sabrinamari: (Sabrinamari)

Life of Joy

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Created on 2012-04-27 04:08:52 (#1608642), last updated 2012-06-12 (275 weeks ago)

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Birthdate:Jan 1
Website:Life of Joy

I'm a medical anthropologist, teacher, writer and facilitator. As an anthropologist, I work with a team of dedicated researchers and clinicians in UMDNJ's Primary Care Research Division. Our team seeks to improve our struggling health care system, particularly the design and delivery of primary care. I've also just finished a book based on my research with HIV+ Puerto Rican women called Surviving HIV/AIDS in the Inner City: How Resourceful Latinas Beat the Odds. It was published this February by the Rutgers University Press:

You can read an excerpt at

Personal Practice

I am also a Wiccan Priestess in the Blue Star tradition, originally part of Braided Stream Coven, a small, tight group of unbelievably beautiful people. More recently, I co-founded Clover, a lovely group sprung from several Blue Star predecessors. My personal spiritual practice also draws heavily on the work of Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron and the Tao te Ching. Broad-based spirituality is something of a family tradition: my brother Christopher ([info]quiet_wyatt72) is a religious scholar who specializes in American religions and also considers himself both Buddhist and Pagan.

Ministry and New Projects

I am part of a collective called Godhooks, a project that emerged from the conviction that all human beings are born with the potential to reimagine themselves at will. Our group provides individuals and communities with the opportunity, support and safe space in which to embrace transformative change. Godhooks members include [info]catpaw67, [info]spiffnolee and [info]akrissy.

Our name is drawn from the ancient mythologies that inspire our work. We depend on the wisdom of many spiritual paths, recombining their insights in new ways to create workshops that inspire reflection and rebirth. We travel to groups and gatherings to present workshops and weekend-long events and facilitate personal transformation and growth in our specialty areas: increasing fitness and mind/body health, making friends with Element Money, and guiding individuals through personal rites of passage.

You can learn more about Godhooks here:

You can also listen to a sample of our work. This workshop explores the use of shrines to facilitate transformation and personal growth:

In another Godhooks-related project, I host a new podcast for Earth-centered, Pagan and New Age people and their friends. Its first series of broadcasts focuses on making friends with Element Money and recreating your financial life in a deeply personal way. You can listen to "Lessons from Element Earth" here:

Family Life

I live with my husband Michael and my stepson Trent in Scotch Plains, NJ. Michael ([info]mage_imbroglio) is a man of tremendous tenderness and compassion; he brings fun and beauty to my life. We laugh and take delight in each other every day. His capacity for joy both excites and astounds me. Through him, I've learned that it is deeply satisfying to partner with someone who really appreciates you and loves you well---never, never settle for anything less! Michael has also brought me another great opportunity: the chance to love and mentor Trent, his beautiful eleven-year-old son.

Trent is a small but wise teacher, generous with his heart and eager to give and receive love. He graces my life and makes me a better person. I am honored to have the opportunity to walk this path with him. We've all recently moved into a large and spacious apartment with plenty of room for friends, gatherings, workshops and celebrations of all kinds. Michael has become a marathoner and triathlete and I am studying to take the ACE personal trainer exam. My life has once again exploded with new possibilities, for which I am very grateful. Still, I remember and honor my past. I keep an especially strong place in my heart for my two lovely cats, Luna and Bast, who lived with me for almost twenty years. Luna died on 2-13-07 and Bast on 10-12-07.

Community Service

I think of my community in both local and global terms. To connect the two while serving both, I head a lending team, "Blue Star Wicca and Friends". Together, we make small loans to women and men around the world, helping them fund their own small businesses and lift themselves out of poverty. KIVA describes itself in this way:

"Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe. The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need."

I am excited about the possibilities offered by my local community to my global one. I encourage you to check out KIVA's website and explore what they do and why. If you're interested, you can start by taking a look at my lending team's webpage here:

Roots and Sky

I am bilingual, biracial and bicultural---my mother is from Costa Rica and my father is from Kansas. I am curious about everything and eager to see what will happen next. It feels as though I am changing so fast that I can barely keep up, but in a good way. My life seems to be about taking on new and intelligent risks and opening up to everything it has to offer. There is great beauty all around me, and more emerges with each previously unimaginable unfolding in the path.

I am very, very happy. I believe that in the end, kindness, integrity and compassion are the most important lessons of all. The older I get, the more joy and satisfaction I experience from my life and my choices. I realize that the trials (opportunities?) that brought me here were necessary, even the painful ones. Without them, I would never have been able to embrace---or truly appreciate---my greatest sources of delight.

I love my life and this beautiful world. Every day is sweet. In the words of my beloved Michael,"Wooo-hoo!"

Kiva - loans that change lives

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