Posts Tagged ‘authentic’

I Felt I Belonged to the World

August 26, 2014

Businessman and philanthropist Bill Austin

Businessman and philanthropist Bill Austin






Businessman and philanthropist Bill Austin said something very profound when I interviewed him for a story in Twin Cities Business. He told me:

As a young man, I felt I belonged to the world, but I didn’t know what that meant.






Austin, who was a teenager when he experienced that epiphany, grew to embody that statement. Today, in his early seventies, he leads overseas missions for teams from his company, Starkey Hearing, ten months out of the year to provide free (more…)

Be Glad You’re You!

June 21, 2012

kids-pick-the-funniest-poems


More than twenty years ago, I wrote five poems for Kids Pick the Funniest Poems, a wonderful book that makes kids laugh. One of my poems, “I’m Glad I’m Me,” is on page one and sets the tone for the rest of the book. It lets kids know that in silliness there is strength, and in goofiness there is greatness! Its core messages come through loud and clear:





Be yourself!
Be confident!
Be authentic!
Be proud of who you are!

With all the recent news about bullying in school and with so many kids feeling alienated and isolated, it occurred to me that “I’m Glad I’m Me” should be an anthem and a source of strength for anyone and everyone who feels like an outsider, who feels like they don’t belong and never will. What I hope these children will understand is (more…)

Live an Authentic Life, No Matter the Cost

October 17, 2011

When my friend Laura began walking a spiritual path years ago, she was overjoyed at the results. She not only was happier and more peaceful, she became aware of a continual flow of synchronicities that made her life decidedly sweeter and, at times, seemingly effortless. Then she abruptly abandoned her efforts. Why? She was afraid that her personal growth would create so much distance between her and her husband that her marriage might not survive.

A funny thing happens when you ignore a calling: it eventually surfaces as a need. Years later, Laura resumed her spiritual practice because she felt she had no choice in the matter. It was either that or succumb to stagnation, perpetual boredom and a living death. When she brought up her concern to her husband, she was relieved to hear him say that, while he wasn’t interested in participating in her spiritual activities, he certainly supported her and was happy that she was doing what made her feel happy and fulfilled.

Ah, but what if Laura’s husband hadn’t been supportive? She would have (more…)

Regrets of the Dying

June 2, 2011

In an earlier post, I presented the two questions you have to answer if you want to live authentically and happily. I also wrote about a third important question that stops most people in their tracks. If you turn away from these questions and trudge on, day after day, year after year doing what you don’t want to do instead of boldly blazing your own unique trail in life, well, you may very well end up on your deathbed with the five regrets that Bronnie Ware observed in the dying patients she cared for.

REGRETS OF THE DYING
by Bronnie Ware 

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to (more…)

Keeping Your Soul Alive

August 19, 2010




Living with integrity does not mean that every choice you make is nonnegotiable. Most decisions are open to compromise, from where you decide to live to how you spend the holidays.



In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.
Thomas Jefferson

The only issues not open to bargaining are (more…)

Conversations With Dog

September 17, 2008

conversations-with-dogKnowing that I love dogs and reading about spirituality, my daughter gave me the perfect gift: a little book called Conversations with Dog. To my surprise, I found it very well done and an insightful look into the psyche of dogs.

What struck me the most was the notion that we cannot give a dog mixed messages by thinking one thing and saying another. Dogs are more telepathically developed than we are and get confused when our emotions and body language are at odds with our words.

(more…)