Chikko & The Man: My Inner Critics

I recently was on a silent meditation retreat. Nine days of listening to my inner nag — or nags,  sometimes it feels like a whole committee is in my brain. Some refer to this as the inner critic (or critics, in my case). On this retreat, I observed (once again) just...

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Epiphany: Holiday // Holy Day // Every Day

In the Ethiopian Orthodox Calendar, January 7th is Gena or Christmas and January 19th is Timkat or Epiphany. As in Western Christianity, the days after Christmas (the "12 days") are considered holy. But unlike in the West where Epiphany symbolizes the Magi's visit to...

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Space IS Structure

Before I left for vacation, my friend, Colin (an excellent coach for those who are looking), was coaching me as I was lamenting my inability to create more structure for writing & creativity. He was guiding me in an inquiry process and the statement “the space IS the structure” came out of my mouth…

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It’s Called “Practice” for a Reason

I don't know what I'd do without a meditation practice. After 20+ years, daily meditation is not a huge struggle for me any longer. Yes, sometimes I miss a day of formal practice. I might even go through a period of not sitting for a week (rare). But, I have...

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Oh Despair. Some Sun Has Got To Rise.

It's been a long while since I've written. What a summer. I felt the call to pen something with each devastating moment — Orlando, Istanbul, Baton Rouge, Minnesota, Baghdad, Nice, Syria, Dallas, Ethiopia, our ongoing climate crises, wildfires, floods, not to mention...

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Weirdos. Will. Slay.

I've written here before about feeling like I don't belong to any one group or identity. Actually, I am most comfortable in hyper–multicultural spaces — places where mixed–race couples and gender–illusionists abound. Luckily, those are the worlds through which I...

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The Narcissistic Paradox: See Your–Self

Like most tweens, my nephew is often glued to his gadgets playing games. A few years ago, he went through a phase where he insisted you sit behind him and watch while his avatar accumulated points. I did my auntie–duty and watched because I want him to be feel seen by me...

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Open to Mystery

The hype around meditation and mindfulness in the past few years has been bananas. It seems like a new article, book, celebrity–endorsement comes out weekly. Fueling a lot of this are the scientific justifications — studies that prove that meditation positively effects physical, mental, and emotional well–being…

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Waking Up Wisely: Positive Critical Thinking

I call myself an Integral Coach® because that's what I am but also because I don't want to use the "L" word (no, not that one, I'd happily call myself a "Lesbian" but I'm not, so I can't). It's that other word... I'm embarrassed to call myself a "Life" Coach. Yeah, I said it...

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Curiosity First: Reactive to Creative

A few years ago, while journaling, I realized that reactive and creative are the same word. The "c" just moves. My friend Rebecca (a very creative person) asked "What does the "c" stand for?" Good question. I thought it was consciousness, but now I think it's...

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All of Me: An Integrated Belonging

Often, I feel like I don't belong. Too blackish for the white folks. Not black enough for the black folks. Too political for my party friends. Not radical enough for my activist friends. Too hetero to call myself queer. Too queer to care about most hetero–nonsense....

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A Wild Patience: Waiting on Winter

Winter. Not. My. Season. Nope. All I can do is wait. And complain. Or allow. It’s not that different from my meditation practice. The resistance I feel to a moment on the cushion is just magnified and elongated into the long nights and gray days of winter...

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