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Existing in These Times, Thriving in These Times.

Existing in These Times, Thriving in These Times.

Existing in These Times, Thriving in These Times.


Here we are, right before what we call, “The Holidays.”

“It is a strange and wonderful fact to be here, walking around in a body, to have a whole world within you and a world at your fingertips outside you. It is an immense privilege, and it is incredible that humans manage to forget the miracle of being here. Irish poet John O’ Donohue (quoting Rilke in the bold).

Being here. 


This can also remind us of loss.

Who isn’t at the holiday gathering.

Our broken and imperfect relationships

It is a lot.


Over the Thanksgiving holiday, driving and talking to my 22 year old daughter about daily life, her graduate studies, life in a larger city, it hits me that she is trying to figure out the trajectory of her life during this time of political upheaval, during a pandemic time that is not quite over as well as manage her own mental and physical health.

Of course, this is no newsflash but for an unknown reason, this lands and becomes a sharp sensation in my body, a painful opening of insight.

It is a lot.


Sitting with the simple enormity of being here and the overwhelm of the macro, the mezzo and the micro situations, challenges reminding us that we live in a broken, unwell world is a lot of the big feels.

To me, it is also a reminder that I can cultivate wellness in an unwell world and that looks different than what the world values and holds important and I am finding more and more folxs who feel this way also.

Folxs who value being relational rather than transactional. Folxs who practice self and community care, who value authenticity, who deeply listen. These are my peeps.

Whether you follow the teachings of Jesus or not, this time of year can be a reminder that a brown baby, born to a poor Jewish family, for a time a refugee, who dined and associated with outcasts and also napped, ate lots of snacks and spoke hard truths with compassion and centered human dignity, need and relationship over law, order and status quo, this Being changed the world.

So whatever you believe, however you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa or any other ways we as humans gather with candlelight, in humble appreciation for our lives, for this chaotic, painful, joy filled experience on EarthSchool. May the peace that defies understanding dwell within you, root, guide, inform you and extend from you to all Beings

So Be It.



Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, B.A. Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She has 20 years experience of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet; hospice patients and their families, patients in a variety of health conditions, survivors of sexual abuse, adults with mental illness and most recently, incarcerated women. Rachel is also passionate about supporting and working with caregivers to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. Locally, Rachel teaches Creative Movement at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Regionally and nationally, she teaches and presents at conferences and retreats, weaving live music, yoga, and creative movement into themes of compassion, self acceptance, and transformation. Rachel is committed to engaging people from all walks of life in the healing arts to create healthy, diverse, and joyful communities.