rowboat in the hurricane

As a writer, I have always tried to be an instiller of hope to my readers. I don’t want anyone to feel down. We’ve all been there. You know the feeling: adrift in a sea of troubles, waves crashing over the deck, and the horizon lost in a thick fog. Helpless. Hopeless. Powerless. Like you’re just a tiny rowboat caught in a hurricane. It’s easy to want to throw in the anchor, curl up in the bilge, and wait for the storm to pass. But here’s the thing: giving up is never the answer. Even when the fiercest gales are howling, there’s always a flicker of hope, a tiny ember glowing in the heart of the storm.

Think of hope like a stubborn lighthouse. It stands tall amidst the chaos, its beam cutting through the darkness, reminding you that there’s still land ahead. It might be faint, barely a speck on the horizon, but it’s there. And that is enough. Because that tiny speck is where your destination lies, a calm harbor waiting to welcome you after the storm.

Now, we all know storms can be disorienting. Sometimes, the crashing waves make it hard to see where you’re going. That’s where faith comes in. It’s the hand on the tiller, steady and strong, guiding you through the roughest seas. It’s the unwavering belief that even when you can’t see the way forward, there’s a higher power watching over you, a captain who knows the course even when the charts are washed away. Cling to that hope, my friend. Cling to the faith that there’s something bigger than the storm, a calm that awaits you on the other side. Because even the fiercest tempests eventually run out of steam. The sun will peek through the clouds again, and you, battered but not broken, will find the strength to steer your ship towards calmer waters. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. I wrote this so that next time you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of troubles, take a deep breath, and look for that glimmer of hope. Think about what you just read. At that stage, it might be a kind word from a friend, a beautiful sunset, or a simple act of compassion. Hold onto it, nurture it, and let it be your guiding light and rely on the divine. After all, the bravest sailors aren’t those who never face storms, but those who weather them with hope in their hearts.

advancing to new chapters

We’ve all been there – relentlessly replaying past hurts and mistakes over and over in our minds like a broken record. Maybe it was a missed career opportunity, or simply harsh words said in the heat of the moment hampering relationships. No matter what it was, you can’t seem to let it go. The memories keep you up at night, rehashing those painful scenarios and “what ifs” until your mind is utterly exhausted. Dwelling on the past is like dragging a heavy anchor behind you everywhere you go. With all that extra weight, it’s impossible to move forward and enjoy the journey ahead. You’ll just get stuck spinning your wheels in the mud, expending tons of energy but going nowhere fast. Life becomes an endless cycle of looking backward instead of being present and appreciating what you have right here and now. I get it, letting go is hard. Our past experiences, good and bad, have shaped us into who we are today. Rehashing them provides a strange sort of comfort, like putting on a ragged old sweater you’ve had forever. While it may be frayed, faded, and doesn’t fit quite right anymore, there’s still a familiarity to having it wrapped around you. But at some point, you’ve got to be willing to take that sweater off and toss it in the donation bin. Why? Because there are so many better things awaiting you when you finally let yourself advance to a new chapter.

Just think about a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. If it stayed too fixated on the caterpillar way of life, it would never experience the profound beauty and freedom of flying. Those days of inching along on tiny legs and munching on leaves have served their purpose. Now it’s time for something far greater – soaring high above it all with a breathtaking new perspective. Each phase has its purpose, but you can’t fully embrace the next one while trying to cling to the last. The universe has this funny way of putting obstacles and detours on our path to help re-route us towards something better, even if we can’t see it at the time. So instead of dwelling on past pains and mistakes, look for the signs revealing your new way forward. Maybe it’s a chance encounter, a nagging intuition, or a door that keeps opening back up. There’s an amazing new adventure on the horizon, one that’s custom-designed just for you. But you’ll never discover it if you don’t let go of what’s already behind you. Have courage and take that first step into the great unknown.

dreams not on your schedule

Have you ever been stuck waiting for something you really wanted? Maybe it was getting into your college, landing your perfect role at work, etc. The wait can be agonizing, right? You make all these plans in your head about how amazing life will be once you get what you’re after. But then…nothing happens. I’ve been there more times than I can count. When is it going to be my turn? Why does it seem to happen so easily for others? Is the universe just messing with me? Here’s the thing though – nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.

The best things in life, the ones that truly make you feel alive, always require patience. Think about a delicious, home-cooked meal simmering on the stove. You can smell the incredible aromas wafting through the kitchen. But if you rush it and take it off the heat too soon, you’re left with a bland, disappointing mess. Life works in a similar way. You can beg and plead all you want, but trying to force things before their time never works out well. Instead, you need to trust in the process, have faith that everything will unfold exactly as it’s meant to. When you’re fixated on an outcome, you miss out on the beauty of the journey itself. The next time you catch yourself stressing over when your wishes will be granted, take a breath. Step back and appreciate how far you’ve already come. Your dreams are coming, maybe not on your schedule, but on a timetable choreographed by a higher power that knows what’s best. All you can control is staying true to yourself and keeping an open heart. The rest will follow when the time is right.

greatest revolutions begin within

From the moment we enter this world, we are inundated with a relentless barrage of expectations – implicit and explicit demands to walk a certain path, to embrace specific roles and pursue sanctioned dreams. Voices from every direction proclaim the “right” way to live, the milestones we must dutifully check off, the narrow script we must follow to earn approval and recognition.

Obedient children become accomplished students, who grow into productive employees, partnering with equally ambitious mates to raise the next generation of societal contributors. All the while, we are benchmarked and prodded at every turn – Is your career suitably prestigious and remunerative? Have you accumulated the requisite markers of success – the upscale home, indulgent vacations, latest consumer goods? Those who stray from this well-trodden road risk being cast as outliers, eccentrics, or failures-to-launch. Their choices questioned, their priorities doubted, their very value scrutinized through the unforgiving lens of conventional metrics.

But what if we ceased to heed the siren song of society’s coercive dictates? What if we dared to forge our own paths, scripted not by external expectations but by the callings of our soul, the yearnings of our authentic selves? Imagine a world where we felt empowered to slough off the ill-fitting identities imposed upon us, to define our own values and compose lives aligned with our truest nature. A world where parents nurtured the innate gifts and curiosities of their children rather than funneling them into culturally-sanctioned molds. Where educators served as guides into the fertile territory of self-discovery rather than indoctrinators upholding a standardized status quo. In this world, we would feel liberated to explore the full dimensionality of our beings without judgment or constraint.

To embrace the seeming contradictions that make us whole – the gentle soul who finds serene communion with nature as well as the bold disruptor challenging archaic dogmas. The nurturing caregiver who is also an insatiable explorer of uncharted landscapes. The steadfast logician and the fearless dreamer. By living authentically, we may discover wellsprings of purpose and passion that the prescribed path failed to reveal. Perhaps the 9-to-5 corporate lifer was meant to be an artisan, sculpting sublime beauty from heat and flame. Maybe the disillusioned attorney is truly an interpreter and ambassador for the world’s cultures. The unfulfilled middle manager could awaken to their calling as a grower of life-sustaining foods. In this world, we would honor the value and dignity inherent to every pursuit that brings meaning and joy, regardless of its position on society’s stratified scales. For what greater contribution is there than to share one’s gifts in service of creating more light, beauty, understanding or sustenance in this world?

By breaking free from confined roles, we may also forge deeper connections with ourselves and one another. Freed from the relentless pursuit of status and acquisition, we could be more present partners, parents, friends and community members. We’d spend more quality time creating nurturing spaces of acceptance for those closest to us, allowing them to bloom into their most authentic selves. With our blinders removed, we may discover unifying threads of our shared humanity that transcend superficial identities and hierarchies. We could build bonds forged not in transactional calculations but in mutual understanding, vulnerability and respect for our fundamental sameness. In this more liberated world, our definitions of prosperity and legacy may evolve. Rather than measuring status in titles and net worth, we could find meaning in how our daily efforts shape the emotional, spiritual and physical landscape we’ll one day bequeath to future generations.

Will we leave behind nurturing homes and relationships, enriching wisdom and pursuits, sustainable practices honoring the Earth? By living aligned with our deepest values, we foster the conditions for our inherent gifts to be passed like precious heirlooms to those who’ll one day follow. Our most treasured legacy could be the courage to give full-throated voice and devoted action to our soul’s callings – no matter how unconventional or unrecognized by the prevailing paradigm. In committing ourselves to the relentless excavation and honoring of our authentic selves, we light the path for those who’ll one day walk this world. We give them permission to resist society’s coercive, homogenizing forces. To embrace their quirks and contradictions, to bring their whole, untamed selves to the sacred journey of life. In this way, we plant seeds for future generations to experience the liberating power of uncompromising self-discovery and self-actualization. To taste the profound fulfillment that can only bloom when we cast off the shackles of expectation and heed the calling of our soul’s code. For in doing so, we awaken to our highest potential and bear witness to an eternal truth – that the greatest revolutions often begin within.

a call for authenticity

In our contemporary world so focused on efficiency, productivity and external measures of success, it’s remarkably easy to lose touch with the profounder questions of what truly ignites our energy and bestows a sense of purpose to our daily existence. We can unconsciously find ourselves on autopilot, simply checking boxes and adhering to cultural expectations about career paths, status emblems and lifestyle choices without pausing to realign with the callings of our own authentic souls.

Yet at various points in life, we inevitably encounter experiences or existential awakenings that crack us open to a deeper hunger and seeking – a realization that merely going through motions somehow feels hollow and disconnected from any real meaning. We sense subterranean currents of sacred vitality gradually getting damned up, leaving us adrift in appetites for transcendence we can’t quite articulate.

Whether prompted by disillusionment, tragedy, transitions or just the natural progression of our consciousness at midlife and beyond, we begin opening to inquiry around how we might recalibrate our outer lives to feel more purposeful resonance with our innermost values, creative callings, and love offerings we’re here to share with the world in this breath. Not in some distant future once all the boxes get checked, but right now as an embodied and urgently present priority.

Living with purpose is a perpetually unfolding process of stripping away inherited personas, habituated identities and codependent accommodations we’ve defaulted into out of fear or unconsciousness. It asks us to dive inward through listening practices to clarify the forms of beauty, service and truth that most vividly inflame our integrity, curiosity and love – discovering the unique magic ingredient only we can contribute to the world’s healing.

With bravery and vulnerability, it means ruthlessly reorienting our time, resources and allegiances toward more intimate alignment with the sacred longings forever whispering through our souls – even if that creates upheaval in existing patterns. Because each day we don’t show up more authentically present to what beckons us feels like a subtle self-betrayal we can no longer abide.

It could involve everything from shifting careers, to establishing new communities, to creative expressions, to devotional practices, to new studies, to acts of outrageous generosity. But at its core, the purposeful life is an ongoing refusal to let life’s zest currents stagnate or remain dampened by existential resignation or too much fear. It’s about faithfully stoking and channeling those forces in unmistakable ways.

This is no idle Pollyanna-ish positivity we speak of, but an integration of life’s grit and grace that makes us come gloriously undone in service to magnifying the very beauty we’ve beheld. The road is full of deserts and mountains as much as gardens – cycles of necessary anguish, emptying and ego dismantling that ultimately baptize us in wells of a greater listening and surrendered passion beyond small self-preservation instincts.


Far too many of us move through life allowing fear to dictate our choices and limit our horizons. We instinctively avoid anything that might induce vulnerability, risk or potential failure – retreating into the safety of our comfort zones where all feels managed and predictable. Yet by letting these anxieties and self-protective impulses run the show, we miss out on so many of life’s initiations into personal growth, joy and unanticipated opportunities. Our world gradually begins shrinking inward as we find ourselves leading an increasingly constricted existence hemmed in by our own inhibitions. Fear can masquerade in many crafty forms – procrastination, excessive caution, imposter syndrome, analysis paralysis, addiction to certainty. At its core is the contraction of our life force, the shackling of our creativity and bravery. We trade the wildness of authentically showing up for a domesticated, pale version of living that feels like going through the motions rather than dancing full-out. Courage, by contrast, is the force that allows us to feel the fear but let it billow our sails rather than weigh us down with anchors of avoidance. It’s born by staring squarely at the gaping maws we’d rather ignore, then taking one step after another anyway embodied commitments to personal integrity and growth. For many of us, it first takes breaking a sweat to interrupt our fearful inertia. Doing one small defiant thing each day that upsets the apple cart of our well-worn grooves and makes our heart race a little – even if just momentarily. A candid conversation we’ve been avoiding. Finally sharing a piece of creative work after years of insecurity stalling us. Making travel plans to shift out of our physical and mental ruts. Courageously broaching an intimate truth. With each successive bout of leaning into the currents of discomfort and vulnerability rather than fighting them, we become incrementally desensitized to the panicky voices forever warning us to retreat to safety. We build the courage muscle, allowing us to navigate progressively wider stretches of choppy waters without defaulting to lifeboats of defensive withdrawal. Eventually, our small faithful steps yield a wealth of grit, resilience and an almost stubborn willingness to brave hazards that once held us hostage. We become larger lived, showing up more richly for all of life’s invitations rather than hiding out in the bland waiting rooms of our fears. Equally vital, that valorous inner fire fuels our confidence to take bigger leaps into the unknown – following those nudges that spark our vitality and have seemed too preposterous to attempt before. We give ourselves permission to vision from limitlessness rather than suspicion. To dream boldly and risk failure for the promise of inhabiting our highest integrity. Over time, our internalized definitions of courage and possibility continue expanding to integrate new heroic callings. What once loomed as terrifyingly impossible gradually transmutes into eminently achievable or even mundane with enough trailblazing. Through it all, we draw upon the simple yet defiant truth that our playing-it-safe defaults rob us of far more than any temporary hurdles we face. That the greatest loss lies in reflexively passed-up chances to stretch into our utmost aliveness. That fortune persistently favors the audacious. So we find the valor to forever overrule our fear impulses. Until at last, unbridled courage becomes not only our way of being, but the way of our being here at all.

the messy beauty of being perfectly imperfect

I have always had a feeling that the world around is endlessly trying to sell us on the myth of perfection. Constantly bombarding us with filtered images, idealized depictions of beauty, productivity, and success. The message seems to be that unless we sculpt ourselves into these flawless, blemish-free versions of human beings, we’re just not enough.

But you know what? I truly believe that perfection is overrated. And those endlessly curated, impossibly smooth social media feeds? They’re missing out on one of the juiciest, most delectable aspects of this wonderfully messy human experience – our breathtaking imperfections.

You see, it’s the cracks and flaws in our veneers that allow the brightest, most dazzling light to stream through. The quirks, the struggles, the mistakes – those are the places where we get to experience the real richness of being imperfectly, gloriously human.

Just think about it – a perfect life would ultimately be kind of boring, wouldn’t it? Where’s the growth, the depth, the opportunities to adapt and evolve if you never encountered a few plot twists, potholes, and detours along the way?Those”imperfect” periods of your life – the heartbreaks, the letdowns, the epic failures – they become the fertile compost that allows you to blossom into your most resilient, wise, and beautifully authentic self. Without them, you’d remain a tightly furled little bud, never truly glimpsing your full radiant potential.

So rather than beating yourself up for not having it all figured out, for being a deliciously messy work in progress, why not start embracing and even celebrating your quirks, flaws, and innate imperfections instead? They’re reminders that you’re constantly evolving, constantly growing, constantly forging new frontiers within yourself.

You aren’t static. You’re vibrantly, kinetically, perpetually alive in your imperfect radiance. A shimmering, ever-shifting kaleidoscope of glorious contradiction and messiness. That’s what makes you magnificently, unforgettably, powerfully human.Rather than shrinking away from your struggles and vulnerabilities, let them be the brushstrokes that exemplify the raw beauty and depth of your portrait. Let those “flaws” be the cracked places where your brilliance shines through unrestrained.Because in this crazy realm of existence, perfect is boring and imperfect is where the real magic happens. Forget sculpting yourself into tidy ideals – just stay wildly, messily, imperfectly committed to being your most vibrantly human self instead. That’s more than enough. That’s perfection.

lit up from the inside

Have you been sitting on a business idea, creative endeavor or passion project that you just can’t seem to find the time or motivation to actively pursue? Something that gets you excited and animated when you think about it, yet continually gets back-burnered amidst the demands of daily life? It’s all too common to let those sparks of inspiration and drive towards more purposeful work fizzle out before fully bringing them into reality.

We come up with entrepreneurial ideas but talk ourselves out of risking stability. We dream up inventive outlets for self-expression but never take the leap to share them with an audience. Those passion-kindled ambitions could potentially lead to new income streams, a revitalized sense of meaning and creative satisfaction…if only we didn’t let fear, self-doubt and endless procrastination kill their momentum before truly trying. If this rings true, it may be time to get intentional about carving out space to explore that kernel of a pursuit you can’t seem to fully let go of.

What’s holding you back from dusting it off and committing to taking the first, small step towards actualizing it? For many, it’s largely paralytic anxiety and worst case scenario thinking. What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough? What if I waste a bunch of time and money? Understandable worries, but not necessarily based in reality if we never take action to find out for sure. Letting them dictate inaction could mean missing out on something immensely gratifying. Moving a passion project from idea to genuine manifestation first requires giving yourself permission to embrace it wholeheartedly again. To reconnect with the genuine excitement and intrinsic motivation behind pursuing it, rather than shouldering it as another overwhelming obligation. It should be an endeavor that energizes you, not depletes you. From there, identify reasonable first steps you can take to simply get started and build some momentum.

Look for easy, appealing entry points that make it feel fun rather than daunting. Even small, seemingly inconsequential actions create an energetic snowball that makes doing more feel more achievable. The other major roadblock that causes passion projects to stall is getting bogged down in perfectionistic tendencies. This toxic mindset causes paralysis as we endlessly plan, prepare and polish while suffering from chronic “one more thing…” syndrome before we’ll allow ourselves to ship something out into the world. Ideally, find ways to embrace imperfect action early on. Start sharing your work while still rough, get feedback, then iterate from there. Follow the energy, not some aspirational ideal of flawlessness. The meaningful process of pursuing your passion deserves the chance to thrive. Maybe your passion becomes a lucrative side hustle. Maybe it stays a beloved after-hours hobby or creative outlet. Maybe it evolves into something you didn’t anticipate. But it will forever remain stuck in limbo if you never find the courage, discipline and self-belief to start. This could be the catalyst to unlocking new sources of enthusiasm, income and purpose in your life.

being works in progress

Rather than seeing uncertainty as something to fear or defeat, we would do well to accept it as a constant reality of being human. In a world of limitless possibilities, none of us has perfect clarity. We can only make choices based on our present understanding, which will forever evolve along with new knowledge and insights.

It’s easy to feel lost amidst life’s twists and turns. We all experience times when our plans don’t work out as intended, and uncertainty clouds our vision of what comes next. In those moments, it’s natural to look back with regret or forward with dread. However, dwelling in disappointment prevents us from appreciating how far we’ve truly come. Each step of our journey, whether triumphant or troubled, contributes to the person we become. We learn through both success and failure, with experience gradually granting wisdom that opening each new door cannot provide. What seems a mistake at the time may lead us exactly where we need to go. Though ambiguity can feel uncomfortable, it allows for growth that a rigid path could never foster. Rather than seeing uncertainty as something to fear or defeat, we would do well to accept it as a constant reality of being human. In a world of limitless possibilities, none of us has perfect clarity. We can only make choices based on our present understanding, which will forever evolve along with new knowledge and insights. This does not mean we lack agency, but that we retain the ability to reconsider our direction when wiser eyes see opportunities to adjust our course. The destination remains unwritten. But taking stock of how much we’ve learned since setting out reminds us that each new challenge, however daunting, has been met before. We’ve endured changes that once seemed impossible to imagine. And so we can find confidence that whatever comes, our ability to adapt and push forward will be enough. In these transient moments, it serves us to reflect on the resilience of the human spirit through history’s uncertain tides. Darkness does not erase the light-bearing stars; it but makes their gentle guidance ever more clear. So too will hope sustain us if we trust in the process that has shaped who we are – opening our eyes with patience, empathy and compassion to the rich experience of being works in progress.

fleeting and finite

Heard of “mono no aware” before? It’s this Japanese concept about the fleeting beauty of life. It’s like enjoying a beautiful sunset, knowing it won’t last forever, which makes it even more precious. That’s life – it’s fleeting, but that’s what makes it so sweet.

You know, when I sit back and think about it, life’s really like this incredible story, where each of us has our own unique chapter. I mean, here I am now at this very moment, and I’ve begun to see how quickly it all goes by. It’s like we’re on this journey, right? And we’re so busy chasing forever, we forget that every moment is like this precious gem. We’re always looking ahead, and sometimes we don’t see the beauty of now.

Life as one of those perfect summer days. It starts with a sunrise, full of promise, and ends with a sunset that just takes your breath away. In between, there’s this chance to really live, to love, to learn. But we often walk through life as if our supply of days is never-ending. What if we really grasped how short our time here is and decided to make every day count?

Think about the last time you saw someone you loved, not knowing it would be the last. If you knew, wouldn’t you have held onto each moment a bit tighter? That’s what I’m starting to do now. I’m trying to appreciate every conversation, every quiet moment of reflection. It’s about living in the present, not just using it as a stepping stone to something else.

Life’s not about its length. It’s more like this vast canvas where we get to paint our story. We’re given a finite amount of time, but what we do with it – that’s limitless. Instead of moaning about how little time we have, why not make every scene, every act count? It’s about creating a life so rich in experiences that each moment is lived fully, felt deeply.

You know, we often look outside ourselves for the meaning of life. But what if the real deal is inside us? Maybe we’re the ones who give meaning to our experiences. We’re like the playwrights of our own lives, and we have the power to make it a masterpiece filled with love, challenges, joy, and learning.

And let’s talk about struggles. They’re not just roadblocks, you know? They shape us, make us who we are, and reveal our true strength. Facing these challenges head-on can turn our journey into something incredibly powerful, a process that forges resilience and wisdom.

Heard of “mono no aware” before? It’s this Japanese concept about the fleeting beauty of life. It’s like enjoying a beautiful sunset, knowing it won’t last forever, which makes it even more precious. That’s life – it’s fleeting, but that’s what makes it so sweet.

So here’s the big question: How do we want to spend this brief time we have? Do we get lost in the mundane, or do we choose to embrace every moment, love with all our heart, and make our mark?

In the grand scheme of things, our time might be just a whisper in the universe. But in that whisper, there’s a chance to leave a lasting echo. So, what’s your echo going to be?