Everyday Awakening: Five Practices for Living Fully, Feeling Deeply, and Coming into Your Heart and Soul
We live in an infinite field of possibility. Whatever you may call it—energy, a quantum field, God, spirit, a higher power—you are not alone. Why, then, do so many of us feel alone? In a rapid-moving world filled with turbulence both personal and global, it has become harder than ever to live in the moment and be fully present. Even though our everyday lives may seem to be out of control, we can surrender to the daily fluctuations that we encounter by releasing the inclination to grasp or direct what is happening, and instead open to and trust the myriad mysteries of life. When we practice accepting each moment of life exactly as it is, without trying to dictate what is going on, we become better able to move life changes.
Though this type of awareness and awakening is profound, it’s not complicated. Former hospice chaplain and integrative spiritual consultant, Catherine Duncan, presents over forty exercises to navigate the ups and downs of life—no gurus or mountaintops required. Dispelling the myth that awakening is only for a select few, Catherine reshapes the narrative to reveal personal transcendence as a natural and all-too-human experience, available to us all with the right tools. Using decades of research—academic, professional, and personal—to form the backbone of Everyday Awakening, the engaging and accessible breath practices, meditation, body movements, and grounding rituals are.
Learning how to feel more aware during our day-to-day routines is the same as building our muscles: the more awaken to ourselves, the more we have to give to others. When we are in the present moment and not lost in our mind, we are fully alive and more aware of a connectedness that defies the emptiness that many experience, even despite otherwise fulfilling lives.
Catherine Duncan, MA, BCC, is passionate about wholeperson healing. Her focus as an integrative spiritual consultant is emotional and spiritual health. With a reverence for the sacredness of life, she companions individuals who are struggling with chronic illness, life transitions, grief and loss, and those searching for more meaning and purpose.
She sees clients through her own private practice, Learning to Live, LLC, and as a consultant with Minnesota Personalized Medicine, an integrative medical practice in Minneapolis.
In her work, she draws on her experience as a board-certified chaplain and certified spiritual director; her training in positive neuroplasticity with Rick Hanson, PhD; and her education in a range of alternative healing modalities, including Reiki, Healing Touch, qigong, the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)/tapping, and sound healing.
As a public speaker, she frequently delivers talks on stress and resiliency, self-compassion, self-care, neuroplasticity, and awakening to organizations and companies in person and virtually. Her writing is featured on the website for the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing, the Institute for Well-Being in Law’s website, and in the textbook Integrative Medicine by David Rakel, MD (5th edition, Elsevier, November 2022).
Catherine has served as a spiritual-care provider with Fairview Home Care and Hospice, Hennepin Healthcare, and the Good Samaritan Society. An ordained minister with the United Church of Christ, she received her MA in theology and her spiritual direction certificate from St. Catherine University (St. Paul, Minnesota). She also holds a master of divinity equivalency from United Theological Seminary (New Brighton, Minnesota).
In addition to her deep professional background, Catherine teaches from her three personal awakening experiences, including a brush with death that opened her gifts as a mystic and intuitive. These spiritual gifts, which include the ability to see spirits, support her work of helping people open into their souls.
She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two dogs, Bella and Gigi, and is the mother of two adult children. For more, please visit her website: learningtolive.org.