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sharing the journey of our souls

Sage News
July 1st, 2014

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. (M. Kathleen Casey)
A monthly newsletter focused on human potential, social fulfillment and spiritual actualization.
Featured Short Articles Bittersweet Adieu

Adversity Becomes You
by Patty Kogutek, Ed.D

Adversity works as a giant stepping-stone in your spiritual growth.  You've heard the phrase about enduring hardship with its promise to make you a better person, if it doesn't kill you first. Most likely overcoming difficulties won't kill you, but undoubtedly it will wind its long arms around you with far-reaching effects.

Adversity becomes you, making you who you are, adding to your desirable qualities, building character.  You grow stronger, more reliable, consistently resilient, and creatively resourceful.  Your ability to overcome obstacles defines who you are. When the chips are down, the true YOU emerges.

Adversity also becomes you, making you more becoming, more beautiful – a better listener, an understanding friend, a loyal confidant, and a respected advisor.  The warmth in your eyes of understanding is an attractive gift.  Your air of understanding, compassion, and empathy are welcoming to many.

Bottom line is:  Adversity works as a necessity in making you real…a real person and a treasured friend.  A wonderful description of the importance of hardship is found in the children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit; when the rabbit asks, "What is real?" The Skin Horse replies,
"It's a thing that happens to you. .. It doesn't happen all at once. ... You become. ... Generally, by the time that you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. ... But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Remember that some days you feel just like that, worn, tattered, and vulnerable without your fur coating, but it doesn't matter. You are REAL.

A Poem by Carole Ellison

No one ever attained
inner harmony
By pondering
the experience of others.
Wisdom does not come to us
By reading about another's.

No, it's the mistakes,
the dead-end moves
That are the portals of discovery;
An opportunity to learn, my dears,
A chance for recovery.

Wisdom does not come to us
Until we pass through the fire.
The journey is one
we must take ourselves,
And wisdom we'll acquire.

If you don't enter the lion's den
You will never capture the beast.
Take great big bites ...
don't be afraid;
And welcome to the feast.

Finding Truth Through
the Journey of a Flicker

by Rosie Kuhn, PhD

A few days ago, my friend Ron, who shares my property with me, found a flicker on the ground with a broken wing (Flickers are members of the woodpecker family). Ron's dog, Isabella, a Brittany spaniel, was attempting to catch it, but to no avail. The bird continually escaped the dog's instincts to capture the bird in her mouth. The bird got itself under the trailer where Isabella couldn't go.

Yesterday as I was walking with my dog, Gracie, I spied on the ground an unusual sight. Yes it was the flicker. Aware of our presence, it took refuge, concealing itself among the rocks, becoming almost completely invisible. Where the heck was this little guy going? Aside from a broken wing this bird seemed strong and clear of its trajectory, going where it's meant to go. Later that afternoon, I spied this little guy again. In order to get to this new location though, he had to climb an almost vertical incline. He seemed fine to me, except that he had this broken wing. He didn't seem to allow his disability to interfere with getting to where he was going.

I kept wondering, as I was projecting all my human thinking, why did he bother to go anywhere, especially up the mountain. I had no idea. Why did he hobble down the road the day before, only to climb up the steepest slope to get to where I found him this morning? And now, here he was again, continuing his ascent up the mountain, for who knows why.

As I continue along the path, following the trajectory of my own calling, I often feel as if my wings are broken. I feel crippled and handicapped and continually stumble and lose my balance on the smallest of challenges.

Pondering this Flicker's life, I realize that though his wing is broken he is not burdened by what has burdened me forever; thoughts and memories of unfilled dreams, or the belief that God let him down. He lives in the harmony and union of all that is, having no sense of the concept of being abandoned or rejected – all of those wounds I've carried for lifetimes. This Flicker lives in his essential nature, unburdened or handicapped by what we humans carry.

I think about my own choice to take a road less traveled. My path has been rocky, and, I haven't always been courageous and noble – I carried the belief that I was suffering and struggling and that the journey was hard; I've complained and whined, often wishing for an easier path.  I now see how this little bird reflects my true nature, well, the true nature of all of us; to travel according to a divine sense of direction in which we can trust completely. Logic abandoned, we are free, allowing the journey to bring us fearlessly to the moment when we know we've arrived where we are meant to be.

Fulvia Govetto, MBA, PMP

SoulFriends will be bidding a sad and bittersweet farewell to a treasured team member, Fulvia Govetto, who will be leaving our organization at the end of July.

Fulvia has been an incredibly valued and committed Angel Contributor to our organization since 2006. She mid-wifed SoulFriends in the early days, helping to craft our vision, in a borrowed conference room at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, in Palo Alto.

Fulvia wore many hats during her tenure at SoulFriends, too numerous to list here; all of her contributions were valuable and critical to our success. She is currently our Social Media Coordinator and a longtime, contributing Editor.

While looking forward to spending more time with family and friends, Fulvia will continue to offer her services as an editor-for-hire and social media consultant. She comes highly recommended by everyone on our team. She will be missed, in a myriad of ways, beyond measure.

If you would like to maintain contact with Fulvia after her departure, we invite you to connect with her using her current email address,
fulvia @ We will continue to forward her email through the year 2014.

SoulFriend Celebration

For my dearest soulfriend
and incredible soulmate,
in honor and gratitude,
on our 25th Anniversary,
July 1st. ~ Joy

I Asked

I asked God for you.
In the greatest depth
of my loneliness,
I asked for you.

My friend, my partner,
my soulmate.
Your laughter is my joy.
God gave me you.

In my darkest nights,
I am comforted by you.

In my naked rawness,
I am held by you.

Looking into your eyes,
I am heard by you.

Laying by your side,
I am healed by you.

I asked
and I was blessed by you.
God gave me love.


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Featured Lecture Featured Film New Blog Feeds!

Ted Talk:
Closets Are No Place To Live

by Ash Beckham
(watch the filmclip)

Ash eloquently gives voice to the angst we all share. S/he rightly points out that we have all experienced hardship of some type in our lives. Ash's own personal struggling was transformed in a single moment by a 5 year old girl.

According to Ash, we all have closets in which we live. Being in a closet is just being unable to have a difficult conversation. Hard is hard. Ash advocates that we ALL need to come out of our closets and be willing to have the hard conversations on topics we are avoiding.

Ash offers the three pancake rule:
1. Be Authentic
2. Be Direct
3. Be Unapologetic

Broken Heart Land
Jeremy Stulberg, Randy
Stulberg, Eric Juhola

(watch the trailer)

This is the story of Zack. Raised in the heartland of America by a conservative yet accepting family, Zack was unable to reconcile his personal ontology with his bitterly divided community. Feeling demonized for being gay and having HIV, he took his own life at the tender age of 19."I couldn't survive much longer in this intensity."

It is also the story of Zack's family; deeply conservative, they share their personal journey of questioning their own values and beliefs. Pushing back on the black/white thinking they encountered in their community, they now seek to bring better awareness, understanding and compassion for those marginalized by society. Using his diary as their guide, Zack's voice is now their voice.


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