On the podcast…

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Fred Giles went to church 7 days a week as a kid. His mama was a pastor, so when he signed up for Bible college and began to study under a bishop, it seemed he was destined to follow in her shoes. And he did... but not really. Today, he's the pastor and founder of The Meeting Place Church in Greenville, SC where he's expanding the notion of what 'church' can be.

On the blog…

Sometimes, the only way to heal the past is to return to it.

Sometimes, to say hello to your future, you need to turn around and say goodbye (again) to your past. You've gotta go back, in order to go forward.

*Important note*: I DO NOT think looking backwards is the healthy, wise choice in all cases. Some goodbyes are swift and end cleanly the first time around. Bless ‘em and then leave them alone.

Mostly, I’m talking about the kind of farewells that take a long time to complete. They stretch over months or years. They need several rounds of healing and attention. And if you don't give these goodbyes the focus they deserve, they can hang in the balance forever.

If there’s something you need to heal or wrap up, so that you can live peacefully in your present and move cleanly (as clean as possible) into your future, here are 6 things that might help you navigate that journey...

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Creating a family spiritual date. Ep7: Tanya Geisler

Tanya Geisler is the kind of woman who argues with Sunday School teachers and then doles out mama bear hugs like no other. In episode 7 of The Sacred Podcast, Tanya and I talked about going to church some weeks and not others - and being entirely okay with that, creating a spiritual date with her family (I'm OBSESSED with this idea), how to know whether you're having a spiritual experience, and much more.

I spent a good portion of my 20s being embarrassed by my life.

Financial picture = lopsided and grainy.
Body image = in the toilet.
Mr True Love = absent, Bueller-style.
And then there was the matter of my home...

The question of where to live has generated almost a decade's worth of challenges and frustrating conversations. (Tropical beaches or crisp mountain air - I want them both, simultaneously.)

In response to my home-uncertainty, I became a bit of a gypsy. I moved every 6 months (sometimes, more often). The transiency of my gypsy lifestyle brought soul friends, joyful work, good food, a new love, and a camera roll that makes me sigh deeply and smile widely. Many, many blessings.

It's also been a major pain in my ass.

I've wanted a solid answer to the question "Where is my permanent home?" and for not having one, I felt like a bumbling idiot.

UNTIL...

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Merging science + spirituality. Ep6: Pace Smith

For most of her life, Pace Smith defined life through the lens of science and rationality. Until... she didn't. In episode 6 of The Sacred Podcast, Pace and I talked about transitioning from science geek to spiritual Sufi, enjoying the variety of the spiritual buffet vs choosing a single path to devote to, having conversations with people who don't share your spiritual beliefs, creating your own spiritual ceremonies + much more!

There's an old Irish story that says that over in HeavenTown, each soul walks up to God and tells God exactly what it wants its human life to look like.

The souls request the specific bliss and tragedies they want to experience on Earth. And God, being all beneficent and easy-going says, "Sure thing, sweetheart!" and gives each soul exactly what they've asked for.

So let's roll with that concept for a moment and talk about the Phoenix.

We all know the story. She's a bird who dies to be reborn, over and over. And since we're sticking with the Irish narrative above, the Phoenix has not been forced to be a Phoenix.

She knew what she was doing when she chose to stand in the Phoenix section of the Cosmic Checkout Line. Clear choice. "I choose to be a Phoenix".