Life of Meaning

Let Your Life Speak

April 13, 2024 by Charlie Hedges − 4 Comments

Vocation does not come from willfulness. It comes from listening.” Parker Palmer

Just a couple weekends ago Pam and I attended a 4-day retreat at Richards Rohr’s Center of Action and Contemplation (The CAC). A smaller retreat of 35 attendees were drawn deeply into times of personal reflection, complemented by community transparency and vulnerability.

Yes, we had opportunity to meet Richard and his remarkable leadership staff who now lead and manage the entire ministry of several hundreds of thousands of followers.

I, with most every attendee, walked away sensing a call from the Divine to participate ever more intensely in our own calling, or vocation.

So, with that, I wish to offer you a reading from Parker Palmer that we used for personal contemplation, journaling, and deep group discussion.
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On Becoming Complete

March 30, 2024 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

In about 1275, Bonaventure maintained that… everything exists in a state of potentiality. When God creates, God does not bring about new essences, but God brings to completion or actualization that which is incomplete or potential.Ilia Delio O.S.F. from Simply Bonaventure

Just a few weeks ago I complained to Pam about my habitual discontentment in life. She actually laughed at me as she retorted, “Honey, you lack the genes… you are not hard-wired to be content.” It’s true. So true.

Discontentment: The Heart of Creativity

But I am not alone. Every single one of us, according to St Bonaventure, seems to lack a feeling of ultimate contentment. In fact, it seems to me that discontentment may be a vital part of the soul of the creative person—the one who longs to discover or produce something more or better or truer.
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I am Certain that Certainty is not Certain

March 23, 2024 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

The opposite of faith is not doubt. The opposite of faith of certainty.” Anne Lamott

At 32-years-old I attended a conservative theological seminary. In fact, I often refer to the name of the seminary in jest saying it was the school with the redundant name… Western Conservative Baptist Seminary. Duh? Like what else might they call it, Western Liberal Baptist?

But I’ll tell you what. Although Western Seminary was indeed conservative, it was exactly what I needed at that time of life. My years at Western were three of the best years of my life. I wouldn’t change a thing: solid theology with deep friendships and shoot… I met Pam there!
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Jugaad: Making the Most of Little

March 16, 2024 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Adopt resilience, frugality, adaptability, simplicity, inclusivity, empathy, and passion, all of which are essential… in a complex world.” Navi Radjou, Jugaad Innovation

Pam and I just recently watched the brilliant Apple TV series titled Shantaram about a convicted bank robber who escapes from an Australian prison and flees to India, finding a home in the Sagar Wadi slums of Bombay.
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#306 Courtney Marchesani: Empathetic Gifts

March 13, 2024 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes #306 Courtney Marchesani

Today’s guest, Courtney Marchesani, is one of my very favorites. I think she has been on the show four times over the past six years!

Courtney is the author of the popular book Four Gifts of the Highly Sensitive. Her insights into sensitivity help readers identify their gifts of intuition, empathy, vision, and expression as a means to maximize their potential.

As you will soon discover, Courtney’s empathic style emphasizes nonjudgement and acceptance and learning how sensitivity’s silent effects can impact mental, emotional, spiritual health and wellness. 


Visit Courtney’s website HERE

Click here for access to Courtney’s Free Sensitivity Test

For Courtney’s book go to Four Gifts of the Highly Sensitive



Check out this episode!

Giving Up Self-Neglect

March 2, 2024 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

Instead of giving up chocolate or fasting, sometimes I’ll say I’m giving up self-neglect for Lent…Dr Chanequa Walker-Barnes

Lent is special for me this year. I am giving up distracting habits. You know, the ones that consume the mind and the desires. I am seeking the Holy, not seeking to be holy. Never before has Lent been so special and my guess is that it will never be the same again. Such a fresh (and true) perspective.
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Freshly Grounded

February 17, 2024 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

I love my freshly grounded Turkish coffee.” Comment overhead by Fr Greg Boyle

On an early morning walk on the streets of New York City, Homeboy Industries Founder Fr Greg Boyle overheard this very non-descript comment from a construction worker talking about the pleasures of freshly grounded coffee.
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The Age of Imagination

February 10, 2024 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

What we are experiencing today is more than the Great Resignation and it’s more than the Great Reset. It is all about reimagining.Futurist Bob Johansen

For me, futurist Bob Johansen offers a message of hope. Yes, we live in the most troubling of times, perhaps ever faced by human civilization. Many of the social structures upon which we have set our hopes and our safety are rapidly disappearing. In last week’s post I talked about our discontent with media and government and religion. We are witnessing the gradual (yet imminent) demise of each.
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A Reason for Being

February 3, 2024 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

The prime dread of the human condition is the terror of emptiness, of the absence of meaning, and of the empty space of our own death.” From a Maria Popova Blog

So… after a two-month break in blogs and podcasts I have resurfaced. Yes… two months of pondering and searching in some sort of “spiritual quest” to better understand the vast vacuum of meaning and purpose in everyday American life.

With consideration, prayer, discussion, spiritual direction, therapy, and Lord knows whatever other means of gathering wisdom and insight, I have come upon an idea of has been troubling me. The dreary quote above describes what I see as the American social angst which may be described as contempt for the institutions we have treasured for the last couple hundred years: religion and government and media. All the above have let us down.
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The Next Chapter of The Next Chapter with Charlie

December 2, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments


The Next Chapter with Charlie is taking a two-month break. After nearly 10 years of blogs and podcasts, we are taking time to consider a bit of refocus on our goals and reflections. Times have changed radically. I feel called to a renewed focus aimed at everyday spirituality. Please know, however, the show will continue to be practical and inspiring for living a life that matters… to you! Below are more thoughts.


In that day, people will be so hungry for the Word of the Lord that they won’t even know what they are hungry for. And many will stagger searching for it.” The Prophet Amos

People are hungry. We know that something is missing, our minds are in a continual search for something more or different or even meaningful. What’s even more fascinating is that although we know deep in our gut that something is missing, we just don’t know what it is.

And so, typically, we seem to do one of two things: Our proactive option is found in a never-ending search for new careers/avocations or new relationships. And then there is the second alternative of numbing and ignoring the issue with what we called in the 60’s: sex, drugs, and rock n roll.
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