Saying yes to life, even then, even now

 

In these crazy times, as the world changes in unpredictable ways, where do we turn to find meaning?

I don’t mean the ultimate capital “M”  Meaning, or “The Meaning of Life” a la Monty Python, but a meaning that sounds like a “Yes” within us and adds some purpose to our days. That yes can be the little boost (see the video at the end) that helps us get up in the morning and make better choices during the day.

Like staying away from crowded Florida beaches.

I understand the desire for beaches. I’m a fish. I was born to swim. My parents had to catch me before I crawled into a lake at age two. My idea of bliss is a long swim in saltwater, followed by time on a sun-soaked beach.

But not if it endangers the life of others.

This past weekend, I found it surreal (my word of the week) to see photos of Florida beaches packed with shoulder-to-shoulder bathers. And read about parties at Lake of the Ozarks now labeled by officials as “an international example of bad behavior.”

As I was thinking, “Are we completely nuts?” I learned about a “new” book by Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, arguably one of the ten most important books of the 20th century.

Frankl wrote Saying Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything in 1946, based on a series of three lectures he gave eleven months after being liberated from a concentration camp. The book had been largely forgotten and never translated until this March, when the first English translation was published with a terrific introduction by Daniel Goleman.

It was eerily timely.

Reading Frankl’s book was like discovering an oasis of sanity in a values desert. 

At the time of his release, Frankl, an Austrian neurologist/psychiatrist, learned that almost everyone he held dear, including his wife, had been killed.

How would you say yes to life from that place?

His “Yes” wasn’t the make-yourself-happy because you-can-have-it-all “Yes” touted by some contemporary authors who see the pursuit of happiness as a private pastime with no room for suffering.

I call such a book a celebration of entitlement.

Frankl would have been dismayed by these thoughts of self-indulgence, He saw the massive consumption and pleasure-seeking in pre-war Germany and Austria part of what led to their takeover by the Nazis.

He saw what Hitler did in repeating lies so often that they began to be held as truth. He knew the evils of such manipulation, and would have called our current plague of conspiracy theories, lies tossed out cavalierly, disregard for science and evidence, and the practice of leaders slandering people who disagree with them, for what it is: propaganda.

Finding meaning

As Austrian society struggled to rediscover its moral values, he lectured about our need, as individuals, for meaning.

He wasn’t talking about the purpose-for-life that we can laminate at the end of a motivational seminar. He was talking about a sense of meaning that is chosen by us, individually, moment by moment, hour by hour, as life offers us questions and invites us to make choices.

What about COVID-19?

I understand the desire to pull meaning out of the tragedy that is COVID-19. How do you reconcile its catastrophic impacts and a death count that has hit 100,000, in this country alone, with the idea of a meaningful world?

I want to believe that the pandemic is waking us to be a more conscious, environmentally sensitive world, based on respect for both individual freedom and the common good.

But it’s too soon for us to grab onto that meaning,

The meaning of the pandemic will emerge over time. It’s up to us to create a sense of meaning as we live each day.

Frankl wrote that meaning comes from three sources, and I’ll add my interpretation here:

1) Action. Are you finding joy in what you are creating? Are you saying “yes’ to what you feel called to do? Are you contributing to the good of another?

2) Beauty and love. Can you feel meaning by noticing and appreciating beauty, through nature, art, music, or, however it comes to you? Are you finding and giving love?

3) Suffering. Can you be with hardship, knowing that the conflicts we endure in the world or bear within ourselves can strengthen us? Or, as Frankl famously put, even in the bleakest of times, we can gain meaning from how we choose to use our minds. Meaning does not have to come through significant or heroic acts but can live in the smallest gestures. The tiniest “yes” to life will sometimes be all we can do.

What’s your Yes?

What’s the yes that’s giving meaning to your day today?

For me, it’s hugs from healthy dogs (Winston was sick last week), putting out this blog, fixing supper for Steve, and brilliant red poppies. I’m lucky.

It’s a beautiful blue-sky, “yes” kind of day, a time to practice yes-ing even as I cry again about another senseless, brutal murder, this time in Minneapolis.

I want to keep in practice knowing that winter rains will return and someday I may receive a tragic announcement that stuns the life out of me.

Hopefully, my efforts today will serve me tomorrow and I’ll find the strength to say yes to some small part of life, if only with a moment of song.

Find the heroes you need

The Netflix movie about Michelle Obama has just been released, and I cried watching the trailer.

Like millions of others, I miss her presence in the White House. Watching the film’s trailer made me realize how hungry I am, starved really, for true heroes with her grace who stand up for others.

When I say the word hero, you may think first of those action-heroes featured in tales of explorers, mountain climbers, car racers, commanders, and the like. They lend excitement to the big screen.

Today, though, I’m drawn to heroes willing to give to others what they’ve discovered for themselves.

Thousands of everyday heroes have stepped forward to address the pandemic. They’re cleaning subway cars, delivering food, supporting the elderly, and working the frontlines of health care as they fight COVID-19. They’re working round the clock in laboratories, sewing masks, or taking care of their families through difficult situations.

You might be one of them. These heroes inspire just by doing their work without grabbing for glory.

They’ve caused me to see the word “hero” in a new light.

Origins of the word

The word hero is often used in its 14th century meaning, “man (sic) of superhuman strength or physical courage.” If you trace the word further back, it comes originally from the Proto-Indo-European root “ser” which means “to protect.”

It shares a root with the name of the goddess Hera, who protected and safeguarded the h/earth.

I’m particularly interested in those public figures brave enough to share their stories, especially if they live in the public eye where they’re bound to encounter misunderstandings and be attacked by malicious trolls. I look for those willing to crack open the door so life can be better for others and the planet. I look for heroes who didn’t come into life as though entitled, and haven’t forgotten those for whom life has not worked out,

Four women who move me

Four women stand out for me, among the many worthy of being acknowledged.

Two changed the world with their generosity and candor in sharing from their lives as African-American women: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. One, the youthful Greta Thunberg, surprised the world last week by donating the $100,000 prize money she won for her environmental activism to help children affected by the coronavirus.

A fourth, the colorful pop star Lady Gaga, blew me away in a conversation with Oprah in which she talked openly about being raped. She uses her fame to help others who are feeling weighed down with shame. In April, she and the organization Global Citizen produced the live-streamed mega-concert “One World Together at Home.” Numerous musical legends contributed their talents to promoting the show’s message of support for frontline workers and encouragement to shelter-in-place. Gaga is a major philanthropist committed to kindness.

From hero-worship to hero-respect

These women aren’t looking for hero-worship.

Hero worship is looking at someone with adulation, thinking “They’re better than me.” or “They’ve got what I don’t have.” Hero worship can leave you feeling diminished, forgetting the strength that lives in you.

Real heroes remind you of your own innate capacities to rise above limitations and bring your goodness to the world.

Learning about these women helps me become bigger.

As Michelle Obama wrote in her blockbuster memoir, Becoming:

“For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”

Hero-respecting is when your admiration for someone else leads you to discover what you carry within yourself.

Hero-respecting can help us discover what Abraham Lincoln once called “the better angels of our nature.”

Lincoln’s words endure

In his first Inaugural address, President Lincoln offered words that are hauntingly appropriate to our times.

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

True heroes protect the h/earth and safeguard what is good.

They bring people together and encourage us to remember values like beauty, truth-telling, friendship, compassion, and justice.

Today, the United States is at risk, not just from the coronavirus, but from selfish collective bullying that scoffs at the need to safeguard the common good.

Now, more than ever, we need to cheer for our better angels, the ones that would pull us together, not apart.

I can’t wait to see the movie about Michelle Obama. I’m going to make a big batch of popcorn, cuddle in bed, and soak up her wisdom.

I look forward to hearing words like:

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
― Michelle Obama

She’s right, of course. Real heroes and real courage are contagious.

Why I won’t “manage” my rage

I ran into an artist friend of mine before a concert last weekend, a gracious, considerate, soft-spoken woman. In a brief “how are you?” we looked into each other’s eyes and found a common answer: rage.

In that instant, we dropped pretending that “It’s OK,” (we’re both pretty nice,) and admitted that the world is NOT OK.

I think quite a few of us “nice” people are carrying rage these days,

I tried to check out “How to deal with rage” online and only found posts about anger management with clues about how to calm down, channel one’s anger, and act appropriately.

As if this rage we’re feeling is our personal problem!

“Manage” is a wimpy word. (Manage: to handle or direct, as in the French for training a horse.)

If a shooter had attacked my son in school and my legislator was doing nothing to end gun violence-I dare you to tell me to “manage my rage.”

When acts of greed, hypocrisy, cruelty, and lies are so visible, isn’t rage an appropriate response? Or, when we witness grossly unjust deeds that hurt the planet, our country, and each other?

Yet despite its potentially cathartic and energizing properties, rage isn’t easy to bear.

Rage comes at me like a seething abyss of hot bile in my gut. Five minutes of listening to the news can send rage shooting through me like a geyser, ripping through the surface of an otherwise peaceful day.

Holding rage is like riding the tiger. Still, it can be a positive force for change.

Using the force of rage to forge a sword

Didn’t Martin Luther King, Jr. carry that force, when he used his faith and sense of mission to channel anger into words and deeds that changed the world?

Doesn’t Georgia Congressman John R. Lewis tap that force when he describes how he was beaten on a bridge in Selma and then speaks up against racial and other injustices today?

Doesn’t Malawa Yousafzai experience rage when she thinks about the ongoing cruelty to women and girls in Pakistan or remembers how she was shot? She uses that force for humanitarian work that inspires the planet.

Then, there’s Greta Thunberg, who doesn’t fear speaking truth to power about our environmental apocalypse.

These great stewards have learned how to work with their rage and fashion it into swords for truth.

How can we have our rage, without allowing it to have us, and change us into lesser versions of ourselves?

Used reactively, rage can make us lash out, hurting people who don’t deserve to become collateral damage. Carrying rage within us without mindfulness can lead to illness, accidents, and a feeling of darkness and ill-will.

Even with rage, we need to think before we act, refrain from lashing out or hurting others, and take responsibility for how we are personally triggered by what’s happening around us.

I’m not looking to “manage rage,” but am seeking a more alchemical process that allows me to transform what I feel into something that can serve the greater good.

How to have rage without getting burned

I’m no expert on rage, which was why I was searching online, but here’s what I’ve come up with to date:

Breathe.

Long, deep exhales help me reset my body’s nervous system. I don’t need to carry spiked cortisol levels or put my amygdala and reactive parts of my nervous system on high alert. I try not to let the rage burn me up.

Don’t muddy the water by mixing rage and fear.

In my first watercolor class, I learned that blending complementary colors leads to mud tones. I need to be careful when mixing rage and fear. It’s the toxic blend tyrants and demagogues use to inflame and mislead people.

This requires challenging myself not to speculate, catastrophize or artificially dramatize a situation that concerns me. I’m not privy to any certainty about how the future will go.

Find out what’s real.

To use my rage for a higher purpose I need to think carefully and choose my actions. Facts must be my friend.

Separate out the personal.

This one is really hard–especially when memories of personal pain mix with moral outrage. I pray to weed out my vengeful, vindictive, triggered, upset feelings from the rage that comes from my conscience.

Allow for a mix of feelings.

I always carry more emotions than just rage. Holding rage doesn’t shut the door to joy, excitement, or kindness.

Listen and take one right action.

What’s right for another to do may not be right for me. Right action could be marching, enrolling voters, or speaking to legislators. It could be praying to end the needless suffering in the world.

For me, last weekend, it was planting native trees and shrubs in an area of our woods mangled by last year’s storms. Hands in the dirt calmed my system, and I did something, even if tiny, for the planet.

Create. 

In the toughest of times, artists get busy. Beauty has its own power to move the world ahead. Tony Morrison spoke to the role of the artist in a broken world.:

“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art.”

Nurture compassion.

I try to have compassion for the world, for others and myself. I hurt. So do others.

Have a go-to ready when I need to chill.

I look for things that don’t stimulate, trigger intense feelings, or require brain-work. I can garden. Take a walk. Feed the ponies. Watch comedy. Cook soup. Or let the pooches out of their crate and enjoy the best face licks ever.

Ground and feel the light.

Now, more than ever, I need to feel connected to my inner truth and the cosmos. I want to love and feel loved, to send roots into the earth and let my connection with nature be deep. I want to feel whole, even in times of darkness.

If that sounds like soul work, it is. Maybe that work is the foundation for everything.

Rage can make me feel tight, constricted and small. Embracing love and truth helps me expand. From an informed, expansive space, I can act mindfully.

When we grow with a sense of being that is both selfless and self-full, well-grounded, and infused with love, we earn the right to wield the sword of rage.

Don’t “manage” your rage or make yourself wrong for feeling it.

Instead, get bigger, stronger, deeper, more connected, and loving.

Alchemize your feelings. Then act.

 

Freedom’s not just another word

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing else to lose.”
Kris Kristofferson

Last week I lost a piece of my heart: our foster dog Jackson.

After many bouts of sobbing, I found myself in a peaceful stupor, when the word freedom came to me as if Jackson had sent it.

Strange.

I decided it might be worth pondering, especially as we in the United States are on the verge of Independence Day when thousands of cheering immigrants will be welcomed to full citizenship in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

If you’ve lived under tyranny, suppression of your religious or ethnic group, ongoing violence, or the fear of not having food for your children, freedom is not just another word. You might walk thousands of miles and endure living in a liminal hell at the U.S. border for the very small chance of finding freedom in the United States. (Bless the stamina, endurance, courage, and life-defying commitment of such refugees.)

Yet in this country, advertisers are quick to translate freedom into an advertising concept, creating images like the iconic Marlboro Man. Is the freedom we celebrate about the right to buy more, to choose among forty different kinds of toothpaste or buy the fashion-of-the-month?

I hope not.

What does real freedom mean? How do we separate it from cultural beliefs, and the invisible assumptions that often come with privilege or power?

What if freedom included the right to think our own thoughts rather than mouthing the thoughts, concepts, and beliefs given to us by others?

I crave the freedom to be me, but I often default to beliefs about myself or the world that are as invisible to me as the air that I breathe.

Some of the “truths” we once believed are now seen as glaringly wrong.

For example:

  • Women and people of color were less than men and not worthy of the right to vote.
  • It was OK to abuse animals or treat them harshly because they didn’t have feelings.
  • A small nation in Southeast Asia needed to be invaded in order to free it from the threat of communism.

Other beliefs I grew up with included:

  • You shouldn’t swim within an hour after eating (not true, but boy did I suffer impatient hours sitting in the sand and waiting).
  • There are only five senses (currently at least three times more).
  • Girls must wait to dance until picked by a boy (at the root of great personal suffering).

In twenty years, what contemporary concepts will we see as nonsense?

Fortunately, tectonic shifts are happening in our culture causing some to question how we treat the environment or legitimize gross income inequality.

It’s hard for a fish to see the water it swims in. We, though, can ask questions.

Four questions to ask ourselves

I don’t suggest evaluating every concept or belief that we hold–we’d go nuts. We don’t want to endanger ourselves by testing, without a lot of evidence, whether it’s safe to walk in front of a moving car or pet a dog who is growling with bared teeth.

These four questions might help us stop unconsciously accepting ideas we hear in the news, on social media, from others, or think about ourselves:

  1. Is it true and how can I be sure it is true?
  2. Who or what is the source of that idea?
  3. Whose interest or what purpose does it serve? (Who gains if we believe this concept?)
  4. What if the idea weren’t true? (Could an opposite idea contain at least a few shards of truth?)

(With a tip of the hat to the questions Byron Katie asks in her method The Work.)

Let’s question the beliefs we hold about different ethnic, religious, cultural or gender-related groups. Let’s notice how our privilege or sense of entitlement invisibly shapes our view of the world. Let’s reconsider the stories about ourselves that were given to us by others.

In so doing, we can strengthen our fundamental freedom to think for ourselves.

That’s freedom worthy of Independence Day.

Now for a brief personal plea:

As we approach a time of fireworks and parties, can we celebrate without indiscriminately setting off loud firecrackers near animals–including people?  Because, unlike what we may have once believed, animals feel. Who wants to inflict fear, anxiety, pain, and over-wrought excitement on the critters we love?

Thank you, and now let freedom ring.

 

 

To hold as we are held

My Mom was not the perfect Mom. I was far from being the ideal daughter. I constantly challenged her during the late ’60s with my drugs, sex, and hitchhiking, marches against the Vietnam War, and grungy clothes,

There’s a picture of me where I am wearing long hair, no bra and an Indian bedspread made into a dress that says it all.

Yet, even as we fought, I knew that Mom always held me in her heart.

On the first anniversary of her death, I miss her deeply as I remember the gifts she gave.

She held me.

A mother’s act of holding her children as they grow, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, is often invisible.

Perhaps that’s why it’s so rarely rewarded. We reward the stuff that we can see and count, the actions that lead directly to material success, the hero who leads the charge up the mountain.

The power of the invisible that makes all this possible is often unsung.

The risks of countering fear with fear

So many people around the world are running scared today, of change, of others, of “the other.” Life can feel overwhelming, coming at us faster than we would like, frying our mental circuits. In this volatile, unpredictable, risky and sometimes unfair world, we fear a future we didn’t sign up for.

With anxiety running rampant, our global practice of meeting fear with more fear and trying to bully it into submission is just plain nuts.

(Should I repeat?)

It doesn’t work. People need to be held through their fears, not doused with more fear.

When my dog Lady was shaking in fear at the vet’s office (a trip she never enjoyed), our kindly, burly vet wrapped his arms firmly around her and squeezed. After a half minute, she calmed and settled down on the examining table.

Temple Grandin, the author and animal scientist, famous for her ability to see the world from an animal’s perspective, has learned how to manage her life despite her autism. As a young woman, she designed a “squeeze box” to lie in when her senses were overloaded. Feeling the sides of the box holding and containing helped her, like Lady, to settle and cope.

Isn’t that what a lot of us need, a way to be held, even if we have to design it for ourselves?

Holding is about setting a context

An arrow flies toward its target, surrounded by the air that supports it. We see the arrow but rarely notice the wind.

Some years ago, I led a community meditation group, part of a larger meditation organization. I remember the night a male guest from out of town, active in the organization, joined us, offering his insights and suggestions.

Much of what he told us was useful and wise. Nevertheless, as I sat on the floor, pushing my back against the “back-jack” supporting me, I started to seethe. Here was another example, I thought, of a powerful white guy coming in, knocking over the female lead (me) and taking over a group. I grumbled something to the group about feeling pre-empted. Group members squirmed as I spoke, eyeing the man and myself.

He, fortunately, willingly acknowledged my pain and leadership in the group, then offered words that have stayed with me:

“Sally, you lead this group. Everything here happens within the space you hold. This is the archetype of feminine leadership, which we rarely recognize. You watch me, with my masculine style, come in and stir things up. But none of this would be happening without you. Feminine leadership creates the space, the container in which everything happens, even when a pushy guy like me come in and offers suggestions.”

He wasn’t telling us as women how we were supposed to be (thank goodness, since way too much of that continues to go on) or saying that we couldn’t exert leadership in a more directive, archetypically masculine way. He was pointing out two poles of leadership: the leader who directs and the leader who holds space and encourages others. Both are needed.

People who are successful in holding space for others to succeed are often not credited because they can be invisible.

We rarely acknowledge the womb in which action is born.

In an oft-cited quote from the Tao, Lao Tsu, slightly paraphrased, said:

Of leaders who talk little, when their work is done, their aims fulfilled, the people will all say, “We did this ourselves.”

Throughout my life, my mother held me. Sometimes the holding was too tight for my taste (as in my early teen years). In hindsight, I see that her holding allowed me to flourish. She offered a safe space, a harbor that I could return to, and comfort that assured me of my all-rightness even as I felt beaten down by the world.

My first job after college was in Ecuador, where I encountered muggy heat, millions of mosquitos, and Hepatitis A. As I lay on my back recovering, I dreamed of home, knowing that my mother was holding me and I could return whenever I chose.

How to be held

Many of us feel held walking in nature, embraced by the verdancy of the living world. We speak, not coincidentally, of Mother Nature. (Another reason we have to stop climate change, right?)

You may feel held in the silence of meditation, in yoga, on a silent walk, or during those moments when you stop the rush to complete your “to-dos” and pause in wonder.

You might feel held by your family, church, community, friends or God.

We all need to be held. We need to feel arms around us that can comfort our pain and remind us that we matter.

To hold and be held

What we need, we can offer to others.

We can create safe spaces for people to air their differences.

We can hold the space for dreams, possibilities, imaginations, and actions that can heal the environment.

We can offer comfort to others when change becomes too much, and sanctuary when fear is banging at the door.

Men can hold as well, but today I acknowledging the power of the invisible gifts given by mothers and grandmothers around the world.

 

This is dedicated to my Mom who held me, with love, all of my life.

Shirley Phillips Fox, 1925 –  2018

 

Find Your Inner Porpoise

The books written about Purpose or “Finding Your Inner Purpose” on Amazon have it almost right. They just spelled it wrong.

Change a few letters and you’ll have more fun.

Finding a purpose can feel heavy. A porpoise is buoyant.

Just to be clear, I think having a deep sensing about the “why” of life can help you through the “how.”

But the statements of purpose that we hang on the wall often go flat.

Porpoises, on the other hand, soar.

Have you ever been to one of those weekend growth seminars (guilty as charged) where you stand up on Sunday afternoon and announce to the whole group how you’ve found the meaning of life, or discovered your life’s (yep) purpose?

You feel bold and “empowered.”

But by Monday morning your Big Insight has already faded.

It probably dove back into the deep sea from whence it came.

Which is why I recommend focusing on porpoises, who go deep and then surface again.

My attempts to teach about vision and purpose

When I taught leadership to managers, we did a Very Important Exercise (VIE) in which I asked class members to write about their vision, mission, and purpose. While vision-loving participants perked up and grabbed their pens, others looked as if they had been hit by a sledgehammer or realized that they had to check all of the emails they had received over the previous week.

With hindsight, it might have been better to start with questions about specific moments in their lives, asking them to:

  •  Describe a supper you had on the Fourth of July and who was with you.
  • Write about the funniest (or most awful) thing that happened at your wedding.
  • Tell about the one person you never want to meet up with again.

Chances are, questions like these will produce a set of living, breathing answers instead of verbal monuments you can pin to your wall. (I tested this in my workshop “Writing the Moments.”)

In praise of the porpoise-driven life

Knowing your Inner Porpoise invites you into the land of play. Near the beach. In the water. With lots of great fish. No need to sit in a sterile training classroom contemplating the meaning of life.

Instead, I invite you to relish being outside, notice what nature is up to, stop leaving trash in the oceans, and try to leap in the air again. (I can only jump a half inch, but it’s the spirit that counts.)

Having a purpose as we age

Having a purpose in our later years has been “proved to be important.”

It is reported to help one get out of the bed in the morning, even when aching joints beg for another two hours of sleep.

I propose an alternate approach: get a dog.

Jackson, my foster dog, is gifted at getting us out of bed. Every morning he announces, with a big, baritone bark, that 5:45 am is late for breakfast and if we don’t prepare it NOW he will wake up the entire neighborhood.

To compensate, Jackson rewards us with slobbery kisses and tail-wags. I have never seen a purpose do a happy-dance.

As a meaning-seeking junkie, I admit that the quest for “what’s it all about” can be very addicting and I’m often drawn to write about it.

Perhaps I would be better off if I spent my time:

  • Tracking whether the “shot weed” or the “sticky weed” will win the Millionth Weed contest this spring on my property.
  • Discovering why I have a hundred hazelnut trees and yet never see a single nut (might have something to do with gray, bushy-tailed marauders).
  • Learning how to play nice with the thatching ants that have created a four-foot monument to antdom in the middle of my ornamental garden bed.

These concrete issues beg for attention.

The meaning of life is an oasis that keeps disappearing as I approach it.

Having an Inner Porpoise will not transform you into a GBP (Genuinely Better Person) or give you permission to feel superior to folks. That would be very un-porpoise-like. Porpoises know that they live in a fragile eco-system where everyone has to pull together as a team, and no one gets to take more than their fair share.

Time to delete your inner smugness about being transformed.

Enjoy the Porpoise-Driven life

Learn to go deep under the surface of life. Swim in the ocean of great unknowns.

Amazon lists over 50,000 books about purpose.

I checked and there are currently NO books on Amazon on the “Porpoise-Driven Life” or “Finding Your Inner Porpoise.” If I hurry, I’ll have a crack at becoming the number one Amazon Bestseller in this category.

Unless you get there first.

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