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Your One Thing for 2018

    What is the ONE THING that if you accomplished it, gained it or became it in 2018 would satisfy you? What did you do today to ensure that you moved closer toward that thing? I watched a YouTube video where Tyler Perry attributes having one focus, getting Madea into the theatre, onto the stage as paramount to his meteoric success. Just one focus. Not Madea and losing weight. Or Madea on stage, in books, in movies and on coffee cups. It was Madea on stage. Period. His life organized itself around this intention. His hourly jobs existed to support the production of Madea. He worked until they conflicted with his goal, then quit and got another job. He lived in his car, in weekly hotels, and apartments. His sole focus was getting Madea seen. Nothing would stop him from making Madea happen. For eight years he held one show a year, that he subsidized before Madea took off, skyrocketing into a national play, a movie, and eventually...

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How to Have the Holiday of Your Dreams

I have a confession to make. I LOVE the holidays. I mean LOVE the holidays. So much so that I celebrated the New Year with my Jewish friends in September; I hosted an early Thanksgiving dinner last week; I listened to my first Christmas music in August and I put up my bubble gum pink Christmas tree with Starbuck cup ornaments in the center of my living room picture window in mid-October. I just couldn’t and can’t wait for the season to begin. As a culture, we are given permission to celebrate and be corny during the holidays. We are subject to lights, decorations, mushy music of love, redemption, a fat man in a red suit, and opportunities to give and receive. This year, more than any year, my Soul has yearned for the holidays to arrive and to be blatantly, openly, grateful for the life I have and the people I love (Thanksgiving). I crave the celebration of birth, newness, miracles and light in the midst of what appears...

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To Live or To Expiate

Expiate — To extinguish guilt or to atone In his essay, Self Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson says “I don not wish to expiate, but to live.  My life is not an apology, but a life.” Let’s live today.  Let’s pause and recognize this moment is different from the previous one and different still from the one yet-to-come.  From our bones and from our Soul, let us express this moment as who we are without apology.  Let’s decide to be ourselves fully.  Let’s speak what is ours to give voice to and be quiet where it doesn’t matter to us. Let us do what is ours to do and let others make their contribution with equal conviction. I often speak to the “how” one lives their life and the “what” one does through their life’s actions when officiating a memorial service.  These are two different ways to examine a life.  For example, I can Google my father’s name and pull up a portfolio of his work left behind.  This is the “what” is done in life.  And then there...

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