Probably like you, I am feeling a bit yeeeeeeeks lately. At times gorgeous, at times complicated and at times scary things are happening in my life and business right about now. Some of these things I have chosen, some things I have not. Such is life. Beautiful, confounding, thrilling, expansive life.

So, I’ve been hanging out in my head a fair bit, breathing shallowly and TENDING to the challenges. To wit: I have a new routine of heading out the door in my running shoes at 5:45 am with an issue in my mind that I want to sort out. I can only return once it’s resolved (which seems to happen, as if by magic, at the one-hour mark).

This morning, I took my current “issue” on my walk/run: a pickle in my business that has been causing knots in my shoulders. There’s a decision that needs to be made and it’s hot ‘n bothered.

And. I. Just. Couldn’t. Focus. My heart kept wanting some air time. So I slowed my pace to a walk…and listened.

And this was the refrain I heard:

“Do not breathe simply to exist.”

I knew these weren’t my words. And while I was curious about who had penned them, (Deepak? Danielle?), I allowed that to dissolve as I spent the rest of the walk integrating their meaning in every step. In every breath.

The moment I got home, I googled the words. The author was Mattie J.T. Stepanek, the 14-year old philosopher, poet and advocate for peace who left us 8 years ago…on June 22nd.


I know OF Mattie, or, the headlines at least: friend of Oprah’s, inspiring wee soul whose depth and wisdom impacted millions through his books of poetry. I knew that he had spent his short life in acute pain (due to a rare form of muscular dystrophy) AND in the decision to live life fully and joyfully.

I didn’t know that he began creating and sharing “Heartsongs” at the young age of 3 to process the grief he felt from losing his older brother to the disease that afflicted him (and his two other siblings who died as well). Or that Heartsongs are “gifts that reflect each person’s unique reason for being.” Or that each of his five books were NYT bestsellers (plus the 2 published posthumously). Or that countless programs, parks and foundations have been dedicated to his crusade for peace.

I didn’t know that he wrote:

We all have life storms. Times in our lives that are extremely sad, scary, angry. And instead of just suffering through them, and then afterwards just sitting, crying and waiting to be wiped out by the next one, we should celebrate together that we got through. And when the next one comes along, work through and pull through and celebrate again.


Sad things happen. They do. But we don't need to live sad forever.


Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.


Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.


Peace is possible…it can begin simply over a game of chess and a cup of tea.

But I do now. And now you do too.

So now I’m thinking about my own Heartsong.  And how it's rooted in joy. And I'm thinking about appreciating what I have. And I’m thinking about peace. And how much more I have to give. And what stands I need to take.

And from this place, guess what happened to that work decision that had my shoulder in knots? Part of it resolved and the other part dissolved. Turns out it wasn’t such a pickle after all.

Breathing deeper - the heart knows the way. It always does.


PS - If you haven't already, do zip on over and download The Joy Pages. You'll discover which of your values are hotlinked to YOUR you can fill up whenever you're feeling a quart low.