Hugs 101

Physical support like hugging can sustain us through the long haul – but touch can be very tricky and sometimes oppressive.  We are learning this in our society more and more.  I can’t shake the image of that creepy young guy in the Access Hollywood tapes telling the young actress “How about a hug for the Donald?”  Hugs aren’t always innocent.

This talk that I gave at Jubilee last Sunday outlines three principles for keeping them sweet and safe.

Progressive Dem’s interview candidates

Primary election May 8!

On Monday night, the Progressive Democrats of Buncombe County interviewed all four candidates for the U.S. House in the NC 10th and 11th districts

The meeting was very well attended – maybe 200 people.  For me that evening, rather than celebrating the big crowd I got kind of intimidated by it.  The building – headquarters for the Buncombe County Democratic Party – was not new to me: I had been there several times during Barack’s last campaign.  But I had never been to a meeting of either the Democratic Party or the Progressive Democrats and I suspected, correctly, that I would mostly be among strangers.  It turned out, though, that I very much enjoyed the meeting and have penciled the regular monthly meetings (second Monday) in my book – and plan to go back.

Here are my take-aways from the evening.

  1. The Progressive Dems run a pretty tight ship.
    1. The meeting started on time and was well run.
    2. They videotaped the meeting, live streamed it, and had the video up on their web page by the time I got home.  The video guy had told me that the visuals were really choppy for the first half of the session (a “bandwidth problem”) – and they must have decided that the technical quality was too bad, because the video has been removed – replaced by really a pretty good article on the meeting from the Citizen Times.
      Progressive Dems - Citizen Times
      “Democrats debate who can defeat Mark Meadows in 11th Congressional District” Asheville Citizen-Times, 4/10/18.  From left to right: David Wilson Brown (10), Phillip Price (11), Scott Donaldson (11), Steve Woodsmall (11)



  2. All four candidates are really very good: smart, articulate, good values and good politics.  I would proudly work for any of them.

    No matter what people say about these districts being hard for a Democrat to win, I think it’s a new day and those old bits of conventional wisdom no longer apply.  I think that David Brown in going to beat Patrick McHenry in the 10th district and whoever from the other three wins the primary on May 8th is going to beat Mark Meadows in the 11th district.

  3. Gun Control

    These four all have good positions about gun control.  I think that in the November elections gun control and the NRA are going to weigh down Republicans across the country – and flush a lot of them out of the Congress.

  4. I don’t know yet who I am going to work for.  I’m planning to go to two more Indivisible “vetting sessions”:
    1. this Thursday, 6:30, David Brown at the Lord Auditorium of Pack Library downtown
    2. This Saturday, 10:30-12 – all candidates invited in Weaverville.  I’m in an Internal Family Systems (IFS) workshop on Friday and Saturday and will be missing this meeting.
    3. 4/19, 6:30 – Phillip Price at Pack Library.

Whoever I work for, I intend to get to know them (I felt like I knew Barack, but we didn’t like hang out or anything) and work really hard for them.  I’m totally jazzed about this whole thing.


Lord make me an instrument

In the last week or so, I have received three compliments that have knocked my socks off.  Two of them were very touching and one kind of hilarious – but  so synchronistic that it also really got my attention.

On the Martin Luther King march on January 15, my friend Joelle introduced me to a young woman friend of hers who she thought I must know but who I didn’t recognize.  The new woman said, “I know you from your poetry at Jubilee.  I’m the one who nominated you as one of the heroes of Asheville.”  It came back to me: I had received an email about this, wanting some kind of input from me, that totally slid under the radar until after the deadline.  I remember being touched by the thought, sad that I had missed it – and confused about what it could possibly mean.  Why would someone I didn’t know hold me this way.  My poetry can be insightful, self-disclosing, sometimes very funny – but hero?  What in all that would add up to hero?

After church at Jubilee this last Sunday, I was handing out information about my Activism with Heart coaching.  One 40ish guy – good looking, with a big black beard and a fresh, funny, friendly way about him – took my handout with a lot of enthusiasm.  He gave me a couple of affirmations that I get frequently enough that I unfortunately don’t pay attention to them and don’t remember what they were.  Then he said one that was so fresh that it stopped me in my tracks.  “You’re the voice.”  Now what does that mean?  I wish I had had the presence of mind to ask, but he was all the time moving past me  – just outside of church – and towards his car, and he was basically gone.  The best I can figure is that he meant “You are the voice for me….You are saying things that I would want to say or that I feel or believe.”

The third affirmation, just a little earlier that morning, was silly but also stopped me in my tracks.  I had that morning pulled out of my sock drawer the Superman socks that my friend Kate had sent me for Christmas.  That she really does in some ways regard me as a kind of Superman – or at least a super man – really means a lot to me, even as we tease about it, and these socks were a kind of extension of that teasing. This morning, on my way to make a presentation on Releasing the Force at Jubilee, I wanted the extra oomph I might get from wearing Superman socks.

As far as I can remember, never in my life has anyone but Kate called me Superman.  When I arrived at church, the first person who greeted me was my good friend Timbo, who piped up “Superman!”  I was totally floored.  My pants weren’t so short that Tim could see my socks.  I don”t think that he is actually Superman, with x-ray vision.  As far as I know, he’s never seen me do anything that would position me as any kind of Superman.  When I showed him my socks, he was totally knocked out too.  “I don’t know why I said that – it just popped out.”

So what does all this mean? Am I a hero?  The Voice? Superman?

I think that, at my best, I surrender to the Force, to the Voice of God within me, to Life.  I don’t actually even do the surrendering – it wells up from some deep place that sometimes I somehow connect with. I am being well-used.  I am an instrument.

And never more than now.  I am on to something in this Releasing the Force work.  It has been given to me.  Unbidden, it came to me.  And it has given me tremendous energy, motivation and enthusiasm.  In the throes of birthing this work, I am plugged into Source and am way bigger than the usual Majo is.

None of it is about me.  I am absolutely not up to this task, yet for some reason I have been chosen to do it.  I’m attempting to get out of the way so it can pour through me.  I am doing that which is mine to do.St. Francis

St. Francis – if indeed he wrote this – said it better than anything I have said above.  And whoever created the music – which my 8th grade class sang at our graduation from a Catholic elementary school and which touched me even then – was also plugged into something bigger than themselves.

And the Superman business was life teasing me about the whole thing, in much the same way as Kate does.  Neither of them wants me to take myself too seriously.


Lord Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace


Creation Spirituality Conference at Jubilee 4/26-29


Join Creation Spirituality Communities for a weekend of inspiration, growth, and celebration of  our sacred work on our sacred earth. Whether you are an activist, a poet, a practitioner, a mystic, or a scientist….. If you are seeking to connect your purpose and pursuits to the spirituality of creation, this gathering is for you.


April 28:  Dr. Mathew Fox
April 27: Dr. Marcia McFee

April 26: Abraham Jam  A Muslim, a Jew, and a Christian walk into a concert hall…a trio of internationally-renowned musicians who have teamed up to create art strengthened by diversity. 

A total immersion celebration to connect your heart, mind, and spirit with your sacred work.

A host of offerings led by community leaders and practitioners to inspire and inform your daily connection to the sacredness of creation. 

A gallery of creative works exploring our sacred tasks through the arts.

A variety of activities to involve your whole self –  through body prayer, 
interactive presentations, conversation, the arts, ritual,  workshops, and much more.


Early registration discount until February 4.

Creation Spirituality is all about love of the earth and the body – the Original Blessing of Matt Fox. Last time the Cosmic Mass was a blast. I’m offering a workshop on “Customer Service as Sacred Work”.  Should be a great conference with cool, interesting attendees.

Releasing the Force story at Jubilee 1/21

Last Sunday  I used one of the four-minute gift slots at the two Jubilee services to tell the evolving story of Releasing the Force: Activism with Heart.  People responded really well to the talk and took lots of fliers for Activism with Heart coaching (the flier is identical with the Coaching page above).

Here’s the video. (For some reason, for me, the video started with the volume off.  If that happens for you, you will need to go to the bottom right of the picture and click on the volume icon.)