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May [the circumstances of our lives] help move us toward the places that scare us.
May [the places that scare us] inform our lives and help us to die with no regrets.

-Pema Chodron

October 29, 2017                      

In October, we intentionally have fun with fear. Halloween is a celebration of ghosts and goblins, witches and weirdos and things that go bump in the night. And yet, these last months have been truly terrifying for so many who have lived though natural and man-made disasters. In this newsletter, Meb looks at our relationship with fear and its connection, not only to the "spirits," but to the spiritual person in each of us and sees the potential in the things that scare us to awaken our true selves and find a greater love for humankind.

            Here's to chasing - and finding - miracles with all of you. 

Joan, Katie and Meb       

           It has been a difficult month with disasters that have seemed to follow, one right after another. How do we keep life from hardening our hearts, when it seems there is so much wrong with the world? How do we stay openhearted when tragedy, fear, grief, abandonment and tit-for-tat anger seems to be all around us? To stay openhearted in today's world can feel risky and vulnerable, possibly ineffectual, even when we are lucky enough not to be directly touched by disaster. If we open our hearts to others and empathize with their traumatic experiences, we are bound to feel pain, maybe even over-whelmed, as the worlds's hurts are let in.

          I've been looking everywhere for answers to my question of how to stay openhearted in a world full of pain. A part of me want to escape the news, hunker down and focus on protecting an spending time with the ones I love. Putting up a defense to pain seems like a good idea, right? If I stop letting things in, I can stop feeling the hurt. But, i
n her book, The Places that Scare You, Pema Chodron writes that if we don't dissolve the armor that prevents us from staying openhearted, we will always be held back. We will continue to obstruct our innate capacity to love without an agenda.

          I know a lot of people who say that Halloween is their favorite holiday. It's fun to celebrate the darker side of life, to dress up as the evil enemy, an altered self, or become someone we want to be only for one night a year. It is a celebration of paradox: on this night, for example, parents actually encourage their children to take candy from strangers! It's topsy-turvy and fun, a great release, a night of in-between. We play with the dark and our fear; we play with the idea of mysterious things we cannot control; we play with feeling uncomfortable.

          I am not a Halloween fan because I don't like to be scared or afraid. I think I am making progress with feeling fear. I am getting better at recognizing, without judging myself, when I am closing off to protect myself from feeling discomfort or resisting the uncertainty of what life is bringing forward. The little me continually seeks zones of comfort, while the me that is trying to become who I was put on this earth to be, wants to open myself up even more to the way that life just is. While this can mean letting pain in, because that is just a part of the world we live in, it also means I am better able to let love in.

          Lately, I've had to remind myself that even within traumatic circumstances, one can find moments of beauty to celebrate. These are the places where raw love shines through the darkness. Here are a few of these moments I noticed and wrote down for myself this month:

  • Let us remember that people died in each other's arms in the tragedies in Nevada and California.
  • Let us remember the hundreds of heroes who chose to be vulnerable and to put themselves in harm's way and their lives at risk to save others.
  • Let us remember the generosity of spirit within all those who came from faraway places to feed and clothe and care for those affected by the disasters. 
          Pema Chodron shares that, the "gesture of universal friendship has been likened to a drop of fresh spring water. If we put it on a rock in the sunshine, it will soon evaporate. If we put it in the ocean, however, it will never be lost." None of us knows what the future holds. Keeping our heart open, so we can be present to the love all around us is a worthy effort in troubling times. Recognizing the uncertainty of life, let us dedicate ourselves to this moment and to all beings as a gesture of our love and solidarity. (Meb

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Upcoming Events

We are currently scheduling events for 2017 and 2018.
Please let us know if you have
any suggestions for venues or
events where we can continue
the miracle discussion.

March 1, 2018
Presentation and Discussion
Ministry of Mothers Group
St. Gregory the Great Church
Scripps Ranch, CA

Facetime and Skype are
wonderful ways to share
conversation and connect
over miracles. Thank you to the
book clubs around the country
who have invited us into their
homes and their lives. It has
transformed and rewarded all
of us. Please let us know if you
would like us to virtually visit
your book group or club!

Thank you to Mysterious Ways for the Facebook Live Interview
with Katie 

Thank you to Miracle Hunter, Michael O'Neill on Relevent Radio for his interview with Katie on The Miracle Chase (go to minute 8:30)

St. Mary's Women's Council,
Santa Clara University Alumni &
Georgetown University Alumni

for wonderful Miracle Discussions

Listen to the first of our
radio series with Kristin Ace
Where Human-ness
meets Spirituality

and the follow-up session describing the numerous ripples
that occur when miracles meet generosity of spirit.

Thank you to the Portland Book Review

and the PrayersWork blog

for featuring The Miracle Chase
with such inspirational reviews.

Earlier editions of this enewsletter are
available at 

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please join our mailing list at

Thank you for asking your local library and book store
to carry The Miracle Chase...

Joan, Katie and Meb
co-authors of The Miracle Chase
It's About Survival
"I want to warm up to the world and feel blessed, even as I face evil and death." The Miracle Chase


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