Needed: Bridge Builders!

August 8, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

We ought to have the humility to admit we do not know all about ourselves, that we are not experts at running our lives. ― Thomas Merton

On his album East Ashville Hardware singer/songwriter David Wilcox tells the story of a carpenter in search of work somewhere in rural America. To his luck, he comes upon a farmer looking to build a fence.
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#160 Caitlin Cogan Doemner: When Being More is Not Enough

August 4, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes 

My guest today, Caitlin Cogan Doemner, is one of my very favorite people. Although, to me, she’s just a puppy, I believe she possesses the inklings of a sage. Caitlyn is brilliant, thought provoking, and a boatload of fun. What else could you ask of a great woman?

Although Caitlin was just on the show about four months ago, recently she posted thoughts on FB that utterly captured my attention. She wrote about “never feeling good enough,” although her successes in business and life are indeed enviable. Check this out, in only a decade after earning her Bachelors Degree she completed a Master’s Degree, bought a home, grew a million-dollar business in less than 3 years, published 3 books, got married, and birthed three babies.

Not bad for a decade’s work. And yet… Caitlin is still haunted by that oh so common feeling of never being “good enough.”

Today, we will explore how Being More will Never Be Good Enough, when the truth just might be… the best things in life can’t really be measured… at least by status and accomplishments and money.

You can reach Caitlin on Facebook at Caitlin Cogan Doemner

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Battling the Monkey Mind

August 1, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“All [human] miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” Blaise Pascal

It was Descartes that proclaimed the ontological mystery, “I think. Therefore, I am.” But for me, it’s more like, “I think… and that is when the trouble begins.”

The Monkey Mind

Enter the Monkey Mind—that evasive beast who constantly interrupts me in my efforts to “sit in a quiet room alone.” I have found the monkey mind also to be my greatest foe in my attempts at meditation. I think it’s all about my incapacity to be genuinely “comfortable with myself.”

If you are not familiar with this ubiquitous beast it can simply be defined as mental chatter—the resistance of the mind to any kind of quiet or attempted focus on one thing only, without interruption. Like monkeys swinging from tree to tree, yipping and yapping along the way, the mind will do all it can to keep you from facing your deepest inner self.

The Difficulties of Silence

David K. Flowers writes,

The world would profit more if people would first confront their own anxieties and the things that cause them 1) to have filled every silence with meaningless chatter, 2) to stay constantly busy, and 3) to do anything to avoid being still.

Although I practice some form of silence daily, truth be told, I suck at it!

And yet, I know from reading the mystics and those that richly practice contemplative prayer, the benefits are truly otherworldly. But even the esteemed mystics of history past suffered greatly from what we call today the monkey mind, resulting in a reluctance to come face-to-face with both their demons and their divinity.

In January of 2020, my life was altered by an experience of sequestered silence. I attended a 10-day spiritual retreat, during which 6 of the days consisted of silence—no phone, no computer, no people, and even… no inspirational books to guide my thoughts. Just me in a room left in solitude to sit with myself.

The first three days were agonizing, but when I got into the flow of things I discovered a refreshing sense of deep peace within myself. And later, with the guidance of spiritual directors, I came way with a new sense of inner peace that continues 7 months later.

Gotta Practice

Having said that, please do not think I have conquered the beast. Monkey mind continues to get the best of me, and therein lies the real challenge. Practice, practice, practice.

Perhaps one day…

Your Inner Monkey Mind

The Greatest Foe to Enriching Peace

Photo courtesy of XXX at istockphoto

Good Intentions: The Enemy of Integrity

July 26, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

People are always meaning well… That’s often the trouble. Penelope Lively

“Be a man of your word.” “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.” “If you ever need anything, just give me a call.” Or, “When you move, just let me know. I can help.”

Whew? Such clichés are uttered with the greatest of intentions, and utmost sincerity. Unfortunately, at times these good intentions are also uttered without much forethought—the receiver of these promises actually believes the promisor meant what was said.
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The Gospel According to Work

July 19, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

In the past century, the American conception of work has shifted from jobs to careers to callings—from necessity to meaning.” Derek Thompson Staff writer at The Atlantic

“So… what do YOU do?”

How many times have you been asked that annoying question?

I say “annoying” because the implications are obvious (as well as disheartening): Our essence as a worthy individual seems to be predicated on what kind of work we do, especially if we can add titles like founder, president, VP, SVP, or CEO. The inferences are clear: such titles mean that we are most likely educated, industrious, competent, and successful. We are worth listening to.
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