human beings, we seek quick easy connection everywhere. We find security in our inboxes or in the constant stream of virtual social interactions we create. But in doing this, we are doing our imaginations and the still undiscovered solutions to the world's most pressing problems a disservice.

Still HarborComment
Grace in nature

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the new Terrence Malick film, The Tree of Life. Malick’s technique, in part, I would argue is for the movie to be experienced as life is, rather than told as stories are, which keeps viewers confused and questioning throughout. He uses this approach as a way of grappling existentially with one of life’s biggest questions: why do the righteous and innocent suffer?

Still HarborComment
What do we mean by praxis?

“Within the word we find two dimensions, reflection and action, in such radical interaction that if one is sacrificed—even in art—the other immediately suffers. There is no true word that is not at the same time a praxis.” --Paulo Freire


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