A God of My Own Understanding

In Time It Will All Make Sense

As a teenager, I felt like I had tried religion and found it wanting. I couldn’t square what I saw as hypocrisy with a message of unconditional love. I didn’t have the finesse to separate the humans practicing religion from the spiritual messaging that was at its core. As soon as my parents no longer required my attendance at the First Presbyterian Church of Davenport, I split. Spiritually, I wandered. Practically, I became self-reliant. I began to believe that no one could be relied upon except myself. Until. I hit rock bottom. And I came to a place where I […]

Spirituality: The Accidental Tourist

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“When did God become such a judgmental prick?” Pam Grout asks in her book Thank and Grow Rich. “When humans took over,” is the grim reply in my head. I believe we are all on a spiritual journey, whether we realize it or not. The quest to find answers to questions like, “Why am I here? What does it all mean?” is a spiritual one, and I also believe, universal. Yet, I have been loathe to turn to the religion of my upbringing for answers. Self-help books seemed a lot more practical. The highlight of my first communion was that we […]

Spirituality is an Amusement Park

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Spiritual development as “journey” is such a common metaphor that we take it for granted. But in the last chapter of my own spiritual story, I realized its limitations. Trying to find a new Source, a more palatable or perhaps relatable conception of God, I spent time in the woods. Recently relocated to Portland, I found myself living at the edge of Forest Park which boasts miles of trails. The Pacific Northwest is an embarassment of natural riches, so it’s hardly unique to search for awe in nature. And nature never disappoints. From old growth forests to ocean cliffs, I am […]

November 2019: Spiritual Journeys

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Have you heard of the “Nones?” A None is a clever homynym for the religion-free American. In a country where most previously felt compelled to identify with a religion, even if not actively participating, it’s now acceptable in most circles to declare “none of the above.” Still, the desire for spiritual actualization remains. We’re just finding it in less traditional spaces. When I was dreaming up Pregame, one of the questions I asked was “What would it look like to create ‘church’ for entrepreneurs?” Entrepreneurs being a catch-all for the creative, ambitious, collaborative people I saw all around me, craving […]

December 2017: Spiritual Journey

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“Religion is for people who fear hell; Spirituality is for people who have been there.” This morning was the first time I’d heard this quote, attributed to David Bowie or Vine Deloria Jr., depending on which corner of the Internet you hang out on most. It’s an interesting take on the difference between religion and spirituality, that Venn diagram of trying to define and manage the human experience. I grew up super-religious, not because it was forced on me, but because I love rules and structure and a standard against which to evaluate my progress. As I grew older and […]

Narrative Harmony

Cousins’ fundraiser poster features a collage from “Mapping Soulville” created in collaboration with her neighbors. Proceeds support the expansion of the project into other historically black NYC neighborhoods in 2017.

Brittanie Richardson is an artist and activist working to abolish sex slavery. Her latest project is the Art and Abolition Movement. My ability to believe pretty much anything is probably biggest asset as well as my greatest flaw. It’s great because I am the best at “Your dreams are valid. You can be anything you want to be if you just believe” and all that. I have a pretty amazing job thanks the whole “believe it, achieve it” narrative. But it also kind of sucks because I have the ability to jump to the very worst of conclusions and create the […]

February 2017: Exploring Diversity

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As a multiracial woman, I often get the benefit of the doubt for being inclusive. I’m a one-person diversity solution and occasionally, spokesperson. I’m not sure it’s deserved. I have blind spots. I sometimes make incorrect assumptions based on the way someone looks or where they are from or their level of education, and get humbled when I realize my mistake. I try to check myself and recognize my own privilege instead of foolishly believing my demographic indicators give me some sort of automatic integrity. As a brown child, I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s in a white […]

Aim to Make a Positive Difference in the World

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Some religions, such as Buddhism, aim to do no harm. I say take that one step further and aim to make a positive difference in the world. Each day, try to make a difference. Don’t just survive or sleepwalk through life. Each day when you wake, focus on the fact that you make an impact on the world around you, and decide to take at least one positive action each day, to help make the world a little better because you exist in it. It could be as simple as helping a stranger with directions, opening the door for someone, […]

How They Did It: Michael Perron, Fitness Star Turned Pastor

Michael Perron

Welcome to How They Did It: the podcast that gets you the real story behind the success. Host Darbi Worley interviews extraordinary people about this thing called life and how to do it better. In this episode, Darbi reunites with her former fitness colleague, Michael Perron, who is now Senior Pastor at Summit Life Church in Dallas. Michael shares his story from “Abs of Steel” to drug addiction and depression that nearly drove him to suicide to pastor and church founder. They also discuss the place of LGBTQ people in the Christian church, and that got a little awkward. Enjoy. Follow Darbi on Twitter or Facebook.  Interested […]

Past Present Podcast: Mother Teresa, the Alt-Right, and Taco Trucks

Mother Teresa

In this week’s episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia debate the canonization of Mother Teresa, the rise of the alt-right, and the menace of taco trucks.   Mother Teresa Mother Teresa has been declared St. Teresa by Pope Francis. Natalia noted the controversy that has swirled around Mother Teresa, including Christopher Hitchens calling her a “fanatic, fundamentalist, and a fraud.” Niki detailed how Pope John Paul II changed the canonization process to benefit Mother Teresa. Neil discussed Mother Teresa’s political significance to the pro-life movement, including her anti-abortion speeches at her 1979 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance and at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast. Rise of the Alt-Right The alt-right […]