It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
This week, The Open Field will publish its second book. It’s called The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self by my friend Martha Beck.
I’m beyond excited and beyond humbled to be the home base for Martha’s newest offering. As I told her and my brother Timothy (who wrote The Call to Unite), if you had told me a year ago, two years, or five years ago that The Open Field would be publishing books (with Viking/Penguin) that truly matter with purpose and intention, and that the first two offerings would be from two writers and thinkers who I love and admire, I would have said that it was an impossible dream.
I tell this to you today in case you, too, have a dream that feels impossible. I tell this to you today to inspire you forward, to encourage you to stay the course, to believe in God’s timing, and to assure you that dreams can, in fact, come true.
I’ve always been a dreamer—a restless, impatient one at that—and what I have learned is that the dreams I often had for myself as a young woman were too limited. They didn’t allow for my eventual growth, or for my struggles. They didn’t make room for who I would become. They didn’t imagine the life I would end up living.
I tell you this in order for you to dream as wide as possible. I tell you this because one dream isn’t enough. I tell you this because we can never account for how life actually unfolds, and the key is to keep dreaming no matter what your age or where you are in life.
As a young woman, I wanted to be a TV journalist, an anchorwoman, a mother, and a wife. I didn’t dream beyond those labels. But I’ve come to learn that labels limit us. They keep our lives narrow and contained. It’s hard to be a multitude of things when the world seems to be demanding that you describe yourself as only one thing and then do just that one thing. I urge you to not allow that box to contain you, because if you lose that job, that role, or that label, you will find yourself not just wondering who you are, but what you are capable of being.
Martha’s book is important because it paves the path for your own life and what you bring to your journey, which is your integrity.
Integrity is a deeply powerful concept. I love Martha’s definition, which comes from the root of the word. She describes being in integrity as being intact: to be one thing whole and undivided. Who doesn’t want to live from that whole place?
If you make choices and decisions from that place, you might find yourself on a path you never imagined. You might find yourself in a place you never dreamed of. If you keep making small choices from that place, it will lead you to dreams you never envisioned and places you never anticipated.
What is super inspiring is that any of us can go there, regardless of how fragmented our lives might be at this moment. Regardless of what mess we might have made or found ourselves in, the way of integrity is our way out.
The truth is that all of us have dashed and broken dreams. I know I do. Many of us have found ourselves somewhere along the path of life defeated, discouraged, disillusioned, or disappointed in ourselves. I know I have been in that place where I have felt that and more: unsure, unsteady, and fragmented might be a better description of where I found myself at certain times in my life.
In moments like those, we have no choice but to make the choice to put ourselves back together, take accountability for our lives, and try to move ourselves forward with intention and integrity.
Martha lights the way no matter where you are, as do all the writers in today’s newsletter, all of whom are on the integrity path. It’s hard to be in integrity, no matter what field you’re in or what role you’re filling. Trying to live life as your authentic self is a practice many of us fail at, or struggle with. But the most important thing is simply to try and dream from that whole place, to live from that whole place that’s within and to pick yourself up time after time and recommit to your path.
Today I have dreams yet to fulfill. I imagine things for myself today that I never dreamt of before. My broken dreams have made way for my whole unfiltered dreams. Am I where I thought I’d be at this age or at this moment? Absolutely not. I never imagined that I would be single in my 60s. I never imagined that I’d be living alone at this time. I never thought I’d be running a media company, nor did I imagine being a writer, an entrepreneur (more on that soon), an Alzheimer’s activist, or a grandma (I can't believe I’m a grandmother!).
So am I where I thought I would be today? Is my life what I thought it would be? No. That said, I feel blessed to be on my path. At long last, I finally feel whole and intact in myself and I’m inspired by so many people who light my path and who urge me to stay the course. You can do the same. The Open Field awaits us all.
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