Category Archives: Year of Living Spiritually

Plugging into my Digital Deity

Apps promise to make our lives easier in all sorts of ways, from calling a cab (Uber) to creating a budget (Mint.com), streaming music (Spotify) and organizing photos (Flickr), as well as getting the recommended daily quota of water (Waterlogged). You can even receive a phony call whenever you need an excuse to get out…
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Being naked on the stage

Last Saturday night, my 93-year-old friend Val got up in front of 250 people at a storytelling event and told a tale that she’s kept secret for 80 years. Recalling her life as a girl in the 1930s, she spoke of running happily to a one-room, red-brick school house with her twin brother. She spoke…
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Take a little (psychedelic) trip with me

I’m 54 and giving birth. More accurately, I’m “rebirthing” my first child, who came into the world 20 years ago. How is this possible? I can’t begin to understand. All I know is that it feels transcendent. Lying on my back, I lift my head, look down and there she is: a tiny head with…
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Meeting My Soul Coach

I’m nervously perched on a red velvet couch, in the comfy, second-floor loft of a spacious Toronto duplex. The scent of white sage wafts through the air and a fire blazes in the hearth while the February snow whips itself into a froth outside. Flickering candles and white tulips — a delicate promise of spring — adorn…
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Marking a (mostly) booze-free Lent

It was the convenient Sunday escape hatch that made me do it — a clever Catholic technicality allowing one to “break the fast” on each of the six Sabbaths of Lent. If it weren’t for these cheat days, I never would have considered depriving myself of something I love. In this case, it was the intoxicating Beaujolais-merlot-shiraz…
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Drawing the Devil and the Death cards

‘I’m no longer tossing off tarot as a crock.’ My pious grandmother always warned me about the dangers of playing cards. Sure, Crazy Eights and Go Fish might seem like innocent pastimes, but shuffling around with kings, queens and knights could get one in a spot of royal trouble. Cards could lead to gambling, which…
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My Year of Living Spiritually

For the whole of 2017, I am writing a blog "My Year of Living Spiritually",  which appears every second and fourth Friday of the month on the United Church Observer website. On the blog I share insights from my year-long experimenting with variety of spiritual practices, from hiring a ‘soul coach’ to setting up a home…
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All about the Buddha bling

‘It’s now time to make up for divine deprivation’ The Dutch Reformed church I was raised in was as stern as the dour expression on John Calvin’s face. Prayers were mournful, rote-style incantations in the self-flagellation vein. Hymns were drawn-out dirges with ceaseless verses. There was no dancing. No clapping or swaying hands. No hearty…
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Gathering in divine defiance

‘It’s entirely possible to experience the communion of saints in a crowd of half a million’ The first time I marched in a rally was in the early 1980s, when Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s abortion clinics were being shut down and he was arrested by police. I don’t remember much about that march except worrying that…
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Waking up

  'Begin the year with a little more soulfulness at sunrise’ “Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day,” wrote the American sci-fi author Glen Cook. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve never been a morning person. When I was in high school, my mother would holler…
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