Can you believe it’s almost March already???
With the new year well under way—already 14.6% finished, to be exact, I’ve realized all over again and in exciting new ways how much I want to be of service to you.
Every week I receive your messages and am humbled by the thirst that is out there, a thirst for better living, for more connected community, for stronger transitions into life’s next chapters.
Every single week I receive these messages and am moved and marked by them. I regularly find myself at a loss, wishing I could do more than I’m currently able. And yet real connections are taking place and people are finding true support.
Just knowing you’re not alone sometimes makes all the difference.
Message of the Week
Let me share with you a portion from one of this week’s messages:
Hallo from South Africa! About a week ago, I happened to pick up your book in a local bookstore in my hometown of Pretoria, South Africa. Being from an equally conservative religious background and grappling with issues of faith for a while, I bought the book. I read it in a few days and, I’ve got to say, it blew me away! I could relate on so many levels! Mostly emotional, though. I find it hard to describe the emotions I went through while reading the book. They were—and still are—too deep and painful to express. But I know I was touched. I have been struggling for what seems like forever trying to please God, trying to be what he wants me to be, but always coming up short. Somehow I’m still too selfish, arrogant, self-centered, and downright earthly minded to be pleasing to him. And I think now I’m beginning to realise how that damaged me.
I don’t know where this journey is taking me and sometimes it feels intensely alone, but reading your book has been a major milestone on the road. I hope eventually it will be a road to recovery – recovery from whatever negative concepts I internalised during my formative years—to a more centred, mature and healthy self concept.
I’m sure your own journey has not been—and still isn’t—easy. Hope you’re doing well and that you are growing in freedom.
Reading this email brought tears to my eyes. Seriously, these messages always do—I’m such a softy!
I want to do more.
I need to do more.
And I’m currently setting up my 2018 (and 2019 and 2020 and 2030) to do so.
Changes for 2018
As many of you know, I stepped down from my position at The Clergy Project in January. Though I treasure the three years I was able to serve as communications director and then as president, it eventually became clear to me that it would be in TCP’s best interest to have someone at the helm who could devote greater focus to their work. And so I submitted my resignation and began working toward getting my replacement up and running. Today, I’m thrilled to see my good friend Lon Ostrander serving as the new Clergy Project president.
One of the upshots here is that this shift, along with a few other changes, will allow me to invest more fully in this blog and in HumanistCoach.com, which—Shhh, don’t tell anyone!—may or may not be merging in 2018.
But I want you to know that I’m committed to YOU in 2018. Possibly more committed to you than I’ve ever been. I’m working on a whole calendar of posts and content, filled to the brim with tools and resources to share with you.
If you’ve ever taken much of a cross-platform look at my work, you’ve seen my concern for better living tackles life from many angles. It’s truly humanistic in every sense.
Humanism strikes at the big-picture betterment of thriving humanity. And I take this as fully orbed as possible.
As is often the case with humanism, so mine is inherently secular. I’m a non-supernaturalist, post-faith former pastor to the core of my being. But the pastoral part is still very much there. I’m concerned for you. I want to be there for you. In every facet of your living.
This means I’m not just interested in posting stereotypical stuff about atheism and secular activism and the nature of nonbelief. It means I’m also posting—and maybe even mostly posting—about everything else that intersects with healthy living.
We’re talking about community stuff, relationship stuff, mind and sanity stuff. We’re talking about personal concerns like health and laughter, about professional concerns like team dynamics and personality type, about succeeding in all areas of life in order to make the most of our opportunities to truly build a thriving humanity. Both as individuals and as individuals in community.
We’re talking about Living and Laughing in the Real World.
We’re talking about Support for the Secular Community.
And providing it for one another.
A Preview Around the Corner
As I finish up this post, I’m also working on next week’s. Like a lot of us, I’m often asked, “If you don’t believe in God, then what the hell do you believe in!?” So next week I’m bringing you “What DO You Believe In? A How-to-Answer Guide.” Stay tuned.
A Peak Inside
? What I’ve been reading lately.
Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality by Darrel Ray, EdD
The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype—And the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More by Michael Breus, PhD – I simply must comment on this book! The title might sound like bullshit (it does), and for this reason, I actually entered into it almost dismissively. But it is packed with legitimizing studies and journal articles from the world of sleep doctoring. And, honestly, the book’s value is amazing. Basically put, humans are genetically wired (yes, DNA’d) for one of four sleep schedules—or “chronotypes”—and it affects all areas of your life! That doesn’t mean you can’t live according to other sleeping and lifestyle patterns—it only means you’ll be more tired and miserable in the process. I’ve started employing several principles and life hacks with astounding results. This is NOT the last time you’ll hear me talk about this book!
? What I’m reeling from.
Today’s Lawrence Krauss revelations – Unfortunately the secular community is not exempt from the sexually predatory behavior unearthed with a #MeToo hashtag, and today we’ve seen secular icon Lawrence Krauss in all his disgusting glory. Already today a female leader in the secular community instant messaged me to tell me she has long heard the deafening whispers. So long Lawrence, and #fuckyoutoo.
? What I’m listening to.
“You Owe Me” by The Chainsmokers – First I fell in love with the sound, then the lyrics, and now the video. As anyone who’s read my autobiographical Rise and Fall of Faith knows that my own journey intersects with things like suicide and depression, and The Chainsmokers take up such issues and more with this song. ***Content Warning: The accompanying video pushes suicide to quite shocking—and graphic—proportions. Discretion is advised.
The Hereticl. store features satirical (fake!) quotes from all kinds of historic figures such as Abe Lincoln and Rosa Parks. It’s a-ma-zing. I’m not normally a big t-shirt guy, but I just ordered mine today and can’t wait for the mail to arrive!
? What I’m drinking (right now!).
Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino! I know, I know… Cue the Starbucks haters in 3-2-1. And after that cue the frappuccino haters in 6-5-4…
But here’s how I work it. Normally I just drink regular coffee. Black. Dark roast. Boom. But every once in awhile I like a nice sugary *treat* coffee.
So here’s what I do. I often work from Starbucks. And I always drink my go-to dark roast coffee. Grande. But I always pay with my app, which means *rewards*. And then when I accumulate enough *stars* for a free *reward* coffee, that’s when I get my caramel frappuccino with whipped cream! As I am doing RIGHT. THIS. MOMENT. So if you don’t have a Starbucks app, now might be the time to go do so now. So you can learn to enjoy life that much more carelessly.
UPDATE: When I started working, I was at the Starbucks drinking my caramel frapp. I’ve now moved across the street, however, for an Old English burger and a 3 Floyds Scottish Ale Robert the Bruce at Lady Gregory’s. Cheers, mates!
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About the author
Personal coach, author, proud father, and lover of humanity. Learning to live and laugh in the real world... DrewBekius.com HumanistCoach.com ClergyProject.org