Welcome to the audacious project that is Underbelly. What began as a weekly newsletter has grown to become a project to create Peacemakers.
People who will make peace with their underbellies and their neighbors' underbellies to that we can all go forth and live our one wild and precious lives.
When a close friend quoted Mary Oliver to me years ago and asked, "So then, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
the words embedded themselves in my soul and began their work on me.
A recent walk & talk with my pastor, Jeff Strong, procured the linchpin — the thing tying together the idea of loving your underbelly and your wild and precious life: It's Peacemaking.
Yes, Peacemaking. Peacemaking provides that unflinching, steady gaze necessary to do this work.
Peacemaking is the ultimate skill we develop weekly in my free newsletter: 10 Wild and Precious Things.
Peacemaking under-girds every single podcast episode in Wild and Precious Conversations. They can be and are both wild and precious because of the trusting, non-ego driven, curious, courageous, direct, truth-to-power, and God-led space these conversations take place in. It's pretty cool — Have a listen.
And the principles of Peacemaking underlie the self directed courses, too.
Awhile back, I began noticing friends getting burned out — because they spent all their time taking care of the whole world and not any time taking care of themselves. I also was feeling burned out from a simple lack of meaningful work in my life.
I decided to jump in and just start, using my education in counseling and my career in writing and teaching to see what I might be able to do to be a little of the change I wanted to see. Underbelly was born.
Someone I admire tons, Emily Nagosky and her sister Amelia Nagosky wrote a book called Burnout: The secret to unlocking the stress cycle. I love and own that book. I love the message that we need to reach out to each other and not focus only on ourselves in order to move into a world where burnout really doesn't happen anymore — where we all, all of us, live our one wild and precious lives.
Wild + Precious is my weekly practice, too. I'm learning as I go, staying curious, open, audacious, and flexible as I listen, read, and soak in teachings. I literally do each thing I ask you to do in the Monday morning newsletter. The practices spelled out in my courses are evidence-based in Adlerian practices such as 'third wave' cognitive behavioural therapy (acceptance and commitment therapy, for example), Mindfulness practices and Somatic Experiencing including trauma aware practices such as Gabor Mate's Compassionate Inquiry styled approach and Stephen Porges' Polyvagal Theory.
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Don't feel obligated — enjoy what is here and let me know what you'd like to see more of.