The Work

It is not easy to stand in front of a group of people and share your heart.  It is not easy to be vulnerable and share your dream, and that is what I have always done.  

I will turn 66 in May.  My life has been a life of shared joy, passion and positivity with schools, teachers, students, administrators and parents.  I have shared my dreams and passion with anyone kind enough to listen.  Listeners in large auditoriums, lecture halls, and classrooms.  I have always done my best to answer the call.  Airplanes, trains, and automobiles and sometimes a good long walk.  If you asked, I was there.

I was a young man when this started.  Sharing a passion more ancient than my years.  I am an older man now, knowing that the "Work" still is not complete.  I am renewed everyday in the "Work."  Every face I've seen, every hand I have held, every heart I've touched is a part of me.

My message now comes from a place deep in my soul.  The Work comes from a place that has known decades of life and death.  The Work now comes from a place that only those courageous enough to be vulnerable and authentic understand.  The Work is always about compassion, courage, empathy, connection and service.

I have always loved the work.
I have always loved you; listener, student, friend.
I have always loved my friends.
I have always loved my family.
Somedays I am barely able to stand.
Most days I am thrilled to be able to walk.
I am still sharing the message.
I am still answering the call.
I am here with you, my voice, my heart, my soul.
After 45 years on the road, I am still here.
The road is long, dark, cold, ice and snow and long hours away from home.
I have never forgotten where I've been.
I am clear on where I am going.
Every speech, every class, every conversation is a step homeward.
My daughter has always been my angelic guide.
My sons continue to be my teachers.
My friends are always in my heart.
Sandra is my love.
I always find my way home.

Feel the Fear and Continue Living

Fear is an unwanted companion.  
He has taught me to be safe and he has also taught me to stop growing.

At every moment of my experience with pain, fear is there teaching both lies and truth.  In truth he reminds me how much I love this life.  I never want to lose my life and more intimately I never want those I dearly love to leave this life.  I cannot imagine life without my beloved Sandra.  And the world would hold so much less pure love without my angelic Ashley.

As I face my fear, I have learned that in my most vulnerable moments, I am my most authentic.

When in the presence of pain or stress, it is easy to see everything as an opponent to be battled.  Sometimes we see the light in the form of the cleaning lady entering your daughter's room in Intensive Care with a yellow flower in her hair and a sunny greeting in her voice.  It is then we know, in every instance we have choice.

See the pain, see the stress 
or see the blessing and feel the grace. 

We must face the fear and move forward even as we tremble.  We must feel this moment and know that this is only one moment in a great universe of truth.  The truth that is filling us, moving us forward, infusing us with courage, so we can stand in the light of a greater, more loving truth.

What is essential?

The challenges of life have moved me to dislike small talk.  I am only interested in what is essential.  In the past, my focus and authenticity has frightened some people.  Now in my 60's, I ask what is essential and others seem drawn to the essence of my question.  They see the light through the conversation.

The dialogue of what is essential is how we learn and love each other.

We are transformed through the story of connection and compassion.

I am blessed to share my life with Sandra.  I am in awe of her compassion, empathy, caring and courage.  As she sits by our daughters bedside in Intensive Care, I am humbled by her unconditional love.  I thank God everyday for the grace and blessing that is Sandra.

Everyone she touches is enhanced.

Love and Relationship

The essential thing to teach and learn is love.  We must uncover our original core as human beings.  We are here, in this human life to give and receive love.  Love is the only sane and satisfying response to the challenges of life.

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not twist them to fit our own image, otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves that we find in them."
- Thomas Merton

It is through being fully human that we learn to love.  It is only through relationships that we learn what is essential.  We must open our heart to vulnerability, authenticity and courage.  Every relationship will transform us.  Life tells us that we are renewed in relationships.  Our essence is found in relationships.  The meaning of life is found in meaningful relationships.  Love is found in relationships.  Love of self, love of the sacred others, love of the earth, love of life, love of God.