It’s time for another installment of my bi-weekly email series. In each issue, I share three resources that I have found to be helpful for myself and/or my clients. As a former librarian and a current voracious gatherer of helpful information, I’m constantly listening to podcasts, reading books and articles, and watching various videos that spark my interest.

Listening:

I haven’t listened to This American Life in a while but they grabbed my attention with this set of stories on The Ten Commandments. The show not only talks about all of the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments but also some other Ten Commandments such as The Miner’s Ten Commandments or the Ten Commandments of Paris Dining. Whatever Ten Commandments you choose to ideally follow, most people have a hard time keeping them even with the best of intentions. Check out these stories of people unintentionally breaking a commandment and intentionally breaking a commandment in the service of some higher moral principle.

Reading:

Mary Oliver said that “attention is the beginning of devotion.” Franklin Foer’s article [on Oliver’s works] speaks to our culture’s lack of attention and thus the difficulty of practicing devotion, as well as his own yearning for periods of attention not interrupted by periods of instantaneous distractions designed for some corporate commercial purpose. Mary Oliver’s ability to see deeply into nature and to allow herself to be moved by the experience was her own remedy for the illness of commercialism that is epidemic today. Foer writes beautifully of his own desires and quotes some lesser known Oliver lines that are both moving and instructive.

… Her final collection of essays was called Upstream. In the title piece, she remembers getting separated from her parents in the woods as they stroll along a creek. But what she recalls isn’t the trauma of being lost, but the attentiveness she achieves in that charged moment of aloneness, “the sense of going toward the source.” In her narration, this is the very instant she began her long career as a noticer. What she sees isn’t an undifferentiated mass of a forest or an abstraction called “nature.” Her revelation is the pluralism of the woods. “One tree is like another, but not too much. One tulip is like the next tulip, but not altogether.” This discovery of the “harmonies and also the discords of the natural world” fills her with ecstatic joy. “Doesn’t anybody in the world anymore want to get up in the / middle of the night and / sing?” …

Watching:

Parker Palmer has written several books which I have found not only to be professionally helpful but personally healing. In particular his book, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life opened my mind and heart to what coaches and facilitators can help evoke when the moment is right and all parties are willing to change. Based upon his commitment to helping create undivided lives, Palmer has created a group process called Circle of Trust where individuals can bring their full selves and a process of integration and connection occurs. In this video Palmer explains the process. I have experienced my own transformative processes in the safety of circle work and I highly recommend it if you are seeking a way to deepen your own personal and professional growth and practice.

Thanks for taking the time to read this newsletter. If any of these resources elicited any thoughts or feelings that you’d like to share with me, please contact me. If you like these emails, feel free to share them with other coaches, friends, clients and people walking the transformational path.

See you again in two weeks,
Judy