The elemental closeness of a mother to her children, and to her own body.
In the resonant voice of Valarie Kaur, Omid Safi finds hope for the painful but fruitful path that we must take forward as a nation.
There’s a profound solitude in asking the challenging, radical question. A Muslim reformer finds a deep and consoling truth in the face of this reality in the voice of a poet.
A tribute to a beloved singer’s challenging life; escaping the rage cycle in this global moment; and our columnists on uprooting our assumptions about life’s most essential questions, from parenting to the nature of our relationships.
Courtney offers up a fear- and judgment-free space, and draws forth the perspectives of women who don’t have kids, by choice or otherwise.
On the approach to his 78th birthday, Parker offers up a gift: six learnings that prove that our personal evolution spans the whole length of life, and continues in the generations we nurture forward.
Whether to have children is one of the most life-defining decisions we will make. And there is joy and meaning to be found on either path — as well as endless challenges and frustration. Courtney Martin on why the best place to turn for guidance is inward.
The stories we tell about love and life are the root of dreams and frustration, alike. Sharon Salzberg on how “unstitching and reweaving” the narratives we hold can lead to a more generous understanding of our relationships, and ourselves.
Prescient words from Parker Palmer, Omid Safi, Courtney E. Martin, Broderick Greer, and recommended listens/reads from Tim Ferriss and The Economist.
A Muslim man reflects on the pain of citizenship in this moment and the fragile hope he holds from the nation he and his loved ones call home.
Our dreams can be great motivators. But what if what we aspire to is already within our grasp? A poem on letting go of the stress of ambition and embracing our innate potential.
On finding love, teaching our children, and having gratitude for the simple things — words and music to help us seek out the best in ourselves and our neighbors.
At its best learning can also be a spiritual quest. A community of millennials is forging new networks for lifelong learning — that take the soul into account.
From the mysterious alchemy of place to gut feelings and nature’s enveloping soundtrack — investigations into the scenery that colors our inner and outer lives.
A lesson on trusting on trusting our gut about the lives we’re called to lead, and the unexpected ways that might manifest.
Should we reframe the American narrative? Is there an art to conversation? Can sports refs teach us a thing or two about democracy? Questions and conversations that are pointing us north from all the niches of life.
A reflection on reimagining American identity, which may require us to break down our most basic assumptions about the society we live in in uncomfortable ways.
From celebrations of Leonard and Leon to the good and the bad in the Electoral College — reflections to challenge our relationships with technology, with busyness, with history, and with each other.
We cast ballots for the candidates who stand for our values. But is our political instinct also a quest for identity? An exploration of the desire for belonging at the heart of our voting drive.
t’s been an adventurous, power-packed week here at On Being on Loring Park. It feels so gratifying to release the…
The final week of this presidential election season calls for a poem from Mary Oliver, Parker Palmer on building lives of meaning, and insightful words on “perennials,” the anatomy of an apology, and flourishing at home again.
A life doesn’t have to be extraordinary to have an impact in the world. A reminder that we can build lives that have meaning, no matter what cards we’re dealt.
The human experience is rife with messiness and frustration, especially in our relationships with others and with ourselves. Trent Gilliss shares thoughts on embracing the turmoil and finding ways to grow from it.
We spend lifetimes answering that universal (and universally vexing) question: “What am I for?” From patron saints to superhero alter egos, Angie Thurston explores the diverse ways people are discovering, creating, and boldly asserting their own identities.
How can we be more present to daily joys? What does it look like to engage with each other in our fullest capacity? Questions and meditations on community and identity from voices on our radar.
We bring different aspects of ourselves to each interaction, to each unique circumstance. But where do we find space to be true to ourselves? Courtney Martin on the radical, courageous act of embracing ourselves in all our flaws.
Wendell Berry reads his poem, a celebration of human complexity, and the rich truth that emerges in moving against the grain.
How do we cut through distraction to nurture our best selves forward? Our executive editor shares reflections on rediscovering the glory around and within us, from the journey of an olympic runner, to the lyrical labyrinth of rap, to healing the void of loss with art and memory.
Behold! A sneak preview of Creating Our Own Lives, an exciting, new addition to our portfolio of podcasts! Plus, our executive editor selects some of the most intriguing reads on female sex positivity, evolving definitions of motherhood, democracy’s doctors, and the cultural treasures binding us together.
“There is a silence that always speaks if we listen.” A Haitian-American living in Belgium offers a poem for the silence and an invocation for belonging.
When a beloved celebrity dies, collective grief can be a strange, sacred place. A Minneapolitan celebrates Prince, and what his life can teach us about becoming fully and uncompromisingly ourselves.
Autism is often depicted in limited terms, as a social deficit. A poet who works with the autistic community learns a valuable lesson about a different way of seeing through an experience with a red-tailed hawk.
Our names are rife with meaning, stories we claim and others we discard. Listen to this group of “audio selfies,” including one with Parker Palmer, exploring how our identity is formed by the names we’re given, the ones we take, and the ones we long for but never quite materialize.
What happens when our sense of identity doesn’t line up with how others see us? Our columnist reflects on the complicated work of asserting our identity, which often means wearing the parts we’d like to shed with pride.
Might we understand each other better if we dropped our assumptions and reframed the questions we ask? The contemplative season sparks ruminations on how we might be more generous in imagining our neighbors, and ourselves.
The act of running reveals. An avid marathoner realizes that her physical training is also a spiritual exercise — a place to meditate on the move and find God in unexpected, sacred places.
A well-rounded and well-hyperlinked summary of the racial year behind and ahead from john a. powell. His expansive perspective challenges us to look with hope towards the new year.
The hope for the future lies in the lyrics and the spoken words of Prince EA. See how wise and beautiful we are capable of becoming.
Being a mother is an act of transformation and discovery. Courtney Martin examines the gifts of obliteration of motherhood, and the maternal love that rushes in as responsibility beckons.
Our digital selves are becoming an integral part of our real-life identities. A think-piece grappling with the shifting nature of how our digital world is redefining our sense of belonging and its potential to foresee the projected forms of our shared future.
Terms such as Jubu and Nones may be inadequate labels to describe a person’s faith journey. Sharon Salzberg with a reminder that what you call yourself may not be as important as how you live.
It’s not easy to genuinely know who we are. The stories others tell about us and the labels society heaps upon us only add to that confusion. But, when we disentangle ourselves from these narratives, we may choose courage over fear and take new risks.
The stories of a person, a family, a culture, a country hold and bind us in ways that are potentially fruitful or harmful. They also give us an identity. A meditation on who we are, how we become, and the stories we tell ourselves along the way.
When you think of a name — or your name — what story or memory comes to mind? A post about the pathways and constraints of a name, and a invitation for your stories about our most basic expressions of identity.
When we live behind a mask, how do we connect and establish trust with one another? Parker Palmer on reclaiming our identity and integrity.
Human beings are wired for connection. A commentary on how parallels exist between the “new” seeking in our digital worlds and the ancient seeking via fetish of the Bakongo people of the Congo.
A former orthodox Christian and now queer-identifying Muslim graduate student reflects on the challenge of restoring wholeness in the broken landscape of orthodoxy and homosexuality.
A simple phrase quoted at a rural elementary school has us contemplating its meanings.
In this photo essay, Joy Ladin reflects on how gender is a covenant she has broken “with others and a covenant with myself.”
A new generation of Asian-American poets are finding power of expression in slam poetry. For Bao Phi, it’s the lifeblood of exploring his identity in America.