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It’s never too late to start something, or start it again, or even start over completely.

{I know, I know…I sound like a know-it-all. But it’s only because now that I know what I didn’t know before, I want you to know it, too. Sooner rather than later.}

Some of you don’t believe it because nobody ever told you it was true. Others believe it, but only  for others, because you have no idea how to set it in motion for yourself.

And who better than Anne Lamott to say it like it is for those of us who need a little help getting the show on the road. It’s one of The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever, and you can find it at

I’ve shortened it a bit [and paraphrased portions], picking up with a question we would all be wise to revisit often to keep up- to-date with how we’re living and if we might need to commence with something new.


How are you going to live this one odd and precious life you’ve been given?

Are you going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances?  Or are you going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are?

We all know what society promises will make us whole and fulfilled. Our culture says those things will save us, as long as you also manage to keep your weight down. But the culture lies.

When I finally became a successful author, I was like a greyhound catching the mechanical rabbit she’d been chasing all her life — metal, wrapped up in cloth. It wasn’t alive; it had no spirit. It was fake. Fake doesn’t feed anything. Only spirit feeds spirit, in the same way only your own blood type can sustain you. It had nothing that could slake the lifelong thirst I had for a little immediacy, and connection.

What you’re looking for is already inside you. You’ve heard this before, but the holy thing inside you really is that which causes you to seek it. You can’t buy it, lease it, rent it, date it, or apply for it. The best job in the world can’t give it to you. Neither can success, or fame, or financial security.

But the thing is that you don’t know if you’re going to live long enough to slow down, relax, and have fun, and discover the truth of your spiritual identity. You may not be destined to live a long life; you may not have 60 more years to discover and claim your own deepest truth. So I thought it might help if I just went ahead and told you what I think is the truth of your spiritual identity.  Actually, I don’t have a clue.

I do know you are not what you look like, or how much you weigh, or how you did in school, and whether you land the perfect job. Spirit isn’t what you do, it’s … well, again, I don’t actually know. But I know that you feel it best when you’re not doing much — when you’re in nature, when you’ve very quiet, or, paradoxically, listening to music.

You can feel it and hear it in the music you love. You can close your eyes and feel the divine spark. It flickers with aliveness and relief, like an American in a foreign country who suddenly hears someone speaking in English. In the Christian tradition, they say that the soul rejoices in hearing what it already knows.

Spirit is visible in people being kind to each other, especially when it’s a really busy person, taking care of a needy, annoying person. Or even, stopping to take care of pitiful, pathetic you. In fact, that’s often when we see spirit most brightly.

It’s magic to see spirit, largely because it’s so rare. Mostly you see the masks and holograms of our culture. You see how you’re doing in the world’s eyes, or your family’s, or — worst of all — your own, or in the eyes of people who are doing better than you — much better than you — or worse.

But you are not your bank account, or your ambitiousness. You’re not your collection of walking personality disorders. You are spirit, and you are loved.

You’re here to love and be loved, freely. All that will matter at the end of your life is memories of beauty, that people loved you and you loved them, and that you tried to help the poor and innocent.


Stay tuned for Anne’s list of do’s and don’ts next week, and why her most important “don’t” has to do with the pants you wear. 🙂

In the meantime, check her out at

Til then!

Love Julie