At home in the sun

Surrounded by love and light

Water within reach

Expand full comment

As you asked…answer before reading all that you wrote. Interesting, I am currently midway through the book, The Purpose Driven Life. My purpose is to love all that cross my path, regardless of lifestyle, appearance, and status. It also means to love those that don’t adhere to my beliefs, to be patient with the challenged, to love wherever there is a need. Each day is a new opportunity to love. This may sound over-simplified "love makes the world go 'round" - but pay attention to how your body feels when someone of a different race is approaching you on a side street, or how your blood pressure rises as you're trying to explain something to someone for the 8th. time. I still can't shake the direct eye-contact I made with a homeless man two years ago, wishing I could pull over to help, but "I was in a hurry." Love opportunities present themselves every single day. My purpose is to help my neighbor, in my little world, every day.

Expand full comment

I think the life I was born for is one of observation, introspection, and realism. I’ve been told I’m a born cynic, but that doesn’t mean being eternally pessimistic. I’ve found over the years that seeing the world in a realistic light means that I often see the negative things happening around me, but I also know that in the grand scheme of things, there is much more good out there, and things often work out for a positive result, no matter the challenge. To me, being a born cynic means I see more realistically all the factors in a situation, or all the things that could go wrong, which helps me make better decisions about how I interact with the world.

Expand full comment

I used to know in my bones that I was born to be a teacher and a voice for the voiceless in our classrooms. I used to love my work as a teacher of English Learners and coordinator of our EL program. But now I just don’t feel like I can do enough for them. I don’t feel

like I am making a difference anymore.

Expand full comment

Born for Love, and the sunlight and under the moonlight, flowing in the water, down the road. Peaks of laughter.

Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2022·edited Feb 20, 2022

Love is the first word that comes to mind. Finding a love and a life partner and then creating a life with someone has always been top of my list. I have always said that that matters more to me than any job. And when I lost my job and so much of my life shifted during the pandemic, it became clear to me how much my partner and our love truly meant to me. It was sustaining. At the end of the day, if I can have the love I've created with my partner, I will feel complete.

Art is the second word that comes to mind. I have always been drawn to a life of art ever since I was a child. And I've been pursuing that ever since. I have a career in film, in capturing stories, in creating videos and films for people. I'm also a writer. Words have always been part of me and writing feels like breathing to me. Necessary for survival.

Wherever life takes me, love and art will be the center.

Edit after reading the full email: I too feel deeply drawn to the darkness. I love feeling everything deeply, even when it involves pain or sadness. I find a lot of comfort in the darkness and feel more drawn to the night than day as I grow older. Feeling deeply and being true to myself are essential to my being, especially as a lover and artist. All these things are connected. I feel like I've always moved in the direction of what feels warm and true. I've been lucky enough to find jobs I love and create a life that fulfills what I desire most. Okay, this is getting too long haha. I could go on and on about this topic. In conclusion, I feel that I am living in accordance with who I am and what I want. It's the only way I've ever been taught to live. (Thanks mom and dad!)

Expand full comment

Pretty sure I have shared this before…but during my unemployment days people would ask “well, what do you want to do?”

Most times I could answer what I didn’t want to do but it was rare that I could say what I really wanted to do with my life.

So after almost a half century circling the sun…I began to answer

“I want to be a CEO!”

The response was normally “That’s ambitious!”

But they didn’t understand…

I’m called to be a

“Chief Encouragement Officer”

Even when my day is garbage; when I can’t smile for my own - my purpose is to be the encouragement that so many will never know.

Sometimes it’s exhausting - I assume like Batman must feel after working all day and fighting crime all night…without any radioactive spider bites or kryptonic superpowers.

But I will always walk the swords double edge to encourage others whether sun or rain.

Grace and Peace

Love and Hope

Kindness and Comfort

Wash over all who read this.

🔥 aho 🪶

Expand full comment

This question has been swirling around me lately. It’s showing up everywhere I turn - literally. It’s also been a question that has floated in and out of my consciousness over the past too many years. I used to get stopped in my tracks by it. I would have a visceral response to not having a grand, bold, call to action - nothing that screamed, “this is my life’s purpose!” The lack of answer made me sad, sometimes ashamed as if I wasn’t connected to my own being enough to know the answer. Now here I am, with this question in my Instagram feed, in podcasts, books and tarot cards. I don’t know if this is the full answer but the only one that’s been coming to mind lately is this: living. My purpose is to live far, wide and deep. And right now, that in and of itself feels more than enough.

Expand full comment

This is beautiful, Tyler.

Less lightning storm here, more cliff side waves crash, cold wind, wide heart soar.

Living a life of love that is the warm breath beneath each buffeting gust; love for those around, love for the whole dang earth, love for the storms themselves. Here, breathing, alive.

Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2022·edited Feb 20, 2022

There is so much here in this week’s podcast. Sorry- I am quite long-winded here. But this podcast inspired a flurry of thoughts.

How do I want to live? Isn’t this life’s essential question, constantly evolving in each new season of our lives? How much choice is there in this? I spent a lot of time last summer on the beach, reading your book, miracle in the mundane, contemplating this question. We could all write volumes about this as we reflect on our lives. First I should say that there are so many good things in my life for which I should be thankful. But… we are restless creatures who long for something more. As we get older, our minds turn more toward this question knowing our time is actually running out, and if there is to be more, it needs to be now.

We are never completely free - the very relationships that bring us joy- partners, children, parents- we are responsible; they depend on us, in different ways at different times. In this way, however, they constrain us. As do our jobs and how we can afford to live. And the never-ending chores- the laundry, the groceries, cleaning. We choose roads or are thrown onto them, without knowing where they will lead and they may be difficult to exit without an end, a crossroad or some freak detour.

I have no answer to your question yet and perhaps I don’t need a definitive answer; pondering this question and all of its possibilities is perhaps of greatest importance. To feel that there are possibilities and to have the courage to go out and create them. That, at whatever age, you should defy the expectation that you should continuously follow the same path. So many voices, inward and outward, shout, No, you can’t, while one voice that whispers, Courage.

I know what things I want in my life, and I do have them in some part in my life already: creativity, love, laughter, learning, nature, beauty, friendship. Rather, should my question be, Can I live a life that always encompasses all these things at once in equal balance? I need to seek out the experiences that will bring these to my life.

This period of Covid has paralyzed us into inaction. Either we have been unable or felt unsafe to seek out new things. Perhaps we can, it is time, to come to life again.

“You tell me, and tell me when you’re ready. Either way, I’ll be there, halfway down,…waiting to meet you.” Well, you have already met me on the road, beckoning me with your words.

Expand full comment

In this lifetime, I was born to tell the truth and help people live better. Thank God I was born to parents who never stifle my voice or teach me how to play nice. Since I was 8 I dreamed to be a mom and have a tribe of children. Thank goodness, I only ended up with 2. Two of the most magnificent human beings on the planet. I did my best to help them become the best version of who they are meant to be. Now it’s time for a new adventure. I’m being pulled toward the sun and the ocean and the desire to feed people. Not just feed, nourish people with great vegan foods. I want to show people how great tasty vegan foods can be both soul nourishing to humans and to the planet. A tall order I know. And also I’ll keep telling the truth.

Expand full comment

This is so timely, as I'm currently at a crossroads trying to understand what it is that the Universe has in store for me, what direction I should take next. My amazing therapist has prodded me to do some meditation on this, to put the question out there: "What is it that I can do to serve my higher good?" I've openly admitted that I suck at meditation - I struggle to turn my mind off and just let it be. When I tell her I'm trying to figure it out, she says, "Stop. You don't need to figure anything out. Stop overthinking and let it be. The answer will come." I'm working on quieting my mind to let that energy flow, and hope to find my direction.

As a side note, I recently wrote a letter to my dad to tell him things I wish I had said many years ago when I still had the chance (he passed 22 years ago). At the end of that exercise, I told him how much I miss him, that I wish he were here to play with my grandsons, and chat about things in my life. I asked for some sort of sign that I'm on the right path. About an hour later, around 11:30 pm, I heard a chickadee so clearly that it could have been in the room. I got my answer. My career and my personal life have been a mess until about a year ago, so it seems things are looking up. 💜

Expand full comment

The sadness encoded in my DNA has taught me to always see the light, through the pain, and to fight with all I’ve got. Saddest optimist you’ll ever meet!

Give me steep trails and obstacles

To keep the fire burning

But treat me to calm seas sometimes

Dark rainy days for rest

And dusty roads

To keep the hope alive

Expand full comment

A wild and wandering (or running away?) life is what I want to say. But that feels out of reach. Lately, I feel a bit like a puzzle with pieces missing or wedged in the wrong way. It's hard to know where, or what, I am. But I'm determined to believe it won't stay this way. It never has before, at least not forever. I am meant for a life of making, not just repairing.

Expand full comment

It is providential that you ask this question, at this moment. I wouldn't say I am in an existential crisis, but I am uncertain of how I might answer the question, "what life was I born to live?" For 25 years I have worked in the church as either a youth director or pastor. Yet, for years I have struggled to understand who I am. I fear that my identity has been wrapped up in what others want/wanted. Now I find at almost 45 I don't have direction, or said differently, I've lost my way. For too long I've let voices other than my own take the lead and have prominence. I am now trying to find my voice, find my purpose, and find out how to live this life before me.

That said, fear of the unknown is upon me. The path ahead is a mixture of light and dark, silence and sound, bombarding me with hope of something more if I can only recognize what is before me, or maybe within me. As the shadows dance before me I recognize them within myself, and just maybe that recognition is one of many steps that can and will lead me beyond this moment.

I have discovered that if I sit with my questions or any question long enough an answer is found, even if it is not the preconceived answer. So maybe, to answer your question of "what life was I born to live", to gain clarity in a moment of murkiness, I need to sit with this question not as a passive participant, but as one ready and willing to engage the moment before me.

Shadows dance around

As I search for my true self

Within me is life.

Expand full comment