November 2019 E-News
A Different Kind of Thanksgiving
"Hardships Often Prepare Ordinary People
for an Extraordinary Destiny."
C.S. Lewis
Most of us are familiar with the Thanksgiving day ritual of going around and naming something for which you are grateful. But if you would like to up your gratitude game this Thanksgiving, try this question: 

What was a hard, difficult, or painful experience in your life story for which you are now grateful?  

I asked this question at a recent Lumunos meeting, and I was touched by people’s responses. It’s complicated of course—no one is happy for a painful experience. And there are some life experiences where we can find nothing redemptive. But most people could find something good, something to be grateful for even in the midst of the difficulty. 

This isn’t a light or quick question. I wouldn’t suggest it for that moment when the turkey arrives. If the mashed potatoes get cold, you may well have a riot on your hands. But it is a question worth pondering and perhaps even sharing these stories with others.

May you know tender shelter and healing blessing when you are called to stand in the place of pain.
May the places of darkness within you be surprised by light.
May you be granted the wisdom to avoid false resistance and when suffering knocks on the door of your life, may you be able to glimpse its hidden gift.
May you be able to see the fruits of suffering.
May memory bless and shelter you with the hard-earned light of past turmoil, to remind you that you have survived before,
And though the darkness is now deep,
You will soon see approaching light.
May this give you confidence and trust.
May a window of light always surprise you.
May the grace of transfiguration heal your wounds.

~ John O’Donohue ~
Doug sig

Snow Not So White

When I was little, Snow White was my favorite fairy tale. I grew up believing that one day my prince would appear at my door, save me from the poison apple I just ingested, and whisk me off to a life full of rainbows and waterfalls.

But my story turns out differently. Snow White eats the poison apple, dies, and seven little men with pointy ears and funny shoes show up at her funeral.

For me, love never came easy. It was an endless succession of missteps, intense frustration, and lots of crying. Wedding bells followed by the Death Knell. But for all my miscalculations and bumps in the road, I am grateful for having gone through them. They give me strength when adversity shows up unexpectedly and compassion for others going through difficult times.

I may suffer great pain, lose my way, and tell myself never again, but I keep starting over. Why? Because without great pain there is no great love.

So as I struggle to pick up the pieces of my bruised and battered heart, the story of my life plays on. The love, the hurt, and everything in between.

Alice Barbera

Reflection Question
What difficulties in your life have led you toward the light?
December LumZoom Call:
Christmas Unplugged
December 11, 2019, 8-9 PM (ET)

For more information: CLICK HERE
To register: e mail

Save the Date!
Half-Day Chicago Area Retreat
January 18, 2019

For more information: email

Waking Up:
A Four-Part "LumZoom" Conversation on Mystics and What They Can Teach Us Today
January 22 & 29, 2019, 8-9 PM (ET)&
February 5 & 12, 2019, 8-9 PM (ET)

For more information:
To register: CLICK HERE
November Blog
Prayer for Our Spiritual Roots

A few weeks ago I attended a hymn festival at Centenary United Methodist Church, in Richmond, VA, the church where I grew up. It's a large old downtown c

Read more
Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper's
beautiful conversation about grief
Good News Corner
Compassion is Contagious
Man With No Kids of His Own Pays Off Lunch Debts for...

When a man from Palm Beach County heard that more than 400 kids in his community couldn't get a full lunch at school because they owed money, he knew he wanted to do something. "Food is something that you shouldn't have to think about," Andrew...

Read more
Our End of Year Appeal is under way!
For decades, Lumunos has been helping people understand themselves better and grow toward what is next. Your generosity helps us as we continue to gather people in mutual support and nurture spiritual growth as they navigate the changes in their lives.

Have you considered a monthly donation?
Click the donate button to make a single donation
or set-up monthly giving. If planned giving is of interest, please contact  about planned giving options.
Keep in Touch
Let us know what we can do for you.

Doug Wysockey-Johnson     
Dan Quinlan  
Alice Barbera  
Rebecca Perry-Hill