Tag Archives: growth

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On Gardens and Beginnings

When I was in grad school, I became “highly focused” (read: obsessed) with hot peppers, and my tolerance for heat quickly outgrew the pepper selection at my local grocery. Soon my addiction had me driving across town twice a month to the Patel Brothers for their thai chilies. When my quest for burn still wasn’t sated it became clear that to have the hottest peppers, I would need to grow them myself.      My previous forays utilizing my green thumb had always ended tragically. Yet, my desire for the endorphins released from these scalding pods outweighed the fear of

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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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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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8 Principles and Practices for Parenting from the Heart

(From Chip Dodd's & Stephen James' upcoming book on parenting—Giraffes on Ice, est. pub. 2017) Sometimes parenting feels like we are trying to thread a needle while wearing mittens. By design, parenting is paradoxical and is wrought with challenges. Our children simultaneously... •  need our assurance and test us, •  learn from us and teach us, •  confuse us and remind us of what it was like for us in our youth, •  demand increasing amounts of freedom and desire security, and •  give us hope and scare us about the future at the same time. For even the most committed and

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