Episode 87 | A Guide to Decision Making and Spiritual Discernment with Nancy Bieber

I'm wearing a sweater and socks as I write. The weather has definitely entered into that unsettled pattern of fluctuating between steamy hot days and rainy cool ones. We know where this is heading and I am trying to enjoy the warm days as well as the cozy fall feeling ones. This week I am thinking about change. I'm saying goodbye to a good friend who is moving on to a new adventure in her life. I'm contemplating my work and how I'm finding my voice in this new direction. I'm thinking about what I want in this next season of life.

When we are in the middle of changes we needed to have a good way to discern what is best for us in our current situation. I had the opportunity to interview Nancy Bieber this week on Reframe Your Life. Nancy Bieber is the author of Decision Making & Spiritual Discernment The Sacred Art of Finding Your Way. She is a spiritual director, psychologist, retreat leader, and teacher. She writes out of her many years’ experience of working with people, offering insights, exercises and guidance. She served on the teaching staff of Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development for 21 years and developed their program Contemplative Living in Daily Life. Nancy is an active member of the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers). She has led retreats and workshops on spiritual discernment, and deepening our spiritual lives for groups in the United States, as well as in New Zealand and England.

Click on book image to order.

Click on book image to order.

Click on image to connect with Nancy Bieber.

Click on image to connect with Nancy Bieber.

Episode 86 | What are the desires of your heart?

What are your heart's desires? And how do the choices that you are making support the desires and dreams you have in becoming a reality? I explore the topic of desires in this week's episode of Reframe Your Life.

A very basic definition of desire is a strong feeling to want or have something. We have lots of desires. I desire to be healthy. I desire to have good friends. I desire a good night’s sleep - especially after a restless night of sleep. You may have some beliefs about desires that make it difficult for you to trust them.

Here are some beliefs I have heard about desires:

  • You can't trust your feelings or desires.
  • Following your desires will lead you to destruction or harm.
  • The heart is wicked and not to be trusted.
  • Feelings are not scientific or factual
  • You shouldn’t make decisions based on feelings or emotions

What messages have you heard around desires?

I remember the mixed messages I received over the years around desires, emotions, feelings, faith and spirituality. One day I read, “God gives you the desires of your heart” and I started thinking about things differently. If my very desires were given to me by the Creator then how could they be bad?

This week I was reading a book a friend gave me by Sage Levine about developing your business. It’s called Women Rocking Business and although I find the title a bit hokey I’ve been surprised to find the content so focused on the spiritual side of business.

She talks about our desires as being our Yellow Brick Road. They are the stepping stones that lead us to our destiny. When we start to pay attention to what we desire we start to make decisions that are aligned with our truest self.

And here’s a fascinating thought she shares. The word desire comes from a Latin root (sidus) meaning star or heavenly body. De-sire can be broken down to ‘of the sire’ which translates to ‘Of the Kingdom of God.” When I read that I immediately thought of the spiritual teaching, “Seek first the Kingdom of God."

What if following your desires is actually seeking first the kingdom of God? What if all the other stuff we take on, all the shoulds and oughts are really creating a barrier to being who we are designed to be?

We are desire. It is the essence of the human Soul, the secret of our existence. Absolutely nothing of human greatness is ever accomplished without it. Not a symphony has been written, a mountain climbed, an injustice fought, or a love sustained apart from desire. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize.
— John Elderidge

I've been using Danielle Laporte's Desire Mapping Process for the past 5 years to help me explore my feelings and desires. I am an affiliate and you can click on the photo to find out more. The workbooks are inexpensive and are helpful anytime you want to do a deep dive into what's next.

Getting clear on your desires is the first step in reclaiming a healthy and vibrant spiritual life. Of course, desires need to be balanced with discernment and in the next episode we are going to talk about what a healthy discernment process looks like. And I will be taking you further into this in my course that launches in October. It's called Call of the Sacred and you will spend six weeks learning how to create a healthy and vibrant spiritual life.

Episode 83 | Desperately Seeking Spirituality with Meredith Gould

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It's mid afternoon and aside from a walk at 6 o'clock this morning, I have not left the house and I don't plan on it. As long as the air conditioning is working I'll be right here. In my reasoning mind, any humidex over 40ºc is too hot to venture outdoors. It is the reason Netflix was invented. I'm sure there are women who love the slow trickle of sweat running between their breasts but I'm not one of them. I find myself unable to trust people who say, "It doesn't bother me, I like the heat." I just don't believe them.

It's amazing how easy it is to draw lines! Our weather preferences are just the start. And once we get into the topic of faith and spirituality I know we'll find ourselves in opposite camps at some point. I think it is why I hesitated for so long to focus my work in this direction. I've changed my opinion on issues I once held as central to my faith and I've experienced that feeling of not being welcome as a result.

I'm thankful to encounter other women on a similar journey like my guest this week - Meredith Gould. She has had enough experience on her faith journey to know that who we are is going to bring us a lot more peace than getting twisted up over what we believe or don't believe. Her book Desperately Seeking Spirituality focuses on five spiritual practices of being: willingness, curiousity, empathy, generosity and delight. If we all focused on developing in these areas I'm sure we would find ourselves able to manage our polarities with a lot more grace.

If you are looking for ways to escape the heat this week - check out these recommendations:

Worth listening:

Episode 83 | Desperately Seeking Spirituality Meredith Gould shares her spiritual journey and discusses her book.It's my first solo interview and Meredith made it easy for me. We could have talked for hours. And I hope to have that opportunity in the future. Listen on iTunes or your fave podcast site or at the link above.

Find out more about this week's guest:

Dr. Meredith Gould is a sociologist, longtime spiritual seeker, mixed media mosaic artist and award-winnng author of eleven published books. No wonder an hour wasn't enough time with her! Visit her website for more or check out her mosaics here

Worth reading:


Don't let appearances deceive you. This is not a lengthy book but once you get into it you will realize you can't rush through it. It would be worth committing a week to each of the five practices and taking your time to really integrate them into your life. I will be focusing on one each day on Instagram this week (@sandyareynolds if you aren't already following me).

Worth watching:

I have watched this movie almost every summer since I first discovered it when my kids were young (but old enough to understand the message of this movie). It's a good movie with a great soundtrack and the message is as relevant now as it was when it came out in 1994. Watch the trailer here or click on the picture to order a copy. I am sure you can stream it somewhere if you look for it!

Get out your journal!

I hope your summer includes some time for reflection. I've created a download for you called "Reclaiming Your Faith." It's a one pager with some questions to get you thinking about our relationship with faith. 

 Thanks for being on this journey with me!  I want this to be a space where we can talk about spirituality without judgment. It doesn't matter what you believe - you are welcome here.

Episode 82 | Reclaiming Your Relationship with Faith

I've been eager to get this new episode up and to share this new venture with you. And a little freaked out as well!  I've always related to these words from the T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets: 

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

I've experienced this truth in my life many times. And so it wasn't surprising to me that after years of rethinking my faith and beliefs that I would find myself back where I started - wanting to share my story with women. I am wired to want to pass on my learning to others. I call myself a 'learning catalyst.' I like to share resources and have conversations that will help you navigate life transitions and challenges. For me, that includes spirituality and faith.

I am drawn to big questions of life. All of us, wherever we sit in our beliefs are trying to make sense of the world. And many of us have found our faith lacking (my apologies to G.K. Chesterton). So when Jo-Anne decided that her time with Reframe Your Life was coming to an end, I was ready to take it into a new direction. I've been interviewing guests and I'm starting to see that a new path opening up as I move forward. I hope you will hang in for a little while why I sort it all out. And please give me feedback as well!

(Photo credit: Jose Antonio Gallego Vazquez)

(Photo credit: Jose Antonio Gallego Vazquez)

I'm interested in knowing what will be of interest and helpful to you in your life.

On this episode I give you a bit more of my background and how I am refocusing.

Get out your journal! I hope your summer includes some time for reflection. I've created a download for you called "Reclaiming Your Faith." It's a one pager with some questions to get you thinking about our relationship with faith. Get it here

Thanks for being on this journey with me! If you know someone who you think would be interested in this conversation please share this podcast with them.