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


    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


    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


    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.

    Read more


    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


    A Tiny Revelation

    Posted on September 17, 2018 by Jenn Zatopek

    Upon opening a book recently, I found a bookmark that reads “The heart which gives freely is never lonely,” and it’s one that I’ve had since childhood.  A beautiful little girl is holding an apple toward you, the reader, and she is dressed in old-fashioned clothes, drawstring gray boots, white tights, and a little red coat with a white frilly dress underneath.  The little girl’s long hair blows in the wind, and she is incandescent, beaming with joy at giving away her food. Read more


    The Most Liberating Thing

    Posted on September 2, 2018 by Jenn Zatopek

    While I waited to begin a medical procedure last week, I read a book about a woman who reunited with her family in another country.  Her long-lost family were thrilled to connect with her, and as I sat in the doctor’s office, my breath caught between my lungs and I gasped with sadness. I knew this feeling that came over me but wanted desperately to stuff it down: shame. Read more