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Every creature is a storyteller
In my last email I talked about the invitation to integrate our past selves into the person we are today, and how some phases of that past self are usually more welcomed by us than other phases. It’s all too easy to judge younger versions of us rather than get curious about them through asking questions, making connections, and finding meaning. Our stories are often tender to the touch: either embarrassing or painful or a mixture of both. But when we can learn to embrace them, to integrate every phase and stage of our being rather than compartmentalize it, we become much more internally free and able to love.
It’s something I have given a lot of thought. And as I come to realize that part of my calling is to be a storyteller (hello, Irish genes) I’m slowly understanding that, actually, all us creatures are; human creatures tell stories, as do the rings on a tree, the dots on a ladybug, the evolution of wolves to dogs (which still blows my mind when my pup loyally follows me from room to room), and all other created matter. I recently learned from Indigenous teacher Asha Frost that the markings on a turtle’s back tell the story of the moon and her phases. It’s an incredible thing, to be a Creature.
But the stories we are called to tell will never be whole unless we are whole. We can’t tell worthy stories if we haven’t reconciled our own. A friend of mine, Eric Clayton, just released a book on this very thing and it’s been a great read for me at this moment in my life. You can find it here if you’re interested.
Over on Patreon, I’m continuing my series on the female mystics with this month’s installment on Hildegard of Bingen. Each of these women have a way of balancing contemplation and activism, and I am equally smitten by their deep inner lives as I am their insistence on speaking truth to power. What a fascinating exploration this series has been.
If you’d like to get access to this exclusive content (and free downloads from my website shop!), you can jump on in for just $2/month. We’d love to have you.
And while I’m talking mystics, I have to tell you that my very favorite translator, Mirabai Starr, just released an updated version of her translation of Julian of Norwich’s “Showings.” I would love to mail a copy to one of you here. Just leave a comment on this post and tell me you want to be entered and I will randomly select a winner next week! Easy peasy.
If you’re in a marriage or committed partnership, you are invited to attend this FREE virtual marriage retreat put together by my husband (who is a certified spiritual director) and myself. It was important to us to make this as accessible as possible so not only is there no cost, there is also no schedule. Once you sign up, you will receive the modules delivered to your inbox next Tuesday-Friday, leading up to Easter. If you can finish it in a week, awesome! But no biggie if you can’t; it’s designed to be able to do at your own pace.
The module titles are:
Seeking Unity, Not Co-Dependency
Resolving Conflict Through a Posture of Curiosity
Making Faith-Filled Decisions for Your Family
Marriage and the Cycle of Life-Death-Resurrection
To wrap up, Eric and I will be doing a Live Q&A on marriage on the evening of April 28. (Don’t worry, you’ll get emails with all of these details in them.) Many, many thanks to the Jesuits for funding this and making it accessible to unlimited retreatants free of cost! Sign up here.
(I wrote this last Easter and included it here b/c hey, it only works once a year.)
It’s almost Easter!
My friend Erica is the owner of Be A Heart, a company that carries the cutest Catholic/Christian goods ever. I just had to give her Easter basket ideas a shoutout. I bought the Lion & the Lamb sippy cup and the St. Francis window clings for two of my kids’ baskets, and the “Mary” board book I wrote for the company last year is available in English and Spanish and makes a great basket stuffer as well.
I pray you all have a meaningful Holy Week and a hope-filled Easter. May the flowers and trees preach to us the story of resurrection.
Author of the books Rewilding Motherhood, Embracing Weakness, and Luminous
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