Beverly with the Strawberry Nose [SSL86]

Beverly with the Strawberry Nose [SSL86]

It’s time for another Wednesday audio delivery of Spark My Muse.
This is Soul School Lesson 86
 [SSL86]

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Featured image is in the public domain and called Juicy Ripe Red Strawberry by Stephen D (link is here)


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Eps 105: If Relational Boundaries Aren’t Porous, We Can Die Early, says guest Dr. Amy Banks MD

Eps 105: If Relational Boundaries Aren’t Porous, We Can Die Early, says guest Dr. Amy Banks MD

Welcome to Spark My Muse!
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THANK YOU so much.
~
Lisa


Amy Banks, M.D., was an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is now the director of Advanced Training at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She has a private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, which specializes in relational psychopharmacology and therapy for people who suffer from chronic disconnection.

(The featured image of two women talking is a Creative Commons image taken by Tina Leggio.)

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Eps 82: Becoming Wise, my conversation with special guest, Krista Tippett

Eps 82: Becoming Wise, my conversation with special guest, Krista Tippett

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Today, my guest is Krista Tippett.kristatippet
Krista is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author. She is the host of On Being, a radio show and podcast distributed to more than 400 stations across the country, a program which often ranks among the top 50 podcasts on iTunes. Krista is the author of several books, including, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, published in April, 2016.

In 2014, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal at a special ceremony at the White House, and honored by President Barack Obama for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.”


(Share audio using the app below. Share by TWEET some of Krista’s most memorable quotes when you see the blue bird icon.)

SHOW NOTES

MIN 1

The twist on the question Krista usually asks her guests.

Silvia Borstien

Our children are watching us more than they are listening to us

Learning to not see people with distinctions and to not see people difference.

MIN 5:30

Nostalgic and loving view of religion of the grandfather. Hymns

MIN 7

Her own spiritual practice

Karen Armstrong – my work is my prayer

Krista writing a prayer, bare bones liturgy, gratitude,

“I don’t know what I mean when I say I pray, but there is something essential and grounding about having this as part of my life.”

Prayer is also an orientation to mystery. My prayer now has very little to do with asking for things. via @kristatippettTwitter

MIN 12:00

Going to Divinity School in the 1990s and the life of the mind and keeping the eyes of a journalist on the world. The important issues of theology and human life were discussions that were missing in public life.

MIN 16:00

Religion, politics, and values

MIN 19:30

The puzzle about human beings and doing “what we ought”, and power, agency, and will and choice, and being people of integrity that need cultivation and our need for each other.

MIN 21:30

We can value that we have the knowledge that we know what’s right and we can learn to get companion for ourselves.

MIN 23:00

Does one need to suffer to become wise?

Suffering is not optional. via @kristatippettTwitter Suffering offers rich ground for becoming more wise but it can take generations. via @kristatippettTwitter

MIN 24:30

Krista on her own depression and how it deepened her wisdom.

Suffering is seedbed of wisdom but not the only seedbed of wisdom. via @kristatippettTwitter

MIN 26:00

Hefty wisdom and also the kind of wisdom children possess.

MIN 28:00

How have the wisest people you’ve spoken to continued to learn and grow in wisdom?

Wise people find a way to stay soft in the face of what ever life will present next.via @kristatippettTwitter This lessens the suffering.

MIN 30:00

Hope is borne of struggle

A toughness and courage

MIN 32:00

The connection of Empathy and Wisdom and how it’s embodied.

Wisdom is a quality of presence. via @kristatippettTwitter If we walk through our sufferings and losses desiring to learn from them and to grow and deepen, empathy is a natural effect. via @kristatippettTwitter

MIN 35:00

The most foolish people get all the attention.

As a culture we seem to be growing distance from each other and less empathic–what can be done?

Fear is an empathy killer. via @kristatippettTwitter

We can become paralyzed and think we can’t do anything.

If many of us could take up the calling to be ‘calmers of fear’ and really close to home. via @kristatippettTwitter We really need to be leaning into the better angels of our nature to stand up to the challenges of the 21st century together in common life.Twitter

MIN 39:00

We are talking about work that is stitching a new fabric of common life that has to start at a very personal level.

Being a non-anxious presence for others

MIN 41:00

We are not taught to be a non anxious presence as powerful people or to be powerful this way and we need more postures in our common spaces; and it won’t feel intuitive.

MIN 43:00

Human drama will remain after the (2016) election and we have to be equipping our selves to reckon with that and be present to that.

MIN 44:00

Krista answering the “so what” question for herself in public life and presence in the world and moving away for being the On Being organizational direction.


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Soul School – Lesson 46: The Story of How “Heathens” Received my Son

Soul School – Lesson 46: The Story of How “Heathens” Received my Son

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

Welcome to SOUL SCHOOL.

These brief “lessons” are released each Wednesday
(on “Hump Day” aka Midweek).

• Come back FRIDAYS for intriguing guest conversations!


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INTRO:
Today, I share a personal story as springboard for something about compassion offered in context.

Many of you might not know that my husband and I have a special needs son named Nathan. (We also have a normally-developing daughter named Gabrielle, who we usually call “Ellie”. See photos of both of them below.) It’s been very arduous over the years with Nathan’s myriad of challenges and a strain on the whole family in many ways. To those friends, teachers, family, and others (too many to name) who have been helpful and supportive over the years, we say “thank you”.

What I am sharing today relates mainly to Nathan finding rich connection, friendship, or being truly accepted among his self-identified Christian/church going peers. Acceptance is a challenge for many typically developing children and teens. Children and teens by nature are immature, so I don’t (and didn’t) expect things to go perfectly!

His story is far from unique and neither is my pain as his parent watching it unfold. In a Christian setting, we’d like to think that rejection doesn’t happen too much because children might be influenced by church teachings and leadership. Or, Children and teens might be influenced by their Jesus-loving parents to act in ways that loving receive others with equality, but that was not our son’s experience.

When “being a mascot” is the best your child can hope for in terms of acceptance (that is to say that being ostracized is normal and being treated as a ” ‘Hey there little buddy!’ mascot” is a more rare but rather humiliating experience), your context as a family, how you help your child cope, and who shows up as your salvation, can take a surprising turn.

This personal story is the springboard for a deeper reflection today: about how we find our way in the world, make life better for ourselves and others, and maybe find some healing in the process.

What our family’s experiences showed me was that we can provide for others best out of the context from which we come, eventually. Examining those needs, hurts, and context can (possibly) yield a harvest of “good fruit”, eventual healing, and service to others. And maybe (with some new awareness), as we become more mature we can be increasingly mindful to ways we distance ourselves from people we fear. We also distance ourselves from people who unconsciously reflect parts our own weakness or insecurities back to us, and sometimes we distance ourselves from others we deem un-preferred to our sensibilities (or our cultures’  sensibilities) and are unlike us. If we can begin to see this, it’s a start. 

• Thanks for listening today! Blessing and peace.

See the show notes below for my two previous fantastic conversations on the theology of disability and hospitality from Dr. Thomas Reynolds. He offers some truly inspiring and enlightening things in these areas that are likely to be completely new ground for you and your community.

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SHOW NOTES:

This is Nathan.

nathanandmore
Pictured in photo: Nathan, his friend Cori, Nathan’s sister Ellie, and Luna–our dog.
A little bit about Nathan: Nathan loves to make videos on his youtube channel about trains, how-to videos, and animation videos. He loves working at his part-time job (large scale yard work), spending time with friends, making things from soda cans, drawing, playing with Luna, and coming up with fanciful business ideas. He also enjoys posting on his Instagram account. You can follow him on those outlets and encourage him, if you’d like. He loves connecting with new friends and fans. (And if you send him train video footage or interesting video script ideas he might try to create new videos with them.)


Nathan’s video channel trailer:

More on the the study and theology of disability and hospitality.

Tom Reynolds – Part I

Tom Reynolds – Part II


Thank you so very much for listening today.

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Episode 14: A chat with Ed Cyzewski

Episode 14: A chat with Ed Cyzewski

Shownotes for Episode 14: How-to pair wine and chocolate for a great party + a chat with author, Ed Cyzewski

BANANA CART?
(Your ears are not fooling you. In Columbus, Ohio at 9:30 pm a man rides a bike around and rings a bell as he sells frozen chocolate covered bananas. Too funny. And it sounds delicious, if not suspicious. That’s why I’m featuring chocolate in the wine segment today! Enjoy it. It’s bananas, after all.)


Want to try the practice of EXAMEN?

In this episode Ed and I chat about one of his favorite spiritual practices. It’s been very transforming for me too. It’s the practice of Examen (typically pronounced: EGGS-Aye-men).

This age old practice of reflection, mindfulness, and prayer to begin and end one’s day goes back ages in Christian History and is reflected in spirit throughout the bible. Like in David’s sentiments in the Psalms (like Psalm 119) and in Isaiah 26:9.

“My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you…”

So today I offer you my personal version of the Examen practice!

I call it “The Daily Sharpening Ritual”
–It’s the perfect way to supercharge and renew personal and spiritual awareness in your life.

It’s a simple but effective worksheet makes the practice easier to sustain. I hope you give it a try.
The practice takes just 3-5 minutes each morning and just before bed.
• You can see surprising changes in awareness in only 5 days.
(Simply print out 5 copies and follow-through for 5 days!)

Both EXAMEN-like worksheets below work like an Examen practice, but the 2nd one features prayer more fully in addition to reflection and mindfulness.

Check them out to see which one you like best. Print out both if you’d like:

SharpeningPRAYER• The SHARPENING Ritual 

• The SHARPENING Ritual
(PRAYER-centered VERSION)

(Enjoy these resources with my compliments…tipping what you can is optional.)


How we find spark:

We are in this together. As you listen and become part of what is happening here, it will be obvious that I spend a lot of time and a bit of money doing the show: website, paying for media hosting, producing it, editing, adding music, finding and speaking with guests, more editing, more research, and all the rest to bring you something of value in the Spark My Muse podcast.

Lots of heart, sweat and occasionally tears for your enjoyment and inspiration. You get to decide what that means and what it’s worth.

 

So, I invite you to just listen, read, and contribute what the episode is worth to you.

 

• If nothing, I apologize. Please, come back and listen again soon.

• If you think it’s worth one dollar, five dollars, twenty-five dollars, six hundred billion-gazillion dollars…you see where I’m going with this…, or offer something of equal value that is not monetary, simply contribute what it has been worth to you. HERE.

(or contact me here if it’s not monetary. Be creative!)
Thank you!
With Love,
~Lisa

 

WINE SEGMENT

 

MINUTE 2:30

Best tips for the tastiest pairing Party of chocolate and wine!

A how-to.

A chocolate and wine tasting party is so much fun.

• It’s ideal for groups of 3-12 people.

• Have each person bring some wine and provide samples of high quality chocolate and let the fun start!

It’s the acid:
One of the tasty things you can do is pair chocolate and wine. Both chocolate and wine have higher levels of acidity which makes them a naturally delicious match.

Well-paired wine and chocolate work together to make each one taste better. Delicious qualities come out in both the wine and the chocolate and even form a third taste. A careful selection is needed.

Here are some ideas of which wine to pair with which kinds of chocolate treats.

TIP 1

The most  important tip to remember is to keep the wine sweeter than the treat it’s pair with.

(If you don’t it can make the wine seem less tasty and flavorful or heighten its bitterness. yucky.)

TIP 2

Make sure you have high-quality chocolate. 

Many supermarketers have a premium chocolate section and you probably only need one bar of each kind or just a good quality box assortment. Baked good work as well and you can search online too.

TIP 3

Taste test the chocolate ahead of time: Pick out certain fruit flavors, determine the sweet and bitter components they have, check for nuttiness qualities and levels of acidity. If the chocolate has a creme center this will take on added complexity that might pair well with fruit-forward wines. 

TIP 4

A rule of thumb is that darker wines tend to pair better which darker chocolate and should be served first: More full-bodied, (heavier feeling in the mouth) dark and drier (not a sweet style) red wine pair well with the more bitter chocolates that have a higher cocoa %.

White wines tend to pair well with milk chocolate blends and chocolates that have sweeter and fruitier flavor notes.

TIP 5
Remember TIP #1 one …keep the wine SWEETER than the chocolate!

MAKING A MATCH
Pick your wines according to the flavors you’ve tasted in the chocolate,
 and ask your guests to bring a specific variety of wine.

Here are some specific ideas for the kinds of wine you may want to serve, but you can feel free to experiment and see if your palate prefers something different.

Bittersweet chocolate (70% to 100%): This chocolate type enters the bitter range with deep intensity. Good choices include Bordeaux wines (merlot, cab franc, cab save), Beaujolais, Shiraz, Port, Malbec.

Dark chocolate (50% to 70%): Pair this with more robust wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, off-dry chamborcin and Port. A Chianti can match well with chocolate around 65 percent cocoa content.

Milk chocolate: Try Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Muscat, and dessert wines. Champagne is also a natural match for milk chocolate. The crisp, dry flavour of the bubbly contrasts perfectly with the creaminess of a simple milk chocolate tablet. Be careful of the higher sugar levels in milk chocolate, as these may cancel out any fruitiness in dry red wines, leaving them tasting bitter.

White chocolate (which is really cocoa butter) : Match with Sherry, Muscato (a.k.a. Muscat) a fruity Chardonnay (un-oaked), These wines will pick up on the buttery, slightly oilier tones of the cocoa butter. Vidal Blanc, Niagra blends, catawba blends.

Champagne or sparkling wine goes well with all chocolate types. It is a variety that compliments many kinds of wines. Many fortified dessert wines work well across the chocolate spectrum as well because they tend to be sweeter.

PARTY TIP
To keep every one sharp and feeling well, Offer your guests some bread or light fare before you begin and keep the wine samples to just an ounce. 

HOW TO TASTE THE PAIR
1. Take take a small sip of wine and note the aromas and tastes. Some hosts offer guest a sheet to jot down their observations.

2. Then bite into the chocolate and note what it happening as you taste and eat it.

3. Then you sip the wine again and note the new flavor notes and changes that the chocolate brought to the wine. It’s amazing how much the taste of the wine will change according to what it is paired with.

4. Don’t rush through the pairing. 7-10 minutes per pairing is about right. Allow people to really luxuriate on the experience and talk about the flavors and taste combinations they are experiencing.

AMBIENCE TIP
This is not a consumption event, it’s a sensory group experience where enhanced awareness is key. Relax and take your time. Chocolate and wine are luxury items.

THE TAKEAWAY
It’s a great lesson for life too. The point isn’t to bulldoze through life and get it out of the way, but to really notice what is happening and take it all in deeply. Downshift to a better appreciation of encounters with others, with our surroundings, and ultimately with ourselves and to God who makes a home within us.

• Enjoy yourself and let me know of the pairings you came up with  (in the comments section) and how your pairing experimenting went, or what your plans are. I’d love to know. You can post pictures at the Spark My Muse Facebook page too.

Do you have questions? Leave them here, use the voice mail feature, or use the contact page and I’ll try to answer them in future episodes.

 


Sparking your Muse…
a chat with Ed Cyzewski

edc200_thumb

Visit Ed’s website.

 

 


Interview notes

11:00

Ed talks about his upcoming Christian Writer’s Survival Guide book

12:30

The practices of prayer and writing are connected in so many ways.

12:30

Contemplative prayer

Spiritual Direction

and how Ed is learning more about Holy Spirit and waiting on the Lord

14:30

From my experience…”Type A” or productive person’s view of prayer is active or proactive (maybe not involving much listening to God) (Lisa)

15:00

Apophatic prayer – God is found in the silence more than I thought (Lisa)

15:30

“The Creative process and prayer require us to enter with hands open”.

16:00

For both (writing and prayer), you can’t force the outcome…

16:15

Submit to the process.

Do the work.

17:00

“[A] general principle is to create space to allow inspiration and good writing to happen.”

Maybe (it can happen) in retreats or in different ways.

19:20

My favorite podcast Krista Tippet’s show On Being Onbeing.org (Lisa)

Pico Iyer-  (paraphrase) “So much information is coming in but we have less space to process it.” -Pico Iyer The Art of Stillness

20:15

Never a moment wasted because of technology…but at what cost?

21:00

(Ed) on not having times for his brain to slip into neutral..

21:30

Ed says walks helped clear his mind, and he had to detox and ween from media.

22:30

We have a loss of self and fear of quietness.

22:45

40 Day Ignatian retreat bringing a terrifying and alone sense after 2-weeks until she found God in the quiet.

24:00

Ed’s method for unplugging and creating space:

Relent technique-going offline after 5pm and weekends.

25:30

Leaving my phone in my car when I go for walk to eating out. (Lisa)
• I’ve experienced less anxiety (to my surprise).

27:00

(Ed’s sarcasm) College students in the 1990s would die all the time, every week, because they didn’t have cell phones. Funerals every week for the mobile phone-less.

27:30

In the 1980s my dad got collect calls from “pick me up”. (Lisa)

29:10

UK study showing that teens are more anxious because of tech and over-connectedness.

29:40

Maybe because the media (they are using) is socially consequential and not neutral: like watching tv or listening to radio. (Lisa)

32:00

From his upcoming book:

Allowing space to grow and learn. His spiritual practice of Examen.

The app he uses: Examine App

The practice helped him come up with writing topics.

33:30

The practice showed him the imbalance of his life.

 

35:10

Contemplative writer’s Facebook on group

37:00

Kirsten Oliphant

Andi Cumbo-Floyd

37:50

The group has lots of generosity there like a support group.

39:20

How Ed keeps a balance in mood and outlook when the stories he writes about are negative and make him angry.

How he uses a generous redemptive approach and giving his anger time to dispute so he can write with redemption in mind, inspired by Richard Rhor.

40:00

God wants to redeem everyone.

40:30

…Controversy and hit pieces build a quick blog audience…but the challenge is to be redemptive and to still confront in love when necessary…

41:00

“I’d rather be an Atheist than attend the Village Church” (his angry article)

42:40

Trying to encourage others to be redemptive and holding back if he can’t do it in a redemptive way. Waiting is important.

43:30

How we change. Example: Women in Ministry and how Ed’s mind changed.

44:20

“God is all about the long game.”

(It’s not helpful to create animosity)

44:50

(Lisa) “The power of heightening Empathy (to solve problems). Sharing stories helps.

The job of a person who is called to communicate for something bigger than themselves is to ask…

‘Am I able to show people something that they haven’t seen, but  then once they see they know it’s true. And they can’t unseen it’.”

“And to feel it too…what that (other) person is feeling.” -Ed

(If you’d like to have Ed back to discuss how writing can be “soul-killing” and what to do about it, please let us know and leave a comment! Was the show too long? Too short? Ed and I decided we are curious about this, so let us know.)

:)


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BREAKING NEWS:

Shane Claiborne is joining Spark My Muse as a guest this summer! WHOOP whoop !!!


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