April 01, 2018

Good God, What A Book!

I wouldn’t have thought our customers were so deeply spiritual, but whenever we’ve asked what drives you, we get a lot of responses affirming faith.

With that in mind, I thought you’d dig a book that was recently recommended to me, Falling Upward by Richard Rohr.

Father Rohr is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico province and has written more than twenty books.  In Falling Upward he explores the idea that our life is made up of two halves.  In the first half, we build our identity, and in the second half we use the identity to accomplish our life’s work.

This is a generally foreign concept in today’s world of moving through 6-10 different careers in the course of a life and constantly reinventing and rebuilding yourself, but its foreignness doesn’t make it false.

As Fr. Rohr points out repeatedly, we (especially we Americans) tend to spend almost all of our lives building our identity.  I am a…. I was a…. I will be a…

It reminds me of the emptiness of acquiring things, most clearly represented to me by my former passion for “collecting” countries I’d traveled to.  Up through my late 20s, I felt that travel was the most important thing to be done, and that counting all those places I visited was I how I could keep track of my progress not just as a traveler but as a human! 

I would proudly mark down a new country every time I visited it and if you had met me back then I would have made sure to have dropped my “number” early in the conversation.  At some point I stopped doing that.  In fact, I can’t remember the number I used to hold so dear. 

I began to rest in the idea that the number wasn’t important, it was the overall set of experiences that gave me a new understanding of the world, and that certainly couldn’t be reduced to a number. 

I released the idea of being a traveler with a number of countries ranked against other travelers with more or less countries, and accepted in its place that all the learning I had done while traveling was what I should be using in order to deepen my experience and understanding of the world.

This isn’t to say that was the final lesson, or that I now have it all figured out.  As I read through Fr. Rohr’s book, I realized that many of us follow this same path of frantically building an identity and forget to actually use what we’ve built.

Many of us don’t get (or make) the time to think deeply on our purpose or acknowledge our spirituality however it manifests.  Immersing into Fr. Rohr’s world through his writing was a superb and joyful reminder of both the work done to arrive in the present, and the glorious work that awaits us in the future. 

If you find yourself looking for guidance or in need of unvarnished advice, I think you’ll find far more than you bargained for in the pages of this book.

To life, discovery, and an ever deepening connection to our spiritual selves!


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Nik Hawks


Nik Hawks helps run the show at Paleo Treats. Fascinated by humans in all their strange glory, Nik is harnessed in and pulling hard in pursuit of excellence with the rest of the PT Crew. Enjoy!

Too much reading...
How about dessert?

Too Much Reading...How About Dessert?


India Dunn
India Dunn

April 03, 2018

I LOVE Fr. Rohr, I didn’t know about this book tho, so thank you!
I had heard about him from my Grandmother, I felt curious about his work with alcoholics and the book he wrote called breathing under water. He speaks a language of religion and the teachings of Christ that I can actually make sense of and feel connectedness to. As always thanks for your contribution.


April 03, 2018

Like you Nik I traveled plenty in the past, not so much any more because of my husband’s age and disability, but I will start again soon. Also like you, I started in the last (5 years) counting the number of countries that I visited (just in case someone asked) and it was 50, some visited twice, or more ( does that count as 70, 80 times?)

You are correct. It has always been about the experience for me, meeting different people, experiencing different cultures, tasting different foods (my fav), the sights, sounds and atmosphere of being in a strange place. Most of my experiences were wonderful, even when something unexpectedly went south, it was ok because it teaches you what you did, or didn’t do wrong and how to work your way out of a difficult situation, or what could have become something worse. It also teaches you how to behave.

Travel is a great way to appreciate something, someone, and other cultures, different from yours. The experiences could be better, worse, or the similar to yours. When the experience isn’t similar, don’t shy away from it, embrace it, embrace the moment, live, explore, dive right in and become a part of the experience if and when you can. These moments are usually short lived and sometimes rare, so go for it! Feel out the situation first, then act accordingly (you have to stay safe too) just do it!

My advice is to allow yourself to keep traveling, exploring, learning, helping, no matter your age. It doesn’t have to be a foreign country, it can be in your own, and places in your own back yard. You don’t have to spend much money either, if planned out carefully. How many people have said to themselves that they will try to visit every state in the US, or explore parts of their own state, or city because they were born there and know nothing about it. What usually happens is that they die before they can get around to doing it, because they think they have the time, and time goes all too fast!

So keep on traveling, around the globe, around your state, around your country, or around your hometown. Enjoy it for what it is and suppose to be, life’s lessons and journey. Don’t make it into something more, something complicated. Sometimes you don’t have to look too far for things, sometimes it finds you!

Remember my favorite quote: “All who wander are not lost.” Thanks for the heads up about the book. Sorry I got too wordy.

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