I feel blessed to still be riding the wave of 2 recent “mountaintop” experiences. While one was a rock-and-roll, soul-shining themed cruise, the other was the first in-person retreat for the doctoral program I’m in. Although the former featured lots of yogis, and the latter was for seminary students from all manner of Christian backgrounds, the same beautiful spirit animated both and made them exceptional!

It was the way people believed, and held the beliefs of others.

It was how they spoke of things near and dear to them, and leaned into things near and dear to others.

Without devaluing what people believe—based on these (and other) experiences—I would like to champion how people believe. Do you see the difference? There’s a spirit that inhabits the “facts”, affirmations, negations, dos, prohibitions, and experiences of our beliefs, which it seems to me reveals more about the person than the beliefs themselves! While one attitude harbors rigidity, us vs. them thinking, superiority, a need to be correct, tight-fistedness, anger, judgments, accusations, and condemnations, the other energy expresses openness, inclusivity, humility, a need to connect, freedom, love, curiosity, encouragement, and unconditional acceptance.

The pic at the top is Lisa and I on the cruise. This is the seminary crowd. 🙂

It seems to me these two spirits are like the proverbial demon and angel on our shoulders, trying to win our loyalty.

Both the students and professors at the retreat, and the people on the cruise embodied the latter spirit, and it made ALL the difference in the world! Rarely have I felt seen so well, loved that deeply, valued as richly, and so adored and accepted, just as I am (in my metaphorical birthday suit). It was like being with my wife, best friend, kiddo, and dearest ones!

These times were truly heaven come to earth. While I admittedly hear and heed the “demon” sometimes, my wife, kiddo, and circle show me one doesn’t need to leave this “mountaintop”.

 So, here’s to holding our believes and one another with the spirit of unconditional acceptance, curiosity, humility, wonder, affirmation, and radical love!

Hugs & Love,


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