Food for the flying……

I’ve been reading instead of writing this weekend,
feasting on an artful cluster of healing stories by Rachel Naomi Remen
and,  wow,  I want to serve it up,  this goodness I’ve been feeding on
……some nips of nectar
to nourish your bright wings:)

~ “The life in us is diminished by judgment far more frequently than by disease.
Our own self-judgment or the judgment of others.
this judgment does not only take the form of criticism.
Approval is also a form of judgment,
but we are harmed by it in far more subtle ways.
To seek approval is to have no resting place,  no sanctuary.
Like all judgment,  approval encourages constant striving.
It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value.

 (there’s more!)

This is as true of the approval we give ourselves as it is of
the approval we offer others.
Approval can’t be trusted.
It can be withdrawn at any time no matter what our track record has been.
It is as nourishing of real growth as cotton candy.
Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it.”

“A label is a mask life wears.
We may need to take our labels and even our experts far more lightly.
In my experience,  a diagnosis is an opinion and not a prediction.
Like a diagnosis,  a label is an attempt to assert control and manage uncertainty.
It may allow us the security and comfort of a mental closure
and encourage us not to think about things again.
But life never comes to a closure;  life is process,  even mystery.
Life is known only by those who have found a way to be comfortable with change
and the unknown.  Given the nature of life,  there may be no security,
but only adventure.”

Do you feel a little stronger in your wings?
Wishing you fresh,  healing breeze in all your parts.

“I don’t need stress to do what I need to do.
That isn’t efficient.
Love and sanity are.”
-Byron Katie
(from her brilliant Loving What Is)


  1. Elephant's Child on July 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Writing like that feeds and nourishes epiphanies. Thank you so much. I am (slowly) learning to resist other people’s judgement, but listen (more often than I should) to my own. Particularly the ones made of barbed wire and hot rocks with which I lash myself.
    Love and laughter make a fine foundation for my world – with sanity an optional extra.
    I am so grateful for the beauty and hard fought wisdom you spread around to feed our souls.

    • Jennifer Richardson on July 31, 2015 at 5:14 am

      barbed wire and hot rocks:) I can see that:)
      Sometimes it’s the approval that feels the heaviest
      to me….that place of keep it up, keep it up.
      Pressure. Never thought of it that way before.
      Such peace to lean into love instead.
      Thanks for joining the conversation, friend:)

  2. Julia on July 29, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Dear Jennifer, your words of wisdom are real jewels to us who read your blog. It’s true wether we acknowledge it, that we all want approval from others.
    The need for approval is like a thirst that can never be sated for log. It’s like you said, the life in us is diminished by judgement. So very true…

    I hope that the summer is feeding your soul with beauty and sweet sounds.

    • Jennifer Richardson on July 31, 2015 at 5:49 am

      Thank you:) I want to live a life free from the kind of labeling
      that creates such a drain on the energy I could
      have available….to live as fully as possible.
      It’s such a gift, this thing we’ve been given.
      Thanks for joining the conversation, Julia,

  3. Kathryn on July 29, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Thought provoking post. I am deep in thought now… I think I spent my entire childhood, at least, seeking approval. Thank you for all of your beauty and love this July, Jennifer. Almost August already?

    • Jennifer Richardson on July 31, 2015 at 5:51 am

      Me too, Kathryn….fearful of losing it,
      depressed about not having it, and jacked up
      on it, like speed or something. No sanctuary.
      I think I prefer peace.
      Thanks for coming around and sharing, friend,

  4. gotham girl on July 29, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I would say that Rachel Naomi Remen is a very wise woman…and thank you for sharing these bits of nectar…so welcoming… I touch on something similar with my blog posting today over on gotham girl chronicles…will be interested in your take too! I can so feel that breeze! ♥

    • Jennifer Richardson on July 31, 2015 at 5:52 am

      Look forward to coming by for a read, Robin.
      I’m really enjoying reading Remen….like
      diving for pearls:)
      Thanks for stopping by,

  5. jeanie on July 29, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Rachel Remen is a gift to the world from God. Her words are remarkable, her stories true and honest, her style so approachable. I was fortunate to hear her speak at MSU back when I was working and I would have given anything to meet her, to tell her what she has meant to my life and to my soul. Her words help heal hearts and I think healed hearts and souls help heal bodies. She has been a companion on my journey and I’m glad she is joining you as well.

    I’m sending boatloads of hugs and wishes your way. Not sure but I think they are extra needed these days.

    • Jennifer Richardson on July 31, 2015 at 5:53 am

      That is so cool, Jeanie! So good to hear:)
      Thanks for the hugs….feeling the love and getting
      stronger every day:)

  6. Kimber Britner on July 31, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Yummy! Utterly delicious and yummy! Thank you!

    • Jennifer Richardson on August 6, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Glad you enjoyed. I love that we get to serve up goodness
      to each other any time we choose:) Makes us so rich!

  7. Susan on August 1, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Such a perfect, beautiful pairing … your gorgeous images and some of the best words to come my way in a while. I’ll be visiting this post many times.

    • Jennifer Richardson on August 6, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      Glad these words came your way when you needed them.
      They found me just when I needed them, too:)

  8. leslie on August 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Always, always love your photos of nature’s abounding beauty. Also love the quote about a diagnosis being an opinion and not a prediction. Trying to re-evaluate the way I view my body and my health, from this persepective. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jennifer Richardson on August 6, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      I have to cling to that, too, friend.
      I think we get to have a bigger say than we sometimes think.
      Letting my voice be heard all over these parts:)

  9. Kathryn on August 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I think we all need to value ourselves more, so we don’t need to seek out approval from others. Especially us women.

    • Jennifer Richardson on August 6, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      I totally agree, Kathryn. We need to be better friends
      to ourselves. Advocates. Cheer-leaders. Gracious.
      Thanks for joining the conversation,

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