Author: connie

Where Was God When….?

There is no shortage of pain on the earth. How many feel abandoned, rejected by friends or family? How many are abused and mistreated? Domestic violence, trafficking, injustice, poverty, terrorism, racism and war are rampant in our world. Some find themselves in situations they would never dream of. An affair, an addiction, homelessness. Hopeless. Recently when I was speaking at a youth camp, I asked the youth to finish this sentence: Where was God when…. Their answers were shocking. “Where was God when my mom died?” “Where was God when I was taken away from my family on Christmas eve?” “Where was God when I was raped?” Why do bad things happen to good people? Where does the gospel fit in with pain? Is it really true that if I decide to follow Jesus all of my problems will disappear like some promise it will? Why do we as Christians feel the need to defend God or over-promise when it comes to pain and tragedy? Is this the gospel? Didn’t Jesus suffer? Didn’t he…. die? The greatest problem with pain is that we want to fix it. Somehow, avoiding pain at all costs has become humanity’s greatest goal, and if Jesus can do that for us, we’re IN. What do we do with pain when it comes? We hide it, medicate it, attach ourselves to anything that can save...

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Which “Jesus” are you passing on?

What picture comes to mind when you think of Jesus? What about those who surround you in your every day life? Home? Work? School? “What picture comes to mind when you think of Jesus?” is a great question to ask people who want nothing to do with religion. Their answer can be enlightening and is worth listening to without a defensive stance. To the culture around us, Jesus takes on various faces and behaviours. To some, Jesus is angry, ready to judge the world in disgust. To some Jesus is political. To others he is a belief system that was forced on them. To some in our nation, Jesus represents colonialism. To some the word “Jesus” makes them think of all that’s wrong with them. Some believe Jesus was a good teacher, ranked alongside Buddha or Mohammed. To others, Jesus is just a word used to express frustration. Our culture largely associates Jesus with religious Christianity, but this isn’t always a great match. Many people are ok with Jesus and the life he offers, but find the religion of “Christianity” much different, and something to avoid. We often reflect a Jesus we create in our own image. Politics have made Jesus into a right wing nut. Religious people make Jesus a set of rules and obligations. To others, Jesus has often represented the need to look at how awful...

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Jesus: White Man’s Religion?

In the light of Easter, I ponder: is Jesus white-man’s religion? The multi cultural artists I work closely with are rising up with questions concerning colonialism and desiring the true freedom of those who feel they were force-fed white man’s culture, which included Jesus. They were stripped of their way of life, and left in barrenness. For myself, I’ll never forget watching the travelling show, Treaty 7. My heart broke to watch on the stage what my forefathers did to the indigenous of our land. I am now learning this has not just happened in Canada, but in the Philippines and all over the world as well. In the name of Jesus, many in the past and present have done horrible things to others. The indigenous people of my nation have experienced inter-racial trauma. To this day, they still feel they are government property. There is now a whole generation who feels misplaced – orphaned. They desire reconciliation through inclusion, and restoration of the life they had before it was stolen. Many other countries are experiencing the same uprising through young people who are saying to their government and people, “This stops with US”. We will no longer be held in chains or controlled. There is a cry for decolonization and freedom of all people. Man has failed the message of the cross, but the good news is that...

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How Movement Can Rewrite The Stories of Anxiety

“Rates of depression and anxiety among teens have increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years.” – Geradine Bedell Of the twenty years I’ve worked my resilience movement program in schools, I have noticed a dramatic increase in anxiety in the past ten years, considerably in children starting as low as grade 1. I’ve discovered more than ever how powerful movement is in rewiring the brain after deeply noticing some patterns where anxiety roots from and diving into neuroscience research. The knowledge we have about the brain we have today can give us great hope for mental health issues such as a rise in anxiety and depression. The brain CAN be rewired and young people can find wholeness and health. The secret ingredient to the program I have developed over the past 20 years is connection among students while moving. There are plenty of benefits to movement alone, but when you add a community aspect to movement, this is where brain rewiring goes to a whole new level. We teach students the art of “vibing”. Vibing in the urban dictionary means “to agree”. This is just an urban way of describing attuement. Attunement is crucial for the rewiring of the brain. In the “Neurobiology of We”, Daniel Siegel describes how when one person attunes to the mind of another, it can take old patterns of wiring in...

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Rewriting the story of bullying

If pink shirts were enough to stop bullying, it would have already happened. It’s time to get underneath to the actual root issues and rewrite the story. But what IS underneath? If we can address those issues in our schools we have a hope to seeing bullying a thing of the past. The first issue underneath is that we are surrounded yet alone. The problem is isolation. When we as humans are not seen and understood by others, our minds actually become dis-regulated. We start living from our “back brain” (reptilian brain) and relate to others from a defensive stance. We misread signals and view others through our distorted perception of not being understood. As you can imagine, this is a scary foundation. On the other hand, when I reveal who I am or share a part of myself to those well-attuned to me, meaning their body language shows genuine concern and listening, the wires in my brain actually rewire! Listening and attunement rewrite people’s stories! If we want to stop bullying in our schools then emotional safety needs to be our first priority. The more safe students feel with one another, the less bullying you will see. HOW do you create that? My company’s whole mission is about creating that! We can help if you’re interested. Think about how can you create opportunities for your students to learn...

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