Sing your song.

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They say there is an African tribe where, when a woman is pregnant, she goes into the jungle with the other women of the village, and together they pray and meditate until they discover that child’s song.When that child is born, the community gathers to sing his song. And at each of the major stages of his life, they will sing his song–as he becomes a man, marries, and finally as he meets death to accompany him on the journey. When that child commits an anti-social act, the community will not focus on or be fooled by the mistakes or the dark, broken or ugly places within him but will gather around him in a circle to sing him his song, for the answer is not punishment but to remind him of his true identity, his unique place in the community.

This is such a lovely picture of service and community and being seen and valued as a unique individual. Many of us long for that place. But in this world in which we find ourselves, often we don’t know our song. Or we sing someone else’s song. Or our song is drowned out. Or we are too busy, distracted, or afraid to sing our song. Or, frankly, we just mouth the words.

Today, make sure to sing your song. It’s not about whether you sing on key or whether your song is ready for a band tour. It’s about authenticity and offering the gifts that you uniquely have to offer. Sing away, little bird.

Keep on.

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Maybe you’re older, or weaker, or not quite as sharp as you used to be. Maybe your energy is fading, or you’ve gotten depressed and overwhelmed. Maybe all your ducks aren’t in a row, and all your bells don’t ring. Maybe you don’t think you can make a difference.

It is in just such times that you must press on. Your gifts are needed. The world doesn’t need you to be perfect; it needs you to show up.

Ring your bell.

An ode to pasta necklaces.

gift

What is a gift really? When it comes right down to it? If all is well in a relationship, it is an opportunity to say:

I care about you.

You are loved.

I was thinking of you.

It doesn’t really matter if it’s a diamond ring or a pasta necklace, if it’s a gift from the heart, it’s precious.

What’s your gift?

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We are each unique. Going through school, jobs, and life, it’s easy to forget that, but it will keep announcing itself to us in various, sometimes disconcerting, ways. We don’t all like the same things, don’t have the same talents, don’t see the world the same way. Each of us needs to discover for ourself how to do this thing called life. There is no one-size-fits-all version.

When you find your gifts, the things that make you feel alive, the work you would do even if it were for free, you will be like a duck to water, or, as in this delightful video, like a baby otter to water for the very first time.