Awakening heart,
spirit and joy in worklife

"The Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert talk about two "hungers." There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; but the Great Hunger, the greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning. There's ultimately only one thing that makes human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is to have thrust upon them a life without meaning. There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness. But of far more comfort to the soul is something greater than happiness or unhappiness, and that is meaning, okbecause meaning transfigures all. Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you're happy or unhappy. You are content – you are not alone in your Spirit – you belong."

Sir Laurens van der Post from Hasten Slowly, a film by Mickey Lemle

“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift that I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self, and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”

Parker Palmer

"The attainment of wholeness requires one to stake one’s whole being. Nothing less will do; there can be no easier conditions, no substitutes, no compromises."

C.G. Jung

"There is a kind of hidden miserliness in human nature that prevents me from employing myself fully in any event, that counts the cost of everything and wants me to save my energies for future emergencies, not realizing that the only way to reinforce the powers of the soul is to use them in full. Everything matters. Everything I do is important, because it is me. There is no small event in life, no negligible occasion, no minor opportunity. All that happens to me requires the whole of me, and by holding back and letting half of me into the fray, I only do harm to myself and stunt my growth. Lack of generosity with life is the reason I do not allow myself to develop as I know I could."

Father Carlos G. Valles, Courage to be Myself

"How do I listen?
How do I listen to others?
As if everyone were my Master speaking to me his cherished last words."


"If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living….Wherever you are – if you are following your bless, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time."

Joseph Campbell

"No one can tell you how to find your purpose. It can only be found, slowly, in your own dark sky, in whatever is sacred to you, be that church or woods. It can’t be found by searching around for a role model or learning how cultural heroes handled their difficulties. It is seldom found by following anyone else’s rules. It lives in the rest in the place where music is born, the fertile void, the silence between notes. It is simple and basic. It emerges slowly as a sunrise, as we search through our gifts, our darkness, our losses, and loves. Your job and mine is to be quiet and alone from time to time. To be present to ourselves and the natural world, and to be in conversation with what is hidden in us in such a way that we can explore what brings us more alive."

Dawna Markova

"The Way It Is"
There’s a thread that you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt Or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread."

William Stafford

“Often when something is ending we discover within it the spore of new beginning, and a whole new train of possibility is in motion before we even realize it. When the heart is ready for a fresh beginning, unforeseen things can emerge. And in a sense, this is exactly what a beginning does. It is an opening for surprises. Surrounding the intention and the act of beginning, there are always exciting possibilities. This inevitably excites artists. So much can actually happen between the moment the brush is taken into the hand and the moment it touches the canvas. Such beginnings have their own mind, and they invite and unveil new gifts and arrivals in one’s life. Beginnings are new horizons that want to be seen; they are not regressions or repetitions. Somehow they win clearance and become fiercely free of the grip of the past. What is the new horizon in you that wants to be seen?”

John O’Donohue

“When Someone Deeply Listens To You When someone deeply listens to you it is like holding out a dented cup you've had since childhood and watching it fill up with cold, fresh water. When it balances on top of the brim, you are understood. When it overflows and touches your skin, you are loved. When someone deeply listens to you the room where you stay starts a new life and the place where you wrote your first poem begins to glow in your mind's eye. It is as if gold has been discovered!
When someone deeply listens to you your bare feet are on the earth and a beloved land that seemed distant is now at home within you.”

John Fox

“The Culmination of one love, one dream, one self, is the anonymous seed of the next. This is very helpful when considering the many forms of self we inhabit over a lifetime. One self carries us to the extent of its usefulness and dies. We are then forced to put that once beloved skin to rest, to join it with the ground of spirit from which it came, so it may fertilize the next skin of self that will carry us into tomorrow. We live, embrace, and put to rest our dearest things, including how we see ourselves, so we can resurrect our lives anew.”

Mark Nepo


The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all you life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own imagine from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.”

Derek Walcott

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly”

Richard Bach

“Write the wrongs that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.
Let go of all emotions such as resentment and retaliation, which diminish you, and hold on to the emotions, such as gratitude and joy, which increase you.”

Arabic Proverb

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs - ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman

“What lies behind us And what lies before us Are tiny matters Compared to What lies within us.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks—we will also find our path of authentic service in the world. True vocation joins self and service, as Frederick Buechner asserts when he defines vocation as ‘the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need’.”

Parker Palmer

“Integrity is the ability to listen to a place inside oneself that doesn’t change, even though the life that carries it may change.”

Rabbi Jonothan Omer-Man

“The Real Work It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

Wendell Berry, Collected Poems

“Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear. Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am. I must listen for the truths and values at the heart of my own identity, not the standards by which I must live - - but the standards by which I cannot help but live if I am living my own life.”

Parker Palmer

“Integrity is the ability to listen to a place inside oneself that doesn’t change, even though the life that carries it may change.”

Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak