Quitting is Beginning


“You’ll begin to re-evaluate exactly what it is that you love,” he said.

And so, the shifts within become even more explicit.

Sometimes we need to quit, in order to begin.

I’ve loved teaching and blogging. I’ve loved writing books on spiritual practice.

I’ve loved it with every part of my heart and soul. Even when the travel ground my body down. Even when I had to cut way back and find new ways to teach.

I don’t always love it anymore. There are still parts that feed me: I taught at a conference recently and connecting my magic with the thoughts and efforts of the people there was just wonderful. We worked together. We discussed. We meditated. We dropped deep. We raised power.

What I don’t love is the constancy of being at the center of the circle. I was willing to do it for a long time – knowing how to nurture my introverted self in order to counterbalance the publicness of the rest of my life. I started to feel, as I’ve recently learned to put it, sunburned. Overexposed. Tired. Over the past few years, I’ve made shift after shift, searching for the right way, for the thing that would feel sustainable and true again.

Finally, two things happened:

First, a character dropped a sentence in my head when I was looking out the window one day. The thought was so clearly not mine that it startled me. I asked, “Where did that come from?” And he was there: a man sitting, depressed in his chair, bereft because his best friend had just died. From that thought came my novel, “Like Water” which will be published in May.

Fiction, a thing I had practiced and poked at for years before finally giving up on it, came roaring back into my life. I’ve saved money to take classes. I’ve rearranged my flexible time in order to write, study, and learn. Even afternoons when I’m struggling with a story, it feels deeply satisfying. I love it.

Second, the new Civil Rights Movement finally caught hold because of some determined young people in Ferguson Missouri. Years of organizing that often felt like it was going nowhere suddenly had a place to go. Energy to attach to. Excitement.

I had taken a break from in-the-streets type activism for a long time before getting sucked back in by Occupy. In my awareness, Occupy was sandwiched between the local killings of Oscar Grant and Alan Blueford. The systems of police brutality that I knew of, abstractly, were hitting home. I started organizing how I could, with whom I could, but nothing quite took. Meetings felt like a slog, even when I liked the people. These days, I now have a group to work with that has a lot of forward momentum. I leave meetings feeling energized, and like I want to spend the time. More time.

I have re-evaluated what I love.

I don’t love my weekly blogging anymore – you’ll notice it hasn’t been weekly these past few months, with so much of my energy going to fiction and writing about justice issues. I don’t love teaching weekend workshops and have taken them off my calendar for now. What I love right now is teaching in small bites of a few hours, or in online classes, or with groups that are really studying and teaching themselves, with my input. And I love mentoring people who are stepping into leadership and teaching.

I’m still a priest. I’m still head of the Temple. But I’m so happy to be sharing power with a wider variety of people now, and seeing what new things will grow. This is what it has all been for – building systems to better share the power, and helping others to come into their own work.

I’ll still blog sometimes. Perhaps monthly. But mostly, I’ve said what I want to say for awhile, on the topic of spiritual practice. I hope to collect some of my essays in themed groupings for Solar Cross to publish in the coming year or two. Despite my published books, there is so much I’ve written that exists only in the dusty pixels of the internet, including answers to questions I still get asked. I’ll still teach things that feel deeply interesting to me, or useful to the community.

I’m continuing to offer spiritual direction one on one because that still feels like a calling, and very satisfying to my soul.

I’ll continue doing all the needed work to keep Solar Cross Temple fulfilling its mandate of worship, education, and justice. We have a truly kick ass board that is excited to work on all of this, too.

If you want a taste of my fiction, here are some short stories I wrote last year.

I’ll be bringing them out as collections soon, for those who want to read them on their phones or Kindles, or in paper. My writing is getting better and better as I work and study, making me feel excited for the stories yet to come.

And I hope you’ll buy my first completed novel when it comes out in May. It is dedicated to Alan Blueford and it means a lot to me.

Love to all of you who continue to support my work of bringing some light, and love, and justice to this world. I’m with you in your work, whatever that may be. I stand firmly behind the work I wrote about in all of the books I’ve published so far, and:

I believe that we can make magic, together, and repair this gorgeous world.

See you on Facebook and Twitter every day, and see you here and on Patheos when thoughts strike. Let's keep checking in.

racetrack by DS Conner (morguefile)Solar Cross Presents are a series of community classes. I hope you join us in building stronger, more flexible, more sustainable leadership and communities. 

I'll be starting a new Crafting Spiritual Evolution elemental series online with some wonderful student teachers I've been mentoring. These are all long-term students of mine who've been doing this very work for many years. We will support one another with weekly homework, online discussions, and video chats. 

Join the Solar Cross newsletter for monthly updates about our justice work, our devotionals, and upcoming classes by writing to solarcrosstemple@gmail.com, subject line "SC news".