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My52WOW-BK and My TEDx talk

31064352_10160341601680603_130357115041611776_nMy52WOW-Brooklyn has been different than My First 52 Weeks and different than every year in between. I put no geographic restrictions on the first 52 Weeks. At the time I was living in Chicago and grieving deeply at the loss of my father, my grandmother, and the end of a serious relationship. As a result, I visited 61 different places of worship in 52 weeks from the South Side of Chicago to South Africa.

Fast forward several years, more life lessons under my belt, a new job and a new life in a new city… In June of 2017, I started My52WOW-BK and by most calendars, I should be all wrapped up. Instead I still have 16 worship experiences ahead of me, and have given myself permission to take the time necessary to finish a worship journey that includes 52 spiritual and worship experiences in Brooklyn – even though I know it will take longer than 1 calendar year. Why, you may ask? Well, first, travel is part of my lifeblood. I travel for work, for fun, and to see friends and family who live far from Brooklyn. And, because I am honest, I will share that even in the weeks between travel, I still have to do a fair amount of convincing to get up and at em, and to find a worship community to visit. I am still establishing a practice. Even after over 7 years of intentionally navigating sacred spaces.

Also, I finally had a chance to make a dream come true. I was selected to share the My52WOW story at TedXLincoln Square. It was a magical day where I was able to share my story about the importance of giving yourself permission to walk through sacred spaces to find your place – a place that challenges you while nourishing you completely and thoroughly –  no matter what life throws at you.  Preparing to give that talk took alot of energy – and afterwards I started traveling quite a bit. I process life through travel and comedy, so, no surprise there.

I have enjoyed the first 36 weeks of My 52WOW-Brooklyn. I have worshiped in some communities that inspired and humbled me. You can see the list of places I have visited so far, here.

People who enjoyed My first 52 Weeks, and those who saw my TEDx talk may wonder – what happens now? Am I a Spiritual Master?  Have I figured everything out? Well, good questions, all. My first 52 weeks were a grief journey. Next year will be 10 years since my “personally challenging year.” Time flies whether you are having fun or not, apparently.

Life now is far from perfect. I have not turned magically into someone who feels no pain – who always sees the silver lining, and never has a moment of doubt. I am not holier-than-thou, still love a good f-bomb, and have not become an insufferable evangelist. Every now and then I throw an epic pity party, then I return to the business of living – one breath at a time, one challenge at a time, one day at a time.

I shall enjoy the last weeks of My52WOW Brooklyn. And I will share some snapshots of the remaining experiences with you. People have asked me if I plan to write another book like the first one I wrote a few years ago. The answer is yes, I will write another book, but it will likely be different than the last one. My life is different, and just as that book demanded to be written, I feel a different kind of book bubbling in my spirit- somehow based on my experiences, but different.

Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Onward.

Photo Credit: John A DeMato
Watch my TEDx Talk: Navigating Sacred Spaces

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