Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Previous Comments By 'storytellerkp'

Signals Even GPS Cannot Detect, by Aylie Baker

FaceBook  On Jan 13, 2019 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:
Being moved my nature to me means being more connected to the interconnecteness of our environment and ourselves within that environment rather than being fragmented by small slices as the article shared. This connection can happen in urban or natural settings, I think it's about intention: connecting to what is there rather than being tethered to technology.
As for being lost and being guided by elements rather than any maps, yes, I can share a time in an urban environment and one in nature.
3am in Paris after dancing Tango, the metro was closed so I took a bus back to the neighborhood where I was staying with a friend. Though it was familiar in daylight, at 3am, it all looked quite different and in Paris many of the street signs are painted on the sideds of houses and buildings. The 3am bus also does not make the usual stops, so I was nearly a mile away from my friend's home. I had no GPS, only a small flip phone cell phone with a dead battery. I navigated by familiar landmarks: Sacre Coeur cathedral on the hill above gave perspective, then a cemetary I recalled, then a bakery I recalled, then a corner bistro, then a line of trees on either side of a stately street, I knew I was nearly at her doorstep. I found my way back thanks to paying attention to surrroundings rather than being glued to a cell phone.

Preparing For The Extraordinary: An Essential Practice, by Alan Briskin

FaceBook  On Nov 27, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 OH How I love this share: the idea of early morning pre-dawn preparedness to enter into the deeply sacred and spiritual. Yes! It reminds me of the need to slow down into the ebb so we can appreciate more fully the flow. I relate so much to this after having moved through a very busy year and now finally having some time to deeply reflect especially on a healing retreat I attended for female survivors of childhood sexual trauma. What was most extraordinary was the ordinary in so much of the information shared: simple meditation, breathing yoga, as well as information on how trauma affects our brain thought process and then our actions/reactions, and yet the impact was incredibly healing. I think because of that preparedness for receiving. I arrived 2 days prior to the retreat so I could steady myself to be ready to receive the learning, healing and wisdom. I also gifted myself with a full day of rest and reflection before I flew back to the intensity of Washington DC. Allowing that time before and after as well as taking a few short naps made all the difference in how my body, mind, heart and spirit absorbed all the healing shared. Even though the pace of the healing retreat was rather full and brisk the time before and after deepened the impact. The group experience was also impacted: to be the example of resting, doing self-care, being gentle with self, allowing the time to absorb impacted the other women present too. And I was even more loving and compassionate because of my own preparation. <3 I am aware how fortunate I am that I could take that extra time. This month of November was one of pulling inward and allowing more time to process. It has made all the difference. And it impacted how I relate and interact with others: I am more conscious than ever of slowing it all down: of taking more time to be fully present so we can create time. Thank you for the perfect post Thanksgiving Share! <3 HUG


​Perspective, by Aaron Zehah

FaceBook  On Sep 29, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 We become the stories we tell and focus upon. I love this folktale and used to tell it when I performed for families at libraries and schools. :) In my own life I am currently wrestling with the idea of relocating out of Washington DC where I moved 4 years ago. I keep asking myself, "am I seeing the full picture" or am I focusing on a negative perspective: is it really too "noisy" here with the current political atomsphere and activism that's now nearly 24/7? I ask myself to remember all the good here too: the amazing Burning Man and couchsurfing communities, the deeply heartfelt All Souls Unitarian church I attend. The fact that it's a walkable city. My housemates whom I lovingly refer to as the Golden Girls as they are in their 70s and 80! So many blessings. And yes, DC is tough to live in at the moment too. So I meditate and pray and ask, "what is best for my heart and soul" and may I see the full picture with gratitude too. I hope this helps... :) To shape perspective in a broader sense I also myself, "what story are you telling yourself about this situation? and "might there be another story?" <3 


The World Mirrors The Soul And The Soul Mirrors The World, by Alan Watts

FaceBook  On Sep 23, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 We Become the Stories We Tell and those we consume. So, it makes sense that the world mirrors our perceptions and our perceptions mirror the world. What we focus on we see and this becomes our world view and then impacts our feelings. The beauty is we have agency each day to choose a new story: what do we see when we look at that pond? Are we focusing only on that mud and debris or also on the beauty of the sky reflected within? As we focus on the world: are we seeing the challenges AND the beauty in our fellow human beings? How might we look at the other and see ourselves? I find what helps me do this: is to imagine that person as a child, their innocence, their vulnerability. And then in seeming them as a child to also see them as not so different from me. Example, someone who's belierfs are far different from mine, if I think of them as an innocent and vulnerable child, I can dig under that belief to a value they hold, maybe it is security. When I think of that value, I see my own value reflected too. They become the same as me, so there is nothing strange or foreign, we are one. For "there but for the Grace of God go I" I think of how at any moment any of us can be in challenging situations: how can we see each other with compassion? Ourselves with compassion too? <3 


The Work Of Love Is To Love, by Mark Nepo

FaceBook  On Sep 18, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 To work of love is to love = being present and honoring and loving someone no matter where they are on the journey. It means loving them when they are hurt or angry or feeling unlovable. It means reminding them of their worth when they cannot see it. It means seeing their heart and inner beauty. This happened for me this very weekend. My cousin whom I love like a sister had to have her young healthy dog euthanized because he had bitten 3 different people he didn't know and all unprovoked. My cousin had no choice but to have him euthanized, it is a state law where we live. The love in loving, was to choose to drive up from Washington DC to be with her face to face in PA and be by her side as she went through the awful process with her beloved dog. It was to love her even when she had moments of shutting down and of anger and of hurt and to just be present next to her, saying nothing at times, just being with her. This is a small example, but I think one of value because it is a small moment of love that adds up to the bigger moments. <3 What helps me to hold close is to see the child and the inner beauty in the person in front of me and to remind myself of their heart when they cannot see it ( and sometimes I struggle to see it too) It is to remind myself that I too am worthy of that love: to work to love myself as I love others <3 


Fueled By Love, by Timber Hawkeye

FaceBook  On Aug 21, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 So much YES to looking beyond someone's anger and hatred to what they love and are trying to protect. This has been my mantra since before our election cycle in 2016 here in the US. Often it has fallen on deaf ears, I was told if I was compassionate and loved, I was then complicit. I disagree. If I love and seek to understand, I feel as if that is trying to build a bridge toward understanding. So, I continue to post about love and compassion for Everyone and seeking to understand what is underneathe the anger/ hate which is often fear and yes, under that is love often of family, sense of security and wanting to be seen, heard understood. Here's to looking through the lens of love. What helps me avoid hating is empathy and compassion and knowing that hurt people hurt people and healed people heal people. Maybe there can be more healing and less hate. <3 


The Practice Of Soft Eyes, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Aug 14, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Soft eyes to me means pausing then looking with love and compassion and kindness. <3 When someone has a different view than mine, I do my best to use this. Or when I see someone is hurting about something underneath their anger. It takes mindful effort, that moment of pause, pulling into love then responding. <3 


Where's Your Umbrella?, by Nazeer Ahmed

FaceBook  On Jul 4, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Oh I love this and deeply relate. It is all about sending out your prayer or intention, doing what you are able to connect the dots and then stepping back and trusting that God/Universe or however you name it has heard you and will answer. Perhaps not in the exact way you reequested on in the time frame requested, however if you trust, it does happen eventually. This has been true for me so many times I'm honestly not sure which experience to share with you. One of the more recent ones is that I now serve at the World Bank as a Storytelling Consultant helping staff to see the human story in their data, connect more fully to each other as human beings and honor the people they serve throughout the world. I had sent this intention/prayer out about 6 years ago and in Feburary 2015 I happened to attend a Wellness Retreat Networking event. The husband of the organizer happened to work at the World Bank and the department he worked in was hiring consultants in Storytelling. We struck up conversation, I sent my CV, was interviewed a week later and 24 hours later got the job. It took 3 years from the setting of my intention, but it happened! And this is just one of dozens of experiences I've had. I feel blessed and grateful. What helps me maintain is the evidence I see all around me that when I trust, life works out! <3 


Keeping Quiet, by Pablo Neruda

FaceBook  On May 25, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Perfect timing, thank you. Do nothing means to stop and sit and be. I am in this exact position today as I take a break from what can be a "go getter" "overachiever" energy in Washington DC. I sit here alone at my friends' home in the Catskills, trees surround the house which sits near the Hudson River. I look out into trees, eye level with them. I have had the gift of 2 full nights and days alone here before everyone else arrives and i am grateful. I am literally moving through sadness, in a depressive episode which has been quite intense. "Moving through" has been mostly a saving grace as in "this too shall pass." At the same time, I wish to sit and be qiet to allow myself to heal, my mind to still and my body to do so as well. I slept until 10am with no apology. Today I had planned on visiting a Victorian mansion, the home of an artist, but instead, perhaps I will only walk to the river, sit on a bench and breathe. It is OK to simply breathe rather than constant movement. Reconciling "keep moving on" with "critique of single-mindedness" I think is to know the difference of when to STOP moving, to simply be and breathe. I remember being caught in a dust storm at Burning Man and I set my bike down, turned on the lights, pulled my bandana over my nose and mouth, pulled goggles over my eyes, closed my eyes and simply let the dust swirl around me, It was like a mystical massage. When the storm was over, I slowly rose, lifted my bike and slowly pedaled back to my camp over 2 miles away. I listened for voices that were familiar and I moved when it was safe to do so. Perhaps this story better reflects. <3 Thank you for allowing me the space to share. <3 


Exhausting Quest For Perfection, by Brene Brown

FaceBook  On May 23, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 As a "recovering overachiever" who spent much of her life feeling not good enough, this post touched me deeply. Now 50, life is more about the smaller connections, the deep value of one to one rather than the urgent feeling of "I must make a huge impact"  or seeking approval. For years I've danced to my own drummer (rather than march, I choose dance ;) ) and haven't cared what others thought of me in certain contexts. I've never really fit it, I'm more like a misfit toy ( from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer) than I am some Barbie doll of perfection. For example, I use bubbles at the World Bank as a way to calm nerves, difuse tension and connect on a more human levecl. I've done it since day one when I brought bubbles to the interview panel. ;) I still do it 3 years later. Embracing those things which make me unique, like a never-ending sense of childlike wonder, helps me to stay grounded. I was tested on this last week as a Manager at the World Bank did not at all resonate with whom I am or how I do my job. I've consistently been rathed 6.8 out of 7 in countless other trainings. And so I let it go, this person sees the world through grey lens, me through pink and yellow and that is OK. I know who I am and like each of us I've been given gifts to share. The only way I know how to share them is by being me with my Pink bangs, my brightly colored clothes, yes, mostly pink these days and my "slight exuberance" as I move through each experience. As someone once said, "be yourself, everyone else is taken" :) 


Dropping Out, Like The Buddha, by Jane Brunette

FaceBook  On Apr 27, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I needed this so very much today, thank you for the perfect reading and reflection. I currently live in Washington DC which given the current political administration is incredibly challenging. Nearly everyone I know is deep in their activism to the point of exhaustion, constantly claiming, "we cannot stop, we cannot rest, we must resist." I am observing them (and myself who chose to sit in compassion for all sides and honestly, that space can come with exhaustion too) I see how so many of the people I care about are sick and tired and need a break. My own Depression returned 2 weeks ago and is the deepest I've felt in quite a while. It was my mind and body reminding me to take a break, to "drop out like Buddha" and to self-care, reflect, sleep, go for walks, and sit in quiet. It was also a reminder to reach out to others for support rather than so often being the source of support. I am moving through one day, sometimes one hour at a time, seeking to be gentle with myself and seeking to return to center. Cultivating balance is a process and for those of us who are "recovering overachievers" or living in a society/culture where "crazy busy" is worn like a badge it can be an even bigger challenge because of judgment from others. What also helps me are habits like Awakin's readings and meditation, Daily Good which is how I start every day, taking time to simply be and breathe and when the darkness comes, to know the light returns and it is more than OK, it is Necessary to drop out like Buddha in order to be of service for anyone and to be healthy for myself. <3 Thank you again for exactly what I needed today. <3 


Recycling Karmic Trash, by Shinzen Young

FaceBook  On Apr 20, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 The word which immediately came to my mind was Compassion. When we sit in compassion for self and others there is less "judgment" and we can move through the discomfort with more ease, at least that has been true for me. Compassion also serves me to stop caring if it's "me" or "them" and sees it more as "us" <3 


Seven Stages Of The Ego, by Rumi, as told by Elif Shafak

FaceBook  On Apr 15, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I relate to two steps forward, one step back. In that life and stages are like a dance. There is progress, not perfection, at least that's my mantra. <3 To support the journey I do my best to not judge where I am or where anyone else is either, to sit in compassion for self and others. Each stage contains valuable learning and when we move through without judging it, we are able to see/feel the learning with more ease. 


Everything Is Waiting For You, by David Whyte

FaceBook  On Apr 6, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 The great mistake is thinking we are alone. If we have the courage to open up, share our truth, our vulnerability, our story, we quickly learn we are never alone in any experience. There is always at least one other person who has experienced something similar who can sit with us, listen, hold space and acknowledge our journey. I've been on both sides and it is healing and releasing . I would say the most "grand" way I ever experienced this time of intimacy was when I allowed myself to be extremely vulnerable in posting on Facebook about being in another depression and being deeply concerned about the darkness enveloping me. I had moved through depression before and was feeling dismayed that it had returned at a time when things seemed to be going so well. I reached out, first on Facebook, because I was too depressed to make a phone call and ask for physical presence. The outpouring of love, care, concern was beautifully overwhelming. It pulled me out of the darkness enough to accept invitations of several people to come to visit me over tea or coloring books. They sat with me one on one and listened and hugged and were simply present. I've done the same for others and to be on the receiving end was deep and healing and appreciated beyond words. What helps put down aloneness is recalling the times when either I have been present for someone else or they were present for me and the rush of love felt in my heart. This is just the push needed to reach out again. <3 


Listening As An Act Of Transformation, by Doug Lipman

FaceBook  On Apr 1, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

When listened to we feel valued, when asked reflective questions and if we have anything more to say, we feel both heard, valued and perhaps even understood. This is what so many are aching for in the US and in the world that is so hurting. So many feel unheard and in turn unvalued and misunderstood. When we feel listened to by someone fully present we feel that we do have value and that our voice matters. I've been listening deeply for a long time and even more so since the 2016 election. I've made my social media a space for listening and for compassion and because of this I've had people on all sides message me and converse with me. I've had people share their deep experiences and thoughts. And just last week, totally unrelated to the US, while I was in Albania presenting a Communication Workshop.  One of the attendees approached me afterwards and started to share some of his life story. I listened, providing space and then he shared he struggled with depression. I listened. And then I hugged him and whispered,"I've been on that journey too." He shared more. I felt deeply honored that he would share something so deeply personal especially at a work related training. We ended up making time to have breakfast together the next morning. We listened to each other across our cultures, providing space. It was wonderful. I think the patience to listen deeply comes from knowing what it feels like to be listened to myself and from the responses from others who are so grateful to have that space created for them too. <3 


What Happens When We Wonder?, by Katie Steedly

FaceBook  On Apr 1, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Wonder is being open to the beauty all around us, in us and in each other. I experience wonder nearly every day because I choose to live in gratitude and in openness to the wonderful in the seemingly small things. I was in Albania last week to facilitate Communications training for staff from 25 country offices for the World Bank. I sat in wonder of: 1. the fact I was even invited to present 2. all the cultures I was able to encounter in such a short time and with such deep enjoyment of the food, music, languages and conversations to learn. 3. the beauty of a sunset over the Adriatic Sea while being treated to a delicious Albanian red wine and mussels and octopus. 4. the joy of new friendships forming. 5. the fact that airplanes can take us across the world in a matter of hours.... the list goes on. What helps me to stay in wonder is gratitude and the realization that the seemingly small things often become my fondest memories of a person or place. <3 


What You Do Afterwards, by Keith Sawyer

FaceBook  On Mar 12, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I love this! The idea of collaboratively creating meaning. To me this means not being so attached to our own idea or outcome, but to the potential and possibility of what might unfold. We need this especially now given some of the deep divides. One potential path to a little healing is to open a conversation in a more ambiguous way to allow for more possibilities in the responses. A personal story of this was in my volunteer literacy project in Belize. Having no training in creating a volunteer project was a blessing because I had no set idea of what "should" work and therefore was constantly open to revising and adapting. It meant I was always openly listening to the locals and what they needed or wanted and then doing my best to collaborate with them and meet the needs. It turned out that creative writing in the schools was a need so I utilized the local indigenous legends learned while traveling village to village to create a first person narrative lesson plan. This also was ever changing depending on which region of the country I was training in <3 And then it further opened in other countries. Being open to the possibility of adaptation and revision allowed for so much more to unfold. And now in my current work at the World Bank, I am always adapting my training and listening to open conversation and meet needs. <3 I think putting myself in another's position helps me to open up to more possibility in my own actions. 


Do A Nice Thing For Your Future Self, by Elizabeth Gilbert

FaceBook  On Mar 6, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I totally relate! 2017 became the year of self-care and it was Glorious! I took naps when needed so I was more refreshed. I stayed in more instead of going out more. I often donate to others, this year I spent some of that money on me by receiving coaching. It made a huge difference and impact. I am more centered.  <3 I feel really wonderful today and much of it is because I finally shared kindness and compassion with myself rather than with everyone else around me. Yes, I am still kind and compassionate to others and now i include ME in the mix too. It's made all the difference. What helps me stay rooted is seeing the impact little by little. I am more centered. I am more grounded. I feel better more days that not. Be your own best friend too, you are worth it! 


Living In The Freshest Chamber Of The Heart, by Mark Nepo

FaceBook  On Feb 20, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Wow. Powerful. Living in the freshest chamber of the heart means living in the present not the past. <3 Yes! Last night I participated as a "Giver" in a Tantra Puja ritual with 30 people. We rotated from partner to partner giving the gift of being fully present as we symbolically and ritually shared opening up the heart. One of my favorite rituals was pouring water from a vessel into a small conch shell, then placing a drop of two on the pointer finger and thumb and with the finger, gently tracing a tear from the outside of the eye down the cheek to chin. This tear represented for the Receiver all the tears they either could not or were not allowed to shed. It was deeply moving. We then placed a satin piece of cloth over our fingers and with one finger gently wiped the tears away. As I sat there in the Giver role, I allowed my heart to be fully open to any hurt of the Receiver, to silently say, "you are enough. It is allowed to cry. You are allowed to feel. Open your heart." It felt so nurturing to nurture and be there fully. I was able to recognize my own tears sometimes not allowed to be shed, and to be fully present too. Deeply powerful experience. The challenge for me was not being able to hug the person. <3

I do my best to stay in the freshest chamber, knowing each encounter is different and new and that although the past may inform me, it does not define me. <3 What helps me is reminding myself that all of live is a story, a narrative we each create And so I can choose, daily to live in the present chamber of the heart rather than dwell in the past. The new story can be created each day <3 


Becoming Master Artists, by Eknath Easwaran

FaceBook  On Jan 12, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 We were born to realize we are not static. Where we started does not need to be where we end up. Adversity can be a motivator to something greater than we dreamed possible. I've lived this my entire life. Born into a family consumed by depression, a father with multiple suicide attempts, a brother who turned to alcohol and drugs to cope and was addicted by age 15 and a mother overwhelmed in anxiety. I, turned to theatre as a way to try on different roles and it opened in my mind a way to live very differently in the world. A way to realize in my every day life I also had a choice to write a new story. I've swum up stream ever since with the tool of Storytelling and being the author of my own story to guide me. And now I choose to share that gift with others, reminding us all: we are the author of our own story and can reinvent and change our character, as well as begin a new chapter at any time. <3  In February I will begin to share an online beginner course in this and am so excited to share what has worked so well for me! <3 


The Gift Of Threshold Moments, by Sam Keen

FaceBook  On Dec 19, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 A threshold moment to me is that magic often fleeing moment of both aha and I don't know wrapped up together in a  twinkle. It is the awareness of magic and not being able to completely understand it and realizing, that's what makes it magic <3 As the days are darker (soon to be lighter!) I find that I curve in more into introspection. Sometimes brief moments of insight happen, like this Saturday night driving home after a gathering and I felt totally at peace and totally in my heart, this huge love pouring out. I cannot entirely explain. I felt warm in the cold and I felt joy. The opening up comes from not seeking to hold onto it, but in a sort of release and a trust in the magic. I hope this makes sense. <3 


What You Missed That Day You Were Absent From Fourth Grade, by Brad Aaron Modlin

FaceBook  On Dec 10, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I am is all we need to be. After all we are human beings. So I am = being a human being. <3
I have "enough" tattooed on my right wrist, it serves as a daily reminder that I am enough. You are enough. Each of us is enough simple for being. Or I am. <3 
I felt this today at church. The woman next to me started crying, I sent her thoughts of love and care and then I stooped down to reach for tissues out of her reach, I gently placed the tissue on her lap and gently patted her shoulder while sending more thoughts. I cannot explain it entirely, but my heart felt so full of love and connection in that moment. I couldn't fix anything for her, but I could be present. I could BE present <3 I am. You are. We are. Enough. <3 


Small Graces, by Kent Neburn

FaceBook  On Dec 3, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

Small graces to me are: the ability to pause and soak in the song of birds in trees outside my window, to savor the flavor of the soup I am eating slowly, to be witness for a friend simply sitting conversing or even in silence. Recently, I was home for Thanksgiving, it was a challenging week trying to serve my mother to see she is in need of assistance and she is not doing well mentally. The two small grace moments that stand out are: sitting with my friend Mary in a cafe and sharing appreciations of each other without any pressure, simply sharing softly while holding hands what we admired about the other, that spark we saw in each other that perhaps we couldn't see in ourselves. Another was watching my cousin's 2 dogs play together, the miracle here is both are rescues, one badly abused and I'd never seen her play like this. It was a reminder of the healing that can happen through love. 
Thank you for this post I needed the reminder of the impact we each make simply by being who we are. I've felt pressure (some my own, some from others) to reach more people with my healing Storytelling workshops. I've felt less than and not enough through some of the expansion process. I am reminded that what I am doing right now is enough. <3 


The Messiah Is One Of Us , by Megan McKenna

FaceBook  On Nov 28, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

We are the stories we tell and this impacts how we see self, others and the world around us. If we choose to see  every person as profound, or in other words, every person is worthy and we then treat them with kindness and love and share hope, we create a beautiful world around us and one in which people want to more deeply interact. I do my best to live this way each day and to imagine each encounter with each person is a possibility to learn something new from them or myself. I had an amazing encounter with a homeless man in Washington DC... two actually. One is Mr Weeks who engaged me in conversation on my way to work. I asked if he would like a Free Hug, yes. And after that first encounter every day when we saw each other he would engage in conversation with me "schooling" me about life. :) The other is Aed, another homeless man I met in DC and took to lunch one day. He shared his entire life story with me over sandwiches and informed me that he created a meditation program and could he email me about it. Until my encounter with Aed I had not thought much about internet usage and the homeless population. Turns out nearly every day he would find a cafe with wireless interest and work on his meditation program and send emails. Both Mr Weeks and Aed taught me many life lessons and all because I saw them and engaged in conversation. It is amazing what happens when we see each other <3 


The Sun Is The Perfect Example, by Vinoba Bhave

FaceBook  On Nov 14, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 The sun simply is. It has no expectation, no attachment to any outcome, it simply shines. Recently, I noticed that when I simply show up as me and I share my own shine in my Storytelling work and I do not push to have a certain outcome, then the world responds. When I push and try to promote too hard, it seems to not come together. I realize this is a vocation example, but it is one so strong in my mind currently. When I share my gifts without attachment to outcome, it seems the connection is far deeper and lasting and goes straight to the heart. I am not sure this makes any sense. As for being moved by love, oh yes, I have felt that and for me it is to do my best to see each being as beautiful and worthy and to sit in compassion. When I do that I feel incredible beams of love coursing through me and out of me. <3 


Space To Heal, by Thuy Nguyen

FaceBook  On Nov 7, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

So true. I relate to nothing but space as I move through receiving coaching. One of the helpful tools is to imagine one's energy expanding out and that the energy is like the wind blowing out and past challenges to create space. Our minds are infinite spaces too, the declutter is often by reframing: for example, one of my other favorite reframes is I choose. When we have choice we also have more space. Currently I am moving through another layer of healing with my mother, whom I've been in the role of parent since about age 12. When she was born she turned blue and was brain damaged. That damage manifested over time in processing like a 5 to 7 year old. She also have several mental illness challenges such as severe anxiety and paranoia. She is also one of the most negative people I have ever met, not only my opinion but those who know her mention this often.  It has been difficult at times to always be in the role of parent with her, especially when she is so negative and mostly ungrateful. My father was severely depressed after his service in Vietnam, multiple suicide attempts, died when I was 22. My brother was alcoholic by 15 (his coping) and then sober by age 26. The current healing is choosing to remain as a primary care taker of my mom as her condition worsens. The choice I have and the healing is: would I walk away from a 5 year old? No. And rather than get stuck in why, I ask myself, now that this has happened, what can I do. And I've created more space to process all this, from meditating on it, to spending quiet time at home to reflect rather than go out and be social and not move through the layers. And in that space a team began to form as I reached out to her Pastor for help and her only two friends and her two sisters. Expanding out the energy also helps so much; to imagine myself like wind, there is much space in wind. <3 


Planting Twin Trees, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

FaceBook  On Oct 15, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Beautiful. Leaving gifts behind far beyond one's lifetime to me means leaving a legacy of kindness, of being shelter, being shade to others, however you might define that for yourself. It is about being a place of respite, of being the one who listens, offers a hand, a shoulder. Being the one who can be leaned on. I think someone long before from whom I benefitted within family context was my great-great grandfather Martin Quigney who courageously fled Ireland during the potato famine. He left on one of the last famine ships in 1852 and made his way to the US where he created new roots. I am part of his tree. On a larger scale and unrelated, I think of the many women who stood up together so that I could have the right to vote, own property and do the work I currently do. What inspires me to pay my own gifts of Story and Listening and empowerment forward are all those who have gone before me who also shared kindness and love and compassion. And I must say, it also feels really good in my heart, <3 


One Has No Self To Love, by Alan Watts

FaceBook  On Oct 11, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 This is a really deep one. To me the idea of love based on morals being inhuman means that love should be unconditional, to allow it to simply be because love is love. This also extends to no self to love: I think the idea is if we are all one, then there is no other or self, just one to love. And that one includes self/other together. So in practice of loving oneself we are loving all. This is what spoke to me. 


Beyond Content Of Thought, by Ram Dass

FaceBook  On Sep 15, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

Realizing thoughts are just thoughts and they do not need to define me or even be "reality" is freeing. Thoughts change even within a day as our feelings change and evolve: whether those feelings are about ourselves or others. Reflecting on this for myself: I noticed today that my thoughts are jumbled and tangled today, partly due perhaps to a slight cold and feeling a little under the weather. I noticed that I was judging myself about things more harshly today. In recognizing these are just thoughts and not trying to "fix them" or deeply analyze, but knowing "this too shall pass" I am able to sit in breath and rather focus on that breath, in and out and relax. I've also been introduced recently to EFT, tapping and wow, it also helps with realizing thoughts are simply thoughts and they are not permanent. I hope these thoughts are clear ;) <3 


Emptiness And Compassion Go Hand In Hand, by Norman Fischer

FaceBook  On Sep 11, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I think compassion and emptiness go hand in hand is about not having attachment to the situation or person, but to see a blank canvas onto which you can simply love and be present. I experienced this in a deep profound way the other weekend at a healing arts festival of workshops in tantra where we were called to be silent and deeply present with numerous partners as we explored things like:" look at the person standing in front of you, see their beauty. See their entirety. Now picture that person as you at 6 years old, what message does your 6 year old have for you?" At this time the woman I was partnered with melted into sobbing, her shoulders hunched forward, a hand over her eyes and she looked away. Instinctively, I held out my hand and gently placed it on her other hand that was at her side. I looked into her eyes until she looked in mine and all I did was hold space in silence thinking the words, "compassion, love it is ok" into her. She held my hand. Soon her crying eased and she nodded she was OK. It as a moving moment of being both empty and compassionate. I hope it makes sense. <3 


Happy Birthday, Dear Sister, by Parag Shah

FaceBook  On Sep 5, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Thank you. Celebrated my 50th birthday on September 3rd by attending healing arts workshops all weekend. We explored nothingness, being fully present to the moment and to each other. To me nothingness is that sacred space where we realize we are enough simply in our existence and everyone around us is enough too. Experienced that so many times this weekend where all the noise disappeared and I felt at one in the moment and grounded and settled in. I felt enough. Breathing and focusing on being helps me stay rooted. Sometimes listening to water helps too or rain. <3 


Loving Your Enemy, by Brother David Steindl-Rast

FaceBook  On Aug 28, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Love you enemy to me means seeing that underneath their anger or maltreatment is often fear and under the fear is hurt. Allowing oneself to sift through the anger, fear to get to the hurt often reveals common values and shared humanity. I've been seeking to hold this space of compassion for all for quite some time and especially since our election here in the US. I am saddened to see dear friends say hateful words of their opponents rather than see the human in front of them. I have posted as much as I can about holding compassion and understanding the hurt that lies underneath the hate. Whew. I have been persecuted on all sides for holding this view. I have been told my compassion for both sides somehow diminishes my taking a stand against the danger of hate. I am not sure I agree. I think hate is not the answer ever. I do think seeking to understand is. What helps me practice is what I shared: see beneath the hate or the difference to what may be hurt or pain and see the human under it all. Find the heart. 


Heart And Soul Bonds, by Michelle

FaceBook  On Aug 22, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

Our hearts and souls are connected beyond boundaries, there is an energy present if we allow ourselves to believe in that magic and depth of possibility. I have felt this connection with several people in my life: even though my mother and I have a challenging relationship, she has a 6th sense as do I when it comes to each other. When the phone rings, I know without even looking it's her, this often happens for her too when she allows that kind of connection to be possible. I have this with someone I love in a romantic sense, he lives nearly 2000 miles away and yet I know instantly when he is having a difficult time. We only see each other a few times a year and yet we remain deeply connected across space and time. A friend from childhood, whom I had not seen nor heard from in 30 years came back into my life several years ago through the wonders of Facebook. We picked up nearly exactly where we left off at age 12 as if no time or space between us passed at all. I have this relationship with people I've met on my world travels, we may only have ever spent a week together and yet our hearts and souls remain connected through our shared experiences. I feel very fortunate that I have experienced this connection so many times in so many different ways/contexts. It helps me right now in a time when I live in what can be a very disconnected place: Washington DC and I serve part time at the World Bank, such a heady, cerebral place. To be reminded again of heart and soul was very much needed today. Thank you. 

I think and believe the growing in heart and soul bonds comes from allowing the possibility to exist and not trying to categorize it or buying into what society often tells us a friendship or relationship *should* be, but rather enjoying the magic that *can* be. Hugs from my heart to yours, I hope you feel it....


Each Thing's Way, by Ray Grigg

FaceBook  On Aug 11, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 This is a deep one! :) Each statement could be its own reading. For me, the greatness of what is not known reminds me of my own smallness in a good way. Yes, I can have significance in changing my corner of the world, at the same time, there is much I do not understand and that is OK. The smallness reminds me of the awe of the world and the universe. The smallness of what I do know also gives perspective that I definitely do not have all the answers, or anywhere close to the answers. It brings humility into the equation or situation. In keeping with the smallness of what I know, I shall end here today, <3 


The Grandest Vision For Humanity, by Riva Melissa Taz

FaceBook  On Jul 18, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 We are all interconnected: tiny dots together becoming something larger and more beautiful when viewed from a distance. When we take the time to view the beauty through the connection; that is the key for me in our survival. As individual dots we may seem small and insignificant, ah, but together, there is the beauty. <3 And yes to Jeannie. I am only one, but I AM ONE.... <3 


The False Duality Between "Job" And "Service", by Zilong Wang

FaceBook  On Jul 11, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

I relate to this so much! As a Cause-Focused Storyteller who chose to quit her job, sell her home and possessions to create/facilitate a volunteer literacy project in Belize in 2005 and then re-renter life in the US as a freelance Storyteller/Speaker/Trainer and Coach who currently serves as a Storytelling Consultant at the World Bank in Washington DC, I was told by some that I was "selling out." Perhaps I was learning that "wherever you go, there you are." Meaning that wherever we choose the serve, there we are if indeed we are serving with mindfulness and intention to the task, it matters not where we do it. <3 I have experienced deep sacred moments serving while I teach presentation skills at the World Bank: when I have connected heart to heart with staff reminding us all to listen, learn and value those whom we serve. Recently, 3 staff who had taken my online monthlong intensive course, then attended a face to face with me. When I asked why given it was the same content, all 3 separately replied, "So we could be in your energy in person and hug you to thank you." This is transformation and to me sacred. <3 
To avoid "service fundamentalism" I remind myself to "serve where I am" I hope this is helpful. Hugs from my heart to yours, Kristin


Force of Love is the Force of Total Revolution, by Vimala Thakar

FaceBook  On Jun 30, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 The force of love = the force of total revolution because it opens our eyes to our interconnectedness and how truly, as humans and beings, we are all one. I have felt this in waves and in glimmers many times, a feeling of complete compassion, love, joy all wrapped together envelope me and I feel light and nearly to bursting. Recently I felt this at a Compassionate Listening training, the 14 of us had shared many vulnerable stories of experienced conflict, hearts and minds were open and I felt this sense of being utterly connected to each person in the room. I have felt this with animals too. I am not sure what helps experiment with the impossible, other than having so many experiences over my nearly 50 years on the planet, that anything is possible. <3 


Attachments Are Not Set in Stone, by Robina Courtin

FaceBook  On Jun 23, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 This resonates so much: 1. I am on the morn of embarking on sharing We Become the Stories We Tell both in the US and Canada: the idea is we become the stories we tell ourselves, we create our own narrative. And as you say this narrative (or attachment) is not set in stone. We can change the narrative at any time in many ways. We can change our own role in the story we've created. We can choose to begin a new chapter, make a new choice or decision. We can become aware of the roles we put ourselves and others in and change those too (or at least our attachment or view of them.) :)  I have gone through the process of changing my own life story several times. First time back when I was 13. I had been bullied terribly at school, back then, teachers didn't help you, guidance counselors told us it was "our fault." But summer of turning 13, I decided I wanted a new role, not the one being bullied anymore so I auditioned for a play and it turned out I was quite good at it. Theatre gave me confidence and it changed the way I carried myself. The bullying didn't stop completely, but my reaction did. I brushed it off, laughed more easily at it and walked away. It worked. Fast forward to today. I still have negative self talk in my head: I now have a tattoo on my right wrist which says "enough" it is to reframe the story of "Not enough" Every time I glance at my wrist I am reminded, I am enough just as I am. And you are too. Thank you for the perfect post as I head out on my adventure. 


Big Enough to Take It All In, by Margaret Wheatley

FaceBook  On Jun 7, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Big enough to take it all in to me means, we have the ability and capacity to do this is we remain out of fear, in the present and trust/believe that we can handle it. When we are fully present in the present moment rather than ruminating about the past or worrying about the future, it frees our mind, heart and soul to simply be. This past weekend I participated in a 3 day Compassionate Listening Training with 12 others. We all did our best to be fully present with and for each other. As we listened either in silence or in reflection and present with eye contact and not concerned with what to say in response and with no need to "fix" anything, a magic happened where every single one of us opened more deeply both in what we chose to say to each other and in how we were able to listen deeply. It was beautiful and heart/mind expanding. Realizations of the deep value of simply being present as a gift to one another. <3 Oooh, to commit to see clearly: gosh, I guess the power in seeing how that opens the heart.mind even further and it diminishes worry/fear as thoughts rather than swirling seem to center and settle. Thank you so much for this reading, a perfect reminder. <3


Is There Righteous Anger Ever?, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On May 26, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Anger is a challenge for me: it is an emotion I was forbidden to express as a child/teen and it seems to come out now rarely and perhaps most often as tears or even as depression which is often referred to as "anger turned inward." I think with all feelings it can be healthy to say: feelings are feelings, they just are, however how we choose to ACT on them is very very important and what narrative are we creating about our feelings? Good to reflect. <3 Recently I had a wave of anger surface as I contemplated sexual molestation experienced as a young child. I am not angry at the perpetrators, they are sick, I was momentarily angry at the prospect of processing another trauma on top of several others. And then it quickly transformed into "what can I learn from this?" How can I move forward in as healthy a way as possible? This is how I try to move through any experience. Freeing self from any emotion is realizing "this too shall pass" I hope this serves someone else to be gentle with themselves. Hug <3 


Live Intentionally, In Freedom, by Eknath Easwaran

FaceBook  On May 22, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Having choice or even the illusion of choice can be liberating. It takes some pressure off. We can choose different thoughts. We can choose how we react. How empowering! This happened the other day after a challenging conversation. I reflected on it and realized my part and that I could choose a different response which in the end served the other person better and me too. Here's to the power of choice in our thoughts and our actions!


The Sacred Art of Pausing, by Tara Brach

FaceBook  On May 1, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Thank you. I needed this reminder. I have experienced a challenging week with memories of past childhood sexual molestation surfacing. This weekend I went on a retreat with someone dear to me. We were lucky to have no internet access for an entire 3 days and it was so refreshing to tune into the nature around us in the Canadian wilderness. We hiked in solitude, often in quiet even together. We paused, sat on benches and breathed in fresh mountain air. We gazed at mountains, we felt snow on our faces. It was a respite from any type of control and it felt so freeing. My mind felt much more settled after disconnected and recalibrating. I am grateful. 


We Were Made for These Times, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

FaceBook  On Apr 7, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 We are each a great ship, or perhaps a smaller vessel, but together we become that ship and we are able to serve, to float, to lift others from the waves. My own journey is to continue sharing stories of hope, light, love,compassion and understanding: whether that is one person at a time in conversation, through the posts I choose to write and share on social media or like today when I have the blessed opportunity to present in front of 1200 high school students to remind them 1. They are enough just as they are made. 2. They are the author of their own story. 3. We become the stories we consume, share and tell, and we have a Choice in those stories. <3 here's to holding onto hope and light, even if only a glimmer. Hugs from my heart to all of yours.


We Are Swimming in Miracles, by Peter Kalmus

FaceBook  On Mar 28, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Swimming in miracles to me means seeing the beauty that surrounds us every day: and by beauty I mean small things like: the rain this morning that left such a clean scent through my window, the puddles I can now jump in if I so choose, the cup of tea that tasted so good when I paid attention to it, the crispness of the apple as I slowly savored each slice and then the gratitude that I could work remotely from home this morning teaching a class with people in 30 countries throughout the world and the gratitude that I can take the city public bus into work to teach in person this afternoon. It is all about what we choose to see and being in the moment. It can be elusive, but I experience it quite often now that I have worked on that muscle. ;)  Recognizing these moments takes practice initially in looking for them, then after a while, in my experience anyway, you end up seeing them all around you! <3 Hugs from my heart to yours.


Moved by Love, by Sri M

FaceBook  On Mar 8, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

I was mugged by gunpoint in NYC summer of 2010. I reacted in compassion for the young men who felt so desperate they would make this choice. Rather than condemn them I asked for compassion for them. At the time the $80 they robbed from me were groceries for 2 weeks, but they must have needed that money more than I did. In the end, the $80 came back to me within 24 hours: $40 from a friend's mother and $40 from a check sent by a friend when she heard what happened. I think it is far more valuable to react in love and compassion for the human being and the heart. In our current political situation in the US< i have shared Free Hugs on election day and in front of the White House. I often share Free Hugs at protests too. It is always well received. here's to love!


A Scheme to Change the World?, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

FaceBook  On Feb 28, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 As a word person rather than numbers I felt the same as the narrator in the story, ah, how dull it would be if we all sang or played the same note, how lovely to have melody and harmony! Infectious goodwill, yes!!!! As a person who often shares Free Hugs, does random acts of kindness, applies as best she can the Golden Rule: 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' I can attest to so much goodness and kindness always! Good Will is indeed infectious in a good way! When we do or see a kindness it just keeps on going and it infects those around us to be kind as well. i see this all the time with Free Hugs. One person accepts a hug, then another and soon there are so many conversations! This is the goal really, to connect one to another! What keeps me doing my best and being kind is knowing that eventually it comes back around and really it just feels so good to do anyway, so why not be kind?


You Play the Piano, by Alan Watts

FaceBook  On Feb 17, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

oh my yes! Enjoy the journey each day even with the smallest actions or words or dance or song or story. Today I needed this reminder. it's been an intense work week preparing to present at MIT and I got caught up in the feeling of pressure. I live in Washington DC an intense city with many intense people who have a challenge relaxing. Well, I have learned that life is a musical... we can choose to enjoy a bit of song, dance, and music or we can get bogged down in a storyline. <3 Today I just booked a massage over lunch. Last night was enjoying sacred songs in the cathedral, and Wednesday was 600 people drumming in the cathedral. All for JOY and to live the journey. Valentine's Day I dressed in the pink heart onesie I sewed myself (it's far from perfect, but it's warm and fun) and I took my Free Hugs sign and walked down to the Columbia Heights metro stop and I just offered hugs. It turned the day around for me too. I've been doing Free Hugs since 2008 and V Day is now one of my fave days to share hugs and love. Yes, here's to enjoying the journey because it may be the only one we receive. Hugs from my heart to yours! Kristin 


My Misgivings About Advice, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Jan 27, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 This hit hard. As both someone who has often sat in witness of other's depression or pain and as one who is challenged with depression herself. I meant to respond earlier, but this was a challenging week with being sick with a bad cold and being sick about all that is happening in the US with the new President. I can tell you from personal experience that what I want the most is simply to be valued and heard and loved. No one needs to "fix" me, nor can they. I am made the way I am and it is OK. The same goes for me witnessing for others, I cannot, nor should I try to fix anyone. What I can do is simply be present in love and compassion. Seeing someone you love in pain can be quite difficult, and yet, simply being there is enough. Hugs from my heart to all of yours, Kristin


Theory and Practice, by Vincent Horn

FaceBook  On Jan 17, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I love what Jagdish P Dave said, 'theory and practice are two wings of the bird of living."  I agree we need both and that one is thought and one is action; we need them to move forward in understanding. However I would also point out there is a potential pitfall for many to become so attached to theory the action never comes or an action comes but without truly understanding human impact. I have witnessed this is my work at the World Bank where economists become so enraptured with their data and what they think the theory is that they do not always listen to the humans their work impacts to understand in *practice* what the outcome may be of their *theory* on paper. I hope this makes sense. In my own volunteer work in Belize, I leaped in without having all the theory behind what I was doing in training teachers to use their own cultural legends in their classrooms, this not knowing all the theory was a blessing in disguise as I was unaware that in theory it should not have worked as it did. So, there can be blessings too. I do believe we need both and not to become bogged down in either one. As always, balance is key. I hope this made sense. <3


Shaped by a Silky Attention, by Jane Hirshfield

FaceBook  On Jan 7, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Great art takes great suffering or great joy & both take the depth of silky attention to achieve the outcome. As a Cause Focused Storyteller who seeks to build bridges between people and connect people who feel they may have differences and serve people to see that the stories they tell and attune to become themselves, I resonated with the notion of silky attention. Oh that depth of attention which is elusive and yet which comes when we are as said, "in flow." I've experienced this throughout the last decade plus when diving into a project: for example: I was in Belize traveling village to village donating storytelling workshops for teachers/librarians and programs for students. it was hard work, yet it was so fulfilling connecting on a heart and human level through first printed works then oral folktales. There was one officer in Ministry of Education who sought to stop my work as he could see the impact (at that time the government in Belize was quite corrupt and had an agenda of not addressing the rampant illiteracy, that's another story for another time) This officer tried to sabotage my project by ruining my reputation through scheduling school visits but then never giving me the schedule: 20 visits were scheduled but I was never told where/when. Every week I would call/email asking for the schedule to be told it was still being finalized when in actuality the visit dates had already passed by. Thus 20 school admins believed I had simply not shown up. Karma, I learned of this 6 months after when I surprised one of the schools with a visit and the Vice Principal greeted me with hugs and confusion stating, 'we thought something awful happened to you, you never showed up!' I told her from what I knew the 20 visits had never been scheduled and she relayed to me how they had that past March. I connected the dots and realized I had been duped, but it only strengthened my resolve. that afternoon she invited me for lunch at her home and who walked in the doo  See full.

 Great art takes great suffering or great joy & both take the depth of silky attention to achieve the outcome. As a Cause Focused Storyteller who seeks to build bridges between people and connect people who feel they may have differences and serve people to see that the stories they tell and attune to become themselves, I resonated with the notion of silky attention. Oh that depth of attention which is elusive and yet which comes when we are as said, "in flow." I've experienced this throughout the last decade plus when diving into a project: for example: I was in Belize traveling village to village donating storytelling workshops for teachers/librarians and programs for students. it was hard work, yet it was so fulfilling connecting on a heart and human level through first printed works then oral folktales. There was one officer in Ministry of Education who sought to stop my work as he could see the impact (at that time the government in Belize was quite corrupt and had an agenda of not addressing the rampant illiteracy, that's another story for another time) This officer tried to sabotage my project by ruining my reputation through scheduling school visits but then never giving me the schedule: 20 visits were scheduled but I was never told where/when. Every week I would call/email asking for the schedule to be told it was still being finalized when in actuality the visit dates had already passed by. Thus 20 school admins believed I had simply not shown up. Karma, I learned of this 6 months after when I surprised one of the schools with a visit and the Vice Principal greeted me with hugs and confusion stating, 'we thought something awful happened to you, you never showed up!' I told her from what I knew the 20 visits had never been scheduled and she relayed to me how they had that past March. I connected the dots and realized I had been duped, but it only strengthened my resolve. that afternoon she invited me for lunch at her home and who walked in the door but the man who had made the schedule and never gave it to me. He happened to be her husband! Poetic justice served as I informed him I had just set up visits with 10 more schools. I continued scheduling schools on my own and offering training, within 6 years I had donated programs for 33,000 students and trained 800 teachers because I felt so passionate about the project of using indigenous stories to teach creative writing and the students immersing themselves in the story through 1st person narrative.
It was a great example of persevering and how something of that challenge and difficulty is often worth pushing through. Hugs from my heart to yours. I realize this is not a "great art" example, however it is a labor of love as the book has just been published about the journey creating the project and the detailed lesson plan is also included along with stories written by students and teachers who attended the workshops.

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Medicine for the Earth, by Sandra Ingerman

FaceBook  On Jan 3, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Such truth in "We must remember that we are not just form and matter. We are luminous beings. And our destiny is to radiate light." As we focus on only changing ourselves in a non egotistical way, but from the heart, we realize it is the only place change occurs. We cannot change another person, nor should we, but we can change and improve ourselves in order to shine our light as brightly as we are able. I say this as a person who is challenged at times with episodic situational depression. Depression has had gifts (at least for me) in that I feel my compassion toward others has grown out of the darkness experienced. My set point is joy and sharing that joy, friends call me "slightly exuberant' and yet there is the darkness of depression. when I am in darkness, my own light becomes a small glimmer and yet it is still there. when I acknowledge that light and recognize it, I become aware of other people's light too. The same with gratitude which is another kind of light. I started a gratitude journal in 1999 and it helped so much in darker times because there were always small moments for which to be grateful: example, the sun shining and blue sky on a cold winter day and the fact I had a hot cup of tea and was inside a house wearing a warm sweater: so much gratitude just in that small thing. And that gratitude and light grow exponentially as we focus upon it and the best part in my opinion is, it affects not only us but those around us who see this light shine out from us as we share it. Being mindful in the doing is again about where the focus is: is it on the present moment and the process or it is only on final result? It is up to us what we see, share and focus upon. Thanks so much for this post, I needed the reminder today! Hugs from my heart to yours!


Five Prayers, by Thich Nhat Hanh

FaceBook  On Dec 27, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I especially resonated with thinking of all those who impact our lives that we may not always hold in awareness: all those who have gone before us to pave the pathway so that we may live more fully in our present time. Also to all those presently who impact us on a daily basis: from every one instrumental in the process so we could enjoy a cup of tea in the morning. It is valuable to pause and send up a prayer honoring them all. I also loved the part about compassion for those who have caused us suffering and to realize anyone who causes suffering has been or is in pain themselves. Pondering the personal impact of prayer: thinking about recently how Ive been offering prayers to Trump those who are so hurting and in such suffering that they have followed his rhetoric. I remain hopeful that somehow with all the racism, xenophobia uncovered that we may heal the divide that has grown so deep and that we all seek to understand and hold more compassion for each other. In the end whatever our beliefs, we are all human beings. no one is born as someone who hurts another and so it is up to each of us to be kind and send up the 5 prayers as suggested.


Inner World of Moods, by Patty de Llosa

FaceBook  On Dec 19, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Our minds are such interesting places. We really do have control over how we react. I find that pausing and breathing for a moment are such a huge help. And also to step outside myself for a moment. Am I being in compassion for the other and for myself? Is this reaction justified? When I pause, usually I realize my level of reaction, in the seldom moments of intense upset, are a bit overblown. When I breathe and sit in compassion for the other and myself, that feeling of upset often dissipates and I am back to more calm. I needed this reminder recently when having a political discussion. I allowed my emotions to take over and my sense of "justice" took over too. Then I paused and just said, "we need to stop for a minute. I need to breathe." The breathing and taking a moment to step into his shoes really helped. And we were able to resume the conversation in a more healthy way. i use this when driving too which is one of the few places my anger comes out ;) and usually when there is a merge with construction and people are being selfish. Now i stop, breathe and tell myself, "have compassion, maybe they are late or someone is sick or...."" :) It is a small thing, but it helps in the bigger moments too.


For the Traveler, by John O'Donohue

FaceBook  On Dec 6, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 oh yes, a journey is indeed a sacred thing, no matter if a journey to a foreign land or the journey in our own town or city; it is all about the intention we set: are we taking the journey with an open heart, mind and soul? Are we allowing for the unexpected to awe us? Are we opening our eyes to truly see the beauty all around us, even if it is simply a tree on the street where we live? Are we engaging with people heart to heart? Are we seeking to grow and learn especially if immersed in a culture other than our own? I  have found that many times when i travel, I've been to 27 countries so far: 20 of them through Storytelling performances/experiences, I seek to learn, grow and understand as well as soak in unexpected experiences whether that is a cultural celebration like the one i happened upon in Peru where hundreds gathered in a town square and ate a feast of seaweed, cuy, cheese, and tiny potatoes and there was singing and chanting too. i had little idea what was happening, but my smiling face and open attitude soon had  me pulled in with the locals. It was wonderful! Or the time in in Italy when i was on a train solo seated with a couple in their 80s and a young woman in her 20's, all Italian. I had only packed some crackers for what was supposed to be a 2 hour ride. they all had sandwiches and the older couple had a little picnic basket and wine too. They shared it with me upon eyeing  my crackers and the 20 something invited me to her village for a food fest. So  being open as well as being quiet enough to hear'/see the potential extra journeys leads to a richer travel. Be open, be kind, and be loving and see what unfolds! <3


Restoring Balance and Meaning in Ourselves, by Alan Briskin

FaceBook  On Nov 16, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

Synchronicity for sure today! I was planning on posting in another forum We become the stories and experiences we share. I believe this relates beautifully to the idea of "becoming active participants translating meaning into life." For example, post election here in the US, although some awful things have happened already in the name of hate, other wonderful things have happened as well with people stepping forward to act out in deeper kindness and love and care to one another. Which stories do we focus upon? Which ones do we continue to share? We become these and our world view changes because of it. Do we lament or do we take positive action? And do we allow ourselves to be in discord or harmony? I struggled with this last Friday as I have a wide range of friends with a very wide range of beliefs, I hold all of them in my heart with compassion and seek to understand views that may be different from my own. I do my best to not judge, but to listen to hear what is going on underneath. When we stop to do this listening, the story we hear is usually one not so different from our own: we all want to be valued, understood, cared for and to matter. So I focus on this and then I ask: how can I serve others to feel this and how can i reflect it myself?


The Glass is Already Broken, by Stephen and Ondrea Levine

FaceBook  On Nov 1, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 To live as though already dead means to embrace every moment, every encounter, every person and experience as though it may be the last time. To have gratitude to live in the present moment worrying less, loving and enjoying more. There are many times life is like this for me, I think it may come from growing up with a suicidal father, i never knew when his moment might be his last and so I learned early on to appreciate the present moment because that might be all you have left. He died at age 47 when I was 22. That taught me that one can die young further cementing to live each day fully. I am now 49, when I surpassed my father's age it was a huge deal to me. Each day is precious. Each person is too. Here's to embracing each other and realizing the beauty in impermanence.


Destiny is Within Us, by Hawah Kasat

FaceBook  On Oct 18, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 :) HUG! :)


Destiny is Within Us, by Hawah Kasat

FaceBook  On Oct 14, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

Destiny is within us gives us some liberation from circumstances, situations and even other people. If we view our life as a series of choices over which we have control then we may feel more empowered. We cannot control how other people act, we can't always control the circumstances we presently are in, loss of a job through downsizing, but as stated we can control how we react. A recent experience in my own work life: the department for which I worked as a storytelling consultant at the World Bank was dismantled and dissolved after nearly 50 years in existence. There was a lot of hurt. I was one of the newer staff, but at first I was caught up in the "injustice" of it after all we were doing really good and valuable work, how could this be happening? Then I was caught up in fear: as a Freelance Storyteller and Speaker I would once again have to search for other work which is often seeking for 3 to 6 months for a one or two day gig; takes a lot of energy! Then i shifted my focus: what did I have control over? My own response! I could look at this as a huge gift! I had been given 18 months of job security after 9 years of instability, I could buy cheese! I could also pursue presenting keynotes at places like Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Wow! Instead of feeling drained, I felt energized and excited and hopeful. Developing this awareness is about shifting to "what can I control? How can I respond?" And "I have a choice."  Hugs to each of us!


Reengineeing Our Patterns, by Eknath Easwaran

FaceBook  On Oct 7, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I relate very much to the feeling of needing to let go of the periphery and focus on the essentials. Feeling grateful that more days than not it is possible and only when I get caught up in life is it still a challenge. Two things truly helped in this process: spending time in other cultures where time was measured differently and where "success" was as well. Time expanded and days felt longer and not so rushed, perhaps this was due to rising with the sun and going to bed shortly after dark. The view of success was more about kindness to fellow humans and the quality of relationships rather than quantity of possessions. I've carried this into my every day life. It helps me to focus on what is truly important when I get caught up. Example, this week my book about my volunteer project came out. I felt both a sense of relief as it had been 10 years in the making from the start of the project to release of the book which details the journey and hopes to serve as a blueprint for others to take the leap. I also felt this rush of, "my goodness, I need to get it out everywhere right now!" I felt a sense of urgency and it was overwhelming as I was also caught up in other work commitments at the World Bank and in several other performing projects. Then I sat down on Wednesday and I just breathed, in and out over a cup of tea. And I let go of "right now" and I let go of urgency. I reminded myself it took 10 years to get to here, what is the difference of another few weeks at this point? What do I need to do right now today? What is truly necessary? What can I let go? I felt so much more at ease. That afternoon I even took a nap before performing that night and in the end the performance connected so much more deeply to the audience because I was fully present, and at peace in my heart and mind. Hope this helps! Hugs from my heart to yours!


Becoming Free of Our Substitute Life, by Ezra Bayda

FaceBook  On Sep 30, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Substitute life to me means not being completely authentic or being who we were or are meant to be. There is a saying which I firmly believe and which I think is reflected here, "we become the stories we tell." The good news is we are also the author of the stories we tell so we can re-write or re-tell at any time. We can start a new chapter and allow that to become our new story. What role do we wish to play in our story? Are we the hero or victim in our story? Who are the other characters in our story? What journey are we taking? Do we wish to walk a different path? We can write that and live it.


Trees are Sanctuaries, by Herman Hesse

FaceBook  On Sep 21, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Beautiful and necessary reminder in the power in nature. I adore trees and listen and simply watch as they sway in wind, bending not breaking; we can do the same: just be. We dont have to try so hard.


Right Away is the Opposite of Now, by Jacob Needleman

FaceBook  On Sep 12, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 For me, Right away has a sense of urgency whereas now has a feeling of peacefulness. When I was in Belize traveling village to village learning and sharing stories as part of my literacy project I felt I was recalibrated by the local culture to look at the idea of 'right away' as "now." Belizeans for the most part move at a much slower pace and when they would say "right away I will come" that could mean 5 minutes, an hour or several hours later because they tended to be in the moment of now with whomever and whatever was happening within their immediate physical space. It was liberating. And yes, admittedly, a bit frustrating for me at first, especially coming from the Northeast of the US which often runs at breakneck speed. To protect from becoming a 'hungry ghost' I do my best to remind myself to be present now with whoever I am in physical presence and with the task at hand. Progress not perfection. :)


Simplicity of the Heart, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Sep 6, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Reality shifts as we construct and deconstruct it each day through our perceptions and experiences and how we react. Simplicity of the heart happens when we do not try to control it. I've had this experience when allowing myself to fully immerse in the present. Example, yesterday at a dance in a park I felt fully free, alive, happy and filled with joy. There was no attachment to dancing a certain way, it was allowing the rhythms to fully connect internally and just move however my body decided. Liberating!


With Fullness in Life, Everything is Possible, by Facundo Cabral

FaceBook  On Jul 15, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

This one hit very close to home. As someone challenged with episodes of depression which is very real and part of my brain chemistry, I must say that though I agree with much of the thoughts presented and that yes service to others certainly helps, when one has clinical depression it is more than "distraction." That being said, I do relate that in reframing one can be liberated rather than feeling in loss. I needed to hear that today! Every experience can be a lesson, and sometimes even a gift if we let it. I do my best to live in love each and every day. We have a choice; when we are doing whatever we are doing to view as from love. Even doing the dishes can be out of love :)  When a recent relationship ended changing from romantic to platonic I continued to share messages of hope as he is going through a very challenging time in his life. It was out of love and care. As for distraction as root of depression, I suppose that when I am not doing what is best for me, example working in a job that does not fulfill my heart, the depression is definitely more acute. Currently I am working my way back to more Cause Focused and heart centered Storytelling/Speaking engagements and it is helping my mind and heart because this is the work I am truly meant to do and have done. time for more of it! Hugs from my heart to yours, Kristin


Keeping Nothing Between, by Eugene Gendlin

FaceBook  On Jun 28, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Keeping nothing between means being your real self, authentic, no masks. It also means creating a space to allow the other person or people to be real as well. I feel it is a bit easier than we think; we needlessly complicate. One of the phrases that helps me to be in this state is to think of us all as Tall Children, not in a demeaning way, but in that innocent, open way. A personal story of nothing between happened last night as a group of us broke the fast for Ramadan. We were from at least 2 dozen different cultures and yet there we were together seeing each other with openness and humanity and heart. It was a wonderful experience of building bridges of understanding. Hugs to you all! Let us keep nothing between!


How Is Your Heart Doing?, by Omid Safi

FaceBook  On Jun 17, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Every day! Every single day! I live in my heart, maybe too much some say. Every day I seek out to love others, offer compassion, offer listening and share heart. It is challenging when we live in a world that outwardly values doing so much more than being. Just last weekend I was fortunate to participate in a burning man type festival in the forest and it was all about sharing heart. We were present with each other, we hugged often, we looked deep into each others eyes and we listened and we spoke from our hearts. It was magical! I do my best to do and live this way every day. Being mindful helps to seek out the dark corners and to share them. At this very moment I am piecing together a project called Wings of Hope to break stigma surrounding mental health challenges, I've reached out asking people to share a photo of themselves and a descriptor beyond their diagnosis, it has been an incredibly heartfelt  experience even in the first few days. I am so grateful my heart is open enough to do this work. Hugs from my heart to yours, Kristin


That Friend Walking Behind Me, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Jun 14, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Perfect timing! Just had an experience this weekend, my first sweat lodge. In that moment of entire darkness, in a supportive circle enveloped by steam we both listened to each other, called out our own prayers, intentions and hopes as well as our needs. It was extremely powerful. Depression has been my "friend" for the last several months. After 7 rounds of sweats in 2 days, I feel released, renewed and reawakened to all the universe has in store for me on this path. I was blocking myself. I feel more opened again. Grateful. It was intense to sit in darkness and allow everything to wash over and to pour forth (literally and figuratively) Hugs from my heart to yours! Kristin


Creative Living, by Elizabeth Gilbert

FaceBook  On May 28, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

Creative Living for me means living fully while sharing the gifts (treasures) we possess. I feel truly grateful that for whatever reason I have been able to do this most of my life. Perhaps it came from growing up in such an unhappy and stressful childhood, that in my 20s I decided to live on my own terms and that continued to blossom up to present day late 40's. Two items I never leave home without: Free Hugs sign and bubbles to share. I thought Id include my 5 minute TED for you all that speak to this magic of discovering joy in small moments:


The Value of Solitude, by William Deresiewicz

FaceBook  On May 18, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Solitude has become more important in my life as I age. I seem to crave it more than ever. Perhaps this is also due to how interconnected we've become through technology; we are seemingly never alone with text messages buzzing at all hours, Facebook messages or notifications popping up and as the writer said, we can connect in ways like never before and yet so many feel so alone and disconnected. Solitude for me is in the mornings when I wake and sip my tea, crunch through an apple and just sit and look out the window. I feel fortunate that most days I really enjoy my own company and over the last 15 years have chosen to do many activities solo. True I meet people along the way and I enjoy meandering through a village or city on my own taking in the sights and sounds at my own pace. I am also an extrovert so need face to face with people too, and I admit Facebook has at times been a life saver when I am in depression and perhaps not as able to reach out in person. The balance of solitude and community in my life is to be sure to have quiet time each day to myself and then at least 3 times a week to go out and do something with friends; even if that doing is simply sitting together. HUGS from my heart to yours and here's to solitude!


Pronounce a Silent Blessing, by Barbara Brown Taylor

FaceBook  On May 3, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 "The more you become aware, the more there is to bless" has been a definite truth in my own life, though I think I always related it to gratitude. The more we focus on something the more we have the opportunity to open our eyes and hearts. A personal experience of shared silent blessings is whenever I pass an accident I say a blessing to all involved. Another example is a smaller one, when someone rushes ahead of me on the sidewalk or pushes into me at the grocery store or cuts me off in traffic, I say a blessing that they might feel less frantic and be able to breathe. This helps calm my own stress too. The practice of sharing blessings (and gratitude too) has created more compassion and empathy for others and the realization that honestly, there are no "others." Hugs from my heart to yours, Kristin


Renewability Makes Something Valuable, by Martin Prechtel

FaceBook  On Apr 26, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

Hugs and thank you David and  Madhur, so glad my response resonated with you! <3


Renewability Makes Something Valuable, by Martin Prechtel

FaceBook  On Apr 24, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I loved the poetic beauty of the need for community and to connect as we renew together. the beauty is in the idea that it is the relationships that are paramount not the structure or the things. We have forgotten that as so many live behind literal gates of iron keeping the "other" out. I live my life as though nothing is permanent, grateful for whatever experiences come my way, grateful for people and situations. I am so glad that my "house" and by this I mean my being needs rebuilidng to remain strong and in tact. When we are there for each other to rebuild our "houses" meaning ourselves, what a beautiful lasting community we create. Hugs from my heart to yours, Kristin


The Oppressor and the Oppressed Must Both be Liberated, by Nelson Mandela

FaceBook  On Mar 25, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Wow, this is timely given our current political campaigns in the US. I see so much hatred, yet my initial response in compassion. How hurt this person and these people must be to react with such hatred. How can we heal that hurt? I resonate so much with Mandela's thinking; none of us are free if we do not live from a place of compassion for EVERYONE and seek to unshackle from hatred. I think so much hatred is born out of fear, and if we can address those fears through trying to listen then we are one step closer to healing. Whew! Hugs to everyone from my heart to yours.


Three Kinds of Laziness, by Tenzin Palmo

FaceBook  On Mar 15, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Oh this rings so true for me. Though thankfully (and gratefully) I am better now. Progress, not perfection :) One of my fave phrases is "we are human beings, not human Doings." :)  I come from a long line of "doers" My grandmother in her 80's would apologize for sitting down. I learned early on that "stillness equaled lazy" and so I filled my life with movement, literal and figurative. And several times I became so busy doing that I got physically sick, just like the monk in the story. My body told me to stop and slow down and just be. In that just being, a small bit of clarity came. In the years since, I have taken much more time to be still. And in being still important things are happening. If we look at nature, trees when dormant are still doing important things for their overall health and beauty. We we are still we are doing the same. :) We are refilling so we can give when needed. <3 Breathing helps me to center. Being in nature, being near water does too. I love watching waves either on the ocean or in a stream or a lake. Even a puddle can do. To just watch that water be. Ahhhhh. Breathe in. Breathe out! (PS It can be a challenge sometimes just being in DC where there is a huge push to be busy busy busy 24/7. I really feel so much compassion for those who cannot just be. Hugs from my heart to yours!


The Day I Learned The Value of a Smile, by Maya Angelou

FaceBook  On Mar 1, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Absolute truth. This is why I carry a Free Hugs sign, talk to strangers, smile at strangers, share small bottles of bubbles in airports, grocery stores while waiting in line as well as various other locations. We may never know what is going on for someone and to smile, to make eye contact, to engage in conversation can make all the difference. Honoring, respecting, valuing each other goes so very far!

About a month ago, I smiled at a homeless man I had seen several times in the same spot. I had tried to smile at him before, but his eyes were always downcast. I caught his eye, smiled, he smiled back. I asked if he was hungry and would like to join me for hot soup. He agreed. We spent the next hour, mostly me listening as he shared his story. We hugged several times. He was still on the street for about 2 weeks after that, we shared a sandwich on another day.  And now I don't see him. Maybe his luck changed. Maybe something good happened. I sure hope so.

Thank you for sharing Maya's smile story. She is one of my top 5 SHEroes in our world.


The Same Self Is in All of Us, by Eknath Easwaran

FaceBook  On Jan 26, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 A phrase that has helped so much and may be of value to you too:  We are all Tall Children. When I look at myself and the other as a child, my heart and mind open even more to being gentle, kind and seeing the human in front of me or within me. It helps me to be calm and to breathe and pause before responding. I use this so often it is difficult for me to give you an example, all I can say is, it helps. Hugs from my heart to yours.


Be Cool to the Pizza Dude, by Sarah Adams

FaceBook  On Jan 9, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 OH how I loved this! May we all practice patience, kindness, and leave space for all of those who are navigating their way through life the best way they know how, even if that means they use no blinkers. :) The fickle wheel means we remember what comes around goes around and that we do our best to be kind and respect everyone on the journey. I rarely live in a space of "ownership" and am grateful to live in shared space nearly always. Life is so much deeper and brighter this way. We are here to uplift and serve each other and when we do so we all benefit so much more greatly. It is why I share the gift I was given of Listener and Storyteller and sharer of hope and understanding. Here's to us all honoring and respecting everyone on the path no matter what their vocation because inside each of us is a heart. Hugs from my heart to yours, Kristin


I Have Decided to Stick With Love, by Martin Luther King Jr.

FaceBook  On Jan 5, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Strong demanding love is loving everyone no exception. It is loving those who are challenging to love. It is loving those who hate, those who fear. It is loving ourselves as well; even the bits that we may feel are unloveable. I have felt this type of love several times and it brings my heart to almost bursting. I have felt it when sharing Free Hugs with homeless or with strangers on street corners. I have felt it when in a hospital in Kenya sitting with a dying child, my hand gently on her back rubbing small circles as I whispered a quiet story to her and tried to take some of her pain away. I have felt this love when speaking to my brother and mother with whom I have a challenging relationship due to their own fears and negativity; sometimes I can see beyond that into their hearts and see the wounds they are carrying. A practical test for me is reminding myself that we are all Tall Children and would I say or think what I'm carrying to a small child? It helps me to see the human being in front of me. Here's to love, may it always win.


I Awaken Before Dawn, by Helen Moore

FaceBook  On Nov 24, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

I feel grateful for being alive, utterly alive and being in touch with gratitude every day. It truly makes a HUGE difference in how one sees the world; we can focus on the wonder or focus on the negative. Being mindfully grateful started for me around 1999 and never stopped. I kept a gratitude journal from then on, sometimes the list was 5 or 6 simple things: sunshine, a bird singing in a nearby tree, waking in the morning under warm covers. Other times the list went for pages including what you all focused upon this morning: all those hands and hearts that create what we take for granted.
Thank you for once again focusing on gratitude and its impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.
Hugs from my heart to yours!


Time is a Season, by David Whyte

FaceBook  On Nov 17, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Time as seasons in my view is time as ebb and flow, light and dark, sowing and reaping and allowing ourselves to be aware of all those rhythms. In many parts of the world there is now an unnatural frenetic pace and people and the planet are paying for it in sickness and in stress. When we slow down and are aware of the rhythms through mindfulness it can be transformative and so relaxing. I have felt eternal break into time when I am fully present whether that be in solitude in nature; closely and quietly observing the flow or a river for example or when I am with another and I allow my heart to fully open to that person and that moment; it is as though time stops to allow us to soak it al in.  Meditating helps me escape the prison of time as does going for a walk especially out in nature if possible. Being with animals sometimes helps too, they are so in the moment whether sleeping for hours on end or blissfully playing. Thank you for a reminder I needed today. Hugs from my heart to all of yours.


Organic Gift, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Nov 10, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Burnout happens when we give from a place that is not authentic and thus it takes much more energy to give in that manner because sometimes there is built in expectation or there is the fact we are already depleted. It's important to "fill our own buckets" before we can fill someone else's. When we give completely from our hearts without expectations we are giving in a way that also feeds us in the process. In my 20's I remember often giving and giving in hopes of receiving in return; it came from a lack of self worth and it was exhausting. These days I give from my heart focused on the beauty of the giving and also on the process of sharing my own gifts and talents it is a completely different feeling. It is one of joy and feeling at peace and contentment. I think we also need to be mindful of what we are giving, is it truly needed, is it even wanted by the other person or people. Several First Nations have a philosophy of being sure to not burden a receiver with a gift they may not want. Here's to giving with no expectations, here's to giving from the heart. Here's to seeing the gifts we all possess. Hugs from my heart to yours.


Be with the Magic, by Steve Karlin

FaceBook  On Nov 2, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Being with the magic of this  moment means being fully present to that moment. It means focusing on the now rather than ruminating about the past or future. I had an amazing experience at Burning Man this year getting caught in a dust storm that was a complete whiteout. I could not even see my own hand in front of my face. It was the perfect opportunity to be 100% present and to just sit and be. I sat down on the sand. I closed my eyes. I listened to the wind and felt the swirling sand as it caressed by skin. I felt the warmth of the sun. I felt the ground beneath my legs and sit bones. I slowed my breathing through my scarf which protected me from breathing in the dust. It was at least 30 minutes, perhaps more. It was never frightening, it was peaceful. It was a moment to just be and relax. I opened my eyes also protected by pink goggles and I watched as the dust swirled into little clouds around me. I watched whirling dirveshes. It was a beautiful experience.
As for meditating with my eyes open, I do this often. I do this when I run and when I ride the bus, just being mindful of the moment and enjoying the passing trees.


Death is Life's Door, by Paul Fleischman

FaceBook  On Oct 26, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

As the author suggests we each have a choice: to fear death or embrace and accept its eventuality and to greet life with gratitude and gusto. In my own life I do my best to fully embrace each day and to know that at any moment it can end. And this is with appreciation for every day; to live, love, learn and grow each day. To tell people how I feel about them with a caring heart. To do seemingly small things like offer hugs to strangers, a listening ear to someone in need to talk, to jump in puddles, to dance in the rain, to smile at the sun, to notice the flowers (even weeds are beautiful when looked at with new eyes.) This has been a work in progress. I have been challenged with Depression and when the darkness comes, I push even more to focus on the light that is always there even if a bit obscured. My father tried to kill himself 5 times and lost his battle with heart disease (when diagnosed, he did everything he was told not to do, a slow form or suicide) I chose to live fully, every day and not become like my father consumed in sadness. Some people seem to die a little every day. I choose to live a little (or a lot ;) ) every day. Gratitude helps so much in embracing life! All those seemingly small things add up into so much beauty! Hugs from my heart to all of yours. I hope you can embrace life too!


We Are What We Choose to Be, by Dawna Markova

FaceBook  On Oct 13, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 1000 times YES! As someone who has taken many risks to embrace who she is, All of it, I so very much agree! Here's to pursuing dreams no matter how crazy others may say we are. In 2005, I left my fulltime job to become a fulltime Cause Focused Storyteller. One month later, I sold my small home & most of my possessions to create/facilitate a volunteer literacy project in Belize. I had NO idea what I was doing, but I had enthusiasm and I listened A LOT to the locals. 7 years later I had donated programs for 33,000 students and trained 800 teachers how to use their own indigenous stories in their schools. A few years later, on a whim I auditioned for TED Talks Talent Search and somehow, I was chosen to represent the US region in their finals. Then I auditioned for a Storytelling Festival in Kenya and was chosen. Then a festival in Iran and I was the first American chosen to present. I am living proof that dreams come true. I am living proof that even with a tough childhood (my father tried to kill himself 5 times, my brother was alcoholic by age 14) one can persevere and make a different path. I have had my own challenges; bouts of Depression, recovered anorexic, but I have never given up on hope or on dreams. And if I can do it, YOU can do it! Here's to being FREE!


Compassion: an Objective Form of Empathy, by Jeff Weiner

FaceBook  On Sep 29, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Yes! Compassion for everyone, every day. Always in each encounter we have the opportunity to put ourselves in the other person's position to better understand where they are coming from, what do they bring into the conversation given their past experience, what blocks might they have or what might they have to teach us if we open our own hearts and minds more fully. This happens regularly in my life because of seeking to understand and seeking to learn more. Very very rarely does anyone come into an encounter with a negative intention; most often they and we come in with a view shaped by a lifetime of experiences. Here's to compassion!


The Gift of New Eyes, by Rachel Naomi Remen

FaceBook  On Sep 14, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 The field beyond right or wrong is the place where we accept what has happened without judgment. Where we allow ourselves to learn from the experience without beating ourselves up about it. What has happened, has happened, we can become incapacitated by it or learn from it. I do my best to live in this area of acceptance of myself and of others, often asking myself to be as gentle with me as I try to be with other people. A small example is in conversations we have where later we might think of something more compassionate or serving to say. What we can do is pause in a conversation, take a moment to truly reflect and then speak from our heart from that field beyond right or wrong, taking both perspectives into account. <3


The Power of Art, by John F. Kennedy

FaceBook  On Aug 28, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 wow, the timing is perfect as I fly out to Burning Man today! <3 The highest duty of an artist is to remain true to oneself means to me to have the courage and integrity to speak, paint, dance, sing one's truth no matter how unpopular it may be; in fact it is most important when it may be the most difficult to do. I strive to be true to myself, my heart through my art of Storytelling. I have had so many occasions in which courage was required including in Belize where I had created & facilitated a volunteer literacy project. It was popular among the teachers and Principals but not so among the Ministry of Education who I suppose may have felt a threat. At one point they tried to shut down my project, but I did not give up. I learned later that the government at that time in Belize was quite corrupt and had an interest in the people remaining illiterate. I also learned that the indigenous legends I was helping to reclaim for the teachers had been banned from use in the schools; there were many factors as to why including British colonization and also several religions (from the outside) being the main source of schooling; without fully understanding the legends the religious groups chose to ban them from schools rather than embrace the culture. At any rate, the teachers & Principals saw that the students connected deeply to the legends and to the lesson plans we developed together and I continued on often through the backdoor to get into a school to be able to share the program. In the end it was worth it as 33,000 students received the program for free and 800+ teachers were trained in how to use their own cultural stories in their schools. If I had given up because the path I chose was a slippery slope the students and teachers would have lost out on an important piece of their history and culture. nearly a decade later a few of the teachers still email me to tell me they are using their own legends and the lessons and training other teachers. I a  See full.

 wow, the timing is perfect as I fly out to Burning Man today! <3 The highest duty of an artist is to remain true to oneself means to me to have the courage and integrity to speak, paint, dance, sing one's truth no matter how unpopular it may be; in fact it is most important when it may be the most difficult to do. I strive to be true to myself, my heart through my art of Storytelling. I have had so many occasions in which courage was required including in Belize where I had created & facilitated a volunteer literacy project. It was popular among the teachers and Principals but not so among the Ministry of Education who I suppose may have felt a threat. At one point they tried to shut down my project, but I did not give up. I learned later that the government at that time in Belize was quite corrupt and had an interest in the people remaining illiterate. I also learned that the indigenous legends I was helping to reclaim for the teachers had been banned from use in the schools; there were many factors as to why including British colonization and also several religions (from the outside) being the main source of schooling; without fully understanding the legends the religious groups chose to ban them from schools rather than embrace the culture. At any rate, the teachers & Principals saw that the students connected deeply to the legends and to the lesson plans we developed together and I continued on often through the backdoor to get into a school to be able to share the program. In the end it was worth it as 33,000 students received the program for free and 800+ teachers were trained in how to use their own cultural stories in their schools. If I had given up because the path I chose was a slippery slope the students and teachers would have lost out on an important piece of their history and culture.
nearly a decade later a few of the teachers still email me to tell me they are using their own legends and the lessons and training other teachers. I am so grateful for the art of Storytelling to share Stories which need to be told. This also brings to mind having the honor to present in Iran this past February at a time when there was no diplomatic relationship between the US and Iran; we used Story as a bridge toward peace and understanding. So very grateful! Thank you for letting me share. Hugs to you all! Here's to all the arts to bring us together to speak about topics we need to address and to shine light on the dark.

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Choosing Suffering over Safety, by Bonnie Rose

FaceBook  On Aug 18, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Suffering equals being 100% present to whatever the situation is, both for self and if there is another involved, for them as well. I chose suffering when I helped my mother heal after she broke her kneecap 2 years ago. She is a very anxious person and extremely afraid of nearly everything. I allowed myself to be with her 24/7 as her caretaker and helped guide her through her own pain; physical, mental, emotional. I sat with her, read to her, and did my best to meet all her needs while letting go of many of my own; choosing to be present rather than in safety. At the same time, I also chose to keep a commitment to a once in a lifetime performance trip to Kenya for a storytelling festival for which I had auditioned 1.5 years earlier. It was 2 months after her injury, she was doing well with physical therapy and seeing a therapist. I made arrangements with her sisters (who both lived 10 minutes away) and with the neighbor right next door to check on her daily. I went and performed, emailed daily and learned my Mom was doing very well with her healing. It was an interesting space to be in; to both have been so present in the early stages of recovery and then to allow myself to let go and for her to grow into further healing. It helped both of us. I suppose that was the joy in it; seeing the progression and also being in the depths of the pain/healing.


Spontaneous Resonance, by James O'dea

FaceBook  On Aug 12, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

I completely relate to "getting out of one's way." In any given situation be our true selves and be present. True story: 2010 a fight on the NYC subway; 2 large muscular men punching and shouting. No one did anything to stop them. I had bubbles in my pocket so got up out of my seat, took a step forward, smiled and blew bubbles. Almost immediately the fight was over and the men were popping bubbles and laughing. If I had thought about it, I probably would not have taken the action and who knows how that fight may have escalated. Bubbles are a super power indeed :) A smaller example comes to mind is when one spontaneously meets a friend on the sidewalk in a huge city; if one had tried to plan that meeting without any arrangement it most likely would not happen and yet when we get out of our way, there the person is :) This just happened last week when I took a different route walking home from work in DC. I felt pulled to walk down a different street and then `1 minute later saw a friend I had been hoping to spend time with :)


Effects of Adversity, by Eranda Jayawickreme

FaceBook  On Jul 17, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Why be good? Because being good opens the opportunity for others to be as well. I interpreted good as Compassionate; being compassionate serves everyone and often costs nothing but energy and time. Growth from adversity:  I believe it is all in how we choose to view a situation: what can I learn from this? what is the potential gift in this experience? how can this help me be more compassionate and understanding of others? Personal experience: My father tried to kill himself 5 times, by the time I was 15  he could no longer work and he died when I was 22. What were the gifts? Compassion & seeking to understand what was going on for him.  unless we ask and seek to understand, we do not know what is going on for someone. The asking may open an opportunity for the person to speak, share and release some of their own sadness or the burden they feel that they are alone. The experience of growing up with my father led me to listening deeply to others who may be challenged with mental illness or whatever challenge they are facing. It also led me to Free Hugs and connecting, conversing and offering comfort through 2 words on a cardboard sign. and when I went through depression myself it helped me to see that the darkness helped me view the light with even more gratitude. Overcoming adversity once also helps you realize you can do it again and again and you can serve others to overcome as well. Hugs from my heart to yours.


Call Me by My True Names, by Thich Nhat Hanh

FaceBook  On Jul 10, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 One of the phrases that helps me find and share compassion with everyone is, "we are all tall children." I also remember, Hurt people, hurt people. Healed people, heal people. This means we have the choice to view everyone as a child, not in a demeaning way, but in a way that we can see their innocence, their hurt, their heart and we can offer kindness and compassion. No one is born hurting others, it is learned through pain. Those who hurt us are often unaware of how deep their actions affect us. Compassion and kindness go a long way in building a bridge between us. Hugs from my heart to yours.


Money is a Lot Like Water, by Lynne Twist

FaceBook  On Jul 6, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Wow. Powerful. I have looked at other aspects of life like water; the ebb and flow of energy, the ebb and flow of our work, the ebb and flow of our emotions. Thank you for adding the view of money this way, it makes perfect and beautiful sense. As someone who sold her home and most of her possessions and uses her money as often as possible to serve others (no matter how little money it may be) I 100% resonated with this post. I have also been on the receiving end of funds for literacy and Storytelling projects throughout the world; serving others through sharing their own traditional or true stories to break stereotypes. The money most easily received has always been from people like Gertrude, those who give from their hearts. This post reminds me to always give/receive from the heart and soul, never from guilt. Hugs to the writer, thank you for sharing a very important reminder for us all. <3


A Bigger Container, by Charlotte Joko Beck

FaceBook  On Jun 23, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 A bigger container = the awareness to allow oneself to step outside of oneself and observe in a nonjudgemental state. I have felt this most often in relationship to those with whom I have difficulty; for example someone who is hurting and lashing out. I can either get caught up in it or I can take a moment, stop, think and realize their lashing out is most likely coming from hurting. Then I can respond with compassion rather than responding back with any hurt or anger myself. I also remind myself when I become angry in a situation, to do my best to stop and think and then realize in that moment I am the one hurting and to try to let it go. Sometimes easier said than done, but awareness is the key. ;) thanks!


Love is the Source of Fearlessness, by Margaret Wheatley

FaceBook  On Jun 2, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 When we act out of love there is a purity and agendas drop away, whatever those agenda might be. I've been doing my best to work out of love for at least a decade and it's made all the difference. When I made the choice to sell my modest home and sell or give away most of my possessions to focus on donating literacy programs first in Central America (Belize) and then in other places that needed my service, it opened a new pathway. Now I gift all sorts of skill sets: whether that is Storytelling services or listening or sharing hot soup and clean socks with homeless through impromptu street outreach or sharing counseling or.... you name it. And when these services are gifted from the heart there's a feeling that washes over you, it is simply the right thing to do; not for any accolades or attention or return, but because it is love and it is heart and we are all human. I've had friends tell me I need to record what I am doing on video so it goes "viral" and more people see what i do, I have very much resisted that because to me it takes away the love and authenticity of the exchange. I would rather tell the Stories from my heart and if it inspires someone else to act, then my love work is done.
PS. Glad to be back, I've been Storytelling Consulting for a large world organization and it has taken some of my focus away, I am so grateful to be here with you today in Heart and what a perfect message to return to. HUG!


A Circle of Trust, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Apr 12, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Circle of trust is a safe environment where one can share from their heart and soul and feel accepted and valued. I am fortunate to have several of these circles in my life & have relied on them in my own times of darkness. My soul is generally speaking a bit more open, yet when the darkness comes, the soul retreats and I am even more grateful for those who quietly enter space with me, sit listen and sometimes don't even say anything, simply offer their presence. Hugs to everyone, may we all be in quiet presence with each other.


Graduation, by Nimesh Patel

FaceBook  On Apr 3, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 When we are grateful we are focusing on that energy and on those experiences in a new light, suffering then is not taking precendence. We are seeing the beauty around us, the love, the joy even in the sorrow. We are reminded of all that is working well even in the midst of what is not. Gratitude helps re-frame everything; we are sick, we are reminded of the systems that continue to work in our bodies; whether it's our heart pumping or our lungs breathing. When we are in pain, we are reminded of all the times we were fortunate to not be in pain.
Love is a currency that never runs out; the more you give, the more you receive in return; but that is not why one shares love. You can blow out a candle, but you cannot blow out a fire: love is the same; the more love there is, the harder it is to extinguish it.
How do we practice eye on sky & see the ants: see the beauty in both and realize it is all the small things that add up to the big. <3


You Cannot Capture Silence, It Captures You, by Richard Rohr

FaceBook  On Mar 27, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Silence means to me allowing ourselves to simply be; be present fully, be mindful and in heart. It means to breathe, settle in, and allow a knowing to enter us. I've been captured by silence most often in nature, though at times in my own room or even in my car. There is a peace I feel, a love that washes over. I believe we practice this silence by creating space for it to enter; allowing ourselves to in some way disconnect so that we may connect more deeply. <3


A Question of Story, by Thomas Berry

FaceBook  On Mar 22, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 While I believe the story of the universe is indeed important in shaping us & giving us a sense of place, I also believe that there is a wonderful, and connecting New Story being told; one where many of us understand the deep interconnections of us all. Just this morning I had a heart conversation about the power of story to connect us on the path when we are vulnerable enough to let our hearts truly show to each other. Though we may sometimes feel as if we are alone on the journey, we never are, there is always someone there along the path if we reach out to each other and if we listen to each other's Stories.
As for a personal story of experiencing the story of the unvierse; for me it is in seemingly small moments like sharing hugs with strangers and then conversation flows one from another because hearts have opened because in the universe everything is connected. It is also in moments where I can feel the heart of a tree; I think of one in particular from my childhood that was a refuge for me out of chaos, when I sat in its shade or branches I felt protected and loved and at peace. I still visit that tree & have hugged it and felt heart from it.
Recently I was in Iran, the 1st American Storyteller invited to present at the Kanoon Storytelling Festival; there were so many beautiful moments of connecting through Story and there were moments of looking at the Unviersal story of the universe in connecting Islam to Christianity to Judaism in the fact that all 3 (and of course more religions than this) have Creation Stories. Oh to see we are all interconnected! <3 <3 <3


It All Goes Wrong Anyway, by Ajahn Brahm

FaceBook  On Mar 17, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I understand the point, however my view is there is no "wrong or right" there just IS. And that has made all the difference. Acceptance is valuable either way and not judging, just being.


End of Absence?, by Michael Harris

FaceBook  On Mar 8, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Incorporating absence means taking time to just be. To be without technology or being plugged in. To sit and meditate or just sit and be. I have felt in a sanctuary when I allow myself to take time to be and reflect and not be plugged into internet or phone or TV but to be plugged into self, surroundings whatever those surroundings are. For example, today I decided to walk rather than take the bus to my destination for brunch in DC. (I do this often, walking rather than using public transport) and it's an opportunity even in a city to just be. I didn't listen to any music. I simply walked. Listening to traffic, birds in trees, my feet hitting the pavement, my breathing. It felt cleansing, even in the midst of the city. It helped that it was a beautiful Springlike day today too. I also walked home and on a whim, decided to stop at a friend's house to hug her and just sit with her on her front porch which is across the street from a park. We sat and talked and enjoyed the sun on our faces. Unplugging from internet & phone, walking rather than a car or public transport are 2 small ways to feel in sanctuary and a little bit of absence. Being in nature definitely helps. I do my best to create an unplugged sanctuary for part of every weekend, sometimes I do it for an entire or more than 24 hours, lovely!