The greatest gift life offers us is the ability to build with our hands what’s in our hearts. I can promise you this: if you consistently shout about what you love, let people know what you want to do, possibilities start to show up. At your doorstep, over coffee, in your inboxes. Some you hope for and some you never even imagined existed. They come from close friends, people you’ve just met, and people you knew a lifetime ago. So please, don’t wait. You don’t have any time to waste. None of us do. Seek our opportunities to do what you love. And if you don’t find them, then make them. Manifest. Raise your voice. Move your feet. Find your pack. Rise, and lift others on your way up. Choose joy.
Sometimes you think you’re opening a door to an experience and the door doesn’t lead where you thought it would. It leads you to another door. Once you know that, pass through that room, learn what you can on the way, and go through the next door. Your purpose is elsewhere and life is short. Move on, grateful for the experience, knowing you got what you needed even if it wasn’t what you wanted. The best things that happen to me have nothing to do with my plans and everything to do with my presence. That door you walked through was just a path, not home. And that’s okay. You never know what may come of it, who you impacted on that journey, and how it may circle back in miraculous ways. Walk through that room, head up, eyes up, and with grace. You got this. Choice is a gift; treasure it.
Yesterday, I did an interview for a podcast called How Humans Change. I spoke with hosts Josh Chambers and Leiv Parton about change, transformation, death, trauma, writing, mental health, choices, poverty, technology, career, the passage of time, therapy, science, dinosaurs, biomimicry, super powers, and how healing, while difficult, is the best motivator of all. It’s my most personal interview to-date.
Some people who hear it will be surprised, and others will have answers to some long outstanding questions that I have rarely discussed in the past. I’m making a more concerted effort to address these topics thoughtfully, authentically, and often.
I always love meeting members of my tribe and these guys are definitely part of it. Thank you to my amazing friend and mentor, John Bucher, for connecting me to them. I’ll share the episode link when it’s live. Until then, give their first season a listen by clicking here.
“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.” ~Jack Kerouac
No matter you age, your past choices, or your current situation, every day is a blank page. You can see it as empty, or you can see it as an opportunity. It’s the same page, just a different perspective. Your move.
I was walking home from a memorial service yesterday. The person being honored at the service poured his love into the universe, into every person he met, and it came back to him many times over when he needed it most. Even in the depths of his incurable illness, he found the light that every day offered. Right to the end. His life is a powerful example of the glow that comes from the blank page. He could do anything he wanted, and he chose to be of service, to create community, to welcome love into his life with wide open arms. And because of those choices, his impact will far outlast his much-too-short life. We should all be so lucky, and we can be, if we choose to be.
“The 3 C’s in life: choice, chance, change. You must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change.” ~anonymous
This weekend I said yes to a very big chance. I never imagined this kind of opportunity was out there. I never imagined I’d be asked to take it. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out. But something in me knew this was not a coincidence, that I had to try, despite the fact that it’s a very long shot that it would work out. And you know what? It felt liberating. It felt empowering to just try. And no matter how this goes, maybe that’s the lesson—say yes and try.
“I wondered about the explorers who’d sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed to discover, instead, places they had seen only in their dreams.” ~Jodi Picoult,
Sometimes we don’t know what we’re driving toward. We just have the insatiable desire to try something new, to explore, to discover. Don’t worry that it won’t work, that you won’t be right for an opportunity. Leave yourself in the running to have a new experience. Trust that who you are in this moment is enough to become who you want to be in the next moment. Take a chance. Be an explorer. That’s the only choice that fosters change and creates a new reality out of dreams.
I’ve been using this piece of art as a focal point for my meditation since I found it about a week ago. I bought it immediately, and added it to my art collection. Balancing the head and the heart is the challenge of our lives. It’s a daily process, and one that I’m intently working on. Like a tightrope walker traveling among the stars, all I can do is put one foot in front of the other. I’m learning, one decision, one choice, at a time.
“Better an ‘oops’ than a ‘what if?”” ~Beau Taplin
Why are we so afraid of making a mistake or looking like fools? Are we afraid of embarrassment? Of ridicule? Of pain? Of failure? I got over the feeling of rejection a long time ago. I have seen too many people miss their chance, too many people settle for lives that are less than what they really wanted. And by the time they could really admit that to themselves, the time was gone. It was too late. Their lives have been a cautionary tale for me. I stopped waiting and hoping and wanting, and I just decided to give it all a whirl. Everything. And a lot of things haven’t worked out, and a lot of things have. And none of it would have been possible if I didn’t decide to try. So now at least I go to bed at night knowing I didn’t leave anything on the table. I play every card I have every day, knowing that tomorrow I get a new hand.
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
It can be hard to see the future so clearly while living in the present. We see change marching in our direction, and we want to adapt, we need to adapt. Others refuse to recognize it, and do everything we can to help others see what we see, hear what we hear, and they can’t or won’t.
Years ago, Brian told me that I see what I see and I know what I know, and that’s what’s made all the difference in my life. That’s the basis from which I had to make my decisions, and so I did. I stopped worrying about what other people thought about my choices. I stopped worrying about being judged or criticized or misunderstood. I just decided to do the best I could with what I had and what I knew.
And you know what? It was the best decision I ever made. I chose to be free.
So you go right on dancing and believing and creating. Let your life be a beautiful expression of exactly who you are.
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” ~Jack Kerouac
Sure I could have made choices that were safer, and quite frankly, a hell of a lot easier. Despite the tough journey to this moment, especially these last few difficult years, I’m in love with my life. My friends, the city I call home, my work, my creative projects, my writing. I climbed the mountain, and the view is spectacular. And I intend to keep climbing. No regrets.