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    The Importance of Being Vulnerable

    Posted on December 7, 2018 by Jenn Zatopek

    Last week, I decided to embark on a new job in addition to doing private practice counseling.  The job is flexible and lucrative and has supportive management.  It is for a good cause and would allow me to pursue several dreams that are coming true for me, especially so for the next year.  On paper, the job sounds like a winner.

    But I have a confession to make to you:  I stopped sleeping through the night the moment I decided to take the job, which was last Wednesday.

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    Friendship with My Soul

    Posted on November 29, 2018 by Jenn Zatopek

    I sit in a sunlit diner having a late lunch.  It’s after two o’clock in the afternoon, and I notice the light dancing in the shadows near the corners of the wall, the dust motes floating delicately down the way to the ground, their bedding for the moment before they are brushed away into air again.

    The diner is situated near a busy intersection so I take a seat in a quiet corner of the cafe, watching the cars drift by and the russet leaves blow on a slender tree just outside the back door.  I’m caught in a beautiful reverie, a flow of sorts, of relaxing into the only moment I have: the present. Read more

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    Don’t Forget to Breathe

    Posted on November 21, 2018 by Jenn Zatopek

    Hello, my friends.  Welcome to round one of the holiday escapades: Thanksgiving.  (Just imagine the sound of a gong going off.)  As someone who has ever so tiny issues with uncertainty and stress, I am doubling down on my self-care practices including prayer and meditation, daily gratitude lists, and calling only the people who are kind, loving, responsive, and affirming. Read more

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    Be Kind to the Black Sheep

    Posted on November 19, 2018 by Jenn Zatopek

    The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. (Richard Bach)

    The holiday season is upon us and everywhere I go I hear Christmas music shouting from music speakers, observe twinkling lights on houses and storefronts, and eavesdrop on holiday conversation.  My heart does a familiar and bittersweet dance of nostalgia, dread, and longing. Read more

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    Reflections on the Interfaith Service

    Posted on November 2, 2018 by Jenn Zaotpek

    Last night, my husband and I drove to Ahavath Sholom, the conservative synagogue in Fort Worth, for the memorial service for victims of the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Worriedly, I told my husband, “I sure hope there are people who will show up.”  But nearly one thousand people showed up to the vigil last night.

    I so often forget that I am not alone in wanting to extend kindness, care, and compassion to my fellow humans.  Read more

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    My Own Private Lament

    Posted on October 31, 2018 by Jenn Zatopek

    I was at folk mass on Sunday when I found out eleven Jews were massacred on Saturday. I didn’t know what to say when my new friend Emily explained what happened except “Oh my God” over and over and over again.

    For some reason, the mention of this crime makes me weep, and I believe it’s because it’s so personal. I am Jewish after all.

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    Two Ways of Looking

    Posted on October 17, 2018 by Jenn Zatopek

    I sit contentedly in my little house today, bundled up in wool, flannel, and cotton.  Outside, the huge oak tree sways gently in the rain, manna from heaven for this delighted soul.  I am sick with a head cold, and strangely enough, I couldn’t be happier.   I have finally learned the importance of being absolutely and only myself.   There really is no one else to be.  Read more

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