Finding the divine in Every Day

Yesterday my favorite storyteller was the keynote at a conference I attended. Kevin Kling uses his voice to connect and inspire us, and humor to heal. His stories remind us of our humanity. And, like me, he comes from Osseo, Minnesota (and we both marched in the band although a decade apart) which is, you know, pretty cool. Small town guy makes it big. His sister was my 12th grade Honors English teacher. My friend's dad was Kevin's Cub Scout leader. Kevin generously contributed a blurb for my first book. So of course, we are pretty tight, practically besties. (Except that we're not. Kevin doesn't actually know who I am, but he is always kind when our paths meet.)

The world gets a little darker every day. Bad news. Tragedy. Cruelty running rampant. Reading or hearing the morning news is akin to drowning in a pool of muck. By evening's headlines I'm practically immune to it all (Except that I'm not. No one is.).

Kevin's words at the conference yesterday will continue to resonate with me for a long time. He encouraged us, a room full of communicators, to seek out inspirational stories, and to find the divine in Every Day. "Treat every story like a love story, and you will understand why your heart wants to tell the story." He reminded us that good storytellers are good listeners, and that deep listening becomes empathy. We can gain wisdom from someone else's story without going through the often painful experience that leads to growth. "Don't listen for what you expect: listen for what's actually there."

"Tell the right story at the right time. What does the moment need at this exact time?" Wow. The right story told at the right time connects, heals, inspires, and ignites faith.

Today we learned about another senseless loss of someone whose stories connected, healed, inspired, and ignited faith across cultures. Flawed, honest, and charming, Anthony Bourdain reveled in learning about and sharing community through food.

We are on this path together, for better or worse. We have to continue to connect and remind each other of those connections. Bring as much lightness as you can to an often dark world. Tonight T and I will celebrate the amazing wonderful life we have together with our cats and our peaceful home and the good food and wine that we are so lucky to enjoy. Appreciate what you have, and find divine in the Every Day.


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