Religion: What’s the Point?

I live in one of the least religious cities in America, Portland, Oregon. We are progressive freethinkers who are generally a “spiritual but not religious” people.  Yet this religiously independent attitude, one that I am guilty of as well, keeps us spiritually stunted.  Karen Armstrong, one of our great contemporary religious scholars, has convinced me…

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Taking God out of the Box

Articulating my thoughts on God has been difficult for me for a long time, so I was relieved to learn that having a clear and sure understanding of God was never the goal of religion.  In fact, religious teachings were meant to deconstruct our cozy notions of the Divine and remind us that there is…

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6 Guidelines for Mindful Eating

The holiday season in the US is a season of feasting.  We simultaneously feel entitled to eat more cookies in December than we ate during the entire year while also feeling guilty for our overindulgence, which inevitably leads to the surge of gym memberships come January.   This complex winter holiday pattern isn’t solely a cultural…

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We’ve Lost our Faith! How Do We Reclaim Religion?

According to the Pew Research center, 22% of Americans are non-religious. With the explosive growth of scientific understanding paired with the numerous betrayals of our religious leaders, we have lost our faith in the spiritual institutions that we used to trust.    What’s alarming, is that we have abruptly dropped religion like a toxic friend.  We…

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5 Things that Anne of Green Gables Taught me About Being a Person

After reading Anne of Green Gables to my ten-year old daughter, I continued on my own and have now found myself in the third book of the Anne series written by L.M Montgomery.  I read these books as a teenager, and I am remembering again why they’re my favorite book series of all time.  I…

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My Ladies Night Needs More “Wild Woman”

The conversations became louder and more intimate as the wine continued to flow into the third hour of our ladies retreat happy hour.  We had spent the day bonding, hundreds of feet above the forest canopy, zip-lining at 25 mph from tree to tree.  We hiked the dewy Washington woods, bathing in the smells of…

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The Search for Meaning and Happiness in Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace

One of my projects during quarantine was reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. It’s a hefty novel, my translation running around 1,200 pages.  I read it relatively fast because I didn’t want to keep forgetting the numerous characters and multiple nicknames for each character.  I must have referred to the character list at the…

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Don’t Look for God in A Story

I found myself startled  in the 20th chapter, of Yuval Noah Harari’s book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.  The chapter was titled “Meaning”, and in it, Harari explains the human tendency to create meaning through stories and how this kind of thinking is flawed.  He begins with the fact that we are story-telling animals…

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3 Affirmations to Encourage Outrageous Openness to the Divine

I tend to be over-serious about my spirituality, an introverted contemplative that keeps my spiritual life to myself.  Tosha Silver, author of Outrageous Openness, on the other hand, is so “outrageously open”, as she describes it, that I felt suddenly liberated and free to “bother” God with finding a good parking spot, painting just the…

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