Holy Shenanigans

Writing as a Spiritual Practice with Rev. Dr. Eileen Campbell-Reed

March 19, 2024 Tara Lamont Eastman Season 5 Episode 10
Writing as a Spiritual Practice with Rev. Dr. Eileen Campbell-Reed
Holy Shenanigans
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Holy Shenanigans
Writing as a Spiritual Practice with Rev. Dr. Eileen Campbell-Reed
Mar 19, 2024 Season 5 Episode 10
Tara Lamont Eastman

Writing is spiritual practice. Where do you begin, if you want to try it out?
Pen.
Pencil.
Journal.
Laptop.

Yes, all of these tools can help with your writing practice, but first you need yourself and a community to support your practice.

Rev. Dr. Eileen Campbell-Reed, is an academic entreprenuer and  host of the Writing Table, who, in this week's episode, shares her own journey with writing as a spiritual practice.

Who is Rev. Dr. Eileen Campbell- Reed?
+ Visiting Associate Professor at Union Theological Seminary
+ Co-director of the
Learning Pastoral Imagination Project
+ Founder and host of
Three Minute Ministry Mentor
+ Author of
Pastoral Imagination: Bringing the Practice of Ministry to Life

Send Tara a Text Message

Wild Goose Festival is a transformational community grounded in faith-inspired social justice. Wherever we come together we learn and grow by co-creating art, music, story, theater, and spectacle, engaging in a wide variety of robust, courageous conversations with each other and with thought leaders and artists from other communities. Listeners of Holy Shenanigans Podcast can use the discount code a-tle24 for a $50 discount off the price of an adult weekend ticket!


Making Time
What if you could literally make more time? How would your life change?

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the Show.

Pastor Tara Lamont Eastman is an Ordained Minister of Word & Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She has pastored ELCA and PCUSA churches throughout New York State. She was a contributing writer to the Collaborate Lutheran Student Bible and the Connect Sunday School curriculum, published by Sparkhouse.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Writing is spiritual practice. Where do you begin, if you want to try it out?
Pen.
Pencil.
Journal.
Laptop.

Yes, all of these tools can help with your writing practice, but first you need yourself and a community to support your practice.

Rev. Dr. Eileen Campbell-Reed, is an academic entreprenuer and  host of the Writing Table, who, in this week's episode, shares her own journey with writing as a spiritual practice.

Who is Rev. Dr. Eileen Campbell- Reed?
+ Visiting Associate Professor at Union Theological Seminary
+ Co-director of the
Learning Pastoral Imagination Project
+ Founder and host of
Three Minute Ministry Mentor
+ Author of
Pastoral Imagination: Bringing the Practice of Ministry to Life

Send Tara a Text Message

Wild Goose Festival is a transformational community grounded in faith-inspired social justice. Wherever we come together we learn and grow by co-creating art, music, story, theater, and spectacle, engaging in a wide variety of robust, courageous conversations with each other and with thought leaders and artists from other communities. Listeners of Holy Shenanigans Podcast can use the discount code a-tle24 for a $50 discount off the price of an adult weekend ticket!


Making Time
What if you could literally make more time? How would your life change?

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the Show.

Pastor Tara Lamont Eastman is an Ordained Minister of Word & Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She has pastored ELCA and PCUSA churches throughout New York State. She was a contributing writer to the Collaborate Lutheran Student Bible and the Connect Sunday School curriculum, published by Sparkhouse.

[00:00:00] 

Tara: Hi there friends of holy shenanigans podcast. This is pastor Tara Lamont Eastman, and I am here with my friend, Reverend Eileen Campbell Reed. How are you doing today?

Eileen Campbell-Reed Great. Thanks, Tara. It's great to be with you

Tara: So we are here today to talk about spiritual practices that are evergreen. Even though we may be recording this conversation just before and in the season of Lent where people are giving things up, Eileen and I wanted to talk with you today about spiritual practices that are going to be with you throughout all year and hopefully throughout your whole life and specific to the spiritual practice of writing. So Eileen, could you say a little bit about who you are in the world? 

Eileen Campbell-Reed Sort of the umbrella over what I do is the phrase I picked up about seven or eight years ago as an academic entrepreneur. I teach at union theological seminary in the city of New [00:01:00] York. I also am an ordained pastor minister in the progressive Baptist tradition.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And I've been teaching for about 15 years. in various seminaries and divinity schools in medium security prisons and some undergraduates. So I teach mostly pastoral and practical theology. I also occasionally teach about writing teach about topics related to the care of other people and to the practice of research.

Eileen Campbell-Reed So as you can imagine with what I just said, if I'm doing teaching and research and I'm interested in things like care and also ethnography. I'm writing all the time. I'm writing pretty much every day of my life. My self understanding as a writer really started earlier, I won my first writing contest. And I think I was the third, maybe the fourth grade,

Tara: Yeah. Yeah.

Eileen Campbell-Reed and I was very proud of , winning that [00:02:00] contest, getting a big ribbon on the thing I wrote, pretty sure it was fourth grade, because it was a essay contest about the bicentennial of the country.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And so I wrote that essay, and I still remember a line , which was, Don't give America a jump rope and expect her to jump from sea to shining sea. Pretty good line for a fourth grader, wasn't it?

Tara: That's a good line. Yeah.

Eileen Campbell-Reed On the gifts you should not give America. And then, of course, then the things you should give America.

Eileen Campbell-Reed Very idealistic, starry eyed ten year old nine or ten year old, you know, writing about what we do for the birthday of the country. But that's the essay contest I won when I was pretty young. So young, and I guess at that point, you know, I knew I was a writer and I was recognized as a writer, but I never thought of it as something I would make a living doing, or that I would have as a job.

Eileen Campbell-Reed It was just something I loved, so I adopted writing as my avocation. And of course, while you're a student, [00:03:00] growing up, going to elementary, middle, high school, college, seminary, somebody's asking you to write something every single day. So you don't even think about it. You just put your name and the date on the top of the paper and you start writing. But as I got older, I came to recognize, you know, especially as I got to seminary and I began to prepare for that more kind of public writing. That you do not just newsletters, but writing for sermons I began to write for publications while I was really in seminary. And get, paid a little bit for that writing, but still I could see that I was never going to amount to like a career choice.

Eileen Campbell-Reed But more and more and more it's integrated into what I do all the time. And so I not only write for myself, but 10 or 11 years ago, began coaching other writers doing mentoring with seminary students and their writing and in their practice of ministry, which almost always includes some writing. 

Eileen Campbell-Reed So it's very interwoven into everything I [00:04:00] do. And I certainly think of it as one of my most important spiritual practices. In fact, right beside me here, I'll hold up for you to see, listeners can imagine, a journal. I keep a journal near me all the time. I started keeping a journal when I was in seminary and I read the book by Richard Foster, The Celebration of Discipline.

Tara: Celebration to discipline.

Eileen Campbell-Reed Wonderful book. And for me, the, spiritual practice I wanted to adopt because we were asked to, you know, think about that. And then I went out on my first field education assignment and I had to have a spiritual practice for that field ed experience. And I chose, I don't think he actually has journaling as one of his 12, but that for me was the spiritual practice I wanted to do.

Eileen Campbell-Reed So every. Day I would make entries in that journal. I had already been kind of a diary keeper before then. But since that time, I've never been without a journal. And that was a,

Tara: Yeah.

Eileen Campbell-Reed that was [00:05:00] over 30 years ago. I keep a journal close by. I've filled up, I don't know, I haven't counted, but scores dozens. Well many over a hundred, maybe 200, I don't know.

Eileen Campbell-Reed Journal . So

Tara: Yeah. As folks be able to, you can't see what, you know, our, our environment that we're zooming from, but you know, I see your shelves behind you with lots of different resources and notebooks. If I were to turn my my screen, you could see, I have a shelf just to Journals and notebooks myself. So that speaks to me and I, and I don't know whether it was, you know, something that I saw on little house on the prairie when I was a kid, you know, that keeping of a, of a journal or, or but that came to me pretty young too.

Tara: And and I, I think it took a long time for me to understand that as a spiritual practice, but It is a space for myself if I can get that little pocket of time and sit down and even if I am [00:06:00] writing out a piece of scripture or if I'm writing, you know, by hand writing something out, it helps me to slow down and to then be better engaged in my day.

Eileen Campbell-Reed yes indeed. I would say when I started keeping a journal, I thought it was because I did it as a spiritual practice for that summer field education. And I was also, I think important to note, I was also working at a, an editorial house a denominational editorial house where I was writing and editing materials all the time.

Eileen Campbell-Reed So it was both my work and then this journal I really thought of as like very self contained journal for spiritual writing for prayers. And so I'm going to be doing a lot of research on this for spiritual questions and reflections, but I'd say probably by the end of that summer, I realized, Oh, you know, actually this journal is going to be more about everything. [00:07:00] I don't have to cordon off my spiritual life into a little book where I write things down. Everything about my life can go into that book. And it does. So stories, linguists you know, brainstorming, work family stories, it's, it's just all in there because my spirituality is integrated into the whole of my life and the, the journal, sort of an externalized form of that, I guess.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And, but field notes, I write field notes in my journals now when I'm doing readings. So I don't have separate notebooks for each thing. I don't compartmentalize my life that way. My life's just one giant mess, all, all written into journal books.

Tara: I, I, thank you so much for saying that because in my own practice I often try to be like, oh, here's like the sectioned off notebook, you know, this is for this part and this is for this part. And I'm like and I have let that go and I have a notebook and I'm like, okay, here's the day. [00:08:00] And I just. Kind of like folks that do a bullet journal, sometimes there's just like the flow of the day or like whatever happens just dump on the page. It's fine. It's totally fine. And actually maybe more integrated is the way that we need to be thinking perhaps.

Eileen Campbell-Reed I don't discount people who need to keep a journal for a specific reason, or it needs to be just their own certain kind of writing. Great. That's great for them. I'm just confessing that for me, it's just one giant, holy mess. You know, I mean, I take it when my, I go with my parents to a doctor's visit and I make notes about what the doctor says to them, or, you know, I, I really, it just has everything in it.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And But the, the, the, it's also kind of a good practice of detachment because, I mean, it's only that thick. I can only write so much in there. And then I have to put that one down and move on to that next book blank page and starting [00:09:00] over. So that's another gift of it. I hadn't really maybe said out loud before, but, you know, it's not about writing everything down and hanging on to it. It's about writing it down and letting it go,

Tara: Yeah. Yeah.

Eileen Campbell-Reed way. Now I go back to certain journals. I have some things marked. Especially if I'm doing a big project and I like do a big brain dump about it, then I get where I have to go back to that journal. So look at the brain dump again and move some things.

Eileen Campbell-Reed I sometimes copy my big lists forward into the next, the next. Oh,

Tara: So thank you. Thank you for that specific detail. Cause I was just about to ask you, like, if folks are starting this practice, what, what would be your general. Direction or instruction.

Eileen Campbell-Reed I think anytime we start a new practice, there's a couple of things that I highly recommend. One is as best you can try it. In community, even if you're like a person who does things on your own and [00:10:00] by in community, that can mean any number of things. Just talking to some friends about it. It can be you have a small group at your congregation.

Eileen Campbell-Reed It can be you can't get a small group, but you find some online people who are journal keepers, whatever it takes to find some affinity group or some community. Because spiritual practices are, you know, not really meant to be done alone. Even the desert mothers and desert fathers who we have their sayings who wrote down or really they didn't, they didn't write them down.

Eileen Campbell-Reed Other people gathered around them, took care of them and wrote down the things they said. So they had a community around them, even though they were isolated, the the hermits who lived through the middle ages, they had people who came and fed them and took care of them. And. Listen to what they were learning in their deep practices of prayer or meditation or whatever spiritual practices they were doing.

Eileen Campbell-Reed So, I'm just saying all practices, even keeping a private journal are [00:11:00] communal. Secondly, I'd say get some good tools, pick a journal you like that you enjoy writing in, choose a good pen or pencil or art, art tools, whatever. You're going to draw pictures in your journal has some good. Beautiful pens or pencils or whatever makes that, that work for you so that you enjoy it.

Eileen Campbell-Reed You look forward to it. You want to, want to take part in it. And then I try to tell people, we're going to try something new. Commit to seven days. If you can do it for seven days, then commit to the 21 days. If you keep doing it for 21 days, maybe it's going to stick. And also, you know, I do go through some periods of time where maybe I don't pick up my journal quite as often or daily, and it's okay, but don't.

Eileen Campbell-Reed If, if this is something I learned from Richard Foster, if you're doing it legalistically, if you're doing a practice in order to keep the practice and you're all caught up in whether you check every box every day, it's not really working as a spiritual practice. It's just adding to your sense of [00:12:00] obligation of guilt. So make it, it should, it should bring you liberation and freedom, not a greater sense of, of of guilt or shame because you're not doing it the right way. Now, obligation is a good thing, but it should be in a spirit of loving obligation, not I'm here to, you know, be hard on myself because I'm not doing my thing.

Eileen Campbell-Reed So no legalism, it should lead to freedom. It should be liberating when you do a spiritual practice. That doesn't mean it won't be hard or it won't be challenging. It just means ultimately you're not there to police yourself. You're there to free your heart and your spirit and your mind.

Tara: Yeah. Thank you for that. That, that distinction is really important. In a lot of recent conversations I've had with people here on Holies Unanigans and then my work has been around, you know, how can spiritual practices be that vehicle of life to the full

Eileen Campbell-Reed Hmm.

Tara: and not to be a burden that is heavy, [00:13:00] but light.

Tara: And life giving. And so I, I so appreciate the perspective and the, and the, the how to, how to live in that and, and to not be a legalistic have to do you get to do you have the privilege to engage with. Right.

Eileen Campbell-Reed sure.

Tara: Yeah. That's wonderful. I'm always up for a holy shenanigans story, Eileen. And I wonder if you, if you have a recent holy shenanigans story that you would like to share with our audience today.

Tara: Of

Eileen Campbell-Reed So I was trying to think of a story related to my journal keeping that might be a holy shenanigan story, and the first one that came to mind is this. I took a group of students, along with a couple of other faculty members a group of seminary students to Thailand in 2016. My own first book, a big book, had just come [00:14:00] out and or was about to come out.

Eileen Campbell-Reed So I had a lot going on in my life, but, you know, 10 days in Thailand, just what you need to throw in the middle of a book launch.

Tara: course.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And we within the country of Thailand, we traveled around quite a bit. And one of the days there we flew north to Chiang Mai. And and then we. Got back on a plane, came back to the main city where we were staying, Bangkok.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And as we were arriving back at our hotel, I had a sudden moment of panic and I was like, I put my backpack in the top compartment of the plane and I didn't get it out. It has

Tara: Oh no.

Eileen Campbell-Reed journal in it.

Tara: Oh no.

Eileen Campbell-Reed all the other stuff. I really need a journal back.

Tara: Yeah.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And I was having a serious, like, oh my gosh, I'm never going to see that again.

Eileen Campbell-Reed It's going to be awful. [00:15:00] And we walked through the door and there was a friend of mine who I was totally not expecting. I knew, I mean, he's from. Thailand, but I didn't know he was going to be there. There stands Saroj Sorjakul. I'm like, Saroj, oh my gosh, I need your help. I have left my bag with my journal in it on the plane back at the, you know, I got off the airplane.

Eileen Campbell-Reed You can't go back, right? He's like, okay, let's call them. And, and he speaks the language so he can get on the phone and he starts talking to them, talking to them. And he, I think it worked out that he and I got back in the van along with the driver and the another guy who also could translate. It's American, Saroj is from Thailand.

Eileen Campbell-Reed We got back in the van, we dropped back to the airport. We go through this whole maze of things and, and they hand me my bag. It's, it's there. [00:16:00] I just never thought I would see that bag or that journal again. And if it, it really didn't have a lot else in the bag that was like, you know, my passport or anything significant.

Eileen Campbell-Reed Just. Some toiletries or whatever. And it was just a huge, like kind of a holy moment that I didn't lose the thing I had lost. And I have a lot of stories that resonate that with that across time where I, I, I do lose things, but with a lot of patience and attention and like just calming myself down, I almost always find the things that have been lost with help, like

Tara: Yeah.

Eileen Campbell-Reed grandma with help.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And so the, the. Holy, I think is there like my friends arose, surprising us being available, ready to help speaking the right language, but we have to like, be open to it to, you know, I could have just thrown my hands up and given up and said, Oh, well, I'm never going to see that again. Terrible, but, but it, instead it ended up to be a very grace filled kind of ending.

Tara: Hmm. [00:17:00] Yeah. I think that that's a, a beautiful way to talk about lost things or having them in community being returned back to us. No, that's just, it very much resonates because in, in life, I think that there can be times that we become so busy with the things that are just life that we forget or lose or misplace.

Tara: Those spiritual practices that, that fill us up. Yeah.

Eileen Campbell-Reed I've certainly had the experience of at times in my life when I needed something desperately like felt an, an. a deep need for something, a spiritual practice has presented itself and become what meets that need. And the way I could say, I guess the way that the holy meets that need for me really multiple times that has happened for me, both with centering prayer, with the journaling with walking [00:18:00] walking and other kinds of walking with, uh, other kinds of like spoken prayers that are more of a mantra and, and so yes, I, I think you're right.

Eileen Campbell-Reed Things will present themselves the holy presents things to us at times when we need them, but we do have to be open and have our eyes ready to see what's there because it's one of my own personal deep, like I call blueprint stories that I don't believe I'll get the help I need. every time I do.

Eileen Campbell-Reed It's a confirmation that that story is not the deepest story in me. There's a deeper story of grace and provision sustenance that's available, but I have to overcome that blueprint story that I won't get the help I need to believe it's actually really right there for me, but I have to pay attention, have to open myself to what that help might really be.

Tara: Yeah. Yes. So we've, we've talked a lot about the how [00:19:00] to's and the why's that writing is a spiritual practice. And you've talked a little bit about how community is a big part of that. And, and one of the ways that I know you is through the writing table. So I wonder if you could say more about what that is and how that can perhaps help people establish a spiritual practice of writing.

Eileen Campbell-Reed Yeah, for sure. It's one of my favorite parts of my day. Every weekday, I host the writing table. I have some other co hosts who also pitch in. I'm not literally there every weekday of the year, but most of them I am. I began coaching writers back in about 2013 when I was working with a group. Like, I had joined a group.

Eileen Campbell-Reed To finish my first academic book, anatomy of a schism. And I finished the book at the table. And while I was doing that, it wasn't called the table. It was a different name, but while I [00:20:00] finished that book, let's redo that just a quick second. While I was working to finish that book, I was part of a small group online, but it was a kind of thing where you never actually saw or talked to another person, but you, you logged in every day and logged your progress.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And you gave each other encouragement through notes written notes. And so about six or eight months into that the group came to me and asked me, would I become a writing coach and basically give encouragement to all these other people. And so I began doing that. And It paid for my, my habit of showing up to that group every day and, you know, doing my own writing.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And they had a chat function and some other things, but we never saw each other. We never talked to each other. And then I had a group for so long that I began to actually invite them to meet with me occasionally on zoom and we would write together or just hang out, talk and talk about our writing.

Eileen Campbell-Reed We were all academics. And then the pandemic came along in 2020. And I was noticing how many of my [00:21:00] students and my friends and my colleagues were struggling to write and, or just focus on anything. And so I said, I'm going to just see if some people want to get together and write the writing. It's just a form of a virtual writing table.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And so that's how it got started was something I offered for free for about two years, about three or four days a week. Sometimes in the summer, five days a week. And we just had this growing community of people who loved coming, sitting together for an hour, having time to write is we start with breathing.

Eileen Campbell-Reed So it's very much a intention setting and spiritual kind of attention to writing, but you can write anything you want. People write everything at the writing table. They write sermons, they write blogs, they write books, they write newsletter articles. They write poetry, they write to do lists, they do planning, They can nobody police is what anybody writes, but we're there in the virtual space holding each other accountable in a [00:22:00] very gentle kind way.

Eileen Campbell-Reed There's, I like to say there's no police at the writing table. And then we share our strategies for how we're getting our writing done. And all this is based in some research that man named Robert Boyce did for about 30 years he studied writers and found out how they can really be the most. He was very efficient, productive he was studying academic writers who needed to write for tenure but he, his principles work, no matter what kind of writing we're doing to form a good habit of writing habit practice, you can call it what you like but having some community around our writing makes it so much less lonely, so much less isolating, and so much more supported and encouraged.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And so I do some friendly coaching kind of low key coaching. And then along the way, I've also, many years ago, started picking up individual writers as who I coach in their writing projects. So I kind of have both those things are part of the writing table. We meet five mornings a week and then [00:23:00] in Lent, which I know when this plays, it will probably be the end of Lent, but we've had an additional time every day for writers who want to write during Lent.

Eileen Campbell-Reed So we do a occasional seasonal special writing table times and that will probably be ongoing we'll continue to have special seasons at the writing table for people to join. So it's really very life giving to me. I get to sit down and do my writing alongside other people, but also I'm hosting the space that other people can come to and get their work and their.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And sometimes people are just journaling, spiritual writing, writing by hand all kinds of things that people find the space that generates for them. So it's truly life giving for many people not just me.

Tara: That's wonderful. So in a way, it's kind of like a desert mother, desert father in technology space.

Eileen Campbell-Reed Yeah, that's right, right. We're spread out all over about nine different time zones.[00:24:00] 

Tara: Wow.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And yet we show up in one virtual space, yeah, and we're there on the screen for each other. I mean, we turn our video and our audio off while we write, but in the beginning, the middle of the end, we're there to see and talk to each other.

Eileen Campbell-Reed So yeah, very supportive way to make good use of technology

Tara: Yeah. I love those intersections of, of creative and spiritual practices that can be aided with technology. I think that that is, if we could use these things for good, what good there would be in the world.

Eileen Campbell-Reed for sure. That's been one of my things to say since I wrote and shared, oh, so much writing at the writing table, the pandemic pastoring report. And, and I said, my, one of my conclusions, it's a new era of ministry that we're living in. Part of that is because everything is, has the potential to be hybrid at this point.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And we used to say about technology in the church, Ooh, that's terrible. We're that's scary stuff that we're too [00:25:00] disconnected. We don't want to do that. Like we want to be real and in person and live and all that. We, we poo pooed technology in many churches, many, many

Tara: On time.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And the pandemic just totally upended that.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And so what I say now is don't think of technology as bad. Please think of it as new. And you don't really know fully yet, none of us do, what capacities it has. It will have its downsides. Well, being in person has some downsides as well. The COVID virus, like for people disabilities for people with social anxiety, being in person is not a safe place for them, but being together virtually is.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And so we have tradeoffs, but most importantly, we've been doing in person for thousands of years. We know how to do that. We've been doing technology connection and community very short time. We got a lot yet to learn about that. And so think of it as new and how can we do it better? And writing table is a good example of how we're trying to do that.

Tara: It is in my, in [00:26:00] my own process of seminary, I was in one of the very first cohorts of people doing things in a hybrid model. And so I just thought this is the way that the world works. And so, I mean, it's been a gift, especially in response to, you know COVID 19 and, and all of those things. But even, even before that, I remember taking a undergrad college class that was called digital storytelling, and it was one of the most enriching, connective, aha moments for me as a person who, who writes and is a creative person, but also a person who has a spiritual life.

Tara: And I'm like, Oh my goodness. Digital storytelling. And that was such a lifeline for me as a writer because it helped me connect with other people. I'm part of a group that was Mondays [00:27:00] sleeping with bread. Was the practice that we did, what is the bread we're going to hold on to? What is the bread we're going to let go of?

Tara: We would blog, blog, blog, and then we'd encourage each other, right? Little notes every Monday, you know? So I just, I just love the, the way that these technologies can be a gift of connection for folks that probably would, you know, forget or, or let go of these practices because they think you know, what, what good is it doing?

Tara: Right. We need to remind each other that it is doing good.

Eileen Campbell-Reed So much good. And connecting people who otherwise might feel just so alone and isolated about the virtual connections that are life giving for them. Absolutely.

Tara: So where can people find the writing table and you Eileen?

Eileen Campbell-Reed Yeah. My website is EileenCampbellRead. org. We produce [00:28:00] episodes every week and new ideas about ministry, about. spirituality, about learning, about writing. You'll find all kinds of information at my website. I've been blogging there for 14 years and there's a lot there. Search up all kinds of things.

Eileen Campbell-Reed We've just launched a new course site called courses dot Eileen Campbell Reed dot org. And at that site is where the writing table will live in the long term way. Right now we're as you and I talk, we're in a transition. People would need to go to the EileenCampbellRead. org to sign up for the writing table if it were today, but by the time this is broadcast as a podcast we probably, they would probably be able to find the writing table at Courses.

Eileen Campbell-Reed EileenCampbellRead. org and be able to sign up there. We also have something we call Free Write Friday. Anybody can come on Friday and just try out the writing table. See if you like it. Costs nothing. You need to sign up for the link [00:29:00] and then we send you the link the night before. And you join us on Fridays.

Eileen Campbell-Reed We have a steady stream of people who try the writing table or just commit to coming on Fridays. Anybody can do that. Just go to my website and search up writing table. And you will be able to sign up for, for Free Write Fridays. We'd love to have anybody who wants to give it a try.

Tara: Yeah. Free write Fridays as a person who started that way. I am very thankful for free write Fridays. And thank you so much for making that accessible to everybody to just try out.

Eileen Campbell-Reed Yeah, that's what we need with spiritual practice, right? A chance to try them out, test them out, see if it's calling to us in a longer term way, for

Tara: Yes, yes, indeed. Is there anything else? I mean, like we said, we talked about connection. We've talked about writing as a spiritual practice. We've talked about the desert mothers and fathers. Do you have an invocation or a blessing to help us to remember these gifts of spiritual practices? [00:30:00] Or to perhaps have the mothers, desert mothers and fathers bring our satchel back to us so that we can journal.

Eileen Campbell-Reed For sure. I'm going to share a saying from one of the desert fathers. Throughout Lent at the writing table, we've had writing prompts for everyone. That's part of the special thing about Lent at the writing table is that we had a writing prompt for every day. And so I'm going to share one of those from Abba Isidore of Pelusia, who died in 450, a desert father.

Eileen Campbell-Reed And, and he said this through my throat, all of a sudden I'm like froggy

Eileen Campbell-Reed to live without speaking is better than to speak without living for the former. Who lives rightly, does good by even their silence, but the latter does no good, even when they speak. [00:31:00] When words and life correspond to one another, they are together the whole of philosophy. Or, we might translate in the 21st century, the whole of a way of life. And the question for that day was, how do your life and your writing correspond? In what ways might you bring them together more into alignment? So I hope those questions might be something you would mull over those of you who are listening to our conversation today. Think about how your writing and your life mutually support one another and come into alignment so that they are each life giving to the other, the way you live and the way you write.

Tara: Thank you so much. That is a wonderful invitation and invocation to all of the fellow Holy shenanigators out there longing for a safe and sacred spiritual practice. Thank you so much, Eileen. As always, it's, [00:32:00] it's great to talk with you and to continue this always sacred, never stuffy journey that I like to call holy shenanigans listeners and friends may be well, may you be at peace and may you know that you are always beloved.

HSP Intro Outro Eileen Campbell Reed and Soul Shop Promo March 2024
(Cont.) HSP Intro Outro Eileen Campbell Reed and Soul Shop Promo March 2024
(Cont.) HSP Intro Outro Eileen Campbell Reed and Soul Shop Promo March 2024