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When the delightful and insightful Ava Diamond shared  the picture above, taken with her brand new camera at Fossil Creek Reservoir in Colorado, the words that came to me were from the soundtrack from Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the movie. (Neil Diamond’s voice at its most spectacular, images that take your heart soaring and plummeting and spinning dizzy into places you didn’t know it could go, all illustrating the story that reminded us that we needn’t settle for lives of fighting for food and never losing sight of the shore.) It begins like this…

Lost, on a painted sky

Where the clouds are hung for the poet’s eye

Have you ever felt lost? I know I have.

“Who am I? What am I? Where am I and where do I belong?”

But you know, I don’t think that bird is lost, or lonely either. That bird knows how to BE. Like the chorus to the song…


There’s a page that aches for a word which speaks on a theme that is timeless…

We’ve all said it;

“I really should BE…

“I wish you would BE…”

What do you put in the blank after BE?

Is it not enough, ever, just to BE?

To say simply “I want to BE.”

Have you ever just let yourself lie on a beach or in an open field, on your bed or in a hammock and just celebrated the fact of your being, your very existence and your ability to be aware of it?

Have you ever tried to just let yourself BE?

It’s harder than it sounds.

We’re conditioned to want to BE something and someone. When we grow up we will BE something. When we get married we will BE someone’s someone. When we have children or a boss or employees we will BE someone else’s something else. And the way we fill in the blank that follows BE then becomes how we define our existence and our expectations.

So when we meet someone we want to find out what fills in their blank and how that relates to what fills in our blank. Now we want to know what that relationship is going to BE. Will it BE fun, profitable, educational, edifying? Will it BE a relationship of days, months, years, a lifetime? What will fill in the blank after BE?

Our strength, our energy and our personal power do not come from the words we use to fill in the blank, but simply from our BEing. Everything else is development, growth and augmentation of that.

First I am. Then I BE-come.

First I allow myself to BE. BE followed by a period. Only then I can develop the things that fill in the blanks.

If I strive to BE something or someone before I connect to that BEing that is inherent in my existence, then all that I do and all that am will be weakened. The value I bring to the world is lessened if I ask myself to BEcome anything that isn’t connected to that core, because it is the period after the BE that forms the foundation on which I can build my value.

What about relationships? How do we fill in the blank after BE when we decide what we want from someone else? Well, don’t you think that first we must allow the other person simply to be? When we insist on filling the blank after BE it becomes not a relationship but a contract. Not that contracts are never appropriate, it’s just important to know the difference.

Who can you look in the eye and say, “What is most important to me is not that you are my friend, or my partner, or my child, or my client. What is most important to me is that you are you.”

Who can you allow simply to BE?

Perhaps you can BEgin with yourself?

Lost on a painted sky

Where the clouds are hung for the poet’s eye

You may find him

If you may find him…

Perhaps you will also find yourself.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull Soundtrack - BE

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