One of my passions is connecting the rivers of relational science (attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology) and spirituality. I draw from both of these waters in my teaching and writing as I feel that they point to and arise from the same living stream: our inherent interconnectedness.
What are these bonds of love that sustain us? What is this compassion that holds us from the cradle to the grave? And how can we be more compassionate with ourselves, and each other?
These are the kinds of questions I love to explore through these twin lenses of contemplative spirituality and developmental psychology.
My work at Growing Humankindness and my daily life is enriched and fed by my devotion to the Divine, which for me, transpires through several spiritual traditions – Sufism, contemplative Christianity, Buddhism, indigenous/earth based spirituality, and a devotion to the Divine Mother.
They are the inhale that breathes the exhale of my daily life, and all my work at Growing Humankindness.
At the end of October, I was asked to give a homily – my first! – at the Church of Conscious Harmony, a contemplative Christian church that my family and I attend in Austin, where we live.
For those of you who also treasure this marriage of psychology and spirituality, you may enjoy this 15 minute talk with a brief practice at the end, where I talk about the field of compassion that holds each of us – particularly in the very place where we feel the most separate from Love.
In this field of compassion, we have the opportunity to be a good ancestor – to plant seeds for those who will follow, for those who may find themselves in similar challenges or heartbreak. And in this field, we also have the opportunity to be fed by the seeds of our ancestors – to be fed by all of those who’ve traveled this path before us, who understand and know this shared common humanity, and who offer their support.
The scripture that inspired this homily is the scripture of fields and seeds: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a seed that a woman took and planted in her garden. And it grew, and it grew, and the birds of the air came and nested in her branches.” – from Matthew 13
And at the end of the homily, during the brief practice, I share the words of three wise women with you. I include these for you below.
Bless the Torn by Eileen D. Moeller
Bless the torn
part of each day,
the ruptures in us
that caused it
to tear where it did.
Bless the green
heart of each rupture,
the small green
kernel of hope
saved for replanting.
Learn more about Eileen’s work here. I discovered this poem in Betsy Small’s beautiful anthology, Poems of Awakening.
Quote from Linda Hogan
“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” – Linda Hogan, from Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World
Excerpt from An Open Thank You Letter to Kristen Who Works at the Cemetery by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
There are moments so flooded with tenderness
every wall around our heart collapses
from the beauty of it,
and we are left wet and trembling, like newborns.
There are moments when we are so naked
love enters us completely, shakes us from within
and wrecks us, and there,
in the rubble of our defenses
we fall so deeply in love with life,
with the goodness of people,
we are remade.