Posts in Category: Africa 2022

I Am Coming Home

“There is a kind of magicness about going far away and then coming back all changed.” ~ Kate Douglas Wiggin
"It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realized what’s changed is you." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
"Life Takes You Unexpected Places, Love Brings You Home." ~Melissa McClone

Today is Thursday and I am on my way back to Florida.  A final game drive at Prideland's Game Reserve with my friend Sue - who goes home tomorrow.  I spend Friday packing and being still.  A final Saturday evening of Rugby at The Thirsty Giraffe and then off to catch my plane in Johannesburg.  I arrive on US soil around 6am on Sunday and will land at my temporary home in Fort Myers, Florida around 3pm. I am anticipating a few days of 'how weird is this'.  No animals, the price of food and the moisture in the South Florida air - just to name a few.

The chapter of South Africa 2022 is nearing completion and the next chapter awaiting being written.  It has really been a remarkable, healing, soul satisfying 6 months here at Bush Baby Haven.  So many wonderful memories withTanya and the menagerie that populates this beautiful place - Bush Babies, squirrels,warthogs, antelope, porcupine -- all of the wonderful creatures which in many ways also call this home.  So many wonderful memories of the fiends who have come to spend time - David, Misti, Eileen and Vinny, Janell Sue and Donna. Each was so uniquely special.

I am excited for the next chapter. I can't wait to see what happens next and how I will be inspired to move about in the world with my 'good as new' hip and my revitalized attitude and restored soul.  

 I can't wait to share a moment with all of you who are seeable in the very near future.  Let's set up a date to do that!  The next time we connect will from 'home'.  

Love, love and more love,

The Nature of Reality

“There are only two things in the world: nothing and semantics.” ― Werner Erhard
Definition of semantics: study of meaning, reference, or truth

You haven't heard from me for awhile as I have been debating this post with myself!  I watched a YouTube by my dear friend Mark Anthony Lord recently (which I share with you below underneath the photos)  and was inspired into reflection and contemplation. The topic is quite esoteric so I have not been sure if it is proper for this venue. It has to do with whether the world is real or has a reality separate from what we think it is has? Is there anything separate and apart from our unique perception and interpretation?  Can we ever really know what real real is? 

I am pretty sure that there may be a world out there, but our interpretation of the world, which seems to be the only meaningful reality, is within us. Based on our upbringing, education, and life experiences, each one of us sees differently. The world you experience, is not the world I experience. There may be some static reality but will we ever know what that is. I think it is possible since some humans have seemed to achieve the clarity to see beyond the illusion -  Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Dali Lama to name a few.

Humans predominantly view the world as solid and real and live our lives inside a story that is pretty fixed. This belief usually leaves us in a position of feeling like victims of circumstance, luck, money, war, poverty, hunger, government. It is not uncommon for us to feel as if we have very little influence or power over conditions and circumstances - personally and globally.

The $100 bill you hold in your hand does have some physical reality.  If you put that $100 bill into the hands of 50 people - the meaning each person brings to it creates their reality concerning money.  The meaning given is the source of how we work, save, spend and in general, how we feel about having or not having money.  If I say, “money is the root of all evil”, is that true?  If I say,“money is the source of all happiness”, is that true? You cannot separate yourself from your experience of life. Your experience of life is your life.   It doesn’t really matter what the "truth"  is.  You go to a party, have a great time and decide that it was a great party.  I go the same party, have a terrible time, and decide it was a terrible party.  Which one of us is right?  Which reality has to do with the party itself? (Hint: Neither)

I have often said that the world is neutral. This means that there is no inherent meaning in anything. All the meaning is in us.  All of it. The  source of so much mischief in the world is that we each believe our perceptions and interpretations to be the right, good and true one. We all know that people do all kinds of ridiculous and stupid  things in order to prove it.

Whether the world is "out there" or "in here" is not really a reasonable question which has an answer. Our physical senses are too ‘real’ for us to deny the physical existence of the material world.  We smell, touch, taste, hear and see. Some people love the taste of papaya and some hate it. Does delicious or distasteful exist in the papaya?  . The way we perceive everything arises from a phenomenon distinct from physical existence.  Our perception of the world arises out of what has happened, is happening or will happen with little to do with what actually is!

People, places, conditions, circumstances and things are neutral.  You and I are not. New Thought philosophies and quantum physics have begun to discover and explain our relationship to the manifested universe which essentially says that there is no unique "I" which exists apart from all that is. The observer and that which is being observed are intimately connected in a dance of co-creation - the observer and the observed change each other. This translates into personal power and choice.

Such an important thing to ponder. The understanding and living in this awareness will help to restore the world to its rightful place of love and cooperation.  The horrible things we read about will dissolve into some metaphysical relaxation.  More importantly, we might be emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually healthier people.  Think of all the money we can save on therapy! Wrap your heart around it so that you can laugh at how hard you have made your life.    What you and I believe to be the source of our suffering, frustration, limitations – all of it – may just be one big  illusion.

This misunderstanding is a human condition. We are all living inside an interpretation of an interpretation that has been being created through consciousness since the beginning of time.  Our family history, our cultural histories – religious histories.  People decided they knew reality, decided what it meant, drew an imaginary line in the sand and the games began.

We do not need to unravel the past or try to fix the world.  We can simply start from where we are and begin to practice neutrality.  When something occurs, or a memory pops up, notice what arises in you.  Remember that whatever it is, that in and of itself is neutral and that you just added your individualized story to it.

It is from this space that an incredible lightness of being can arise.  Spiritual liberation is the releasing of the world to be as it is.  Once you know that you are the maker of meaning, you can then choose to make meanings that please you.  If you know that you are the meaning maker you can choose to make up meanings that you like!

So, this is what I have been wanting to think and talk about.  But I decided that it might be too much so decided against it. 

I will physically be back in Florida in 20 days.  And very excited to be in the same time zone with you.  Donna and Susan are arriving from the US this Saturday and we have a whole lot of South Africa to experience so stay tuned for just a bit more wild!

Love, love and more love,

PS. Don't let this boggle your brain

"All that we are arises with our thought. With our thoughts, we make our world.” –Gautama Buddha
"Whatever you are pushing against, you are stuck to." ~ Werner Erhard
"Whatever you can let be can let be can let you be." ~ Werner Erhard

The Back Nine of South Africa

“Everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.” ~Donald Miller
"I fairly sizzle with zeal, energy, and enthusiasm; eager to do that which ought to be done by me today." ~Charles Fillmore

My own pity-party with Jane Oliver playing in the background! It was a good one!

Blessings everyone.  I missed sending a blog last week so here is an update on what's going on in my world.  I am officially on the back-nine of my time in South Africa. Thirty-one days from now I will be in Fort Myers, hugging friends and looking for a place to live with my youngest sister.  I am a someone who is seriously connected to Spirit – or said another way, deeply connected to my inner guidance, my intuition, the still small voice within me.  I always ask to be shown the way – and when shown – I always follow directions. I call it my ‘cosmic clunk’!  Once that 'clunk' shows up, all options boil down to only one. It is this ‘cosmic clunk’ now bringing home. My time in South Africa has been so many wonderful things to me but I have concluded through much prayer and contemplation that my home is in Florida with most of you!

 It has been quite an amazing 180 days. The first 90 were primarily about healing my body and mind and reconnecting to my Spirit.  My hip is completely healed, and I am at peace with the holy-hiccup which was the stroke I experienced a couple of days after the hip replacement.  In 2014, I worked as an emergency room chaplain at a trauma hospital in North Carolina.  In that capacity, the most challenging work I had to do was show up for individuals and families who landed up in the emergency room because of a stroke.  To end up in an emergency room myself, with a stroke, was terrifying!  It was absolutely necessary for me to do the work in consciousness to neutralize my beliefs and sort out the truth from a spiritual perspective. Thank goodness, I have done that work and experience the full restoration  of my zeal for life. 

My final 90 days in South Africa seems to be about feeling lonely for my 'tribe'. I have been re-united with my love and passion for spiritual community.  In all of my years of ministry and while serving our centers and churches, my focus and passion has always been on creating a faith-based community of people who truly care for and about each other and the world we live in. The existential loneliness and disconnection that many people feel can not really be resolved by people, drugs, alcohol, or any other distractions. We all need  to play with and pray with others. Spiritual growth and development extends us beyond our family of origin and propels into our ‘tribe’ – if we are lucky! I have learned from my time in South Africa that sometimes cultural differences inhibit close connections.  Or that those close connections take time to develop.  Once home, I look forward to seeing where my love of developing spiritual community takes me next.

I am no longer a reluctant member of the “over 70” clan and I have a much deeper understanding of the need to create connections, friendship, and support systems for this amazing group of people.  This is the last quarter, final third or back-nine of our incarnation and an interesting and required experience for most of us. There is no reason, other than a way of thinking, that this time should be anything less than fulfilling, joyful and loving.

So besides healing, being surrounded by all of God’s amazing creatures and my time with Tanya and those of you who came to play at Bush Baby Haven – there are a plethora of wonderful moments to savor for a lifetime.

I leave this coming Tuesday for my final solo safari experience to the Chacma Bush Camp for the 3rd time.  Then back for a few days when Susan and Donna, dear friends from my Chicago days, come to play for a couple of weeks.  I do my final packing and fly out of Hoedspruit on September 18th, arriving back at Fort Myers on the 19th

I am sharing photos of Chippy, Daisy and Scruffy with you this week.  In addition to the resident bush babies, these three are squirrel orphans rescued by Tanya who are now in residence as well.  They came of age since I have been here – and well - I am pretty sure the girls, Daisy and Scruffy, will be giving birth very soon.  They are absolutely darling and I will miss them!

It will be quite emotional to leave Tanya and Bush Baby Haven.  The South African Bush is extraordinary, and I have formed intimate bonds with many places, people, and animals. Sometimes we avoid making these kinds of attachments because then there is a kind of sadness at the coming apart.  But as "A Course In Miracles" says, relationships are for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  And it truly is better to have loved and left than to have never loved at all.  Our memories of loving are all that ultimately matter.  Don’t you agree?

I will check in after my time at the Chacma Bush Camp!

Love, love and more love,


“Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart. Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.” ~ Henri Nouwen

Pondering the Inevitable

"You are an eternal being now on the pathway of endless unfoldment, never less but always more yourself. Life is not static. It is forever dynamic, forever creating. Not something done and finished, but something alive, awake and aware. There is something within you that sings the song of eternity. Listen to it. ~ Dr. Ernest Holmes
"We are continuously living a new life, and when the old and the new do not fit nicely together, the old - no longer able to contain the new - should be discarded." ~ Dr. Ernest Holmes

In honor of my 71st birthday this week, I thought I would feature pictures of baby animals.  This is a darling baby baboon. Enjoy. 

I struggled with writing the blog this week.This birthday is different for me - probably because I am alive and just as easily could not have been this year.  It has given me pause and cause to be reflective - in a good way.

It is my 71st birthday Sunday.  One minute you're 10 years old and then the next minute you have 10 years left. Often, I am confused about how this happens.  Does anyone else over 60 feel that way? I am once again pondering what it is to be 71 on the outside and something else all together  on the inside. I can’t lie.  There are days I am at peace and days that I struggle!

One of my favorite scenes is from the show  Downton Abbey. The dowager, Violet Crawley, was played by Maggie Smith,  a character somewhere between 75-85 I think.  In one show an old beau from fifty years earlier appeared (who was definitely not of English upper-class) and propositioned Violet to step back into the love affair.  Social necessity meant Lady Crawley had no choice but to decline his invitation  but left the dowager verklempt and sullen. Isobel Crawley asked her what was wrong, to which she said, “that was probably the last indecent proposal I will get in my lifetime.”  On the outside is this old woman and on the inside a twenty year old remembering this past moment. When along the way did it happen?  All I can say is how great to get one more great indecent proposal! Ha!

I know. I know.  Age is just a state of mind.  Age is just a number.  You are only as old as you feel. Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  My life is testimony to the truth of that.  And still.  I look in the mirror.  I see myself through the eyes of a 30-year-old doctor, or a 40-year-old man, or a 5-year-old little girl – and it seems indisputable that something weird has happened.  I am seriously ensconced in being an elder, a senior – - a crone. I am quickly approaching "old-lady."  And I am not sure when it happened.    Joan Didion wrote a book called “A Year of Magical Thinking” which sported a line, “remember when life was all about cute shoes.”  I remember when life was about dressing for success and searching out that next indecent proposal.  I suppose cute shoes are still important but usurped by remembering to take the medication to lower my cholesterol and thin my blood! So annoying,

It may not sound like it but I really am having quite a good time. I am not depressed or sad and definitely not resisting getting old or dying at all.  I am however, aware of a kind of vanity which I am working on releasing – something about cute shoes, indecent proposals and the like.  I am quite aware that I am on the runway of life wearing a different kind of outer-wear and cultivating a different kind of inner-a-ware-ness. Most don’t really want to think about it.  Many find the conversation depressing or scary.  But personally, I want to stay awake for all of it.  I don’t think I shared that at my request, my neurosurgeon allowed me to stay awake for my Angiogram following my stroke. It was the most AMAZING experience to witness them taking pictures of the inside of my brain.  I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. I really really want to stay awake and in the moment for all of life including aging and dying – whatever that means.  And I suppose if I am going to do both of those things consciously, which means with attention, intention, authenticity, and love, 71 seems like a good time to start.

A dear colleague of mine, Rev. Connie Phelps, was the visionary who boldly took the Science of Mind philosophy, faith, and way of life to Kenya.  I had the privilege of spending many months with her and her students in Nairobi between 2016 and 2018.  She passed on June 20, 2020 at the age of somewhere near  65 (she managed to keep it a secret).   She was a high-profile difference maker with friends all over the world and I was deeply affected by how she moved through her illness and her transition.  It was honest, public, authentic and above all else loving.  It was and continues to be, for me, an inspiration.

I am being poignant, aren’t I?  I am not normally affected by my birthdays so much but there is something about this one.  I am grateful to be alive, to be living in South Africa and to be going home to begin my version of the Golden Girls with my younger sister.  The minutes, the months and the years feel precious.  I am even hopeful for a final indecent proposal or two.  Like the dowager, I’m not sure I will accept, but one never knows!

I really am quite enjoying navigating this time in my life. I am surprised by how luxuriously deep it is proving to be.  I am eternally grateful for the strength of my spiritual foundation for its role in keeping me moving forward with optimism and trust. My guess is that I have more years left than I really expect or maybe even really desire! 

I appreciate our relationship. Thank you for sharing my birthday with me. 

Love, love and more love,


"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art."~ Eleanor Roosevelt
"We are all going to age, soften, mellow and transition. All of us, if we are lucky. There are plenty of things to be 'anti' about: anti-discrimination, anti-drugs, anti-oppression, anti-poverty and anti-sickness. Aging isn't one of them. We need to become pro-aging and embrace the opportunities that aging provides." ~ Jamie Lee Curtis

Vision Comes First

“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter
“To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.” – Seneca

Vision Leads The Way

I had a wonderful 4-nights at the Shindzela Tented Camp this past week.  As you can see from the photos, many wonderful sightings.  My favorite were the Wild Dogs.  10 adults and 7 puppies.  They are a beautiful and endangered species so it was a real treat to see them.  Of course you can never beat a leopard in a tree - just about as good as Africa gets.  All in all a wonderful trip.

Today, I am contemplating how important it is for our well-being and happiness to put a wanted-future out in front of us.  I think that one reason Covid was so hard on people, and one reason why aging or retirement is so hard on people -- is because a future becomes harder to envision .  Regardless of our age, financial status or physical health, it is essential that we are holding a vision for ourselves - out in front so that we can always be moving in the direction of fulfillment.

Most of us, most of the time, don't really think outside of our box.  It is quite normal to assess our current circumstances and then create a plan that seems reasonable given the circumstances we are living in. Obviously there is nothing wrong with that approach, it certainly mitigates any serious disappointment or let-downs.  But for me, I am not so sure that living from that perspective is how our unconquerable Spirit would have us live. I always encourage everyone I know to ask "What do I really, really, really, really want?"  The question is the deepest question because it begins to allow for the deepest response.  It could be asked, "If you had unlimited resources, lots of time, gobs of support and knew you could not fail, what then would you really really really really want?"  A much different question.  It is not really important if it is not possible at this moment in time.  It doesn't really matter if your logical mind is telling you not to reach that high.  What is important is to give your deepest longings and desires some space in your heart and in your mind.  Make your largest vision welcomed in your awareness.  I believe that this is the first step to manifesting a bigger life than you ever thought possible.

I think this is on my heart because I am rounding a bend here in South Africa and will be returning home in about 7 weeks. It is feeling like the time that my next chapter is wanting to be written and since I know that I am the author of my own book, it falls on me to write it.  Exciting really.  So as I share with you, I am indeed talking to myself and beginning to ask the deeper question in order to get the deepest answer.  What I know is that ultimately the moving of molecules into experiences and circumstances is the end result of dreaming and believing.

Enjoy the pictures. Until next time!

Love, love and more love,





Just letting you know that due to my hectic schedule between now and my return home, I have prayerfully decided to put the live stream on hiatus!  Look forward to Rev. Denise from Florida starting in October.  Between now and then, enjoy the weekly blog.

Much love, Rev. D

”One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Gerard Way
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo



Exploring Re-Birth

“I give you this to take with you: Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.” ― Judith Minty

Blessings everyone,

You will all be happy to know that I am much more cheerful this week.  I feel like a brand-new woman.  I am not sure why but my little journey down the lane of grief has left me feeling renewed and healed.   I hope some of you took the time to read “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis and that if you did you found it as wonderful, touching or as useful as I did.  I would love to hear about it if you did.  Truly.

My heart this week has been on the mystery and wonder of rebirth.  I was not raised in a Christian home nor am I Christian now in the true sense of the word.  But I am a fervent believer in and of an ineffable and awesome Infinite and Eternal Something - call it what you will.  I have always loved the resurrection analogy because I think that we each have the real possibility of awakening out of the illusion of being  merely human, separate and apart from everything else, and stepping into the gorgeous awareness that we are MORE and that we do not walk alone in this human experience – which I mostly think is just a hot mess.  And most importantly that we are as eternal as that which created us.  I think the personalization of the rebirth story or the rising of the Phoenix is nothing more than remembering that we are Spirits!

I came to South Africa on April 1st.  It was exactly 5-months post hip-replacement and stroke.  And in hindsight I was not in my prime to say the least. I really needed the silence, comfort, and safety of the African Bush.  I needed to rest and to heal.  I was confused about the future and who I was, am or would be in all that I experienced and the consequences.  I am really pretty happy to tell you that I believe that that part is complete. Today, on July 8th, something has shifted. I am surprised yet again by another rebirth.  I feel strong.  I feel enthusiastic, excited and quite ready to get back to it. 

This presented itself in an interesting way this week.  I have left Bush Baby Haven, just for a minute, and moved into a sweet place called Raptors Lodge.  It is a little cottage in town, where I can live on my own, shop, eat, walk, talk and be quite a normal person for the first time in 6 months.  I know that sounds weird, but at Bush Baby it was not possible to live independently without a car. Tanya, the proprietor of Bush Baby, has and continues to be an angel sent by God and is one of my favorite people in the entire world.  But after 3-months in nature I have been feeling antsy and  bored. So, this side-trip is extremely good for me. I am, of course, missing the plethora of animals at Bush Baby.  But no worries, I will be returning in a week.  And then we will see what my heart and soul need for my remaining 72 days in South Africa before returning home.  

As an aside, I just binged the entire last season of “This Is Us” --- Geez Louise, how touching was that for those of you who are fans.  It was kind of a carry-on of loss and grief for me – but as I said last week, I am not sure that the entire human journey isn’t one of loss, change and grief, and that we are required to embrace grief to find the joy and ecstasy.  Avoiding the grief and sorrow just leads to suffering.

I have had many rebirths in my 7 decades in this body.  For me it is the experience of life ending as I know it, of desolation and emotional destitution – and always there has been a rejuvenation. And once again I am humbled by the appearance of joy and grace. I am grateful.

More to come as I am also a work in progress.  Good news, right?  We never get it right or perfect.  We just keep opening to what is happening in the moment.  I still say of course – don’t delay your good.  Time is ticking!

Enjoy the picture of Raptors Lodge, a wonderful dinner at Thirsty Giraffe.  From here I will go to a place for 3 nights called Tshukudo Lodge and will have more amazing animal sightings I am sure.

Love, Denise

“Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.” ― Gerard Way


This coming Saturday morning, I am grateful to continue the  conversation about spirituality and emotions.  I have been reveling in observing my own emotions move between lows and highs.  Joys and sorrows.  Wanting to play it safe and take even greater risks.  So much fun right?  I will be streaming live from my little cottage at Raptors Lodge.  See you tomorrow morning.

Much love, Denise
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“Un-winged and naked, sorrow surrenders its crown to a throne called grace.” ― Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ― Albert Einstein



Exploring Grief

"No one ever told me that grief feels so much like fear." ~ C.S. Lewis

Blessings everyone!  I just returned from 4 days at Rio Dos Elefantes which is my first of 3 visits this summer.  I will go back for 8 days to celebrate my 71st birthday and then again in September for several days with my good friends Susan and Donna who will be visiting.  It is a beautiful spot right on the river.  This trip was a little too cold for me, but we had an amazing sighting of 5 young lions having lunch.  It may appear gruesome - but the beauty of nature also includes the rawness sometimes. 

My mind and heart continue to be on the conversation about emotions and spirituality. And as it normally works, life has been knocking books off of shelves to assist in my exploration of topics which are first and foremost relevant to my own path as well as to us all as we navigate this human experience.

All of my quotes today are from C.S. Lewis who was a British writer and theologian best known for the "Chronicles of Narnia".  A couple of years ago I downloaded a very small  book called "A Grief Observed" by Lewis but did not listen until this week.  I have been surprised by how this recounting of his journey with grief has moved and opened me.  So I want to share it with you. Below is a link to the free .pdf if you care to read it - or you can download the audio version from your favorite source.

The book was created out of journals he wrote immediately following the death of his wife of 4 years from cancer.   I was captivated by the book not only because Lewis graphically shared his grieving process but also because as  a 'theologian' myself, I was interested in the battle he took on with God about the ecstasy of his love for Joy and his grief at losing that love.  Lewis takes a deep dive into love and loss.  Beauty and ugliness - and all of the various experiences of pain which seem to inexplicably accompany the human experience.  

I suppose this is hanging with me because I realized while reading of his journey, though I did not lose a loved one last year, I did lose someone - I lost me, or at least a version of myself.  Not in reality, but there was a stretch of time where I was grieving the woman I was before the hip and the stroke which forced upon me so many unwanted life changes.  Lewis's quote  "I never knew how much grief felt like fear." brought me to tears as I realized that I had been grieving.  That grief has felt like fear.  Fear of the future.  Fear of loss and limitation.  And that grief has at times, felt like a betrayal of everything I believe about God and my fervent belief in how this universe works.  

I have realized how truly hard I have been on myself.  How little compassion I afforded myself.  I have held within me the deepest of the deepest feelings while withholding those same feelings from those I love most.  I don't why.  Upon reflection, there is some fear of appearing weak and feelings of shame.  That somehow my beliefs and my faith should shield me from doubt and questioning.  Perhaps even a sense of being fraudulent at times in my life's work.

Something about all of that has been lifted from me this week.  I am experiencing even more powerfully the presence and the love of that which is Infinite and infinitely Good.  Perhaps another indication that the emotional roller-coaster has value - if only to remind us to look within for all that we are seeking.  It does seem that whatever the 'without' is, it is temporary.  The good news is that my faith is intact and my awe and wonder at whatever God is, continues to get stronger.  I look forward to connecting on Saturday morning at 9am and will offer a Zoom connection following for anyone who would like to share.  For now, I close by sharing on of my favorite passages from this gem of a book - 

'Sometimes, Lord, one is tempted to say that if you wanted us to behave like the lilies of the field you might have given us an organization more like theirs. But that, I suppose, is just your grand experiment. Or no; not an experiment, for you have no need to find things out. Rather your grand enterprise. To make an organism which is also a spirit; to make that terrible oxymoron, a 'spiritual animal.' To take a poor primate, a beast with nerve- endings all over it, a creature with a stomach that wants to be filled, a breeding animal that wants its mate, and say, 'Now get on with it. Become a god.' C.S. Lewis

"If you love deeply, you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it." ~ C.S. Lewis


This coming Saturday morning, I am happy to start a conversation about spirituality and emotions.  Dr. Ernest Holmes once said that emotions are a part of the human experience and feelings are of the Spirit.  I hope you join in for what could be a life-changing conversation as I share my discovery of "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis, a powerful personal account of his walk with grief after the death of his wife.  We will also begin the 4-ideas about ways we might explore emotions to gain more mastery over them and a deeper faith resulting from them.  I enjoy the exploration and hope you will as well.

Much love, Denise
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"Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do." ~ C.S. Lewis
“One road leads home and a thousand roads lead into the wilderness.” – C.S. Lewis



Spirituality and Emotions

"Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing times of darkness, but it teaches you how to use the darkness as a way to grow." ~Unknown

I have had a very quiet week here in South Africa so I am sharing my favorite 12 pictures of all time.  If I had to delete all but 12 - these would be the ones to survive.  Tomorrow morning I am off to a 4-day adventure to the Rio Dos Elefantes River Camp and very excited about a change in scenery.  The river promises a plethora of abundant water life  - hippo, elephants, crocodiles and birds.  I look forward to sharing these photos next week.

My topic for the next few weeks.  Spirituality and Emotions!

Have you ever wondered if the Buddha was ever sad?  Did Jesus get jealous?  Did Mother Teresa have bouts of depression?  Anger, spite, resentment, rage, jealousy, envy, fear, worry, shame to name a several.  Have you ever wondered what happens to these pesky 'negative’ emotions as a person becomes enlightened? I think many of us have the idea that as we grow along spiritual lines that life will be all sunshine and rainbows.  That idea could leave us either spiritually by-passing our own troubling emotions by pretending we aren’t having them or standing in judgment of ourselves and others for not getting it quite right. I thought to address our emotions during the next few weeks might be good just in case you or someone you know is being hard themselves or critical of others  for not getting the whole darn process perfect. 

There is a term in yoga called Svadhyaya which means self-study. Svadhyaya is the study of scriptures as well as the study of oneSELF.  It’s the process of turning your attention inward, observing and reflecting upon your thoughts and emotions, reactions and habits, beliefs and desires, for the purpose of having a deeper experience and understanding of our true nature.  This ties in perfectly with the quote from Socrates, "An unexamined life is not worth living."  Ready to do a little self-study?

I do believe that the Divine state of being is predominantly comprised of peace and happiness.  As many of you know, Chapter 15 “Unconditional Happiness”, from the Untethered Soul by Michael Singer is my ‘go to’ chapter when I am feeling anything less than grounded, happy and enthusiastic.  When so called negative emotions arise in me, I know that somehow, I have strayed from my spiritual home-base and initiate my process of pivoting back into ownership and Spirit-centered identity.

(Let me interject that I am not talking about emotions that arise as an appropriate response to a life situation - such as the loss of a loved one, a diagnosis or other actual events in the present moment.  The bigger work concerns persistent, inappropriate to the moment emotions that seem to run our lives and keep peace and happiness elusive.)

As a foundational context I would like to suggest that your entire life from your appearance to your disappearance in the body that you currently occupy has all been a part of your sacred journey.  It is not that everything up until the moment you saw the "light" was an accident or wrong and the rest of it has been right. It is all as it should be.  Not everyone, but some of us, travel some of this incarnation unconsciously (what Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith called sleepwalking) and then we awaken to various degrees and travel some of it consciously.  See if you can accept for the moment that our entire experience belongs to us in full and our work is to sort that out so that we can move forward in as powerful a way as possible.  With this as our foundational idea, let's discuss four powerful aspects of emotions over the next few weeks to help us to understand the arising of them and how we might use awareness to navigate them more easily. 

  • The shift from victim to victor - Giving up the blame game
  • Accepting the blessings - Getting into right relationship with the past
  • The unyielding power of integrity on our mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health
  • Making room for what is trying to emerge by means of you

This is way too big a topic for this venue but let us begin. For now just turn up your awareness.  Especially if the qualities of peace, happiness and love are not flowing pretty freely in your daily experience.  And do this with the utmost of tenderness and compassion.  The purpose of the effort is a holy one and the benefit to you, your life and the entire planet is worth it.

“If you decide that you’re going to be happy from now on for the rest of your life, you will not only be happy, you will become enlightened. Unconditional happiness is the highest technique there is.This is truly a spiritual path, and it as direct and sure a path to Awakening as could possibly exist.” – Michael A. Singer

Streaming LIVE from the Rio Dos Elefantes River Camp

This coming Saturday morning, I am happy to start a stimulating conversation about spirituality and emotions.  Dr. Ernest Holmes once said that emotions are a part of the human experience and feelings are of the Spirit.  I hope you join in for what could be a life-changing conversation.

Much love, Denise
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“You have to grow from the inside out. Noone can teach you, noone can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher, but your own soul.” ~Swami Vivekananda