March 2024

“The universe is infused with grace.

It greets me at every turn,

full of invitation

to grow free

and choose life. 

Often what is necessary can seem so simple. 

Sometimes so difficult. 

To greet the day with a grateful heart. 

To carry an openness so that I can receive all –

only that is required. 

God’s desire for me is full. 

My humanity resonates with divine desire. 

All I need is the disposition to respond. 

Doreen Kostynuik, Awakening to Presence

Journal Writings – April 10, 2001

Me and Doreen, March 17, 2024 Book Release Celebration Part

Doreen Kostynuik, my spiritual director of fifteen years, quotes from her journal in her second published book, Awakening to Sacred Presence.  Of all the rich teachers and mentors in my life, I would say that Doreen has likely had the most significant influence on my own life.  She held me in my darkest days and cheered me on as my strength developed.  She challenged me in my self-doubt and called me forth to step out in courage.  She has loved, cared, and blessed my soul.

It was only after fifteen years of being with her that I began to know of her history.  As our relationship shifted out from the spiritual direction roles we were in, she began to share with me more from her past.  Over the past few years, it has been a privilege to stay connected in new ways and to be involved in the birth of this book project.

In this new book release, Doreen shares deeply of her personal story and the passage of her own soul into a journey of wholeness and freedom.  In the many years that Doreen was my spiritual director, she never disclosed any of the personal pieces of her story and how she was a survivor of so many challenging circumstances.  Anyone given her start in life would have reason to be bitter about life.  However, if you were to meet Doreen, you would sense a loving and joyous presence, a youthful exuberance to notice and celebrate all of life, and a deep soul who has integrated her suffering and allowed it to form an alchemy of gracious wisdom.

In her own words from the text:

“It has taken years for me to be able to hold the mystery of my creation long enough to let it reveal itself moment by moment, giving just enough information to inform my wakefulness for the time.  Each of our lives begins specifically.  Some of us are born into families that nurture and support us until we can be sent forth.  Others come into life that carries more battering, less certainty; we are flung into finding our way with the hope of landing somewhere that allows us to know that who we are matters, and what we carry is meaningful for the world.”  Pxi

In another passage she writes:

“there is a purpose to our creation.  For me, that carries a mandate.  In it, we are meant to bring to completion an aspect of creation that requires our faithfulness, our creativity, our emergence through our loving and relating, our many opportunities for learning through our shortcomings and missing of the mark.  It isn’t about being flawless or perfect.  Life is too real for that.  It is about authenticity.  It’s about knowing our goodness.  Its about activating our inner courage to live life in such a way that we give it away and embolden it to serve what is empowering emergence and making whole.” P44

If you are looking for a text to inspire you, I encourage you to read Doreen’s story and message.  You can order it through my website here:  Awakening to Sacred Presence.

We all need mentors, wise friends, and champions of life to inspire us and call us to live.  There is so much fear and anxiety around us and we can easily lose heart.  Doreen’s voice is one that challenges us to find the inner voice of Love and to awaken to the beauty of life that is here if we pause and listen.

Me holding Doreen’s hand as she shares from her book. Mary Boucher beside Doreen.

Me and Doreen in 2014

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