A Retreat from the Hustle with Christa Mastrangelo Joyce

Mary Oliver offers instructions for living a life: “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” Simple, but not easy.

A contemplative life is one in which we can be astonished by the ordinary, awake for the daily mystery of living, and connected to the earth, our communities, and our individual bodies.

Once upon a time, it was easy to find my way home to myself, easy to be astonished. When my children were small, I witnessed the astonishing world daily through their eyes, then we’d retreat each night with a story, some time of reflection, and a snugly blanket. Now, I have daily practices that center me and give my nervous system a retreat from the noise of the world. Journal writing, meditation, mindful movement, and rich conversation are the contemplative practices that bring me back into the heart and soul of myself and the world around me. They bring me home to myself so that I can pay attention, be astonished, and then, each week, tell about it.

Life is both wildly beautiful and incredibly hard and hideous. And it’s worth showing up for—awake and connected.

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  • You’ll receive my full weekly written reflection with a suggested prompt to inspire your own creativity.

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But know this: It’s essential to me that this work is accessible to all who find it to be a means of loving support and connection. If my work is serving you and for any reason it’s not possible to pay for a subscription right now (or ever) please email me at jalayoga.christa@gmail.com. I’d be happy to sign you up for free.

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A weekly reflection offering contemplation, meditation, and practices for wholeness and connection.


Christa is a writer and lover of story. She uses the power of story in her yoga teachings, as a homeschooling mom and Sunday school teacher. She is compelled to share this love and encourages others to explore the stories their body and mind hold.