Die Empty: A Mantra for Life

At a conference this week, I had the good fortune to hear Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative, give a talk Be a Laser, Not a Lighthouse. The ninety minutes were chock full of great advice, but Todd shared one of his own mantras that stuck out to me: “Die Empty.” We avoid death like, well, the plague. More than not wanting to die ourselves, our culture doesn’t like to discuss death or even see others that are grieving death. For example, after my father died in the winter of 2010, I had a friend tell me only three weeks later that I had grieved long enough and needed to pull myself together. Nevertheless, chances are good that we will all walk through that gate–as Todd said, “the probability is hovering right around 100%.” Throughout our lives, we dream universes of opportunity and spend our days acting them out….

Seasons Change

Whether you find yourselves at the peaks of the mountain, the depths of the valley or even trudging somewhere in between, one thing is certain, change will come. When I was much younger and smarter, I realized that like the physical world, the human experience is always moving in and out of seasons. In fact, at the time I imagined that I would need a daily reminder of this, and I memorialized this belief symbolically in my wedding ring. I had a jeweler create this ring with four sides surrounding a circle representing the continuity of life surrounded by the different seasons life will take. Since that time, we have moved to several homes, worked at different jobs, watched life spring forth with the birth of our children and watch life slip away. Despite my best efforts to make the high points last forever, they slip away. Fortunately, with the…

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