email sent January 4, 2016

Subject: Potpourri…

… or, You Can Find Your Life’s Porpoise in the Ocean

I have no health update to report except to say that all is well. My next CT scan isn’t until near the end of February. For the new year, I’m sharing some recent learnings and reaffirmations. They are all related, at least tangentially, if you wish to see them in that light.

A childhood friend said it well, ”Miracles abound when not denied.” A great winning attitude, as is striving to welcome grace into our lives.

“Gratitude opens a crack in consciousness that lets grace in.” Harry Palmer

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” Annie Lamott

Manifestation naturally follows acceptance, and service naturally follows manifestation.

Dennis Saleebey taught that hope and possibility are the ingredients for change and recovery. Hope has a storied history and continues to drive us to achieve loftier goals. Hope, we are told, was all that remained inside when Pandora resealed the jar. I also learned that Aphrodite had shed grace upon Pandora’s head, along with “cruel longing and cares that weary the limbs” as described by a contemporary of Homer.

Cole Thompson, a photographer, wrote the following in his blog: “I’ve long understood the role of Vision in creating work that I love, but now I’m beginning to appreciate the role of Passion as being nearly as important. With Vision I can create unique images. With Passion comes an excitement that drives me. And while I might use each one individually to some success, I now realize that my best work is created at the intersection of Vision and Passion.” I appreciated this observation, it enabled me to identify the most compelling reasons behind my choice of favorite images. Even more impressive was that this message has applicability to all pursuits.

I recently happened upon what is now one of my all-time favorite TED talks, How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes, by Adam Leipzig, a highly accomplished movie and theater producer. It sounded so gimmicky and brief that I had to listen. I admit I grew even more skeptical when I saw that it was ten and a half minutes long. At his 25th college reunion Leipzig observed that only 20% of the attendees were happy, despite the high degree of financial success of all of these Yale graduates. He learned the following from speaking to the 20%. “I discovered that each of them knew something about their life purpose because they knew five things: who they were, what they did, who they did it for, what those people wanted or needed, and what they got out of it – how they changed as a result.” He led the audience in identifying those five things for themselves. Only the first two are about ourselves, the other three are outwardly directed. People relate to us for what we can uniquely share with them. What gives our lives purpose is how we change or transform others as a consequence of what we give them. Leipzig also noted that “happier people make it a point to make other people happy, and do things that make them feel well taken care of and secure. If you make other people happy, life teaches us, we will be taken care of, too.”

I highly recommend that you watch this video and share it with others. It’s universally relevant… we’re never too old to learn our purpose and our purpose can, and often does, change. The speaker is far more convincing than I and he finishes his talk with the best way to answer the everyday question, “So, what do you do?”


(If you’re willing, I’d love to hear of your life’s purpose. I won’t share it without your permission.)

“When I let go of what I am, I fully become what I might be.” Lao Tzu

With love, gratitude and purpose and wishes for a wonderful new year,


p.s. “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” Walter Bagehot It is especially true if you are one of those people saying you cannot do it.