Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Signature Themes: Connectedness

My third signature theme is connectedness.  I believe we are all connected.  Connected to each other, connected to the earth, and connected to the universe.  What goes around, comes around.  You reap what you sow.  -- even -- It's a small world after all.  This connectedness is at the heart of my spirituality.  I'm a card carrying Catholic but I haven't darkened a church door in... well, a long time.   My soul is lifted by beautiful music, by liturgy, by connecting with another person and by the beauty of this world.

At the same time, I am hugely turned off by Jesus Saves billboards and people saying "Praise the Lord" and "God Bless You" or telling me to say a certain prayer, in a certain way, to ensure my salvation.  My faith is an intensely private thing.  

This connectedness belief shapes how I treat people.  I tend to be accepting and tolerant of others - since we are all connected.  One of the exceptions is people who mistreat their animals, children or spouses. Abuse is hard for me to tolerate or understand.   Abuse to anyone or anything breaks the connection, breaks the person or animal, and breaks all of us. 
I went through formation and training to be a spiritual director a number of years ago at the suggestion and encouragement of my own spiritual director.  Although I am not formally directing anyone at the moment, the formation itself and the way it changed how I look at relationship was, and is, transformative.  I provided spiritual direction to a woman in prison until her release and that brought relationship, forgiveness, and connectedness together in a unique and powerful way.  Sometimes I miss that ministry but right now it's all I can do to keep up with work in the office and work in the barn.  My ministry is to my family and the animals.

That may seem weird to you.  Ministry to our animals, I mean.  I'm not a totally holistic person in the sense that I use only herbal remedies and such.  But I do believe in listening to our animals.  I listen by tuning into their behavior, their eyes, their sighs, and their needs.  I connect to them and they connect to me.  I keep our ranch organic as much as possible (Brett does use weed killer from time to time, he thinks I carry this organic thing too far at times), I support our local organic farm, and I buy from like minded businesses as much as possible.

I am addicted to enjoy blogging because it connects me to so many people, all over this country and all over the world.


  1. i was raised catholic but gave it up many years ago after a divorce - i felt i was no longer wanted. so i found my own spirituality in living a good life, appreciating and worshipping in the beauty all around me. i believe in the spirit and that we are all connected to it/in it. i also believe there are other ways to reach spirituality besides jesus. i know that would not make me popular with a lot of christians, but i take a more all-encompassing view of our souls and faiths.

  2. Thank you for this very personal look into your way of life. Guiding someone in need, like the woman in prison, sounds like an incredible experience. I have enjoyed helping people through therapeutic riding. I gave lessons to a woman who could not walk for six years. She was unable to remember my name and did not always have the most pleasant disposition, but she loved riding and her time in the saddle. I really get that.

    By contrast, I am not religious. However, I completely understand having a ministry to animals and nature. I feel like a hippie saying this, but I feel very connected to nature. To me, horses are the ideal vessel of nature: beautifully mysterious, powerful yet gentle, and fragile.

  3. Annette...It is no surprise to me that we are on the same wave length in so many areas. I'm really into the way we are all connected...and of course I share your philosophy regarding animals. It's all about humility, helping others, respecting the earth and all that's in it...the list goes on. You and Brett are my kind of people.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.