Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I am currently on a ship, but planned this amazing interview ahead of time. You are going to LOVE it! So much wisdom, insight, and spiritual nuggets. Before we jump into it, if you love these interviews as much as I do and are interested in being interviewed (or know someone that is), feel free to reach out to me! I'm always looking for new guests! Okay, onto the interview! Meet Bonnie Rose! I have had the pleasure of knowing Bonnie for about 12 years, as she is the senior minister at the church second home that I attend. I used to put her on this grandiose pedestal adorned with jewels and gold because, after all, she IS a minister! Then, while bonding over hula-hooping, television shows on Netflix, and our mutual obsession with animals, I realized that while she IS amazing on so many levels, she is more of a mentor and friend (which I am really happy about).
I asked to interview Bonnie, because she absolutely embodies a happy, healthy balance. She eloquently expresses herself with such wisdom, while simultaneously mixing the sacred and profane in a graceful and humorous way. Isn't that what life is about? Isn't that what balance is? I like to think so.
Below is the delightful interview that overflows with joy, spiritual nuggets, and topics that really make you ponder. I just know that you're going to love it! Enjoy!
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
BONNIE: To make a long story short, I was born in New York. Lived in North Carolina for nine years where I got two degrees – one in nursing and another in vocal performance. I returned to New York and worked as a nurse, actress and opera singer. I got married and adopted a cat. In the early 90s my husband, our two cats and I did a year-long National tour of a Broadway Show. Then we moved to California, where I worked again as a nurse, opera singer and corporate trainer. Somewhere along the way, I got interested in studying theology, so I got a Master of Divinity degree. Now I am the Sr. Minister of the Ventura Center for Spiritual Living. I’ve been there for close to 12 years. My husband and I live in Santa Paula, CA, with two dogs, a cat, birds, fish, and box turtles.
Q: In regards to your career, you have accomplished so much, and in a wide variety of professions. Can you briefly share them, and how you found the inspiration to transition from one to another?
B: My life has taken many unexpected turns and I’ve done many things that I never dreamed of doing. It seems that God kept placing intuitions in my heart and opportunities in my life. I just kept saying yes to that which interested and inspired me. I had many doubts along the way, but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and was willing to be surprised.
Q: What inspired you to start your blog Holy Chit?
B: I have a great love of playful paradox and blending the sacred and the profane. With Holy Chit, I wanted a blog that would give “spiritual people” permission to be human. I wanted a place where it was safe to explore the sacred nature of our flaws here in the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Q: Do you have a mission/goal with your life’s work? Explain either way.
B: Yes, it’s what I just said and more. I recently re-read something that defined perfection as “inclusive of everything.” I long to help people find radical inclusivity, aka “perfection” in all of the weirdness and wonder of being simultaneously human and divine.
Q: What is something that makes you feel vulnerable, but you do it anyway?
B: I always feel vulnerable when I put my words “out there,” whether through public speaking, writing or even a difficult conversation. I do it anyway because the urges to express, be helpful or be authentic are stronger than the fears that want to keep me silent.
Q: How do you show yourself radical self-love?
B: I spend lots of time with my dogs, Saraswati and Bartok. They are experts at giving and receiving unconditional love.
Q: What is your favorite self-care regimen?
B: I feel best when I can spend an hour or more hiking in the mountains with the dogs.
Q: When do you feel the most beautiful?
B: When I am in a state of awe and appreciation of the mysteries of existence.
Q: Do you have a daily spiritual practice? If so, describe it.
B: I do a brief prayer/meditation in the morning when I ask God to direct my day. I meditate and contemplate while I hike. I often read spiritual material. But most of my spiritual practice is doing my best to “take the meditation off the mat,” – that is applying conscious loving kindness and deliberate grace to all of the many tasks and interactions I perform daily.
Q: What does a Happy, Healthy Balance look like to you?
B: Lots of playfulness and joy infused in all of the things I do – writing, ministering, speaking, taking care of my loved ones, cooking, etc.
Q: Where can we find you?
1. What is the last meal you cooked?
B: Butternut squash soup.
2. Favorite food?
B: Chocolate chip cookies.
3. Favorite way to indulge?
B: Binge-streaming a really good show on Netflix.
4. What is your favorite way to move your body?
B: Hiking in the mountains.
5. Who is your girl crush?
B: Detective Olivia Benson on Law and Order SVU.
6. What is your spirit animal?
B: My Vizsla’s. (Hungarian Pointers)
7. What is one of your favorite quotes?
B: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver
8. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
B: The Irreverent Reverend
9. What is the best gift (material or not) that you have ever received?
B: My dogs.
10. What is your wish for the world?
B: Radiant compassion for all beings.
Isn't Bonnie fantastic?! I hope you all enjoyed this interview with her as much as I did. I felt like I got so many "ah-ha's" from it. Did you?
Well, I'll be back on Wednesday with a recap of my trip!