Category Archives: Heart

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Empathy and the Heart of Us

What makes facing and knowing our own hearts so vital? The heart is the record-keeper of our life’s emotional and spiritual experiences. It is our “life-lived memory.” Out of it we remain compassionate and generous, truthful and confessional, humble and celebratory. By facing and knowing our hearts we can even make very painful and difficult decisions, like knowing when to let go with love and grieve, or facing the great need to make reconciliation through forgiving or being forgiven for harms done. The heart is the record-keeper of our life’s emotional and spiritual experiences. By facing and knowing our own

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Ten Truths

While life can seem really lonely, isolating, and meaningless sometimes, it can be comforting to know that we are all wrestling to come to terms with the same core issues. 1. Life is tough. As M. Scott Peck so accurately said in his book The Road Less Traveled, “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted,

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Lesson #4: 10 Things Wilderness Taught Me in 4 Days

Lesson 4: “I Don’t Know. Maybe.” is a great answer to many of life’s questions. This is the fourth installment in a series of essays about some life lessons I learned on a recent enduro motorcycle adventure designed to help rejuvenate leaders. In total, we covered more than 275 miles from Sequoia National Forest to Yosemite National Park. During the day we rode hard, and at night we sat around the campfire having honest, vulnerable, and courageous conversations. I’m pretty sure they had a plan, but if they did, they weren’t telling any of us. At first, I thought Martin, one

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Lesson #3: 10 Things Wilderness Taught Me in 4 Days

Lesson 3: When you get in a rut, ride it out. This is the third installment in a series of essays about some life lessons I learned on a recent enduro motorcycle adventure designed to help rejuvenate leaders. In total, we covered more than 275 miles from Sequoia National Forest to Yosemite National Park. During the day we rode hard, and at night we sat around the campfire having honest, vulnerable, and courageous conversations. Most of our lives are pretty tame because we spend a lot of energy avoiding things that are potentially painful, difficult, or injurious. Whether the risk

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Lesson #2: 10 Things Wilderness Taught Me in 4 Days

Lesson 2: Ride your own ride. This is the second installment in a series of essays about some life lessons I learned on a recent enduro motorcycle adventure designed to help rejuvenate male leaders. In total, we covered more than 275 miles from Sequoia National Forest to Yosemite National Park ascending to elevations around 10,000 ft. At night, we sat around the campfire having honest, vulnerable, and courageous conversations. After we packed what stuff we could into our small daypacks, we were instructed to head into the trailer and select our riding gear: body armor, boots, helmet, and gloves. As

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10 Things Wilderness Taught Me in 4 Days

Recently, I organized an adventure trip for male leaders through Wilderness Collective . In four days, we covered more than 275 miles from Sequoia National Forest to Yosemite National Park. We traversed rugged terrain on enduro motorcycles that lead us over mountain passes—some more than 10,000 ft. in elevation. At night, we sat around the campfire having honest, vulnerable, and courageous conversations. In all, there were eleven of us. (Ten from Middle Tennessee and one from Louisiana.) Most of us were in our mid-forties, but our ages ranged from late 20s to early 50s. A few of us got injured. All

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What does it mean to dream?

We are created to dream big. The moment we dream, we open ourselves up to feeling, desiring, aching, grieving, suffering, and celebrating. To dream means to be fully alive in a beautiful and tragic world. It means that we are willing to reach outside of ourselves, fully aware that we may not grasp what we long for. Part of the therapy process involves unearthing dreams that have been lost to trauma, addiction, depression, and anxiety. However, when we face the story of our life and begin to heal, we can risk dreaming again. I have spent a big portion of

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What Questions Will You Ask This Year?

At the beginning of this year, I sat with a client as he marked two years of consistent counseling.   As he remembered the beginning of this journey, he described realizing early on that there was a closed door inside his heart. The key to unlocking the door was a question. What if there are some things in me I need to deal with? And the further he’s opened the door, the more questions and life he’s found. What if…? It’s a common question, isn’t it? It’s the question underneath every New Year’s resolution and behind the most mundane decisions.

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Resolution Success in the New Year

Most of us at the beginning of the New Year see it as a time of new beginnings. It really is because we can start from day 1 and have 364 days afterwards to come to a conclusion of some sort for a solution. Of course, we also all know the trap of day 17 or day 221, both arbitrary as can be, when we decide that we can give ourselves a break for having worked so hard, and do the thing we are resolved to move away from. We all know that trap, and the sense of failure and

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Finding God in Your Loneliness

What if the questions we ask around our faith and spirituality are making us more lonely, more afraid, and more isolated? Our questions have become formulas… How can I do more of this (prayer, bible studies, quiet times) to add more of this (peace, joy, love) and subtract all of this (shame, rejection, and fear of abandonment)? We have become a culture fixated on finding the the answer that will get us out of our pain and out of facing the story of our life. When I’m told to pray more or have more faith as an answer to my

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