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Take inventory, simplify, let go…

I read this reflection this morning and knew I needed to share it here. From Peace in Our Hearts, Peace in the World: Meditations of Hope and Healing:

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The last chapter is not the end, just the opposite

So this week we delve into our final chapter of Cravings, but that doesn’t mean we’re done with this topic or this journey. In fact, this is just the beginning. At least I hope it is. By this point, I hope you’ve made some peace with food and perhaps have learned to weave in some quiet time to eat mindfully, journal, pray, or just sit in silence now and then. Whatever you’ve started during this eight-week process, keep it up. Continue journaling, if that worked for you. Stay in touch with our community here or build community where you are so you don’t have to go it alone. But, more than anything else, take at least a few minutes every day to be with God. Even if the food habits slip or the mindfulness goes out the window now and then, just keep coming back to the God, to the beginning, and start again. There is no failing here. There is no wrong way to do this. We find lessons everywhere, even in the “mistakes,” even when we beat ourselves up because we didn’t measure up to our own expectations. It all takes us to the next place on the path. Read more

Multitasking, mindfulness, and meditation

Hello, my lovelies! How is week seven going for everyone? I have to admit that this is a favorite chapter and topic for me: mindfulness. Ahhhh…just saying the word makes my shoulders relax and my breathing expand. I love it because I know it works, BUT, that doesn’t mean I always make the time and space for it. I am the queen of multitasking, something I used to think was a good thing. Not so. Multitasking distracts us and makes us feel like we’re doing so much but, really, we are usually half doing a couple of things. I can’t listen to my daughter and scroll through Facebook. I might think I can do that, but she’s going to notice I’m not really there, even if I don’t. I can’t eat dinner and answer emails. Well, I can, but chances are I’ll finish the meal without ever really tasting it. Read more

Meeting God in the Middle

Our weekly blog post will be up tomorrow. Sorry for the delay. Can you believe we’re already moving onto Chapter 7? The weeks are flying by. In the meantime, if you missed the latest radio show discussion on our tribe and this Cravings topic, you can listen in at the link below. It’s just a short 10-minute segment, so not a big time commitment. Thank you to the folks at Mater Dei Radio out of Portland, Oregon, for having me on the show.

Click HERE to listen.

 

The upside of winters in upstate

I was going through some old Life Lines columns and happened to come across this one from January 2002. This snowy Sunday seemed like the perfect time to pull it out of the archives and reprint it here:

Ever since we moved back to New York after almost six years in Texas, we’ve heard the same thing over and over again from friends, relatives, co-workers, and absolute strangers: Are you ready for the loooooong winter? As if we live in Nome, Alaska.

We smile and remind everyone that – in addition to the fact that we’ve already lived through a loooooong winter in upstate New York since arriving here in early January last year – we were born and raised not all that far from here. Our kids may not have seen snow before landing at Newark International Airport, but I have many fond memories of snow days and sleigh riding, cold toes and hot cocoa. Yes, we’re ready for the loooooong winter because it gives us a chance to sloooooow down. Read more

Life in My 50s: wisdom’s slow burn

Every once in a while, something happens that gives me pause and makes me take note of the ways I am aging. I attempt to open a bottle of apple juice and find myself struggling to budge the screw cap that used to loosen without effort. I bend down to put away dishes and a shooting pain in my knee makes me straighten up, except that it’s not as easy as it used to be. Whenever one of these age jolts occurs, I think of my grandmother, who lived independently until she was closing in on 101. I wonder what it was like for her to notice the subtle changes in her abilities and strength as the years passed, and I wonder if I’ll be able to manage those same kinds of changes with anything close to the grace and chutzpah that marked her century of life. Read more

This balancing act called life

What does a balanced life look like to you? When I hear the word “balance,” I feel the word “peace.” In my mind’s eye, the two are inextricably linked. And on some deep interior level, I know that if I can just find a way to bring some balance into my life, peace is sure to follow. But balance is hard to come by in our all-or-nothing world, and so we have to strive to be counter cultural, to look for ways to even out the highs and lows we typically traverse, to learn to be present wherever we are, even when where we are isn’t so hot, and to find beauty there. Read more

Talking Cravings, catechism, and all things Catholic

Today’s interview with Todd Sylvester of the Live Hour on Archangel Radio out of Alabama was one of those unexpected and happy surprises, a really great conversation that not only gave me a chance to talk about Cravings (and some of my other books) but also sparked some serious introspection and reflection. We talked about my faith journey, my work as a Catholic journalist and author, about the catechism, and, of course, food. It was a really fun 40 minutes and it went by so fast. I loved the fact that Todd not only read Cravings but focused on parts of my own book that I’d forgotten about, at least hadn’t thought about in a very long time. Spirit at work.

If you have some time and want to listen, click HERE and push play.

 

Feast or Famine: finding the middle way

By the time we end our Cravings journey in a few weeks, Lent will be a few days away. Hard to believe, isn’t it? And yet, it seems so perfectly timed for this tribe. We can take what we’ve been talking about here and kick it up a notch, if we so choose. But we can also allow some Lenten wisdom to inform the journey right now, especially as we delve into Chapter 5: Feast or Famine.  Read more

Ten years later: Adele remains a powerful witness

I saw on Facebook two days ago that it was the tenth anniversary of the death of one very special parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Delmar, N.Y.. I wrote a column about Adele after her death. Thanks to the wonders of technology, I was able to recapture the 2007 Word file. Here it is again, ten years later. (The photo to the left is one I snapped of Adele at the Peace Pole at St. Thomas after a parish school event on Oct. 2, 2004.)

Everyone at our parish knew Adele. Maybe they didn’t know her up close and personal, but they knew of her. She was a visible and ever-present fixture at St. Thomas. Her wheelchair with the “Got Jesus?” bumper sticker on the back was parked in front of the first row of pews at every Mass every weekend. When she wasn’t in church, she was praying in front of the Mary statue outside our school or in front of the tabernacle in our chapel or at any number of vigils around the peace pole. Read more