My Encounter with a Kind Sage...

I once met a sage...

He had a twinkle in his eye,

and his heart was in his smile.

Looking for a rhyme and reason to the many pains, trials,

and frights

that were entangling me...

I asked, "Why is life not easier? Why can't it be better?"

He could tell I was pained and troubled.

A tear welled up in his eye, yet he smiled in the softest of ways...

"I'm sorry you hurt,

I'm sorry you feel pain,

but this is a part of existence on this planet."

I reached out my hand,,,he reached out his own. Our palms touched.

I began to weep.

He began to weep.

And then he pulled me into his arms.

"Child, child...you are strong.

More so than you know," he whispered.

"I'm not so sure," I replied.

He put has hands on my shoulders and pushed me softly an arm-length's away.

He stared into both of my eyes.

"Yes, you are strong. You must believe."

Sliding his right hand from my shoulder,

down my arm,

to my wrist,

he turned my palm up and directed all of his energies there...

right into the palm of my hand.

"The secret of happiness is to use this hand

in conjunction with your mind...

and to build something that will better the life of your brother

and your sister.

You know, everyone is your brother and your sister.

Don't forget this.

Miseries will come

miseries will go...

but if you keep steadily working

and with this hand



it will begin to make sense."

He turned my palm and placed it on my heart...

"Your most precious gift is your heart pumping in your chest.

It continues to give you life,

and if you dare to pay attention,

dare to let it lead you where you are meant to be,

you will find yourself living the most amazing of existences."

He continued...

"The heart knows what is right,


and noble.

It is those who with ignited heart

pour themselves into their work,

touch the lives of their neighbors,

and understand the power of creation

that find true freedom.

All too many know what it feels like to miss their calling

because of fear.

Everyone has the same chance...including you."

I was so very silent

stared at the ground

knowing that so many times I have failed.

The sage put his fingers under my chin

and he raised my eyes to look into his.

Fire blazed within his soft brown gaze.

"No need to be ashamed.

Just go and do what you're supposed to do.

Your dreams were planted for a reason.

Your heart beats to serve your purpose.

Let your heart guide your hands,

let it guide your mind,

and then your feet will naturally follow.

Don't be a slave to fear.

Open your arms and embrace what is to come,

and with kindness and humility

do your work."

He reach down once more,

took my hand,

gave it a warm squeeze,

and went on his way with purpose...

I've never seen him again,

yet a part of him blazes within me.

I see his eyes,

his heart filled smile.

I am now certain beyond belief that

Sometimes we all need a sage,

and sometimes we are the sage.

-By Jen Engevik

Wisdom & the Woman in the Cafe

I once met a most amazing woman. She was 96-years-old going on 21. There was a brightness in her eyes that drew me to her instantly. And of coarse everyone who knows me well cringes when I find a stranger that I find intriguing. There is nothing that will keep me from striking up a conversation with whomever my target may be...

Her name was Margie and her eyes were as blue as the Caribbean sea and her warm smile could melt the iciest of hearts.

I struck up a conversation with her at a small cafe in Laguna Beach, California. I asked how she was doing, and she said, "Couldn't be better! What a beautiful day it is!"

I then asked her if she was always as optimistic and thrilled about life as she seemed. "You know...I have always just been amazed at how wonderful the world is. There is always something new to learn and projects to throw yourself into."

"Do you have a large family? Any children living by or grand kids?"

"No dear. I never had children and I'm the last living person in my immediate family."

I didn't quite know what to say...just looked into her eyes and held her gaze for a bit.

"Don't feel sorry for me dear," she instructed. "My life has been so very full. I am never bored and rarely lonely. I have great friends, and I travel around town a lot. Really, I feel that the world is my oyster."

It struck me as we spoke that Margie is a warrior. She has built a life of meaning out of less then optimum conditions (as measured by the majority of the world). I wanted to give her a huge hug and thank her for her boldness.

"If you could give me any advice on living a full life what would it be?" I asked.

"Hmm...well...I would say laugh as much as you can. Drink in the beauty that surrounds you each and every moment. And for goodness sakes don't ever mope around when life throws you a lemon. There is no excuse for moping around because there is always someone out there that has it tougher than you. Oh...and one more thing...be interested in the things around you -- seek knowledge. You should never be bored because there is so much you can learn."

I basked in the sunlight of her knowledge and willingness to share for near an hour, and then realized that I needed to get back to work. "Margie, I have absolutely loved our conversation. I love your attitude..."

As I spoke I realized that Thanksgiving was in a couple weeks, I asked her if she had plans. "No dear," she said. And for a moment her eyes revealed a bit of sorrow, as she was human after all. "Well, why don't you come and spend it with my family?," I asked. She thanked me for my offer but said that she would rather spend it on her own. A few seconds later her sadness was overcome by the spark that I first saw in her.

I don't quite know what to say about my encounter in full. Margie was a woman with an amazing outlook on life, and she was without a doubt human - with ups and downs.

The world we live in is amazing -- we can learn so much from people like Margie. And at the same time, we can move outside of our comfort zones, our gated communities and closed knit groups of friends/family members and continually widen it. Our family is the human race.

I wish that Margie would have accepted my invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. I wish I could have asked her if she had a fear of human connection...for maybe she feels that everyone leaves eventually. And i wish I would have been bold enough to insist and to adopt her into my family until the day she takes her last breath. And maybe even be the person who one day holds her hand on her deathbed.  This is what really should have happened.

Today, I'd like to honor Margie -- her unforgettable spark and to plea with all who read this message to reach out and to insist that no one have to go at it alone in this world. We are one human family - be bold enough to keep widening your family circle while seeking meaning, truth and that internal/external spark for life & love that will transform your world.

- Jen Engevik

Project BeBold

The Owl & His School

An owl named Old Wisdom kept a school. Everybody went to him to take lessons. After some time he wished to know what progress they had made in their studies. So he gave them a number of questions to answer.

The first was, "Why does the moon shine in the sky?"

The nightingale said, "That I might sing all night in his pleasant light to my bride, the rose."
The lilies said, "That we may open our petals, and enjoy his loving and refreshing beams."
The hare said, "That there may be enough of dew in the morning for me to lap."
The dog said, "That I may find out thieves prowling round my master's house."
The glow-worm said, "That he may throw me into the shade, for he envies my light."
The fox said, "That I may see my way to the poultry-yard."

"Enough!" said Old Wisdom.
"There is but one moon that shines in the sky, yet how each brings him to serve his own purpose!"

- An Indian Fable

Today, let's dare to celebrate variety and the number of ways in which we can see and experience the world!

Make it a great day!!

- Team Project BeBold

Words to Live By - March 6, 2010

The highest form of goodness is like water.
Water knows how to benefit all things
without striving with them.
It stays in places loathed by all men.
Therefore, it comes near the Tao.
In choosing your dwelling, know how to dive
in the hidden deeps.
In dealing with others, know how to be gentle and kind.
In speaking, know how to keep your words.
In governing, know how to keep order.
In transacting business, know how to be efficient.
In Making a move, know how to choose the right moment.

- Tao #8