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Sometimes happiness isn’t a choice.

My Life Lines column, running in the current issue of Catholic New York:

My hands look older than my mother’s hands ever did. That’s what I was thinking at Mass last Sunday when I should have been focused on more spiritual pursuits. But I couldn’t get past the sudden, albeit not surprising, realization that I am aging far beyond anything my mother experienced in her 47 years. Thanks to a couple of small-but-disturbing age spots and prominent veins, my hands remind me that life is moving at breakneck speed and I might want to take stock of things. Read more

3 steps to a more grateful life

German mystic Meister Eckhart once said, “If the only prayer you said your whole life was ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Gratitude has that kind of power, not just in prayer, but in the most ordinary moments of our lives. When we are thankful, grateful and appreciative of what we have — even the things that don’t necessarily warrant a special thank-you prayer — we tend to be more generous, loving, patient and kind toward others.  Read more

What are you feeding – fear or joy?

I originally wrote this post in January, but I came across it this morning when I was looking for something else. It was exactly what I needed to hear today, so now you have to hear it again too. Who knows? Maybe someone else out there needs to hear it today as well. Here you go…

I’ve been ruminating on this topic — What are you feeding? — for a while in my private time because I think it’s a pretty big deal. If we feed our fears, if we feed our anxiety, if we feed relationships with people who don’t really care about us or, even worse, make us feel “less than,” we throw a spark on the dead leaves lying around on our spiritual doorstep. Eventually it becomes a raging forest fire of self-doubt or unhappiness and, if we’re not careful, it will siphon off all the energy that should be feeding the good things in our lives. Read more

Life in My 50s: Reclaim your joy, your truth, your life

I find this whole midlife, midcentury thing to be more interesting than I originally expected when I hit the big 5-0 last fall. What I’m finding is that it’s not so much a rebirth but a birth, plain and simple. I’m being born into the second half of my life, or what I hope will be the second half of my life if I have genes even remotely like my paternal grandmother, who is 100. This birth is difficult and exciting and painful, as any birth might be. At every turn I find myself up against an “old” or current version of myself. Is this where I want to be? Where should I go next, and how do I get there? I find myself wanting to redirect the path and reclaim various parts of my life — my time, my style, my joy,  my truth. But, in the words of Pilate, what is truth? Read more