I’ve been trying to think of a way to open this blog. To tell you what Cherry Blossom Soup means and how it is related to Simply Celebrate. I keep sitting down to write to you, but every time I just get bogged down in too many words; I get paralyzed by my desire to say the perfect thing.

My attempts have felt anything but simple or colorful. They’ve felt like “trying too hard.” And that’s not what I want to offer.

So here it is. The beauty of life. The way answers seem to come effortlessly when we are being still and paying attention: Last night I returned from Los Angeles where I was sitting shiva with an amazing and beautiful family. While there, I was turned inside out by the love that was expressed for my friend’s father, Wally, who died last week. His spirit and passions were so alive in people’s faces and in their stories. Every single person who crossed his path was inspired in some way – large or small – by him.

Wally did a lot of great things in the world. He was a philanthropist and a man who worked diligently for peace. But what moved me the most was hearing people talk about why he did those things. Not because he wanted awards or accolades. Not because he felt like he should. Not because he wanted to create an image or idea of who he was. But because he was constantly moved to live out his passions and principles. Wally gave so much because this is what he felt called to do. He probably had no idea that some of his simplest gestures would have such an impact. That his generosity of spirit would effect such change. And in the end, it wasn’t only the work he was doing – but how he was doing it – that would be such a gift to the world.

It’s really sad that Wally has died. But what I keep thinking is, “Wow, how he lived!”

And that is what I want to talk about. Allowing ourselves to be moved. Discovering and pursuing what bring us to life. Tapping into our own vitality. Answering what calls to us.

I return to the office this morning and realize I should immediately tackle the long list of to-dos awaiting me. But I am unsettled. Longing. I do some yoga and meditate. And I allow myself to open a friend’s email with a YouTube link. It’s a four-minute video about a surprising and joyous event that happens in the Antwerp train station. Within minutes, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of joy, vitality, and purpose.

Thanks to Roberta for passing the link along. It’s worth a few minutes of your time; take a look.

Now, it is clear to me that what I want to share with you is this elixir of life and death. It’s the vital question of what we want to do – how we want to live – our few and fleeting hours.

What do you want for yourself – this moment, this day, this life? And what would you like to leave behind for others?