Paths to Restoration

24 Episodes

By: Ed Cyzewski

Leaders in spirituality, creativity, and productivity share how social media and technology intersects with their work, how they guard themselves from the dark side of technology, and which spiritual practices bring healing and restoration into their lives. Ed Cyzewski, author of Reconnect: Spiritual Restoration from Digital Distraction and Flee, Be Silent, Pray, conducts each interview and shares how his research and writing intersects with mental and spiritual well-being.

Should We Reevaluate Our Spiritual Leaders?

This week I'm sharing a short podcast based on my latest blog post about how we evaluate the trustworthiness of our spiritual leaders. What if we are using the wrong criteria? Based on the many popular Christian leaders who have had scandals, we have a lot of work to do. 

Too many well-meaning leaders have been crushed by the entrepreneurial, corporate-influenced model of pastoral leadership in America. Far, far too many church attending Christians have been burned by abusive leadership systems and toxic church cultures.

If we have this many prominent names leading double...

Are We Too Distracted by Online Hate to See In Person Love?

The highs and lows each week often include disturbing news stories or social media posts that leave us concerned about the bad behavior of others. Since social media naturally amplifies agitating content, it's no wonder that the worst behavior is often gaining the most attention. Can we take some time this week to step away from the fear-inducing content in the news and on social media? Can we grow our awareness of God's love today, remembering that God made the first step toward us? 

Simple Prayer for Complex Times

It feels like the problems we face are only growing more complex during the pandemic. As we feel the weight of so many things piling up, some simple prayers may be what we need the most right now. Using Thomas Merton's book Contemplative Prayer as a jumping off point, I share a few simple prayer words and practices that I've found to be helpful as the complexities of our world only seem to increase. 

What can you control today?

Control is a complicated word. I have a love hate relationship with it. Control is a source of anxiety and conflict many times when it comes to other people. Yet, self-control is a vital spiritual discipline. What does a healthier relationship with "control" look like for people of faith who are saturated with news about events that appear threatening or troubling yet far beyond our control? 

How Can We Practice Hopefulness?

In this brief solo episode, Ed Cyzewski, author of Reconnect: Spiritual Restoration from Digital Distraction, asks whether we've started to expect the worst because of our traumatic past four years. How can we remain engaged in the important issues of our time, such as poverty, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic while also giving ourselves space to be hopeful?  

Examine Your Thoughts in Difficult Times

After the alarming insurrection at the Capitol building in America, how can we reset our thoughts and regain a sense of mental grounding and spiritual balance? This week's episode offers a few strategies for facing a difficult moment, such as a disruptive national crisis, and offers some next steps--that is, besides not voting for people in the future who will cause a national crisis! 

What are we expecting in the new year?

In this solo episode, Ed Cyzewski asks what we're expecting in the new year. Are we waiting for the worst to happen? Are we immersed in the bad news on social media and news sites to the point that we have lost hope for anything good? Or are we waiting expectantly for God, remaining grounded in the present moment in faith? 

Examining What Worked and Didn't Work in 2020

What worked in 2020? Before you answer "NOTHING!", consider for a moment the areas in your life where you felt at peace and grounded. How can you make more space for that? Are there changes you can make in 2021 that will help you stay rooted in God's presence and love? Now is as good a time as any to make small, incremental changes that can really grow and blossom in the course of a full year. 

In this episode, Ed Cyzewski shares how he's making changes in preparation for 2021 and making more space for life giving, soul...

How Can We Recover from the Trauma of COVID-19?

We are going through a unique moment of shared trauma. Even caregivers have to find ways to cope with the trauma of this moment, and that is just the start of the challenges we face since safety measures have been politicized and made controversial. This brief solo podcast explores some ways to pursue soul care at a time when we face the challenges of isolation, imperfect technology, and misinformation. 

Can Our Spiritual Practices Keep Up with the Crazy?

As we speculate about what a new year and a new president will bring in America in 2021, there are some larger trends to consider. The nature of politics and social media may prove especially challenging for our spiritual health and mental well-being. One school of thought in political analysis believes that negative partisanship is what has been driving our most recent elections and expect it to only grow if our social media and news media environments remain unchanged. How can our spiritual practices keep up with the crazy that may be coming our way? 

Why We Need More Conversations (and Podcasts)

In this solo episode of Paths to Restoration, author Ed Cyzewski shares about the vision for this podcast. Moving forward we need to share more fact-based conversations about pressing issues such as the COVID pandemic and the rise of anti-vaccine social media posts. This is a time when the credibility of Christians is on the line, to say nothing of the thousands of lives that could be lost if we can't achieve herd immunity due to misinformation about the vaccine or medical experts. 

We'll still have interviews from time to time, but this podcast will also...

Christiana Peterson on Mystics and Being "Awakened by Death"

We can use our phones to avoid the more challenging and uncomfortable aspects of life, and none may prove more challenging to ponder than our own mortality. Author Christiana N. Peterson shares what she learned from the mystics and how she has shaped her spiritual practices accordingly. Be sure to check out her books at her website or Amazon: Awakened by Death and Mystics and Misfits. 

Kris Camealy on Devotions and Spiritual Practices for Advent

Kris Camealy has one message to share, and it's a doozy: surrender. Surrender isn't easy, and it often shows up as times of waiting in our lives. During this episode Kris shares about her devotional writing, her book on Surrender (Everything Is Yours), and how she is caring for her soul at a time when there are plenty of distractions to find on social media. Learn more about Kris and her books at her website: 

Post Election Soul Care Ideas

There is a lot of fear and anxiety over the outcome of the election and the transition process. How can we recover from the emotional and soul care challenges of the election and develop long term soul care strategies to carry us through the months and years ahead? In this brief solo episode, Ed Cyzewski talks through some ideas for social media, news, and soul care resets over the coming days. 

Ray Hollenbach and Ed Cyzewski Discuss Spiritual Formation and Social Media

How can you change your phone use so that you have more control over it? Which spiritual practices have proven most helpful for pastors new to these disciplines? What will you read during Advent this year? Pastor and author Ray Hollenbach has a lot of wisdom and insight to share in this wide ranging episode on spiritual practices and healthier smartphone practices. Connect with Ray and check out his advent book, 25 Days of Christmas: A Devotional for Incredibly Busy People, at  

Compassion and Truth After the Election

In this solo episode, author Ed Cyzewski shares about the ongoing soul searching in America after the 2020 election, including the questions so many are asking about why our nation is so divided over a man who clearly mismanaged the pandemic response. There aren't easy answers, but in sharing his own story, Ed offers a few ideas about how truth and compassion, joined together, can help us as we ponder what's next. 

Election Day Soul Care Ideas

Election day is coming up in America.  While most people already have a voting plan in place, do you also have a soul care plan? In this solo episode, Ed Cyzewski talks about the sources of our anxiety and stress at this time,  the ways media can feed anxiety and stress, and some soul care ideas to help you stay grounded throughout election day and the uncertain days that will follow. 

Paths to Restoration: Catherine McNeil and Ed Cyzewski

Catherine McNeil is the author of All Shall Be Well and Long Days of Small Things. She shares how parenthood helped her seek spiritual practices throughout each day, despite many interruptions, and how living with an awareness of seasons changing offers a more sustainable rhythm than the quick fix of social media. Connect with her at 

Paths to Restoration: Elizabeth Maxon and Ed Cyzewski

Elizabeth Maxon is the author of Begin and Wonderland and hosts the Breathing Room, an online community for women who engage in spiritual practices every week together. In our interview we talk about the challenges of using social media, how connecting over video has been life-giving, and some simple boundaries and practices to increase your intention when using social media and making space for daily prayer.   Learn more at

Paths to Restoration: Shawn Smucker and Ed Cyzewski

Shawn Smucker is the author of These Nameless Things, The Day the Angels Fell, and Light from Distant Stars. He is the co-host of The Stories Between us with his wife Maile, sharing their journeys as writers together. Learn more at

Paths to Restoration: Steve Wiens and Ed Cyzewski

Pastor and author Steve Wiens shares about his book Shining Like the Sun and the spiritual practices that guide him. As a pastor in Minneapolis, Wiens has been involved in activism for justice and equality alongside fellow clergy in his community. Wiens also shares about the challenges of pastoring people at a time of quarantine during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Paths to Restoration: Lisa Delay and Ed Cyzewski

Podcast host, author, and spiritual director Lisa Delay shares how she uses social media to share her work while remaining aware of the many challenges of empty virtue signaling for social media. Lisa discusses how she places boundaries around her use to guard her soul and how spiritual practices bring renewal each day.

Paths to Restoration: Marlena Graves and Ed Cyzewski

Marlena Graves (@MarlenaGraves), author of A Beautiful Disaster and The Way Up Is Down, shares her approach to social media, viewing Twitter as a kind of cafeteria where she replies to people the same way she would speak with them in person. She also shares how she posts on social media based on her experiences and expertise while elevating the voices of experts and others who have wisdom to share.

Paths to Restoration: Seth Haines and Ed Cyzewski

Seth Haines (@sethhaines), the author of Coming Clean and the Book of Waking Up, shares with Ed Cyzewski about the ways he uses social media, the limits he places on his technology use, and the practices that express his creativity and restore his soul.