The Current

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Getting Down to the Heart

When we look back on our lives, there are people who play significant roles in shaping us into the people we become: relatives, friends, coaches, mentors. For me, it was my middle school English teacher. I was raised in a small town and attended a private Christian school. I lived within what some may call a “bubble.” I don’t note this because I think it is bad necessarily, but instead to emphasize that I did not know that anything existed outside of that bubble. That bubble burst the day I sat down in Mr. Fletcher’s class. Even now Mr. Fletcher

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What Vacation Can Teach Us

By: Beth Gillem Every summer, I begin a countdown to my favorite two weeks of the year: vacation. In my family, we have a tradition of visiting the same spot every summer with a few other families who uphold the same tradition. We bike, read, play in the water, watch sunsets, roast marshmallows, and cook meals together. It’s free, unstructured time that I look forward to more than anything else each year. Other than being a place that holds so many memories, I’ve come to realize its simplicity is what makes it so special to me. Unlike my life in

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Coming Awake to Your Life

Every day we navigate the zigs and zags of our lives. We take familiar routes to work or school, or on our daily runs.  The things we see every day can become so common in our vision that it is not unusual for them to essentially disappear from view. There is an art to paying attention; it is work, no question about it. We are being convinced in our culture that instead of tuning into our surroundings, we must pursue the dazzle, the epic, the sensational.  The common, then, must find a place off to the side just outside our

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The Responsibility of Connection

by Kathryn Defatta  A couple of years ago, I bought a beta fish. I’d bought it on a whim one day because I really wanted a pet. At the time, I was living with three dogs — none of which were mine. I saw the love and affection my roommates had for their dogs, and there was a growing part of me that wanted to have my own animal child. However, I was not naive about how much time, effort, and responsibility went into taking care and raising their dogs. I thought a fish might be a nice compromise and

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Leaning Into Your Imperfections

by Kathryn Defatta and Sarah Norris “I don’t have a full length mirror for a reason.” These were some of the first words spoken to me by a dear client of mine as she described the rule she created to keep herself safe from her eating disorder. “If I only look at my face in the mirror, I won’t get sad and angry at my eating disorder because I won’t be able to judge my body.” By choosing to do this, she shuts herself off from the rest of her being and she feels better — but only for a

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Finding Guidance in Unlikely Places

Throughout my life, I have both guided and been guided by others. No matter how old I get, this doesn’t seem to change. I do sense that I’m on the guiding end more these days than I was when I was younger, but the more I embrace the mystery and beauty and struggles of my life, the more I recognize the abundance of guides all around me.   My guides find me in unexpected places; like the way a leaf rests on my truck windshield after a rain, or the way a child runs to her dad as I walk

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Allowing Yourself to Be Weak

A little over a year ago, I had the unfortunate experience of skiing knee first into a tree. In the days and weeks that followed, my body displayed the physical ramifications of this accident in ways I was unable to hide. The physical pain was terrible, but the internal dialogue I battled daily was just as harsh. The voice in my head was unrelenting in whispering cruel messages of self-doubt, shame and fear. That’s life though, isn’t it? Right when we feel as though we’ve found our groove and know how to masterfully navigate the path we’re on, we hit

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Dealing with Difficult People

While a bear from the wild may be captured to live in a zoo or trained to ride a bike in the circus, for the most part, wild bears do what wild bears do.   Several years ago, while trying to emphasize a point about how to deal with difficult people, I began to pick on bears. I could have easily picked on some other animal, but bears are an easy target. We’ve all heard horrible stories here and there about a bear somewhere attacking an innocent hiker. More frequently, we hear stories of a bear entering a campground and

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Regaining Ownership of Your Heart

We all have a story to tell. We were made to play the leading roles in our personal movies filled with tragedy, hope, heartache, loss, resilience, delight, honor, and betrayal. This array of feelings somehow make a good movie. When I look at a child, they don’t seem to doubt that they are the leading role.   They weep and wail, fight and play, and wish and ask with confidence. We all start in this place of trusting in life and ourselves, until one day...tragedy hits.   A tragedy is something too overwhelming to hold a narrative for or make

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The Genius in Not Being Normal

“There is no great genius without some touch of madness.” - Seneca  The more normal you try to be (or the more like others you try to parrot) the less of you we will see. You move away from your personal genius when you strive to be normal, to not have to risk your neck with some dream, idea, or stroke of genius. But “normal” is depressing. Normal is the path of no resistance. Not least resistance, no resistance. Yet more and more people are looking for the supposed feel-good nature of being “normal.” We let others define what normal

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