December 2017: Spiritual Journey


“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


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


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 […]

Past Present Podcast: Baton Rouge, Christian Intellectuals, and Teaching Trump


In this week’s episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate flood relief in Louisiana, the disappearance of Christian intellectuals, and teaching Trump in the classroom. Baton Rouge Flood Relief More than two feet of rain brought death and destruction to southern Louisiana recently. Natalia addressed the political dimensions of the Louisiana flood, including Donald Trump’s visit to the state and blaming President Obama for not going there. Niki argued the memory of George W. Bush’s bungling of Hurricane Katrina provided important context for the political meaning of the Louisiana flood. Neil situated the flood in a long history of flooding in Louisiana, including the Great Mississippi Flood of […]

How They Did It: Kevin Moore, Actor Turned Nurse

Kevin Moore

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 interviews actor-turned-nurse Kevin Moore about his midlife career change and how suddenly losing his mother informs his work today.  They also talk about dying and God.  It’s a good one. Follow Darbi on Twitter or Facebook.  Interested in paying her to say words?  Go to Thanks to Girls Like Bass for our theme music! Get their album Pleasure Mystic Futuristic on iTunes and everywhere digital music is downloaded.

Finding Authentic Meaning for Life

Shanti Grumbine, Collecting Evidence Before It Can Be Hidden Or Destroyed (From “Genizah”), de-acidified New York Times newspaper, jade glue, matte medium, UV archival spray, nails, magnets, 27x12 inches

From earliest infancy and continuing throughout life, humans seek secure relationships with others that will provide enough security to allow us to explore the world around us without feeling alone and vulnerable. Supported by others, we don’t fall back on fight-flight-or-freeze programming, nor allow basic survival concerns, such as finding the next meal, to dominate all our actions. Instead we can develop additional relationships with others, and accumulate skills to support us for whatever challenging circumstances arise in the future. In addition to providing security, belonging to a community provides us with a sense of purpose greater than survival alone: […]

Past Present Podcast: Brexit, Camps for Grownups, and Trump’s Missing Campaign


On this week’s episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss Brexit, Adult Camps, and Trump’s faltering campaign.   Brexit Voters in Britain passed a referendum supporting the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Neil explained that although Brexit was supported by the minority party UKIP, it was able to bring the referendum to a vote because Prime Minister David Cameron promised he’d allow it if reelected in 2015 and because, as Niki pointed out, deep divisions in Cameron’s own Conservative Party. Natalia and Neil situated the Brexit vote in other historical questions about British unity, including the Irish Home Rule movement and the recent Scottish independence movement. […]