Reflecting on five takeaways

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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an action-reflection process of education, preparing the way for people to work as spiritual carers. This may be primary work, e.g. someone who wants to work as a chaplain, or it may be a secondary component of work that is already being done, e.g. a counselor who is looking to integrate spirituality into their praxis.

CPE was created by Anton Boisen, a Congregational minister in the US. Boisen struggled with mental health and was treated in a psychiatric hospital. He connected his experiences to the idea of pastoral formation in a clinical setting. …


In Praise of the Invisible

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Focus has worth. Whether it is harnessed and utilized in ways that fulfill you, or it is taken in small moments that diminish you.

More and more time — for work, connection, leisure — is spent in front of screens. By focusing so much on pixels, we diminish vital aspects of our world and lives, particularly those that are largely invisible.

What might it mean to connect with the unseen?

Giving attention to the invisible may help to understand or remember what is important to ourselves, our communities, to life.

It can also highlight vulnerabilities…


Strengthen your four immune systems to go beyond the banality of self-care

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The world is now approaching the 18-month mark of globalized life in a pandemic. It is no exaggeration to say that never before has the world’s population been so aware of the value of immunity. Immunity goes beyond the layers of vaccine efficacy and safety- it can provide a daymark for better overall health and an increased capacity for helping others.

If you find yourself still standing after the pounding waves of advice (self-care, anyone?) on how to get through the compounding daily challenges, you may find yourself in a painful in-between space. …


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What are rituals?

The Cambridge Dictionary offers a fairly inclusive definition of ritual:

a set of fixed actions and sometimes words performed regularly, especially as part of a ceremony:

Coffee and the newspaper are part of my morning ritual.

The birds were performing a complex mating ritual.

If you search for rituals on Medium, you would be forgiven for thinking that rituals are all about productivity, happiness and magick. They can include those things, but there’s much more lost to cultures that don’t understand, appreciate and cultivate rituals.

Rituals aren’t material. There is no profit motive. They are not dependent on technology- they…


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The concept and lived experience of the Anthropecene — a present and future of our planet’s systems modified by human activity — has gone from a dream of civilization to a waking nightmare. The global dangers of ecosystem and biodiversity destruction, climate change and health threats are immediate, personal and will live longer than us. These and other challenges are, frankly, terrifying to our most basic notions of a good life. Combine this with the boiling tension of uncertainty in the myths of politics, economies, and society, and it’s a wonder how we carry on. The scope, scale and unknowns…


How Character is Like Water

The water we treasure today — for our health, spirit, life as we know it — is the same water that has always been. It is essential, elemental and timeless.

Water also changes states, driven on a large scale with energy from the sun, but always making its way back to a pure state, back to its foundation. Human beings love to interact and acknowledge the changes and states of water. We marvel at and play in snow. We enjoy the life-giving nature of rain. We love the metaphor of rivers. We swim, we drink…


The Responsibility of Fintech

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First, I acknowledge that there are larger and more structural issues regarding finance, power and economic violence that deserve attention. And sometimes, in the treadmill of white middle-class parenting life, shit can just get annoying. This piece is about one of those moments, and how those with power could simply make a choice that would make some small things better, easier and maybe even put a shine on the shadow of fintech.

Problem

One of the collective highs and lows of our collective un-doing over 2020 was imagining the ways that some of our new behaviors…


A warning issued on the entry signs of the Wodi Wodi track near Stanwell Park in the Illawarra.

As soon as I moved to Australia I started to “go bush,” as they say. In other words, I went for hikes on the beaches and wooded trails along the Illawarra escarpment. I was especially curious about a trail that warned of a big black cat. I eventually made a plan to tackle the trail, but it was a terrible plan. I got lost, and I was totally unprepared.

Fortunately I had no run-ins with wildlife, but there were very real dangers as I made my way step by step to safety over treacherous terrain. I made it back, mostly…


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Resentment is an emotion, as fickle and fleeting as any other. As defined by Merriam-Webster, resentment is “a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury.” It may be capricious, but it also complex, recurring and if you look closely at that definition, persistent. As I am newly engaged in both couples therapy and Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE — an international standard of training for chaplains), I am becoming aware of how much resentment is hijacking my focus and spoiling both my emotional and spiritual intelligence.

Following is an example that…


Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

This time last year I was struggling, as I slotted right in to the worst possible age, and damn was I feeling it. I was also dealing with a kid going to prep and my youngest was still one — each challenging in their own ways. Then suddenly, the rush of change to working from home, the general and then quite specific anxieties that followed, topped with everyone at home for a long time in the strictest lockdown in the world. I wasn’t in a good way, but no one in my circle was.

When the weather started to warm…

Chris Turner

Interfaith minister & spiritual companion writing about spirituality, chaplaincy, and humanness— more at https://innerfaith.life

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