Click here to visit Marian Bell's website
Mass Prayer (11/8) Peace Awards Dinner (11/8) Book Fairs (11/8 & 11/1 - 11/15) Met Dance (11/21 - 11/22) FotoFest Exhibit (through 11/29) Gandhi at the Menil (through 2/1/15) SPOTLIGHT: Teen and Family Services WORKSHOPS & MORE About SPIRIT PICKS About GISH CREATIVE
Click here to visit The Healing Space's website


Welcome to SPIRIT PICKS: A GUIDE TO INSPIRING ACTIVITIES IN HOUSTON! You are receiving this email either because you signed up for it or because it’s something I thought would be of interest to you. If you would like to unsubscribe, please do so using the link in the footer of this email. And if you’re in Facebooklandia, please sidle over there and LIKE our page.

I’ve been producing a blog/e-newsletter called GISH PICKS: A GUIDE TO CULTURAL ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES for over ten years so I decided it was time to expand my horizons to match my interests in culture and art, meditation, spiritual events, healthy living, and organizations that enlighten and inspire Houstonians. Each month, I will highlight six inspiring events (“PICKS”) and one “SPIRIT SPOTLIGHT” (an inspiring bricks-and-mortar place) as well as products, classes and workshops, and services.

SPIRIT PICKS will always be free to my readers so I’ll need advertising support to offset the cost of researching, writing, and designing it. If you are interested in advertising, please contact me. And so that we can spread the news of these great happenings in Houston, please share this information far and wide via email and social media with your friends and family members that might be interested or send them this link:

Happy Birthday to SPIRIT PICKS! It’s been a full year of PICK-ing inspiring events and I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey as much as I have. My goal is to open your eyes to all the eclectic, marvelous, and interesting events that Houston has to offer each month – and I’m thrilled that I’ve uncovered many hidden gems along the way. Thank you to all my faithful advertisers – artMIXstudio; Sally Bartolameolli; Marian Bell; Bright Sky Press; Brigid's Place; Angela Caughlin; Clean is Good; Dawn Mountain; Discovery Green; Float Houston; Global Organization for Divinity; Guide to Good Divorce; Houston Ayurveda Wellness Center; Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; Houston Footlights Theatre; Inprint; Interfaith Ministries; Jennyoga; Jyoti Maa; Mildred's Umbrella Theater Company; Mountainfilm Houston; A Moveable Feast; Angela Passaretti; Robert Reed; Dr. Monica Roberson; Rothko Chapel; Salata Westchase; Samskriti; Smith Opticians; and Stark Naked Theatre. I couldn’t have published SPIRIT PICKS each month without all of you! Please make a note of these organizations and support them whenever you can.

I will be celebrating this milestone every year with a special SPIRIT PICKS ART CONTEST, which was sponsored this year by artMIXstudio, a groovy and creative place that hosts weekly adult art classes as well as a slew of ones for the kiddos. The contest idea all started with a phrase that I wrote:

Inspiring realities take root in wild visions.

I wanted an artist to create an image inspired by that phrase so I put out a call for entries on Facebook. Happily, I got 8 terrific ones by passionate artists that you can see here. The public voted by LIKE-ing the art and voila – we had a winner of $100! Congratulations to Janise Cookston, whose image is below. She’s very talented and was able to capture the essence of the sentence with her vision. I can’t wait for next year: I’ll enlist a local Houston writer to come up with a phrase and we’ll again put out a call for entries. SPIRIT PICKS is all about letting the creativity flow…

Janise Cookston,

November is a busy time of year, with the holidays starting and all the hustle and bustle. If you’re a curious sort (like me), here’s a great list of faith celebrations of all kinds. I hope you’ll relax into this season and take the time to enjoy family and friends and also to go within a bit. I host monthly labyrinth walks, as do many of my friends, so if you’re interested in joining us along the path, please check out our Facebook page. My next walk will be Saturday, December 13, 10am at the Historic Freedman’s Town Labyrinth. If you’d like to know about other upcoming walks, here’s a handy list compiled by Bayou City Magazine.

Have a great November, hug those you love, and happy PICK-ing!

Picks for the Month of November, 2014


An outdoor mass congregational prayer with the chanting of the Divine Names will be held for the benefit of the community on Saturday, November 8, 5pm at Namadwaar Prayer House located at 3642 Bailey Ave in Manvel, Texas. This event is organized by Global Organization for Divinity, a worldwide nonprofit charity organization that is very active in the Houston area. Prayers with the Name of God are extremely powerful when experienced by thousands of people across the world – and this practice serves as a bridge across faiths that brings people together. Mr. M. K. Ramanujam from India, a world-renowned inspirational speaker, will lead the prayer session with an address (in English), which will be followed by prayer and chanting of the Divine Names. Mr. Ramanujam is a disciple of His Holiness Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji of India, who constantly advocates the efficacy of prayers with the Divine Names and emphasizes that divinity manifests itself where the Divine Names are chanted, thus making congregational chanting very effective and fulfilling. At the prayer event, Mr. Ramanujam will share his Master’s vision of calling attention to the power of the Divine Names to all those in need of prayer. This is a non-denominational prayer and all are welcome.

This special and spiritual day begins at 8am with a groundbreaking ceremony held at the same location for the construction of a new prayer house building for Namadwaar, which has been functional in the Pearland/Manvel area since February 2010. The evening's program will begin at 4pm with an Indian devotional music performance by Swara Raga Laya and then an Indian choir led by eminent Houston singer and teacher Mrs. Rajarajeshwary Bhat. Following that will be the mass prayer talk and chanting at 5pm. A simple dinner will be provided after the event.

For more information, please contact 281.402.6585 or

Mass Prayer Invitation

CodePink Protest


The Houston Peace and Justice Center is hosting their annual Peacemaker Dinner Awards on Saturday, November 8, from 6-9:30pm at the University of Houston Hilton Hotel. This year’s keynote speaker and award recipient is Medea Benjamin, founder of CodePink and the international human rights organization Global Exchange. Benjamin has been an advocate for social justice for more than 30 years and was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide. She received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation in 2010, and the 2012 Peace Prize by the US Peace Memorial. She is a former economist and nutritionist with the United Nations and World Health Organization.

There will also be a special reception with Medea Benjamin on the afternoon of November 8 from 4-5:30pm at the home of Lee and Hardy Loe at 1844 Kipling Street for those who would like to make an additional donation to support HPJC's work for peace and justice. Medea will be signing her new book, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, following the dinner, ceremonies, and keynote. Copies will be available for sale there; people who pay for both the dinner and special reception will get a complimentary copy of Medea's book and can get it autographed at the reception.



It’s a busy month for book fairs and how lucky are we! Here’s three not to miss:



MET dance opens its 19th season with "INDIVISIBLE" at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts on November 21 at 8pm and November 22 at 7:30pm. Numbers are the universal language used to count, label, measure, and define value. This collection of work celebrates MET’s constant and solid foundation and some continual growth in the exploration and drive to create and explore larger issues and esoteric issues such as numbers. With new choreography as the prime mission of MET Dance, the company will present the works of four diverse men including Joe Celej, Steven Vaughn, Larry Keigwin, and jhon r. stronks.

The Hobby Center is located at 800 Bagby Street. For tickets, please click here.



FotoFest presents their annual showcase, “Collector’s Eye,” with an exhibition of the Maloney Collection, on view through November 29 at the Silver Street Studios, headquarters to FotoFest. James Maloney is a collector and attorney and a past member of the Boards of Directors of both FotoFest and the Houston Center for Photography. He is presently a member of the Board of Trustees at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and a member of the Photography Collections Committee of the Museum. Mr. Maloney has been collecting photography since the late 1980s. His collection includes American, French, Swiss, German, Czech, Hungarian, and South American photographers.

Silver Street Studios are located at 2000 Edwards Street and gallery hours are Wednesdays-Saturdays, 11am-5pm (closed holidays). Special events with this exhibition include the “Second Saturday” with the artists on November 8, 2-5pm and a Curator Talk and Exhibit Tour on Thursday, November 20, 6:30pm.

Gandhi's Possessions


The Menil Collection presents “Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence”, through February 1, 2015. This is the first international project to explore the resonance of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s (1867-1948) ethics of non-violence, or “satyagraha,” in the visual arts. On view will be approximately 130 works spanning several centuries including paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, sculptures, rare books, and films by artists from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The exhibition’s themes echo the expansive humanitarian concerns of the Menil Collection’s founders, John and Dominique de Menil.

Among the diverse artworks and artifacts on display will be iconic photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson from the tumultuous time of India’s independence and partition in 1947, along with another group taken just before and immediately after Gandhi’s assassination in 1948. The exhibition will also include works by living artists such as Mel Chin, Marlene Dumas, Suzan Frecon, Theaster Gates, Robert Gober, Shilpa Gupta, Amar Kanwar, William Kentridge, Kimsooja, Ai Weiwei, and Zarinan as well as examples by Eve Arnold, Margaret Bourke-White, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dan Flavin, Yves Klein, René Magritte, Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Jean Tinguely, Shômei Tômatsu, and Andy Warhol.

The Menil Collection is located at 1533 Sul Ross and is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11am-7pm. The Museum is always free of charge.

Spirit Spotlight


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The purpose of SPIRIT PICKS is to make you think and to ignite your life. It is a friendly portal of information for those who affiliate with an organized religion, for those who call themselves spiritual, for those who are “free-spirited,” and for those who are agnostics or atheists. This monthly list of events, places, workshops, and more will be varied enough so that everyone, no matter their beliefs, can find something of interest. If you see anything that you think would be good to include in SPIRIT PICKS, please email me.

Do you have something you would like to promote in SPIRIT PICKS? You can promote it to Houstonians all over the city and the surrounding area who are interested in living a fully conscious, happy, and healthy life. We love doing this community service and want to keep it free for our readers but in order to justify the hours spent researching, writing and designing this newsletter, we need advertising support. If you'd like to learn more, please click below.

Advertise in SPIRIT PICKS!

If you are having trouble getting to a website listed here, try hitting the "Ctrl" button and left-clicking on the web address, which should make it "live".

For more about my personal, family, and business enrichment company, Gish Creative, and the services we offer, please click here. You are on this list because I thought this e-newsletter would be helpful to you or because you signed up for it. Please feel free to tell your friends to subscribe by clicking here. My goal is to serve as an information resource for Houstonians through my various endeavors, including:

  • GISH PICKS: A GUIDE TO CULTURAL ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES, which is online and emailed out to thousands of parents and caregivers;

  • SPIRIT PICKS: A GUIDE TO INSPIRING ACTIVITIES IN HOUSTON, which is online and emailed out to seekers all over Houston;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE, a searchable database of over 200 Houston day camps and classes for kids and teens;

  • IGNITE YOUR LIFE!, my art project and community campaign whose goal is to inspire everyone around the world to light a fire to their own passions and to create connections among people;

  • INTUITIVE GUIDANCE SESSIONS, which are one-on-one consultations with me at Body Mind & Soul on personal and/or work questions. Sessions are one hour or thirty minutes;

  • Bi-monthly “WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE?” workshops at Body Mind & Soul, check the store’s online calendar for dates and more information; and

  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, MARKETING, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, GUIDANCE SESSIONS FOR FINDING YOUR PURPOSE, and ART PROGRAMS. Talks and workshops cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, activism, and more. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.

Sarah Gish
Sarah Gish
(Photo: Two Birds Photography)

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone: 713.492.1173

© 2014 Sarah Gish

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