Walk Around Your Abyss; Henri Nouwen [SSL 243]

Host Lisa Colon DeLay explores the inner voice of Love and walking around the abyss with readings and reflections from Henri Nouwen.

Amazon affiliate link to books by Henri Nouwen:


(kindle) https://amzn.to/3BemXsj

To get extras click to see the SUBSTACK updates as a paid supporter ❤️:

(sample it for free)

• Maybe you want to chip-in a bit each month?
Patreon supporters get ALL ACCESS to the Substack extras! ⬇️


Listeners like you make this work possible. Please help…

1. Share the program with another person today.

2. Leave a Rating/ Write a Review on iTunes for the podcast.

Solve for X [SSL76]

It’s time for another Wednesday audio delivery!

This is Soul School Lesson 76 [SSL76]

Scroll down for the AUDIO PLAYER.

(Feature photo is a Creative Common image by Lubomirkin. It was taken in Ukraine, Kyiv)

For more information about this episode with links and extras, CLICK HERE.

Send out a Tweet from here and share the program.
Just click below:

[ictt-tweet-blockquote]Here’s an audio episode at Spark My Muse that I think you should check out right now![/ictt-tweet-blockquote]

I hope you enjoy the program today.
If you’d like to help me cover my expenses for the show, you can contribute using the PayPal button below.
Thank you, in advance, for your kindness.


Click HERE for an ACCESS PASS.

Get details about today’s episode. PLUS, all past SHOW NOTES.

(Acquiring Show Notes helps support the show! AND it’s just $1 monthly. You can cancel at any time.)


If you like the show, please help in TWO WAYS:
1. share it with one other person TODAY.
2. write a review on iTunes. Here’s a short how-to video.

Listen to recent episodes:

Pick an option that works best for you!

Eps 65: The Myth of the “Lone Genius” – CS Lewis expert Dr Diana Glyer

“The Inklings” were a group of authors who met together, up to twice a week, for 17 years and included the likes of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.  Without the rigorous, encouraging, and collaborative nature of this group, great works like The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia might not have made it to final form.

Dr Diana Glyer’s scholarly work into The Inklings took her over 20 years to compile and craft into her dissertation published asThe Company They Keep. Her scholarship altered the prevailing notion about the group and how it functioned. Her more recent general-audience book, based on that scholarship, called Bandersnatch includes the most interesting stories about CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien’s friendship and explains how we can learn from the way the Inklings worked together. Today we talk about how we can apply that wisdom into our own creative endeavors and collaborations.

Thank you for listening today! Please pass along this episode to others!

AND Scroll down for plenty of show note details on the books and people mentioned.

• Will you send in a little support to pay for ongoing monthly audio media space costs for this episode?  Just click HERE.  

Dr Diana Glyer


MIN 1:30

Diana’s first introduction into the world of Tolkien.


Wondering what the conversations of Lewis and Tolkien were like and how they influenced each other.

[ictt-tweet-inline via=”dianaglyer”]Our conversations become the spark for creative breakthrough.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

(That’s a cool quote from Diana and you can Tweet it just by clicking it. It’s like Elfin magic!)


No one had researched and written about their relationship of collaboration and influence from the inside–like a fly on the wall.


How we think about literary influence and collaboration. Process influence versus product influence.

The role of creative input and question-asking during the initial period of creative inspiration.

MIN 7:30

Looking at dairies and primary documents and drafts and the detective work of Diana’s book “The Company They Keep”.


Some examples of how Lewis and Tolkien made changes in their work because of the input of the Inklings writers group.


The myth of tortured artists and creative luminaries and how excellent creative work really happens (nearly always) by the people we admire most.


Having conversations and interactions about our creative work.

For creative geniuses and highly productive artists throughout the centuries it is NORMAL to be collaborative and interactive during the creative process.

[ictt-tweet-inline via=”dianaglyer”]The Hollywood construct of lone creative genius is highly abnormal and unhealthy.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

(That’s another cool quote from Diana and you can Tweet it just by clicking it.)


How Bandersnatch got written.


What do you do if you’re scared that your work stinks?

Inviting a bigger look at what collaboration means.

Involving others into every stage of the creative process.


Guidelines for critique:

First, know what you are looking for then…

Remember 2 things:

1. A good critique should not end up being discouraging but make you excited to go back and work on it and restless until you do.

2. Ask specifically what you need. Example (Is there too much description? Is it too wordy? Is it too formal? Is pacing okay?)

CS Lewis sent his work to friends with a note, “Is this worth working on some more? Or am I on a dead end?” The Chronicles of Narnia was almost never written because he was discouraged.

MIN 26:00

The huge importance of encouragement.

Be courageous in sharing our messy unfinished work.

MIN 27:30

The Company They Keep

Bandersnatch will be available in Fall 2016 as an Audio Book


AUTHOR page: dianaglyer.com

(FACEBOOK page) Bandersnatchbook

BOOK PAGE: bandersnatchbook.com

• CS Lewis wikipedia page

• CS Lewis Foundation

• JRR Tolkien society website

Poke around and listen to other episodes and please subscribe to get the next episode of Spark My Muse!

Spark My Muse comes out twice per week and is LISTENER supported!
Without YOUR help, I’ll have to stop, soon, when the money runs out.
Will you help?

To be a part of the support team and get lots of insider extras and rewards too, CLICK here to get info.

EPS 50: The Amazing Story of Bruce Van Horn

I’m excited to have Bruce Van Horn on the Spark My Muse podcast.

His story is inspiring and his coaching, his presence on the internet at his WEBSITE and social media where he is one of the most Retweet encouragers on Twitter, in books, and on his podcast heard in 194 countries (Life is a Marathon) he has been an encouragement to millions.

His book “Worry No More: 4 Steps to Stop Worrying and Start Living” is an Amazing International Best Seller.


MIN 5 Early in life Bruce got into Computers/IMB and tried to make his fortune and contentment externally.

Bruce losses it all at 27. At 42 loses it all again and feels like giving up.

MIN 10

How Bruce started to turn his life around and had his major epiphany.

How Bruce learned that the hardest part of running a marathon is the decision to run one (each day).

MIN 13

How Bruce applied his big success to all the aspects of his life.

MIN 15

How Bruce started to take responsibility for his whole life and take his thoughts captive and end negative self talk.

MIN 18

Peter Sage

“Complaints are the glue that keep you stuck to your problems.”

“Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill

Express gratitude for what you have because it makes it easier to get what you want.

Making a list of things to be grateful for—which, at first, was insincere.

MIN 20 What would you miss if it was gone?

MIN 22

Making changes in life and relationships. Changing language like eliminating sarcasm.

MIN 24 Starting a life coaching relationship that led to jobs all over the world.

MIN 28

The stage four cancer that changed everything.

The surgery that went wrong and no pain medication to recover with.

MIN 34

“In this moment, if I can breathe, I have everything I need.”

Pain is not a curse. Somehow this experience is a gift. The story was a detour not an end.

MIN 36

“Worry No More” the book

Worry is like Mediation done wrong.

MIN 39

Experience is thought in this moment. We are telling ourselves a story. We can see another story. Worry is a story about what you don’t want to happen. and you can tell a different story.

MIN 40

Life is a Marathon podcast

Heard in 194 countries around the world.

Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

Hey! Thanks for coming to the website. I’m thrilled at how well the show has been doing. Thanks for listening to Spark My Muse. I had to share this cool photo (below) with you. Yep, it’s from iTunes! I’m officially “popular” and YOU made that happen. Thank you!

One thing that is still pretty shabby is the iTunes reviews for the show. Can you help?

Just a few words of “I love the show” or “whoot whoot”  (or what-have-you) would really help!

Click HERE to write a review.
It’s time to see who the audience is, officially. This quick survey takes about 30 seconds. Thank you for helping. I have some great things coming up in the show that you will enjoy.
Spark My Muse

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.16.23 PM

Show notes –
Spark My Muse podcast: Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 3.10.44 PM
Photo by Brett Bastello – Personal Creations (click for link)

Today’s episode covers the skinny on wine spritzers and also how friendship fuels our creative muse.

This episode is brought to you by
the book Dog in the Gap
10 essays inspired by the life lessons learned while befriending with the family canine. Heart warming, full of wonderful photography and good humor. Click the links to learn more to get a copy.

The Bonus Edition is just a $1 more and it contains lots of extras and goodies.


What is a wine spritzer exactly and why now is a good time to make one?

First, what’s up with the word “spritzer”?

The word “spritzer” comes from the German spritzen “spatter, squirt, spray, sprinkle”.

(additional note: just saying it involves some spritzing, right?)

The wine sprizter is just a simple drink combination of chilled wine and something that sparkles, such as sparkling mineral water, club soda, or seltzer water.

It’s consumed more for refreshment than anything else!

(It’s easy on the liver.)

• Drinking wine in warm weather or in the hot sun is always a bad idea. The spritzer is a good choice for summer because of its lower alcohol content, less calories, and being less inexpensive than straight wine consumption. Serving them is a great a way for you or your guests to not drink too much before the hambergers are ready at your cookout.

Too much wine (or any alcohol) during the summer will dehydrate you and you can quickly feel tired or ill.

Spritzers are mixed in various ratios and sometimes fruit juice is added.
The two most common are 50/50 or,
1/2 cup club soda to 1 cup of wine.

• The Spanish use red wine, fruit, and lemon soda. That sounds delicious!

I think wine or juice Spritzers are the go-to outdoor party beverage that provides a less expensive refreshing treat for outdoor entertaining and outdoor fun, sunny get-togethers, and bonding with friends. (They can be made without alcohol for teetotalers or children too–just skip the wine and add more fruit juice.)

• For parties, you can fill a punch bowl with the right ratios.

Some of my favorite wine spritzer recipes!

The Super Simple Spritzer

Just two ingredients:
6 ounces of a reasonably priced of white wine – or a blush wine–
plus 6 ounces of 7-Up (or try sprite or ginger ale).


Sublime Citrus Spritzer
2 lemon slices, 2 lime slices, 5 ice cubes.
4 ounces of your your favorite white wine and 2 ounces of lemon-lime seltzer.

Peach Dream Party Bowl Spritzer

6 quartered peaches and 2 tablespoons of honey.

Mix into a blender and puree. Place in a pitcher and chill for about two hours, then mix in a bottle of white wine, and stir well.

Finally, add a liter of cold sparkling water or seltzer.

Garnish with mint and extra slices of peach.


Citrus Ice Cube Party Pitcher Spritzer
2 lemons, zested
2 small oranges, zested (or 1 large orange, zested)
1 bottle white or blush wine
3 cups sparkling water
Place the zest as a mixture into an empty ice cube tray, add water and freeze for 3 to 5 hours.

In a large pitcher, combine the wine and the sparkling water and then the citrus zest ice cubes.

Stir and serve.


White Wine and Fruity Sweet Party Spritzer
1 bottle of sweet white wine
3/4 cup white grape juice or apple juice
1 liter bottle desired-flavor low-calorie sparkling water, chilled.

(optional and delicious Assorted fresh fruits (such as raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, sliced kiwifruit, blueberries, lemon slices, lime slices, halved strawberries, or red grapes)
1 In a large punch bowl combine wine and grape juice.

Just before serving, slowly pour in sparkling water.

If desired, garnish individual servings with fruit. Makes 10 (6-ounce) servings

SPARK MY MUSE: On friendship….

David Whyte:

Friendship is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die.

Little Prince

(previous entry)

C.S. Lewis

Friendship, unlike cooperation, is unnecessary to human survival.
Friendship, like philosophy and art is one of the things that gives value to survival.
how friendship differs from the other three types of love by focusing on its central question: “Do you see the same truth.”

Anne Lamott

In the course of the years a close friendship will always reveal the shadow in the other as much as ourselves, to remain friends we must know the other and their difficulties and even their sins and encourage the best in them, not through critique but through addressing the better part of them, the leading creative edge of their incarnation, thus subtly discouraging what makes them smaller, less generous, less of themselves.

My essay:

Pertaining to sparking one’s muse. Good friends, that offer selflessly the balance of honesty and gentleness, toughness and acceptance, encouragement and motivation breath life into our lives and our art. Being social creatures, as humans, we crave social bonds even though they inevitably cause us pain at times. Isolated, for too long, we shrink into ourselves with self-delusion, self-absorption, unwarranted loathing and aggrandizement.

Aloneness is a dread for many or a craving for those misfit. And even those misfit hope, sometimes, to find someone else in the dark that might recognize him and name him and finally tell him he is well enough and valuable. Only in the mirror of friendship can we have solid footing and might be drawn out into our best selves. Erotic love has too much fire and entanglement for that. Agape love too much work and abdication. Brotherly love too much responsibility and duty. Only a soul friend can birth you into your actualization most purely.

Friends and confidants help us be continually born into the next stage of development. We risk with them and they with us and the synergy makes us stronger. At its best it is a fountain of grace sourced in Originator of Love and Goodness.

Do you have a question or do you have an idea for the show? Please let me know! :)