Once you realize the preciousness of human life,
there is no stopping you.

 

I recently had the experience of losing one of my dear brothers from this life.
I've experienced many and various emotional upheavals throughout my life, but nothing quite compares to the finality of loss that comes with the death of someone in your immediate family. 

However, rather than allow my brother's death to push me into a cycle of endless despondency, I am finding the openings that his death leads into life.

Human life is a remarkable phenomenon, and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we get to not only enjoy our time alive, but also to maximize the success of our time here. And by success I don't mean the standard, run-of-the-mill, yet increasingly-outdated measurement of success –how much money or stuff you have. I mean whatever success means to you –whatever speaks to your heart as being your ultimate experience of human fulfillment.


What is really important to you?

 

What makes you feel most alive?

 

How do you want to spend your limited number of years on this planet?


I have been asking these (and similar) questions of myself since I was very young and the answer has always come back to me in a kind of trifold package:

 

I want to learn.

 

I want to create.

 

I want to serve.

 

 

 

Cherish what you know. Acknowledge what you don't know.

I have a voracious appetite for learning. There is no end to knowledge. Wisdom, however, is a whole other ball game. That's something you can only accrue with experience, and insight. But knowledge can contribute to both. That's why I am always studying, something.

Yoga
I study yoga in its many and diverse forms; not only asana (poses) and pranayama (breathing practices), but also dharana (philosophical contemplation) and sadhana (daily spiritual practice).

Design
I study design primarily by research and learning "on the job" –and my design work is plentiful and diverse. Within my projects I do architectural and interior design, brand design, print and web design, and book design.

Psychology
I study human psychology from a broad perspective. The East provides deep insights through gateways like yoga and mythology. The West provides gateways through contemporary psychological inquiry, Quantum physics and neuroscience. Native cultures provide insights through attention to environment.

As human beings, I believe one of our main purposes is to create, and to experience creativity.

I think of every activity as creative. That deep longing to create is integral to being human, to being developing beings. Whether we're creating children, or homes, or businesses, or artwork, or education systems, or gardens, or stories, or music; whatever it is, we are truly in a constant state of creativity. But sometimes we slip into patterns and habits that make us feel like we're not being creative. Shaking ourselves out of that mode and re-entering a state of creativity can be a constant daily practice.

I usually allow my intuition to dictate what medium of creativity I need to use at any given time. Once I've dealt with whatever is "urgent" or nagging my mind (whether it be a work task, a family interaction, or a piece of communication I'm working on), I start with a blank page on my line-free journal and write or scribble or draw whatever comes to mind. From there I might move into working with colored pencils and paint on watercolor paper. Or I might write thoughts and feelings in pen. Or I might move to my laptop and starting writing and/or designing using software like Evernote, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Squarespace. I like to move fluidly between different mediums but inevitably I end up finding grooves that work best for me; particular ways of using software, or of drawing and painting.

Creativity in photography tends to be a little more planned for me and usually revolves around specific events and trips. Sometimes that can be as simple as a walk to the park. Other times it's a planned journey, but where the photography is completely unpredictable. Other times it could be a group collaboration with very specific objectives.

I don't believe our purpose in life is self aggrandizement. That may be the case for narcissists but for the rest of us, who long for authentic fulfillment in life, service to others is paramount. Whether we're being parents or teachers or writers or artists or volunteers or coaches or health professionals or sisters or brothers, sons or daughters, or simply being a friend –helping others in whatever way is most appropriate is where we will find much of our greatest satisfaction.

Whether I am serving my family, my neighbors, my customers, my local community, or communities in need far from my home, I attempt to utilize all of my skills to do my best for people. Figuring out exactly what their true needs are is where it all begins, and that simply takes the ability to listen.