To spring, to rise, to move-again

To spring, to rise, to move-again

By Anna Blaedel On the first day of Spring, I walked down the block to thank the crocus, sprung from the thawing soil the week before. Little patches of purple, emerging from melting snow and decaying leaves. Color returning to the greyscale of Iowa’s winter palette. Day and night, dark and light–rebalancing, and finding new alignment. Lent comes from lengthen, the lenten season marked by lengthening days. In the 1300s, lent was often called springing time, the season when plants and all sorts of lifeforms, dormant over the fall and winter, begin to grow again, springing from the earth. To...

read more
Why are you pouring from your own cup?

Why are you pouring from your own cup?

By Olivia Kamil Smarr I love a good analogy. I process the world in visual, kinetic ways, connecting my reality with other realities, thinking of my own experiences in relation to other processes in the universe. It’s helpful for me to understand life through comparisons between concepts that make them more palpable. One analogy that I think of often is “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. This poignant statement is about needing to take care of yourself first before you can help others. It’s about making sure that you are renewed and refreshed, that you have enough energy before you give...

read more
spacious practices and rhythms that center

spacious practices and rhythms that center

By Rev. Anna Blaedel Growing up, my family of origin never missed church. Every Sunday, we were in the pews, in the sanctuary, in Sunday school, in worship, in collective practice. Even during summers, even on vacation. (Wednesdays, usually, too–for choir practices and community meals and small group studies and such.) I confess, much of this I did not love. But I did enjoy, even then, and far more so appreciate now, the strong sense of Sabbath rhythm ingrained in me early on. After church, after lunch, my dad would take a nap, my mom would get on the phone, exchanging “Sunday calls” with...

read more
Integrating Grief

Integrating Grief

By Taj M. Smith I have a habit of writing letters to myself. Whenever I’m in the dredges of a Big Life Change my hands begin to tingle in a way that tells me to pick up a pen and write my way through it.  I recently came across a letter I wrote to myself in November of 2020. I hadn’t read it since I wrote it, but it was addressed to “February Taj” as in February 2021. Thinking back to November of 2020, I was just beginning a career change while my partner and I processed the loss of their beloved grandfather, their aunt, and our dear sweet cat, Astrid. All of this was on top of the rage I...

read more
learning to laze in the moment

learning to laze in the moment

by anna blaedel For the last few weeks, I’ve been beginning each day with a breath practice offered by Thich Nhat Hanh in his little book How to Sit. Bits of poetic wisdom, or gathas, recited on the inhale and exhale. “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.” And, “Breathing in, I dwell in the present moment. Breathing out, I know it is a wonderful moment.” (I was sharing this practice with the students I chaplain when I learned of his death. Thay, as he was known by his students, lived an incredible life and left an incredible legacy. I bow in humble gratitude for his wisdom...

read more
at once, so empty and so full

at once, so empty and so full

By anna blaedel dear ones. sweet ones. darling ones. the longest night has come and gone. the sun’s light, waxing again. the final full moon of 2021, now waning. a new viral wave, ferociously building. new opportunities for slow, deep care, building too. the final days of advent. advenir–to come. so much, yet to come. the profoundly intimate labors of birth and death–welcoming and releasing, shedding and conceiving and gestating, celebrating and grieving–cycling through our collective life. how can we be so full and so empty? i offer these words, with the humble hope that in them, through...

read more

Subscribe to the enfleshed newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest