Author Archives: Azie Taluja
By: Vince DiPasquale
Welcome to the month of December, the month of the child. Let’s take time to meditate this month on the simplicity of our inner child. At the moment of our birth, we were pure of spirit and connected to the Source of all life. Things were not important, just the beautiful energy of love. God gave all of us at birth all that we need for our life’s journey. As we go on the journey we are introduced to different forms of dysfunctionality. We become part of our human world. We are being taught a great lesson. We need to experience ugliness so that we can discover beauty. We are being taught the secret of life. Balance involves the meeting of the negative and positive. All experiences are lessons to be learned. There are no coincidences, all things happen each moment so that we can learn the great lesson of openness and gratitude. Each day that we awaken we have been given the gift of life. Let’s look at it in the spirit of gratitude. Let’s learn to look at yesterday as the happening, tomorrow as the unknown, and today as the present. If we choose to live in the present we are living in the spirit of life. Each day we have a choice between the spirit and the ego. The ego tries to figure out life and the spirit allows us to live life. Each day lived in the spirit of openness, allows our hearts and minds to be opened to the lessons of the day. To live in the spirit is to live in the now. If we live in the spirit, life becomes a celebration. Each day should be lived in honesty, openness, and the willingness to change and grow.
Yesterday is history yet it is our greatest teacher. If we are willing to face our history, accept it, and learn the lessons of life from it, we will experience the love energy of the child. Tomorrow is the unknown so why waste time on it. When it comes, it will take care of itself despite us.
Today is real and it needs to be lived to the fullest with the zest of a child. Children don’t worry about the same thing that adults worry about. Children live in the moment, they are spontaneous. They look at life as fun and they know how to laugh at life. The course of all life has provided us with our needs. Let’s learn to stop worrying, analyzing, and trying to figure out life. Life is a gift to be lived each day and to learn these simple lessons: “To give is to receive”; “unless we are open to falling down, we will never know how to get up”; “The ego restricts our growth, the spirit frees us to live life”; “A little child shall lead them”; “Life is a series of mysteries to be discovered”; “Laughter at life allows us to live, trying to figure out life creates stress”; and as St. Paul said, “The letter of the law destroys, the spirit frees”.
As we prepare to celebrate the holidays in all our different traditions, let’s take the time to honor our spirit. The real gift of this holiday season is each one of us. Each day that our spirit is in this world is a chance for each of us to continue the journey of rediscovering the little child inside of us. The holiday symbols are all geared to the child: “Light is the symbol of life”; “Gifts are the precious part of us to be shared”; “Birth of the child hopefully will take place within us each day as we are reborn each day”; “Abundance is for all of us if we look at it through gratitude and openness”.
As we approach the New Year just make a resolution to live each day as your last, work hard, play hard, pray hard but above all, don’t be afraid each day to laugh at life. Laughter is the spirit of all life.
Have a blessed and joyful holiday season filled with love and peace. May the Source of life be with us all.
The holidays can be a tough time for many. Please join us in a 8 week group facilitated by Barbara Faracchio, MS, LPC, LCADC spanning from 12/8/2022 to 1/26/2023. This group will be held as a process group, meaning the group will take the form of heavy sharing in regards to any struggles coming up surrounding the holidays. There will be some psycho-education from the facilitator based on the needs of the group. Fee will be $35 per session. Sessions will be held Thursday evenings from 6:00pm-7:30pm.
Please contact Barbara directly if interested in attending this group (No walk-ins): 856-854-3155 x165 or Barbara_faracchio3@msn.com
Thought For the Month
The Many Faces of Life
When October rolls around we think of how the trees start to show their other faces. Mother Nature once again reminds us that on life’s journey we will all experience many different face changes. Each one will bring us to a place of struggle and growth. During this month we also experience Halloween. Originally Halloween was a time of sacredness, dressing up as the patron saint we were named after. This would encourage us to look up to that saint for examples. Today we see many costumes and different faces which also remind us of life. Let’s look at some of the faces who have touched our lives. I will try to see these different faces of my life’s experiences.
The child. As a little boy raised in the forties, my vision and face were different. Having come into the world during World War II it was a world of uncertainly and fear living in the city of Camden. The face of Camden was different then. The streets were safe, and the neighborhood divided. There was no air conditioning or television. All ears were glued to the radio. Even baseball was always played in the daytime and some games were called because of darkness. The face of religion was based on fear and guilt. Yet there was a sense of community and caring.
The teenager. The face of my teen years was a journey that took me away to a new community, the seminary. There was fear and confusion and time to adjust to a new face of life for three years. Then change again when the next three years were spent in Blackwood at the seminary which is now Camden County College. Life was always adjusting to new people and new experiences. I experienced the world of stage and drama, a time to grow up in a controlled world.
The 20’s. As I entered my 20’s the journey took me to a new school, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Maryland. This was a chance to finish college and receive my graduate seminary training which led to my ordination in 1966. Once again years of change, confusion, adjustment, and growth ensued. It was a time when I thought I had it all together. These were my years of journey into the ego, when I thought it was my job to save the world. The final years of my twenties were spent in much fear, guilt, and craziness. My journey into codependency and the world of addiction began. A time when I was introduced to the 12 Steps and the world of ALANON. I still didn’t understand why they kept telling me to work on myself when my ego told me I didn’t need to.
The 30’s. Then came the 30’s, years of much confusion and craziness. I truly understand today that these years were the dark night of journey. My life was out of control. I was running from life playing the savior and martyr on a journey into a deep hole of emptiness. During the seven years, 1969 to 1776, I was a runaway train. My workaholic instincts and addictions were fully alive. During these years I taught high school, ran a parish, was involved in the civil rights movement, became a prison chaplain, and ran a halfway house drug program. I never took time to vacation, too busy to go to the beach or boardwalk. I founded The Starting Point in Philadelphia in 1977. I was just running away from facing life and decisions. I played the game of avoidance and isolation. I was truly a rebel against everything. Talk about codependency and control issues. Inside I was empty, lonely and scared.
The forties. The forties were a time of awakening, a time to face many decisions, fears, and a time to awaken and move to a new era of life. My God was very patient with me and sent some very special people into my life to help lead me slowly out of the empty hole and into the light. God sent a new family which forced me to look at another new face, a wife and three beautiful stepdaughters who at once helped me look to a new direction. I finally had to begin the journey, one a day at a time, while discovering who I was. This journey continues to this day. God has blessed me in so many ways and has sent many people to touch me along the way. He has sent me an opportunity to be a member of many communities with many different faces who have all helped me on my spiritual journey.
Today. I have seven beautiful faces, my grandchildren, who have helped me to meet in a special way, my child within. God has blessed me with so many gifts and the opportunity to share them.
As we look at the changing faces of life, let’s to grateful for all we have been given. Remember an old and beautiful slogan, “Be grateful for what was, be open to what is and be grateful for whatever will be.” Look around at all the wonderful faces of all of God’s children. We are all connected in the circle of life. May we all be blessed on our life’s journey.
A Prayer for Self-Respect
O God, teach me that self-respect cannot be hunted, it cannot be purchased; it is never for sale. Teach me that self-respect comes when I am alone, in quiet moments, in quiet places, when suddenly I realize that knowing the good, I have done it; knowing the beautiful, I have served it; and knowing the truth, I have spoken it.
Please join Recovery Dharma on Wednesday’s at 6:30pm to 7:45pm. ***NEW MEETING***
Recovery Dharma is a peer-led movement and community unified by our trust in the potential of each of us to recover and find freedom from the suffering of addiction. We believe that the traditional Buddhist teachings, often referred to as the Dharma, offer a powerful approach to healing from addiction and living a life of true freedom. Each meeting will include moments for introductions, meditation, and group sharing. Sharing during the meeting is always optional. This meeting is open to anyone seeking recovery from addictions (of all forms), as well as to those curious about living a sober/addiction free life.
- Women’s In-person Group starts September 8, 2022. Every Thursday In-person at 1pm for 12 weeks. ***Registration Closed***
- Online Group for Both Men & Women starts Sept 29, 2022. Every Saturday on Zoom at 6 PM for 12 weeks ***Registration Closed***
Registration is required, and with limited space it will be first come, first serve. Vince – Inner Child Group Thursdays Online 6pm Register via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your name, which group you would like to attend, telephone number, and email address to register. Cost is $25 per session, Sessions Last 1.5 Hours
- Men and Women’s online Group starting Sept 24, 2022. ***CANCELLED***
- Women’s In-person Group starts September 24, 2022. ***CANCELLED***
Anger management group for men that helps identify triggers, physical warning signs, while providing coping skills, ways to express emotions and more…
Limited Space for 8 Week Course. Please register with Gary Dock at (856) 854-3155 Ext. 148 or go to www.wishingwellcommunity.com
Start Date: TBD
Mondays: 9AM to 10AM
Wednesdays: 7PM – 8PM
Cost: TBD; Fee For Service/Insurance Accepted