Today is all that matters

My friend David Hicks and I witnessed a horrific accident yesterday on our three-hour drive into the mountains to lead a writing retreat in Salida, CO.

Across the highway median on I-70, a tractor trailer barreled down the shoulder, a cloud of dust kicked up all around it, and rammed into an overpass at full speed. The resulting fireball engulfing it and a line of cars patiently idling in rush-hour traffic. 

As we drove past from the opposite direction, David and I looked at each other and back at the scene in shock yelling, “holy shit,” over and over. 

What else is there to say while witnessing an unknown number of lives forever changing in an instant?

What else do you do? 

A day later, these words by the poet Rudy Francisco seem the best answer to me. 


Carve out joy.

Hug every human with your words, thoughts and actions.

Smile so big and laugh so loud in every mundane moment of this precious life.


There's talking about it, and there's doing something about it

There is so much talk about what's not working right now, it's really starting to bug me. The wall, the Russians, What Happened and now a growing disaster in Houston. 

While traveling in Europe this summer, even when the headlines were in a foreign language, I recognized the angry orange guy the articles were about.  

Here's the thing. If you're talking about what's going on in the world right now, it may feel like you're getting somewhere. You're letting it out. You're letting people know.

All the likes on Twitter and Facebook can make you feel like it's progress, but it isn't helping solve the problem as much as doing something about it.

Now for the sake of us introverts who would rather get a colonoscopy than be at a rally, there are solid things you can do other than shout in public surrounded by a crowd. Lots of credit to those of you who have taken to the streets, and I hope you are doing more in the days after your marching. Lots of credit too to the journalists out there, keep doing what you do. 

Going back to the woman who inspired my #HugTour movement six years ago, Maya Angelou, "You have to give what you have to give."

Do YOUR thing. 

Some ideas to get you started:

And then tell everyone about it so they can too.

If those are hard to do, ask yourself: "What feels right to me? What can I give?" Then do it.

Buddhist leaders Thich Nhat Hanh and The Dalai Lama believe meditation puts that calming energy into our environment, helping the people around you as much as it helps you. I've seen how a smile can change the room I'm in and conversations I'm having, why can't breathing deeply and approaching difficult moments with peace do the same thing?

I'm meditating more and thinking about all of you when I do. 

I'm also thinking about you when I send emails, when we get on the phone together, when we hug and with the words I use when I speak to strangers.  

Do something about how you feel. We're better for it when you do. 

One last thing -- your career relates to this too. You can wish to be more appreciated by colleagues or for a better salary, but doing something about it will actually make things better. You'll get more confidence, power, control. You also get valued, respected, paid well. 

The fall is approaching fast around here, and so while you're doing something about our political and environmental situations, make good choices about your job too.

I'm here to help.