We don’t know California

For as a bat’s eyes are to daylight so is our intellectual eye to those truths which are, in their own nature, the most obvious of all.


One of the magical things about living alongside the Pacific is the marine layer, a cloud of mist that takes over the coastline, usually in the mornings. Go a few miles inland, and the sun is shining bright. Wait a few hours, and the sun will burn off the marine layer, revealing the spectacular blue of the Pacific. But while the marine layer is at its peak, the California coast is covered in fog. If you arrived on one of these mornings, and left before the marine layer dissipated, you’d think Southern California was one big cloud. That the rumors of sunshine were just that. Rumors.

That’s exactly how we as a society experience the world. “If you condense the history of the Earth — about 4.6 billion years — to just one year, humans have been been here for only about 23 minutes of that one year.” We have occupied Earth for less than .000001% of it’s existence, yet we make grand proclamations about how it works.

For some, the collective scribblings in the human notebook have ruled out God.

How sad.

Our observations are useful to live in the world, and I will run to them when I am sick, or in need of transportation, or even a recipe. But I also fight to keep them in perspective as written in crayon.

The perch of humanity is small. We don’t see as far as we think. We’ve lived our entire lives inside the marine layer.

We don’t know California.

We’ve never seen it in the sunshine.

Imagine Heaven

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

I’m living in California for the next month or so, and have been lucky to find a yoga studio I like. It reminds me of the Miami studios where I first fell in love with yoga. In shavasana tonight, they played John Lennon’s Imagine.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

I don’t want to imagine there is no heaven. With all my heart, I hope there is one. Seven years ago, I watched my Grandmother die. At age 93, she was innocent. There was a strength in her no one could touch. She went to church every Sunday, patient, humble, sweet. She believed there was a heaven, that Christ rose from the dead.

She asked me to say Hail Mary’s. I say one most every night. I pray to God, and ask him to forgive me, to watch over my friends and loved ones. To send my Dad strength, and to protect my Mom and Sister from anyone who would do them harm. I pray for my Grandmother, my Grandfather, and for all those I know who have died. I can feel them with me. Sometimes they whisper in my ear. They watch over me.

I don’t imagine there is no heaven. I imagine the bonds I’ve forged on this earth lasting forever. I imagine meeting my Grandmother again.

I imagine there is a heaven.

It’s easy if you try.

Honoring the chooser

I’ve never been one to be chosen. At least not in the traditional sense. I was never much of a student, went to a mediocre law school, wasn’t particularly popular in high school. I was chosen once by a big law firm, and it was one of the worst things that ever happened to me.

However, I realize that being chosen by the system is only one of the many ways we choose people. Most of these choices are far more subtle than telling an actress she got the part. Part of understanding people is recognizing when they’ve chosen you, what they’ve chosen you for, and what the choice means to them. Each time we’re chosen, we must honor the chooser, and live up to what they’ve seen in us, because as George MacDonald said “to be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

As a career entrepreneur, I’ve chosen myself. I may rarely be picked by the system, so I’ve created my own. My ability to help those I love through my businesses, is one of the most important things in my life. I have to be careful to honor the beliefs that drive me, and surround myself with people who will both inspire and nurture my vision.

Each time a client hires our agency, we’ve been chosen. People trust their businesses to us with faith that we’ll help them grow. They just as easily could have hired a competitor, but they chose us. This is a tremendous responsibility that we must be careful to honor.

When a friend shares excitement with us, we’ve been chosen. We’ve been selected as someone worth sharing hope with. If we love our friend, we will take the time to share their joy, and bask in whatever mood is appropriate, for as long as appropriate.

We meet people all the time who are reeling, and they show us just a glimpse. In that moment, we’ve been chosen. Our best can give them a moment of safety.

Being chosen is rare, and it’s an honor.

A beauty we see clearly is disregarded by another. Had we done the choosing, a different result, but what of those times that we’re the selected beauty? In those moments, we have to honor the risk that another puts in us. When another deems us suitable, we must be suitable.

To break that trust is to break our own back.

The door doesn’t close behind you…

You got really good at something. Studied, practiced, failed, ultimately succeeded. Now you’re in, part of the club.

The door doesn’t close behind you. Others will try to walk “your” path.

They may walk it better.

Getting “it,” then telling the next generation they’re pretenders is no good. More often than not, it’s a defense mechanism rooted in not wanting to believe that someone else can do what you do.

That’s a small mindset. There was a time when you couldn’t do what you do either, and if you’re growing, there are more of those days on the horizon.