Soft Hearts from Hard Places
We know that we should love one another; practice kindness and compassion. But here’s the deal: love can only spill from a heart that has been softened and in most cases broken. There is no doubt that when faced with tragedy or chaos or uncertainty or misfortune, we want to have a “handle” on it, or fix it, or make it go away. Terry teaches us how to live and love from a soft heart. This is not about a way to figure life out. Nor is it about assigning blame. It’s about the permission to see the world–this day–through the eyes of our heart. It happens when…
…we allow ourselves to feel, fully and wholly
…without a need to defend, justify or explain,
…we allow ourselves to receive love, compassion and kindness without suspicion,
…we are free to embrace an extraordinary core of strength and courage that resides inside of us. . .and let it spill to those around us.
Making a Difference: Being not just the best in the world but the best for the world
Have you ever asked the question, “Why should I care anymore?” Peace comes when we see the difference between doing battle with life’s obstacles, adversities and bleakness; and seeing this battle as an uninterrupted struggle. (As if everyday leaches the life and spirit out of you). Yes, life is difficult. Yes, obstacles are weighty and real. But if we see it only as a struggle, our mindset is consumed by the next bigger and badder thing. And we never arrive. Terry helps us see that we are not being asked to let go of the obstacle. But we can let go of the struggle. In an odd way, our letting go is predicated on a holding onto. Meaning that this obstacle–whether pain or fear or limitation–is wrapped around an incredible and grace-filled gift. That gift is this moment, and an inner life fueled by a capacity to doubt, question, dare, connect, forgive, risk, receive, contribute, celebrate, delight and live unabashedly unafraid.
Waiting for my real life to begin: what if today is the day?
We don’t choose a life. We live one. We say we wish to live each day present and fully alive. To live each day with the assumption of sufficiency, regardless of circumstance or impediment or misstep. And yet, we live shut down, and our souls feel small. We have forgotten that you never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.
Today quit waiting.
Today risk that your heart’s desire is trustworthy.
Today do not ask what the world needs, but rather ask what makes you come alive, and do it. Because the world needs people who have come alive.
Today risk failure.
Today excruciatingly touch, and laugh until you cry and dance with your eyes closed. And savor and love and forgive and embrace and know that we die a little everyday.
Today, fall into this life.
Work it in: Finding beauty in life’s imperfections
No one is untouched by life’s untidiness. To make our life beautiful—especially in the midst of blotches, brokenness and blunders—requires a paradigm shift. We need to look at life differently. It means giving up our need for perfection. It means finding God’s grace in broken things. It means accepting the blunders as a part of the whole of our life. It means taking ourselves a lot less seriously. It means not dismissing or diminishing the imperfections, but “working them in,” creating the exquisite beauty that is our life.
We live driven, distracted and depleted. Is there a different way?
Terry invites us to heed the simple instruction from our childhood.
Stop. Look. Listen.
Three simple words can free us, encourage us and help us to live fully awake in the present, and to literally see God in all things.
Three simple words can give us the permission to absorb—to rest, see and listen to—the fullness of life that surrounds us, and make us glad to be alive.
The Power of Pause: becoming more by doing less
We live in a world that urges us to admire and pursue whatever is faster, newer, bigger. But here’s the deal: a life based on urgency, speed and productivity demands a high price.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed, only to add one more thing to your to-do list?
Have you ever wished for an extra day in your week, or an extra hour in your day?
Have you ever been in a conversation, and realized you weren’t even there?
Have you been pulled in so many directions that you don’t feel at home in your own skin?
If so, it’s time to learn to pause. Join Terry for the permission to become more by doing less. This is not about time management. It’s about letting our souls catch up with our bodies. Practical and humorous, Terry will teach us
- how to wear an “I’m Closed” sign,
- how to Lose What We Don’t Need,
- how to Make Space to Hear the Heart,
- how to find Miracles in the Mundane,
- and how to Celebrate a bawdy, unkempt spirit and an untidy, misunderstood God who fills us with Grace and Transformation.
Born to dance: living from the inside out
In our hearts, we are all dancers. God wants us to be our true selves – joyous, aware and living each moment with arms wide open, responding to the love of the Beloved, a reflection of the very glory of God that is within us. So why do we choose to live guarded and afraid, our days filled with hurry and noise? Fear labels and dismisses and restricts. The voice of GRACE tells us that we are more than our labels. More than our fear. The Hopi say, “To watch us dance is to hear our heart speak.” So. In this workshop, let’s dance. Terry will help us learn,
- what it means to dance free from our limitations of fear, insecurity, or pain.
- and how, in the eyes of the Beloved, we are free to love, free to serve, and free to live
Join Terry as we dance for laughter, for tears, for madness, for fears, for hopes and for screams. We are dancers, we create the dreams.
The truth is that intimacy has little to do with the other person. Intimacy begins with me. Most of us don’t want intimacy, we want security. Because intimacy is about openness, vulnerability and risk. And vulnerability can hurt. Why are we afraid to be real? What does it mean to be real, to be honest or open? What do we desire in our relationships? And why do we settle for less? Why do we give up a part of ourselves for security? How do we name our fears and move beyond them? Who have we been in love with, and what drives that passion? Is it possible to love someone even with doubts, mystery and upheaval? Is it possible to find a relationship with someone who is afraid of intimacy?
How do we nourish our inner life — and find strength even when trust is betrayed?
How do we practice a love built on a foundation of kindness, appreciation, sensitivity, and attention?
How do we become at home with the sexuality and sensuality in all of our relationships?
How do we learn the truth that intimacy has little to do with the other person. Intimacy begins with me.
No one is a Christian alone. No one. Like it or not, we are on this journey of faith together. We are Brother and Sister. We are community. We are Jesus in skin. And if that is true, it dramatically changes the way we live. Terry talks about four transformations:
- We give up the need to keep score in our relationships. We realize that we are all broken, and the Grace of God is the glue. We learn to see the face of God in our neighbor.
- We learn that our identity is no longer dependent on our appearance, affluence or achievement, so we have no need to impress anyone. We can be “real” with one another. We can learn to see what unites us, not what divides us.
- We learn to receive from one another, and to give to one another without expecting a payoff. We find God’s Grace in places, through people we least expect. We give up control.
- We make a difference together–to serve, and truly be the presence of Jesus–salt and light to a needy world. Mother Teresa said that the reason we don’t have peace in this world is that we have forgotten that we belong to one another.
God built us with a need for rest. If we ignore it, we get sick. All work and no play makes us dull, listless, and restless. We become impatient, angry, neurotic, and distressed; time-driven and obsessed with productivity. We become “dis-eased.” With our internal governors set on RUSH, we have no time for reflection, pondering, or for allowing the day to sink into our hearts. We need Sabbath. Sabbath is Sanctuary. An invitation to stop. To pause. To reflect. To receive. To re-fuel. To BE.
In this workshop Terry invites us to enter into this life, and not wait for a life yet to be. In a world bombarded by time constraints and information overload, Terry teaches us how to live Sabbath moments.
A Sabbath Moment is a place where I am at home with my own company. A Sabbath Moment is a place of rest. A Sabbath Moment is that place where we know that NOW is sacred. A Sabbath Moment allows us to see, to hear, to taste, to touch and to smell. Living Sabbath Moments is not about creating a life absent of stress. It’s about being present, in this life, even in the hectic and the crazy. Whether that be in the garden, on the back deck, on a hike, watching a sunrise, cooking dinner, walking the dog, or stuck in the worst of traffic, we have the permission see God incognito, in all things. Now, that’s worth celebrating.
Live With Intention: Our Wild and Precious Life
Garden columnist, Henry Mitchell, wrote that one day we would all die, but that the questions is how we spent our days. Were we fidgeting over moles and fungi and varmints, or glorying, year by year, in the daffodils?
This is a workshop for people who love life. And for people who wish to love life but are temporarily stymied. At times we are captives to busyness, disappointment, exhaustion, anger, apathy, an excess of caution, or even a good reputation, and we carry around an unused life – as if life is a savings bond to be withdrawn only when mandatory.
- Learning to be intoxicated with the world around us. Focusing on what nourishes our soul. Celebrating stories that send gooseflesh up our arms, or make us want to dance, or what make us love life, laugh and cry all at the same time. I’ve been asked “if I were to die tonight, would I go to heaven?” but never, “if you lived, how would you live and love your life?”
“Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and he gave it to me.”
—Rabbi Abraham Heschel
- Wanting to live and love passionately with no holds barred.
“Life without moments of intoxication is not worth a pitcher of spit.”
- Embracing the demanding marriage of loving and losing.
We have a tendency to see life as beginning “if only” and “when.” It’s difficult to receive the permission to give up being a victim, and embrace the particulars of this life.
- Practicing the art of sitting still, in order to be at home in our own skin.
A Gentle Plea for Chaos: Life as a journey, not a destination
When we are tempted by closure, answers, fixes, and when we are afraid of mystery, untidiness, journey questions and doubt, we give in to the power of fear. The cultural implication implies that our identity is linked solely to productivity; as if we are owned by the fear of dying before accomplishing everything on our to-do list. “Are we there yet?” It’s all about rewriting the codes. We’ve been wired this way for so long, it’s hard to stop. Just learning to say, “I’m doing nothing” or “I’m watching hummingbirds” or “I’m riding my bike pedaling glory,” without a grimace or need for further explanation takes a fortitude and resolve not usually found in our species. What if the very best stuff happens when we are uncertain? When do don’t have closure? When we are not in “control?”
“The problem is not simply that we work too much, the problem is that we are working for the wrong reward. . .We are paid in the wrong currency. What if we were to expand our definition of wealth to include those things that grow only in time–time to walk in the park, time to take a nap, time to play with children, to read a good book, to dance, to put our hands in the garden, to cook playful meals with friends, to paint, to sing, to meditate, to keep a journal.” Lynne Twist
Put on your dancing shoes: You are invited to a party
We live like ill-taught piano students. We are so inculcated with the flub that gets us in dutch, we don’t hear the music, we only play the right notes. Robert Capon
What does it mean to hear the music of life? It means that our life journey—our faith journey—is not a contest or a beauty pageant (based on the wrong rewards of achievement, appearance and affluence). Instead, our life journey, our faith journey, is Grace’s invitation to a dance. Terry talks about three benefits:
- We live from sufficiency not scarcity — expanding our definition of wealth and success.
- We ask new questions — for we are open, vulnerable and heart-full, embracing the world like a lover.
- We see with eyes of wonderment — because we have the capacity for amazement, the capacity to be moved. At the dance we know that life is not just the accumulation of the number of breaths we take. Life is those moments that take our breath away.
The Ephod Dance: Life as Risk, Gift, and Celebration
We’ve been told that life is about achievement, appearance and accomplishment. And so we live hectically and self-conscious, looking over our shoulders to see who is watching and who is judging, always fearing we come up short. We put life and God in a box we hope we can control. We are image conscious and tense. And on the dance floor of life, we become easily afraid. In this workshop, Terry invites us all to dance. To dance as if “nobody is watching.” The great Ephod dance of King David.
What does it mean to cherish our life, our days, our interruptions, and our friends? What does it mean to live with a heart full of awe and love. . .for God, and for God’s creation? Where is the healing power of laughter? What does it mean when God takes the box we’ve created for control, flattens it, and makes a dance floor, for us to celebrate the risk and gift of life? And what does it mean, when the passion of our dance spills over to those around us?
Soul Gardening: Lessons from the Garden about a few things that matter
People who love this world, people who pay attention, are gardeners, whether or not they have ever picked up a trowel. Because gardening is not just about digging. Gardening is about cherishing. And to cherish, one must be present. Garden columnist, Henry Mitchell, wrote that one day we would all die, but that the questions is how we spent our days. Were we fidgeting over moles and fungi and varmints, or glorying, year by year, in the daffodils? Terry talks about –
- opening our heart to the rhythms of the garden.
- Learning to practice the sacrament of the blessed present.
- Working to embrace the demanding marriage of loving and losing.
- Cultivating appreciation for ordinary gifts of grace, the value of solitude,
- and the healing power of nature. Terry’s stories will lead you to nurture your soul and renew your sense of what it means to live fully alive.
Real People, Real Communication
When it comes to communication, and relationships, it’s easy to find someone who will offer five easy steps to success. Terry prefers a different route. He speaks about communication and intimacy as if they were a journey, where we are learning the elements that allow us to communicate clearly by becoming more fully human more fully alive. We learn that healthy relationships are places –
- Where we can be thankful for little gifts and small victories.
Where we can catch those around us doing something right.
Where we learn to see the sacred in the ordinary.
Where we honor and celebrate uniqueness and differences.
Where we can laugh and play.
- Where we don’t need to pretend we’ve got our act together.
Where we can tear up our score cards, no longer worrying about what “they” think.
Where we don’t need to continue wondering, “Are we there yet?”
- Where can receive grace and embrace our fault lines.
Where we have no need to change or manipulate or fix anyone else.
Where we know that our identity is not tied to our “performance.”
- Where no longer need for life to be fair.
Where we no longer need to live vicariously through others.
Where we can give up our need for IF ONLY, infinitely preparing to live.
How to Be Me…When the World Wants Someone Else
“I’m not necessarily the girl you think you see. Whoever you want is exactly who I am more than willing to be. . .I’ll let you choose from a thousand faces and a thousand names.”
It is a familiar dilemma: feeling caught playing the roles we think other people need us to play. Masks we wear…Roles we play
A look at the temptations we face regarding our identity. What roles are we tempted to play? And why? Why is it easier to play prescribed roles? Why is it tempting to polish our ‘glittering images?’ What are we afraid will happen if we begin to look behind the mask?
- Behind the mask. . .Who or what owns me?
A look at our “identity inventory”: what tells us who we are? What are the ‘tapes’ we play? Is it possible to find acceptance for who we are today? Why are we afraid of unconditional acceptance?
- An invitation to be human
Permission to look at life through new glasses. An invitation to celebrate, to feel fully, to enjoy, and to embrace who we are, and the life as it is, not as it should be.
The Art of Doing Nothing: Letting Our Souls Catch Up With Our Bodies
We live perpetually out of breath and out of time. And we moan and complain. All the while buying more gadgets guaranteed to help us catch up. Slowing down is, after all, for people who have the time. We are enamored with speed (we want to relax better and faster, to be on the cutting edge of relaxation)! And clamor for more (which is never enough). Why is it that we are afraid of slowness? Or stillness? Or silence? This is a seminar for those of us who want to learn (or practice) the art of doing nothing. It’s about what it takes to slow down. Learning to sit still. To relax. Choosing to practice self-nurturing, self-care and self-responsibility. And Sabbath, the Biblical injunction that asks us literally, “to waste time with God.”
Stand By Me: The Art of Friendship
In today’s world, what does it mean to be a friend?
What does it takes to nurtur friendship?
Friend is one of those words – like love or dysfunction – that has suffered from overkill. In our western culture where everyone is our friend, we have rendered the word bloodless. We have enough expressions and euphemisms for friendship to make the head spin, and some folks have a FACEBOOK page chock full of friends, enough to fill the Queen Mary for cocktails, so go figure. Yet deep down we know that there are friends, and there are friends.
This much we know. Friendship is not acquired. It is made. It is a river that runs through our days. With choices weathered, rounded, seasoned, and fashioned in that river that runs through time and experience. Friendship is a process of movement. Creating and co-creating.
What keeps me from being a friend? What is it that makes me enjoy his or her company one day, and push him or her away the next? Why is it that I find pleasure in the ebb and flow of one day, and seeds of resentment buried in the next?
What allows me to be a better friend? What will it take for me to pay attention, to listen, to be intentional?
What are the ways we can celebrate this friendship? We are asked to define our lives by our vocations, or possessions, or accomplishments, but never by our friendships. Well, we’ve got it backwards. It’s the friends who surround, encircle and embrace us that tell us who we are.