Discover Your Next Step

by Lance Ekum on · 86 comments

Jed and Al
Creative Commons License photo credit: Steve Oliver Imagery

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

"Discover your passion."

"Live your dream."

"Be authentically you."

"Follow your heart."

Have you ever heard one of these phrases?

Have you ever heard these, and then thought "why is this so difficult for me?", "why can't I feel the passion", "what's wrong with me, I don't know what my heart is telling me", or something like that?

…maybe you have reached that spot where you've found bliss in your everyday.

Maybe, though, you have not.

Have you discovered your passion(s)?  Do you follow your heart (and what does that really mean, anyway)?

On this journey of your life, the one each of you is uniquely living – this is a very personal journey that each of you take. 

What is that next step on this journey?  Travel with me, for a moment.  Travel with me to a place that is close to home, to a place that has always been there, to a place where the pathways are many.

…the journey within….

“The only journey is the journey within.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Does that journey scare you away?  Make you hesitate?  Think it's something you will do on another day?  Sound a little bit too fluffy?

I assure you, this is such a deeply good place to travel toward. 

And perhaps that's a point worth reflecting upon. 

This world is filled with so many amazing sights…so many places that evoke every sort of emotion possible.  From the beautiful natural formations that cover this planet we live on, to the myriad of man-made objects that speak to the creativity and genius of their creators – we are blessed with a multitude of places to explore in this world.  And explore those, many of us do. 

How amazing is this?  Just think, for a minute, of some of the truly awe-inspiring places that your ventures have led you toward.

“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” – St. Augustine

You journey toward these amazing physical places in this world.  Are you also taking that journey into your own internal world? 

“One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Perhaps.  Perhaps this journey…the journey into self…is the one you are putting off, the one that is the most difficult to start.

What is the next step?

Back to that question.  How do you really know what your next step is in this life you are living…today?  How do you take this journey within?  How do you even know if the steps you are taking are steps in a right direction?

Lots of questions.

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau

It's okay.

It's okay that you have questions.  It's okay that this journey has some ambiguity to it.  It's okay if this journey within makes you feel a little lost. (or maybe even a lot lost)

See, it's not that you get lost, or not.  It's not that you are confused on this journey, or not. 

It's that you are on this journey.  A journey into you.  A journey into a deeper understanding of who you are.   Maybe there will be answers which come quickly.  Maybe there will be a lot of dead end paths (although they are not really dead ends at all, as this is all so good for you knowing 'you').  Maybe you will feel frustrated and lost.  Maybe you'll happen upon some beautiful insight into you. 

Whatever comes on this journey inward – it's the being on this journey that is so good for your soul. 

I can't answer for you where this journey will lead you.  I can't answer for you, what you will feel as you take these steps into you.  I can't answer for you, just how good this will be.

See, it all depends on you.  How deep are you willing to go?  How well do you want to know you?  How brave are you to venture off the inner paths you have been following, and see what lies in the dark corners?  How willing are you to step into the light? 

Be okay with who you are.  BE with that.  BE with you.  Embrace what is already there, perhaps tucked away in the recesses of your heart. 

What is that next step?

Only you know. 

How willing are you to take a step into you, into the amazing possibility of you?  Even if…even if that seems like an unknown path?

May you find peace in your journey…

A special thank you to Patricia, from Patricia's Wisdom – for posing this question in the comments recently, which sparked the creation of this article.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave December 21, 2010 at 7:55 am

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau

Hi Lance, I haven’t seen that one before but it’s something I’ve been coming to terms with recently.

Very thought provoking!! 🙂
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm

This is a newly discovered quote for me, too – and words from Thoreau are always deeply meaningful. This one, I too, am letting soak into me more deeply as well…and it’s all good…

…just as it is for you…and for you journey…


Emergefit December 21, 2010 at 8:11 am

A great reminder that each of us, is the pilot. And though it’s important to understand that we each have control of our destiny, what is more important is how we interpret our destiny, and all the little stops along the way. Perception of a moment is often where the real work in life takes place.


Lance December 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Ahhh, how are we viewing our destiny? Great and thoughtful question to ask ourselves…on this journey of our lives…

May your moments continue to reach your soul…


rob white December 21, 2010 at 9:02 am

Hi Lance,
Very often people think that the romance of world travel is the answer to all their problems. Most people just pick up their disgruntled inward self-talk and plop it down in a new location expecting to be transformed. The experience of travel can be a wonderful and enriching experience … but if we fail to explore the inner working of our mind first it becomes a “fools paradise.”
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Travel is something that I find so good. Although, as you state – are we just BEING the same person in a different location? Or are we taking that journey as a way to more deeply connect to our own journey? That journey within – it’s one I’ve found to be so good. And, coupled with new locations, can be so personally powerful. Still – that takes real effort to explore our own internal world, too.

Love all that you have shared, so meaningful to this discussion. Thanks Rob, for your deeply thoughtful response.


Peggy Nolan December 21, 2010 at 10:36 am

As soon as I started reading your post, I realized it reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by James Joyce…

“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”

No matter where you go, there you are. Yet too many are afraid to look inside and discover who they really are. No doubt, the journey within takes guts, courage, fortitude, and a commitment most people are unwilling to make.

Not me. Not anymore. Not since 2004. (on no…another poem!!)

Great post Lance!!

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Lance December 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm

We are with ourselves…always. Do we always see (feel/know/believe/trust/honor) ourselves, though? This is our life, though. And what we’re missing is truly the beauty of our own soul when we travel now within….

Peggy – I’m just getting around to catching back up on your site. Can’t wait to read some of your poetry!

Love to you,


Jay Schryer December 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

The journey inward is what led me to start blogging, which led me to you, which led me to this post today. The journey of self-discovery is never-ending, but it has most beautiful scenery along the way. Thank you for being a part of my journey, my friend.
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I love what you have shared – and it reminds me, too, how this path inward for me – it’s what also has brought me to this place. So…how wonderful – traveling within has also become a way to unite us together – to forge a new friendship.

How awesome is that!!


Michelle @ Following Your Joy December 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Hi Lance,

First of all, thank you so much for linking back to one of my posts! What a fun surprise, and I love how it ties-in beautifully with what you’ve written. Thank you!

My favorite line here is “Only you know.” Wow, that is a big one. I use it a lot with my coaching clients as we work together to uncover those answers within. When we’re “busy” and racing around in life…the answers generally don’t come. It takes getting quiet to go within. And sometimes getting quiet can feel scary or risky (“What if I don’t like the answers?”).

Thank you for this fabulous reminder that it is up to each of us to (wisely) choose that next step…rather than life choosing for us. I am going to ponder that one today…

Much love to you during the holidays!
Michelle @ Following Your Joy´s Last Fabulous Post ..Cheers And Gratitude To My Buddy- Neil Diamond!My Profile


Lance December 22, 2010 at 7:23 pm

You are so welcome, sweet friend!! And I just LOVE your writing…all of it!

Life can seem “rushed”, can’t it. Busy, busy, busy. And sometimes – I think we do all of that just to be busy (maybe it makes us look important, or useful, or a go-getter, or….). What we’re missing though – is a few moments to really “see” who we are. And that CAN be scary.

Michelle, I know you know this all so well. And so, having you here today – it’s so meaningful to me.

May your next steps be one of deep meaning for you…

And – to you and Bill – much, much love always…


Evita December 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Lance – what timely words… how often that happens, and how perfect!

I am grasping all that you wrote here, the journey within more this month, than perhaps ever before. I knew I was on a journey within, but since I did the Vipassana Meditation course, wow did it take me deeper. It is still continuing to take me deeper. I don’t know how far I will go, it is not always easy or comfortable, but I have learned to trust, have faith and continue the journey, for I know that the deeper within we go, the greater the rewards are. There is no greater gift perhaps that we can give ourselves than knowing who we are, loving ourselves, truly loving ourselves, and trusting ourselves, being one with ourselves.

The journey as I mentioned isn’t always easy, but it is soooooo worth it 🙂
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Your Vipassana Meditation course is one that truly touched fully upon this idea of quieting the mind – and in that, focusing more fully upon the deeper part of the soul. What a beautiful (and challenging) experience I’m sure that was.

This idea of the rewards of going deeper – these are rewards we might not always feel immediately. In fact, in the challenging moments of this “going deeper”, we might question why we are doing this, and if it’s worth the feelings that might be coming up. I assert that it is still so, so worth it – and that it might be an hour, a day, a week, a year down the road before we fully see and feel what comes from these moments. I’m sure you would agree – having been to this spot in such a deep level.

Evita, I look at you – and I fully see the beauty shining outward that is directly related to your going inward. What a wonderful gift that is – for you, and for everyone who encounters your presence.

Much love to you and Markus, as you both continue to deepen your relationship with YOU, and with each other…


Patricia December 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Thank you for being inspired by my questions. That is one of the nicest rewards of sharing. I have ever received. So curiosity might be the raising of the next step within? Learning to listen to within. Is another step, and I have not found many folks who will actively listen when one is stuck. I have recently been adding meditation to my Yin Yoga practice and getting such amazing insights. This is truly a welcome writing today. A true gift of your generous spirit. Joy to you and yours this holiday season. Merry! Merry Be!


Lance December 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm

I really have to thank you, once again, for inspiring this whole article. Your questions from a recent post really struck me – and made me stop and think more deeply about these “next steps” in life.

So glad to hear about your meditation practice. This is something I have started recently, as well. And I have found it both challenging (in the doing of it sometimes) and so, so peace-filled (in the doing sometimes, and always in how I feel afterward).

Patricia, know that I deeply appreciate you, the gift of your presence, and the care with which you share.

May this season be filled with peace and joy for you…


Galen Pearl December 21, 2010 at 5:08 pm

This is so beautiful. I love everything about your blog. The photos, the ideas, the poetic writing.

In this post, I especially liked the parallel between outer and inner voyages. I spent much of my early adult life with a passport, living and travelling in other countries. And it was grand. However, once I moved here, I seemed to take root and start going inward. (I know many people combine these, but apparently I can only focus on one direction at a time!)

I have only in recent years come to the real experience of the truth that “only I know.” How scary and liberating all at once. It is like riding the crest of a wave, or at least how I imagine it, not being a surfer myself. You have to feel it and trust in your instincts. You have to be one with the wave, or, as Bruce Lee said, be water.
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Jean Burman December 22, 2010 at 7:36 am

I love this Galen… “you have to be one with the wave… be water” You wrote this response very beautifully 🙂

[Apologies Lance for butting in here… but just had to say]… 🙂
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Galen Pearl December 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Jean, Thank you for your comment on my comment! Hope Lance won’t mind about our little sidebar!
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Jean and Galen,
I LOVE that you two are continuing the conversation here in this space!!

In fact…I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

And I also agree very much with you, Jean – Galen wrote a deeply beautiful response…


Lance December 22, 2010 at 7:39 pm

It’s so great having you here, and for me to experience your soul shining through in your beautiful words.

I think many people combine outer voyages and inner voyages. I also believe that there are many people who hope to go inward while on those outer voyages…only to find the same patterns whether “at home” or “on the road”. It takes dedication to go to that place within…

Being one with the wave…mmm….I love that thought! …going within…scary and liberating…

Galen, thank you so much for all you have shared…what a gift you are!


KCLAnderson (Karen) December 21, 2010 at 7:27 pm

I just have to post this quote, which dovetails nicely, I think: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you feel alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

I am a big believer in doing the inside work…in knowing ourselves intimately. Because then we can be the best when doing the outside work. We have so much more to give…
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 8:49 pm

And it’s that inside work which helps us to discover what makes us truly come alive.

Love this Howard Thurman quote!! And I do because it highlights so wonderfully exactly what you’ve stated – this time spent on inside work just makes the outside work we do so much more meaningful.

Karen, thanks for sharing all of this…you are wonderful!


Sandra Lee December 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Lance ~ This is so reassuring: “I assure you, this is such a deeply good place to travel toward.” It’s always a tremendous help to hear from someone who has traveled the journey and beckons us from beyond. Thanks for telling us it’s safe, it’s OK. So many questions in this post today! So many important questions! The time is ripe for me. I’m taking the next step on my inner quest. Thanks for your inspiration.
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm

And in all of this – I am most definitely not saying that this will be not be challenging. It very likely will bring about thoughts from our depths that do prove just that. Still – that is all so good – because this is all stuff that is a part of our being. And in going to this place, we open up ourselves to be that much more connected to meaning in our lives. And that…that is so worth it….

Sandra, I love these directions you are traveling in…and know that if there is ever anything I can do to support you on this path…I am here. Your soul shines so brightly – and what a gift that is…


Adrienne December 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Dear Lance,

It really is a wild ride, getting to know yourself, isn’t it? 🙂 I’ve been on that journey for the past few years now, but I feel like this last six months or so have really taken me even further into the rabbit hole! Yes, it can be dark and scary at times, but mostly, it’s been a great and fun adventure. Some of the best moments have actually been the ones where I’ve dug into a place of stillness and quiet. It’s the place where I can really hear…me. The problem is, I tend to keep myself too busy and surround myself with too much noise to ever get back to that place.

However, I’m hoping to visit there much more often in the upcoming year. Per Sandra’s wonderful suggestion, I chose one word as my theme for the new year: simplify. I’ll be focusing on simplifying my things, my finances, and my commitments so that I can free my time and my mind for the things that are most important in my life.

Thank you for this gentle nudge and for being such an awesome friend! Happy Holidays!! 🙂
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 9:57 pm

And that “wild” ride can sometimes be like a roller coaster…only different…

And what a great journey this is, to be on. I’ll venture to say that even those dark and scary places – they too lead to some deep personal discoveries…discoveries that are so worth the darkness we might have to face.

You bring up such a great point – when we keep ourselves “busy”…it’s so much harder to go inward. It’s only when we truly “still” ourselves that this comes to be (and it still takes diligent work on our part…it’s not something that just happens…).

I’m also a big believer in the “one word” focus for the year – something I’ve done for the last two years…and has been so meaningful. I believe it also focuses us in on what matters more fully, also. May the year 2011 bring simplification much more deeply into your being.

Adrienne…you too, have a wonderful and joy filled holiday season with your husband…and may it also bring you an extra sense of peace in your heart…


Caroline December 22, 2010 at 12:21 am

WOW…lance…wow. I just love this post. This past year has been a journey into myself…deep into myself. Much of the time I was lost. But you know what? I grew more than I ever thought possible…and I really like who I have become.

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Lance December 22, 2010 at 9:59 pm

I know (…at least in part) how deeply you have journeyed this past year. And seeing where you are today, I see the fruits of those labors.

So…you were lost…and because of that…just look where that has brought you to today. Caroline…you shine so beautifully…and that’s present evermore in this YOU that you are evolving into being…

Much love to you and your sweet family…


Jean Burman December 22, 2010 at 7:32 am

So beautifully expressed Lance 🙂 You’re a man after my own heart… and I so agree with you here. The journey within is such an exhaustive and important one. As for outward journey’s I have always loved Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote: Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful… we must carry it with us or we find it not” Smart man Emerson. Don’t you think?

Love this post Lance. Thank you ever so much… 🙂
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Mmmm….you make me smile this evening (and you are so, so sweet).

Mr. Emerson was such a wise man – and I’m sure much of that came from his own “going within”. And to the quote you shared – that beauty is directly related to our time spent getting to know ourselves…a very inward looking process.

Jean, it is always so wonderful having you here. Much love to you, and may the sunshine in your soul continue to radiate outward in the magnificent ways I’ve felt that light from within you…


Jody - Fit at 53 December 22, 2010 at 7:35 am

Be okay with who you are. BE with that. BE with you. Embrace what is already there, perhaps tucked away in the recesses of your heart.

I find it interesting that all the commenters find a little something different to take away from this fantastic post. Like I found in the above statement… be OKAY with you. I think so often that we are trying to please others & do for others & meet their expectations rather than just finding what makes us happy..

Great post Lance!
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Ahhh…so, true. How much do we try to please others, and in the process – neglect ourselves. Us. Who we are with always.

Jody – thank you for highlighting that – it’s so easy to forget that we don’t have to please some other person all the time…and that we take some time…for us…

So great having you here, and may your holidays be filled with much laughter and love…


Tim December 22, 2010 at 7:56 am


Great post, as always. You’re right about this journey that all of us are on. Some of us seem further along and more tuned into this journey. But I think the secret, as you put it, rests on that journey within. The ability to go within and reflect and meditate. The ability to follow our heart and listen within for the answers we seek. Thank you for reminding us about this journey and have a great holiday!
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Lance December 22, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Yes, I do think that we’re all at different spots on this journey…and wherever that is…it’s the right place to

When that journey takes us within ourselves, I believe we’re led to a place that has much meaning for us. It’s also one that is so easy to put off (no one’s requiring us to do it, it’s not going to affect our paycheck this week, etc, etc, etc). When we do, though, it just leads us to “home”….

Tim, it’s so great to have your support and friendship. May your holidays, too, be filled with much joy and happiness…


Tess The Bold Life December 22, 2010 at 8:30 am

Hi Lance,
I love all quotes, questions, and Peggy’s quotes as well. I guess I’m a quote kind of gal;) I don’t think the dark hole ends does it. The further I take the light down I find there’s always more to excavate. Great end of the year post to ponder. Thanks so much and Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family. How blessed you (we) are!
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Lance December 23, 2010 at 5:05 am

…and I’m a quote kind of guy!! (it’s great having you here today, Tess…)

The light…is there. It’s there within each of us. And we fully embrace that light…what a gift that is.

Tess, Merry Christmas to you and Roger and your whole wonderful family. May the season be filled with moments of joy and peace…


beth December 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

what a great message this time of year…..and i like the BE stuff best… of the reasons that my blog is what it is…..BE yourself …….because really, what else can we be ?
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Lance December 23, 2010 at 5:07 am

Love that!! Be authentically you. Be okay with you. Be.

Continue to share YOU out into this world…it’s a gift to everyone whose path you cross.

Happy holidays!


Lynn December 22, 2010 at 9:43 am

A wonderful and thought-provoking post, Lance. And something to ponder for the new year that’s coming.
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Lance December 23, 2010 at 5:08 am

Mmmmm….yes, so good to let these thoughts soak into your soul…

Have a wonderful and love-filled Christmas, sweet friend…


jonathanfigaro December 22, 2010 at 10:08 am

Very strong and thought provoking post. It leaves one to live for there dreams and be more human than anything else. Gotta love it.


Lance December 23, 2010 at 5:10 am

Live your dream. Be you. Be fully open to the human-ness of your life.

All such wonderful thoughts. And I LOVE that…

Happy holidays, my friend…


Jason December 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

Great food for thought. I came here via Constantly Evolving. I’m glad I did!


Lance December 23, 2010 at 5:11 am

Glad to have you here!! And as you let this soak more deeply into your soul, may it also bring you a sense of deeper connection with YOU…


Christopher Foster December 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Time to pause in my journey and say hello to my friend Lance once again, and wish you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. It’s our own integrity at sake here isn’t it Lance? To be about our mission, to follow the journey of our own truth wherever it takes us. Every good wish.
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Lance December 23, 2010 at 5:12 am

So, so great to have you here.

Thank you so much for the Christmas wishes. And to you and your wife, may this Christmas season be one that is filled with many moments of deeper connection and love.

Much peace and love,


Amy MacLeod December 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm

The journey within is the uncharted wonder, the endless discovery, the richest of rewards – of all time.

Thanks, Lance, for this loving encouragement.
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Lance December 23, 2010 at 5:17 am

Your words are so lovely and sweet. And yes…the richest reward of all…that journey within…

May this holiday season bring peace and love in great abundance…to you…


Ryan @ Planting Dollars December 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I really agree about your thoughts on needing to feel lost before being able to find yourself. I’ve learned a ton about myself over the past few years while most of my college friends have stuck to the safe track without taking much risk. Makes me feel a bit crazy at times, but I think I’m much more grounded and confident in comparison because of chances I’ve taken. Thank you for the encouraging post.
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Lance December 23, 2010 at 5:26 am

It’s that “going within” that can sometimes make us look a bit crazy. And perhaps that is because it touches upon things that aren’t always mainstream. So, when we choose to fully live in our greatness, that may look like we’re venturing to some pretty crazy places. The thing is…whatever these are – if they speak from our heart – they are so NOT crazy at all…

Keep living your life in deep connection with who you are….


Little Lessons Under the Big Sky December 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm

You had me, of course, at the very first quote! One of my all time favorites, and so true!

I have been pondering myself more and more since my journey into self-discovery began. It seems, when you begin the journey that no one gives you a map. And since I am an explorer, I tend to go down roads that may be WAY out of my comfort zone. Some scenes I find I don’t like…..others are amazing discoveries. All are important, though! Thank you for reassuring me of the importance and benefits of continuing the exploration!

I love that you say we should “BE” with ourselves. I have recently begun to explore more deeply BEING with myself through playing the harp. The tones are so very healing, and so far one of my top ways of meditating (running being the other.) The harp forces me to sit still and BE with the music that my soul produces. Maybe, just maybe it will motivate me to explore those last few dark corners I have yet to face! 🙂

With much love, peace, and blessings for your holidays!
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Lance December 23, 2010 at 5:32 am

Mmmm….marching to our own drum beat…

What you have shared here – it’s so deeply good. We are on this journey inward…and there is no map. That means we might get lost, find a road we don’t like, or discover some amazing treasure. And it is all so worth it – because this all is what makes up our being. And the more of that we discover, the more fully connected to ourselves we become.

Music can be so meditating. I LOVE that you have shared that here (and I’d love to hear you playing the harp…). It reminds me of moments where I sit down at the piano (even though I am really bad at reading music and haven’t really played an instrument in years besides this) and just listen to my soul…and let the music come…

Jen, your words are always so inspiring and meaningful. Thank you, always, for being here.

Much love and big hugs of gratitude to you during this holiday season…and always…


Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord December 23, 2010 at 7:31 am

May we all find peace on this journey, indeed. Lance, what a beautiful post, and it comes at such a tender time when many people (that I’ve noticed, and me included) are suffering. Your words are so soothing… It’s tough, sometimes, to grasp that the journey might not entail getting from “here” to “there” so much as it might simply entail noticing each moment – or step – along the way. The journey isn’t in the destination, as that famous quote goes!

Love you, good friend; Merry Christmas & may your journey always be a light, bright, love-filled one.
Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Blessings of Each New MomentMy Profile


Lance December 24, 2010 at 5:26 am

And “here” and “there”….these places might never be places we reach, as we journey through our lives. The thoughts we have in our head, sometimes they just don’t always go the way we expect. And suffer, we may. Yet, within all of that – there are our moments. In those – in those seemingly just blips of time – is our life…our life and our living.

Megan, know that my typing here, right now, this moment as my fingers touch the keyboard…in that, I just feel such a deep connection to you. …blips of time…that make my day so, so much more rich and rewarding…

Merry Christmas, dear sweet friend. I love you, I love how openly you share, I love how deeply I’ve connected to your soul…

Sweet, sweet hugs,


Lisa December 24, 2010 at 1:16 am

Loved that post about the journey….I especially like the quote about how you start to learn about yourself after being lost. I can relate to that. thanks for your words! XO



Lance December 24, 2010 at 5:27 am

It’s great to have you here – thanks for visiting!

That “lost” quote is one that’s new to me just recently…and one that also holds deep meaning as I travel this journey of my life. So glad it has touched you, too.

Much peace,


Peggy Nolan December 24, 2010 at 10:16 am

Merry Christmas Lance!!
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Lance December 25, 2010 at 5:56 am

Merry Christmas Peggy!! Much love to you…today and always…


Sandra December 24, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I have peace within myself, for my journey I want excitement and have that in abundance. Everyone is different, must find their way and for me, that way is Christ. As Mrs. Beaver said, “Oh no, dear. Aslan isn’t safe but he is good.” That’s my journey – walking with Christ and while the journey isn’t “safe”, it is good, good beyond my wildest expectations.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.


Lance December 25, 2010 at 6:01 am

As you continue on this journey of yours, I sense very much that this is one of deep meaning to you. And while it might not always be the safe journey, following the voice in your heart is so, so good. May your walk with Christ be one that continues to lead you more deeply into the depths of your soul…

Merry Christmas…always…


Andrea DeBell - britetalk December 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Hi Lance! I love this quote “The only journey is the journey within.” That’s the most valuable goal in life. When we search within, we find passion, happiness, love, joy, and everything that we could ever want. Why look anywhere else or search for anything else? Not always easy to take this journey within but it’s always worth it.
Thanks so much for this beautiful reminder. Many loving blessings and may you and your family enjoy a magical holiday season!
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Lance December 31, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Mmm….so, so worth it…that journey within…

And that’s one I know is meaningful to you and to where you are traveling with your life. May you continue to uncover the treasures of your soul…

Peace and much love to you and your family,


Mary Stout December 25, 2010 at 10:38 pm

I’m so glad I found your blog. What an amazing article and thank you.


Lance December 31, 2010 at 2:02 pm

So good to have you here.

May your journey be one that reaches to your soul.



Stacey December 26, 2010 at 10:15 pm


This is a beautiful reminder! Thank you for your wonderful words that bring another perspective on this topic.

Every moment of our human experience is a journey, and a grand one at that! Often we get lost in thinking there is a “Goal” to get to, instead of realizing it is all about the journey. When we follow our dreams in each moment, there is nothing to “get to”. We are already there. We are expressing our inner truth.

You express your inner truth so well! You are a true shining soul! Thank you for sharing that with all of us!


Lance January 1, 2011 at 6:46 am

I love how you’ve said this…about already being “there”. Reminds me that when we simplify our lives, we can more easily focus on what matters to us.

Stacey, thanks so, so much for your sweet and caring words. I see this in you, too – in how you live your life and embrace the beauty around you.

Have a wonderful day, dear friend…


Naomi Estment December 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I love this post, Lance. Thank you 🙂

As a keen traveler, St Augustine’s quote is especially significant. As a writer, this one speaks volumes too:
“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” – Cyril Connolly

Hope you’re enjoying a blissful family holiday and warmest wishes for a fabulous New Year!
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Lance January 1, 2011 at 6:49 am

What a beautiful quote, and reminder, that you have shared in Cyril Connolly’s words – thank YOU!!

Here’s to steps that lead more fully into the being of ourselves…

Much love to you on this start of a new year!


HappinessandWisdom December 28, 2010 at 8:57 am

Exploration of self can be very frightening. Once one begins that journey, one might find that things perceived to be truth are only illusions. Goals that were all consuming, seem unimportant. The journey into self can often cause one’s world to crumble — frightening stuff!
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Lance January 1, 2011 at 6:54 am

Happiness and Wisdom,
You bring up a very excellent point. Going to this place within, we might very well find that it’s so different from the world we are living in. And that can be frightening. And scary. And…exhilerating, too….

So, is it worth having the world we know crumble?? I believe that it is. I believe it is because it brings us so much more into alignment with who we really are. And that is such a beautiful place to live from.

Does that mean I think everyone should just drop everything they are doing today and focus completely on the journey within? No. Take small steps into this (unless you are ready for the big steps…and if so – take big steps). It’s all about becoming more in line with your soul, and in that – knowing “you” better.

May your journey be one that brings much peace and joy into your life…



Jean Burman December 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm

There is also the possibility that the journey within starts by first looking out… by shining our light outward toward other people… and in so doing… understanding ourselves better by how the world responds. I agree with HappinesAndWidsom above that the inward journey as an personal pursuit might be frighteningly empty if we were to only focus inward. In helping others… we help ourselves to be better deeper more empathetic and loving. All qualities worth finding [in ourselves] when we do finally get to know love and understand ourselves well. I am thinking of people like… Nelson Mandela… Mother Theresa… Aung San Suu Kyi… to name a few. None of them navel gazers on their own behalf… but strong and resilient individuals who knew understood and implicitly believed in what they stood for. What better way to discover your self? Just another thought 🙂
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Lance January 1, 2011 at 6:58 am

Ahhh, yes – this journey inward is also one that comes with a journey outward. And that’s just it – when we find that deeper meaning in our life, and then share that outwardly with the world…we DO shine our amazing and beautiful light!! And in doing that, it also helps us to take the next step within…as a beautiful circle begins to form…

Jean, thank you so much for sharing all of this. Yes, it is very much about DOING, as well. Without that part of this equation, we are not complete.

So, so good to have you here, and to let your words of wisdom add such beauty to this piece.

Much love to you, dear friend…


Lisa December 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Wonderful, Lance! And very fitting at this point in my life as I journey onto a new path toward an amazing future. I will be watching your writings and anticipate a new-found friendship!
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Lance January 1, 2011 at 7:00 am

I LOVE your attitude, and how you are embracing this journey you are on…and all that comes with that!!

And I very much look forward to connecting more deeply with you…



Jasmine December 29, 2010 at 10:54 am

What a beautiful post! You really have inspired me today with your words. A little confidence booster! Because you’re right! I am the only one living my life and no one can decide my future for me. I am the keeper to my own gateway and I plan on letting myself pass! : )
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Lance January 1, 2011 at 7:02 am

Yes!!! This is YOUR life!! And today is your day! Yours!! And you can decide how you will respond to it. When that response comes from a place deep within of meaning and care, that is just such a beautiful place to “be”.

May this journey you are on be one of much meaning and connection to what matters most deeply to you…


Jannie Funster December 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Hi Dear Lance!

And a happy belated Christmas to you and yours. Hope all is awesome.

Today I am playing Monopoly with Kelly, except we’re on a little break now.

Last night in the studio when things did not progress as well as I planned I realized it was a lesson to slow down and not expect too much, too quickly. I whipped through 6 things, but in the future I’ll prepare maybe 2 or 3 things for a session. Go a little slower. Quality over quantity.

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Lance January 1, 2011 at 7:05 am

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! Woohoo!!

Monopoly!! Park Place…that’s a good one to own!! (good luck to both you and Kelly!!)

Mmmm…quality over quantity. How often do we become so focused on how much we can do, and then it all just becomes “getting it done” instead of having meaning behind it….

Have a super amazing day…super amazing friend!


Wendy Naarup December 31, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Hi Lance,

Just wanted to thank you for the Thoreau quote: “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” I love that!!!


Lance January 1, 2011 at 7:05 am

So good to have you here. And that’s a quote that has special meaning to me, too…

Have a wonderful new year!


Marnie January 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I completely agree with the old adage of following your passion, but I struggle with this when it comes to my children. I ask myself, “At what point do I let go and just let them be?” Not that I nag, but they’re still young and unfortunately they have to conform to certain “beats”, especially in school.


Lance January 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm

It’s great to “meet” you!!

You bring up a very great point. This can be a challenge enough to do in our own personal lives (even when we fully agree with the idea), but an even greater challenge when it comes to those we love, especially children.

I look at my own children, and think about how there are some choices I make for them – even today as they are in their teenage years…and certainly lots when they were younger. I can claim I’m doing this for their own welfare. Still, can that also hold them back from something else within? Something that I might not “see”? It’s a fine line, perhaps. We, as parents, can only do what we believe is “right”.

I certainly hope that the decisions I have made for my children are ones that have been “good” for them. Still, I also believe that children are resilient, and can overcome.

Perhaps there are instincts within us, that help us to begin that “letting go” phase. And in that, we can watch as our children jump, leap, tippy toe into their lives…and soar, falter, trip, fail, get back up, and journey on. And as parents, maybe our role becomes one that is based solely upon love…unconditional love for lives other than ours…to support always…

Marnie, thank you so, so much for your wonderfully thought-provoking comment. It has made me think more deeply about the relationships I have with my own children. And I wish you much love as you continue that journey with your own kids, and in the lives they live…


Tina January 2, 2011 at 11:23 am

I’m so glad I stumbled across your article today for it was just the encouragement I needed on my journey. I dove headfirst into a journey to self about three months ago and as you mentioned in your article…I do feel lost. I’ve described it as a twisting, foggy path. Your article was comforting to my spirit, to know it’s okay to feel lost, confused, and have questions. So thank you for sharing these thoughts with us.


Janean Dakin May 23, 2011 at 8:24 am

Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!


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