Making a pilgrimage in our minds can be one of life’s great journeys. Why do we go on pilgrimage? To find ourselves. To find answers. To find a deeper understanding of the foundation of our life. What is the foundation beneath the foundation? Where better to find those things than within ourselves? Identify your life’s essential journeys, even if the circumstances have been bitter.

Being mindful of the now. Being here in the difficulties of our adult body. Finding the essence of beautify within our soul. Feel which streams have flowed beneath your feet. Be aware of the roads your feet have walked. Notice how you’ve been weathered by what comes into your life. Like stones in the river, you’re made smooth, or the stone cracks and shows its beautiful interior or rings and swirls.

Where have you walked? On our journeys we go away and come back. We walk through joy and celebration. Radical peace and revolutionary upset. Abandonment. Imprisonment. Misery. Enclosure. Shelter. Beauty. Wildness. It’s been said in Ireland there’s a pub at the end of every path. Have you looked for the pub? That warm place to spend some time and recuperate before taking the journey back home again?

When life begins to feel small, find a horizon and gaze into the distance. This brings us into healthy conversation with a reality that can feel as if it’s closing in but is actually wide and open as the sky. What horizons are there in your life? When we seek calm and beauty, we watch sunrises and sunsets. We dedicate ourselves at the beginning of the day, and then remember the day’s journey at the end. We choose these times for horizon gazing just as the landscape is drenched with perfect light. These times are calm and glorious. Celebratory and reflective. Both grieving and rejoicing. Like life, our hearts brimming and then overflowing

Look for the conversation beneath the conversation. Listen for the invisible. The unspoken. Find the hidden underbelly of the epochs of your life, the very core of your personal pilgrimage.

The life you’ve lived is astonishing. The life you’ve lived has shaped you. The life you will live as you journey down future paths and stop in future pubs is in conversation with all that’s gone before.


“In the middle of my life, I awoke in a dark wood where the true way was wholly lost.” ~ Dante

What happens when we awaken in Dante’s dark wood and find ourselves lost and confused in the middle of our life? How do we find the light again? The path? The way? Where do we go when we can no longer go home?

Although it feels as if we’re surrounded by darkness with no way to turn, we’re standing at the frontier of who we were and who we will become. The past always inhabits the now. Who we were, what we’ve done, who we’ve been in community with throughout our lives, goes into making the person we are now. But even that is fleeting. Who we are now is a fleeting moment which moves ahead into the future and backward into the past, simultaneously. Much like a rapidly flowing river viewed from the shore. Rivers drink from a deep and distant source, and as we find our way to that deep source in our own lives, we’ll find our life’s river gives generously to the landscape around us.

Ask yourself, what is “now” inviting you to do? Where is the current of the now asking you to go? Be impatient with trite explanations. We want the answers and the questions that bubble up from our river’s deep, undying, undrying source.

Perhaps this season of life is calling you to a time of silence. Of hibernation. A time of hiding. Time alone is a natural process. A bear hibernating through the winter. An injured animal taking time alone to heal. The stillness and quiet of a time of seclusion can bring greater self-knowledge. And self-knowledge can help lead us into – and through – the next frontier of our lives. Savor the aloneness.

Stop your life’s current conversation and listen. Is it superficial? Caught up in daily-ness and busyness? Be still. Quiet yourself. What is the big question of your life? The beautiful question? The essential or serious question? Find your question. What gives your life meaning? What lights your soul’s passion? Your essential question can be different at various times in your life. Don’t resurrect older questions, although your new question may be a variation on a theme.

Ask your own question, not someone else’s. When you find the question that’s hibernating in your heart, allow it to help you find your new voice. Let it welcome you into the new conversation of your life. Give it opportunity to lead you to your new identity.

Along with a new question and a new identity, you may find your entire life reorganized, including the community around you. This may be unnerving and a bit frightening. But do the brave thing.

Put your head down and make your way through the dark woods into the light of the next phase of your life. You’ll come to a place you don’t know, but in the process, you’ll come back to yourself.


DL Taylor

Self-Care Ideas

There was a short discussion about self-care in a Facebook group I’m in. I decided to make up a list of easy things I can do to take care of myself and bring myself joy. I reread the list and realized many of these things can be done while in isolation/quarantine.

I’m sure there are many more things, but this is just what I came up with from one quick brainstorming session:

  • breathe consciously
  • lie down and close eyes for two minutes
  • stretch
  • pick flowers
  • water flowers
  • play a game
  • check Facebook
  • have a big glass of ice water
  • coffee, tea, iced tea
  • collage
  • pet the cat/dog
  • read a book/magazine
  • eat a small tasty snack
  • take a moment to observe surroundings
  • imagine a favorite location
  • listen to a favorite song
  • meditate
  • dance
  • sing
  • look at beautiful photos
  • take a photograph
  • draw
  • paint
  • write
  • take a shower or bath
  • do yoga
  • get active
  • get out of bed
  • start a new hobby
  • change posture
  • use lotion or favorite perfume
  • get exercise
  • lie in the sun
  • doodle
  • pray
  • take a drive
  • play musical instrument
  • cook
  • make a gift for someone
  • go hiking
  • crafts
  • sightseeing
  • give self a mani/pedi
  • watch a video of a play or concert
  • watch TV
  • playing with animals
  • text a friend
  • put on makeup
  • crossword puzzle
  • shooting baskets
  • jigsaw puzzle
  • playing cards
  • take a nap
  • make a card for someone
  • play a board game
  • wear favorite clothing
  • give self a haircut
  • watch stand-up comedy online
  • work in garden
  • blogging
  • nature walk
  • birdwatching
  • playing in the sand
  • reading cartoons or comics
  • read sacred texts
  • memorize poetry
  • listen to favorite podcasts

Unknown Futures

I’ve been doing a lot of contemplating lately about the paths and journeys we take into unknown futures.  Here are today’s ruminations.  (first draft, very rough)

How do you live best? Being true to yourself is being present in the moment.

We’re all on a pilgrimage. Often overwhelmed by circumstances. Look back to where you came from. Look forward to the horizon. Look up. What is your relationship to the horizon? To the future? Who will benefit from the place where you are? Who needs to receive your song?

The transitions of our lives are like living with storms, weather, rain. We need to shape our lives to meet the demands of the weather. In the presence of something new, we don’t yet know how to be in conversation with the new circumstance. We have to get over ourselves. We have to get out of our own way.

Do the brave thing. Take the path to your future. Begin by not denying any part of yourself. Bring the frightened parts of you along the path. Look at the parts of your life you don’t want to look at. Finding these parts comes out of silence. Listening to our deepest interior voices. Are there wells you don’t want to drink from? Grief? Regrets? Mortality? It’s tempting to give ourselves easy, unsubstantial answers. Speaking to ourselves in trite clichés. Spend time in silence, listening for the wisdom to speak. Then speak out of silence. Tell the story. Make your story.

Don’t run from vulnerability. It’s going to become the foundation for where you’re going. Helplessness comes with great loss. We don’t appreciate what we have, until it—or they—are gone. Helplessness and loss are like medicine leaving a bad taste in your mouth. We turn away from these experiences, not realizing we need to go deeper in. The full depth of the experience of loss brings knowledge, wisdom, and a reshaping of our lives we would’ve never experienced without the loss. Don’t wait until their deathbed to reach out to loved ones with your true self. Do it now. Be present fully in the moment. Be your authentic self.

Be the person your future self will always remember with thanksgiving.



Getting into the flow (creativity exercise)

I thought this was fascinating information about the creative process and finding “the flow.”

Business in Rhyme


Probably you can recall that there were moments in your life when time seemed to stop, everything around you just froze and you were riding this wave of creativity where everything was possible; you felt like you can accomplish anything, you were so immersed in what you were doing that all of your senses were focused and sharpened on that one particular activity, and your body excluded everything else? Fun and exciting in the same time, right?

And today it might seem harder to achieve that creative bliss we are all looking for, since we are so distracted and interrupted with everything going on around us. In this TED talk Dr. Csikszentmihalyi, explains that our nervous system is incapable of processing more than 110 bits of information per second. If you’re listening to someone talking, you need to process about 60 bits of information per second in order to understand…

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