My Intertwined Paths to the Divine

Last Sunday, I gave a talk at church about my two intertwined paths to the Divine. The more formal, worship and body prayer path and the church of nature path.

The worship path
From the Catholic church of my childhood, through Christian mysticism, Quaker meeting, a dozen Christian church field trips, Dances of Universal Peace, Unity and Religious Science churches and Kundalini yoga to Celebration Church in Santa Fe (a non-denominational, co-created church without a minister.)

The church of nature path
As a child, I spent hundreds of hours laying under a tree watching the clouds. I also wiled away many summer afternoons on the banks of the Roaring Fork and Crystal rivers making smithereens. As a teenager, I was mesmerized by the stillness in the trees while skiing.

In my late 30s, I discovered the sacred vastness of New Mexico. This is the second time I’ve lived here because it’s the home of my soul. It feel easier for me to know God here – in the earth and the rocks, the sun and the moon, the sky and the stars, the sage and the rocks, the trees and the wind.

When I lived in Denver, I wrote most of the prayers in my first book while sitting under trees in City Park. I would drive up to Red Rocks when I was in a funk to hang out with those awesome red rocks. And, I climbed high enough to look out over the entire city, which consistently shifted my perspective.

It has always been natural and easy for me to connect with the Divine in nature, through nature.

Confluence of the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River.  Who could  not find God here?!?
Confluence of the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River.
Who could not find God here?!?

Back at Celebration Church last Sunday
I loved giving the talk. And what surprised me: 6 or 7 people told me that my story was their story. At first I was puzzled. Had they too visited Quaker meeting and several fundamentalist Christian Churches? Did they know how to make smithereens? Did they study to become a Unity minister?

Then I realized what they were saying – they too are seekers. They too had looked in churches and alternatives to churches and had often found the Divine in nature.

What about you? What has been your path to the Divine?

I would love to hear a bit of your story below . . .

The Best Way to Take a Stand for Your Contributions

Last week, one of my colleagues told me that learning his top 5 StrengthsFinder strengths changed the trajectory of his life.

This after I had encouraged him to take the StrengthsFinder assessment when he had shared some frustrations about his job. Wow, he caught my attention, and I couldn’t wait to find out what he meant.

He told me that all of his life he had tried to bring new ideas and improvements to his jobs only to be told over and over again, “That’s not what we hired you for. Just do your job.”

His strengths indicate that his genius lies in sifting through many big ideas, projecting them into the future, choosing the ones that will make a huge impact and bringing those to fruition. We are talking about ideas on par with iPhone, Facebook or Uber. When his StrengthsFinder report echoed what he already knew about himself, he transformed in that moment.

“I have to start my own company. I am not going to let anyone hold me back anymore. I know I can make this happen.” In an instant, he went from feeling depressed and frustrated about being under-utilized to taking a stand for the huge contribution he is here to bring into reality.

It brought tears to my eyes. How would our experience of life shift if we each took a stand for ourselves and our unique strengths and contributions?!?

I’m on a mission.

Shidoni Sculpture Gardens in Teseque, NM

One of my greatest contributions based on my StrengthsFinder Strengths: seeing and calling forth your brilliance and your contributions. I spotted and captured this incredible contribution at the Shidoni Sculpture Gardens. Tesuque, NM.

If you already know your strengths and contributions, would you be willing to share them here to inspire others?

If you don’t yet know your top 5 StrengthsFinder strengths, would you be willing to love yourself and the world enough to invest $10 and 40 minutes to learn them so you can more confidently make the contributions that are only yours to make?!?

If so, click here to take the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment.

Here’s to more awesome contributions to the planet!

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for returning to the joy of you”)

Post your strengths and contributions below . . .

A Strong from Within Interview

I was interviewed a couple of weeks ago by Irma Vargas for the Be Your Own Leader Summit.

I talked about:

  • Aligning our internal StrengthsFinder strengths team by paying attention to our strengths within us.
  • Focusing on consistently being and living our core values.
  • Committing to daily practices that nourish our body, mind, heart and spirit.
  • Orienting our life and work around what sparks joy for us.
  • Living from the inside out strengthens us. When we live from the knowing that we create our world by our thoughts and feelings, we give up the notion that we are victims of external circumstances. We naturally thrive.

Great listen for StrengthsFinder pros, StrengthsFinder newbies and Strong from Within enthusiasts.
35 minutes.


Click the microphone to listen to or download the interview.

I would love your thoughts and responses. Post comments and insights below . . .

The Dark Side of Know, Like and Trust

I have been selling all my life.

5-year-old me gathered seeds from my mother’s four o’clock flowers and sold them to the neighbors. During grade school, I sold Current greeting cards to my teachers after school.

As soon as I was old enough, I sold chicken at KFC. In my senior year of high school, I made a bold career move and went to work at Country Kitchen for tiny pay and tips. I doubled my income.

As an adult with adult bills to pay, I decided to get some sales training to maximize my income. I learned that people buy from those they know, like and trust. This was good news to me because it was easy for me to get people to know, like and trust me.

An innocent misunderstanding that guided my career for the next few decades.

I see now that there is a world of difference between people naturally knowing, liking and trusting me and me getting people to know, like and trust me. I was grasping for something that was already mine if only I had relaxed into the knowing that I am enough.

Ah, the joy of being One with an environment that knows no grasping . . .

Ah, the joy of being One with an environment that knows no grasping . . .

My job isn’t about getting anybody to do anything. My true work: being me. Then, a person likes me or doesn’t like me. They are drawn to know me or they aren’t. If they do know and like me, chances are good they will trust me.

When I first realized this, it terrified me. I was going to leave it up to chance? If I didn’t work at getting people to like me, then what if they didn’t? People buy only from those they know, like and trust. What if not enough people liked me?

The irony: people are far more likely to know, like and trust me when I am genuinely me. Whether or not they are conscious of it, people can feel that grasping energy of “I need you to know, like and trust me so that you will buy from me.”

Today, I don’t know if enough people will like me. Which is okay because that isn’t my part. I am doing my part by focusing on knowing, liking and trusting myself and that is way more than enough!

So now, my sales job description has shifted a bit. Without self-consciousness and grasping, I have more capacity to focus on the person in front of me. What’s going on in their world? What do they need? Might I be able to offer them something of value?

That feels good! I didn’t realize how creepy it felt to be selling me. I’m not for sale.

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for returning to the joy of you”)

I would love your thoughts and responses. Post comments and insights below . . .