Finding the Port
that has Your Name

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According to the Myth of Er, as told by Socrates, the angels whispered into our ears just before we were born, what our destiny would be on earth, and the wisest of us constantly strive to remember and find it. This divinely inspired “calling”, sealed deep within us, does not always speak in words, but rather in symbols, longings, coincidences and desires.  The innate feeling of “there has to be more to life” helps guide each of us along our divinely inspired path.  The danger is that along the way we will be seduced and distracted by the “ways of the world”. If we forget the reason why we are here we will lose the great prize that is waiting for us.

The ancient Greeks and the first century Christians called such a well lived life “Sophrosune”.  This book reacquaints today’s reader with this concept of a life that is in harmony with itself, and is based on a greater purpose and a superior reality.  Awareness of this higher reality enables us to understand and harness in the sometimes raging and conflicting forces of our spirit, intellect and emotions, which seek knowingly, or unknowingly, to control our lives. This book teaches how to successfully negotiate between them led by the calling of a highly evolved spirit. The greatest journeys we ever take, are the journeys within ourselves. Will we remember what the angels told us that is written deep within our hearts? Or will the shadow of our unconscious rise up to sabotage us?

“Sometimes a book coalesces a public into a mass market.” Walter Meade, New York Times

What is Sophrosune?

Sophrosune was recognized as the greatest of human virtues by both the ancient Greeks (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle) and the first century Christians (e.g. Apostle Paul). What a commentary it is on our modern society that we have lost the very word from our vocabulary which describes the ideal of a well-lived life!

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Four Attributes of Sophrosune


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You have achieved through introspection a realistic understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as a human being. You have developed an awareness of your internal motivations and how they affect your behavior toward yourself and others. You also have an understanding and ability to analyze and manage the civil war between your intellect, emotions, and spirit. You do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to, nor do you see yourself as less than you are. Instead, you have a realistic picture of who you are, and your place in the world.

Your Calling

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Your Calling

You clearly understand and are focused on the business for which you were put on earth. Your life has a purpose and a meaning that. benefits not only yourself, but also those around you. Your calling is made manifest in your life, however humble or grand—whether you are a subsistence farmer’s wife in Africa far away from tarmac roads or civilization, or the President of a great nation. This gives you the ability to energetically and completely fulfill your personal mission during your brief lifetime on this planet.

& Tranquility

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& Tranquility

You have deep contentment with who you are, what you are doing and becoming, the relationships you hold dear, and in your place in the world at this moment in time. You are accepting of all the aspects of the uniqueness of yourself. You have quietness in your soul because you have come to accept the person that you are. You may be facing great hardships or business setbacks, but you know you are striving to be the best you can be and are living by your internal values. You are always seeking the “true north” of your own calling in life. You have an internal compass that guides and directs you, and your talk lines up with your actions. You know you are living the life you were meant to live and have no need or desire to be on a different path. You have a tranquility of spirit and a quietness of soul that no amount of fame or fortune can buy.

Humility &
Self Acceptance

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Humility &
Self Acceptance

You are aware of your calling in life, but are mindful of your human frailty, limitations, weaknesses, and mediocrities. You acknowledge your inadequacies, understanding that you are far from perfect, but you are consistently trying to be the best you can be. You are not “puffed-up” by your accomplishments, or the praise of others, and you don’t have an exaggerated opinion of yourself. You are comfortable in your own skin and the ethical code you live by. True humility is about a realistic acceptance of who you are. If you are Einstein, you realize you are one of the most brilliant people who has ever lived. This is an accurate assessment of yourself. If you were Einstein, you would have false humility if you just presented yourself as an average scientist. But if, on the other hand, you are stumped by calculus and differential equations, you would accept “math-challenged” as being an accurate assessment of yourself. In other words, you have come to terms with who you are, and who you are not.

House of Sophrosune

Your “House of Sophrosune” needs to be built on a strong and stable foundation of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual maturity, that ensures strong and stable values and outward behaviors. Each of the eight visible building blocks of the House of Sophrosune, “Love and Family”, “Meaningful Work,” “Health and Wellness,” “Self-Nurturing,” “Friends and Community,” “Finances and Wealth”, “Play and Recreation”, and “Legacy and Contribution” are constructed on this foundation.

See All Blocks

House diagram

When Your House is Shaken by Unforseen Events

Out of the blue, life altering moments can happen — the before and after moments. Someone close to you dies, you are diagnosed with an illness, a child becomes sick, you lose a job, you discover your spouse has had an affair, you have a serious car accident, you lose power and prestige at work.  Your House is shaken to its core….What then?

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House (ruined) diagram

Book Content

Part One of this book is about identifying and embracing the unique calling on your own life. I show you how to look for the guidance that comes from intuition, circumstances, and often the dark seasons that life brings to all of us. I help you to understand that your times of darkness can lead you to the light, if you will only look for what it is trying to teach you, and embrace it. A calling is for everyone, not just the special ones—but it is the special ones that seek and find it.

Part Two of this book discusses the skills, character and maturity that are essential to develop to fully live out your calling. Just knowing your calling and your gifts, or even having a strong faith in God, is not enough. Living out a fully-evolved Sophrosune life requires much more than just having a sense of your destiny. The biggest obstacles usually don’t come from the outside world, but rather come from the internal “shadow” of self-sabotaging behaviors, immaturity and narcissism that cause bad judgement and poor decisions.

Part Three of this book applies these core principles to every part of your life. Just like the Biblical parable about the wise man who builds his house on a rock and not on sand, your “House of Sophrosune” needs to be built on a strong and stable foundation of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual maturity, that ensures strong and stable values and outward behaviors. Each of the eight visible building blocks of the House of Sophrosune that are constructed on this foundation need to be nurtured and strengthened.

Spiritual Maturity: Our Spirit – “I Believe”

Spiritual maturity is having a deep understanding of one’s purpose and place in the world, a hierarchy of values to live by, and an ethical code of conduct. Such a person has thought out his or her belief system well, this system is the interior anchor of his or her life, and his or her behavior springs from this center. When acted upon, mature spiritual values will leave the world a better place. They will not enrich themselves to the detriment of others—to do that is immaturity. Spiritually mature people strive to live by their code of ethics, and are not duplicitous in their behavior. They are what they appear to be, and their external life reflects their internal reality. Such a person will not say one thing and then intentionally do another. People who have true spiritual maturity understand that their ethics and belief system might be different from another’s, and are tolerant of this difference. They may share, and even try to persuade another person to their way of thinking, but they ultimately realize we each have the right to have our own beliefs.

Emotional Maturity: Our Body – “I Feel”

Emotional maturity is the capacity to understand one’s internal emotional life, and to be able to differentiate between the multiple jumbled feelings that bubble up within you so you can know what is your “real truth.” This means that people know what they feel and why they feel it, and have the capacity to explain it to themselves and others. They are not a mystery to themselves. They also have the capacity to rise above destructive emotional desires and to be in control of themselves and their behavior. They have the ability to realistically assess their strengths and weakness and have a sense of what they can and cannot do. They do not think more highly of themselves than is realistic, nor do they underestimate who they are and what they can contribute. They have empathy for others, and can listen to and try to understand another’s point of view. They do not insist on having their own way, but are willing to share and compromise when necessary. They try to live out the golden rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” They will not intentionally harm another because they have empathy with humanity. When they see suffering, their hearts will be stirred and they will try to help. Emotional maturity seeks to make the world a better place.

Intellectual Maturity: Our Mind – “I Think”

This is the ability to reason and think clearly. It is the ability to take in information, analyze and make sense of that information, observe reality, and reason objectively. It is the ability to use memory, knowledge, experience, understanding, reasoning,  imagination, and judgment to solve problems and adapt to new situations. Ideally, intelligence is used to generate adaptive behaviors and meet goals that move the person towards his or her ultimate goal. True intellectual maturity increases the probability of success, even if full knowledge of a situation cannot be attained. Such intellectual maturity can help someone “case” a situation, think about the different outcomes, and choose the best course of action. If the intellect is functioning in a mature state, it can negotiate with the emotional and spiritual aspects to create a system that is united in its pursuit of a desired goal or outcome.

Love & Family

Few would disagree that one of the most important building blocks of a well-lived life is how you manage your love and family life. If we have success in our careers, attain fame or fortune, but have sacrificed our families, can anything we achieve, or any accolade we receive, ever replace that? I have seen too many men and women pursue careers that leave them little time for themselves, their marriage, or their children.

We are meant for connectedness to give meaning to our lives. The family is the “heartbeat” and center of existence, and the foundation of our society. Almost everything can be delegated in life, but being a parent is not one of these things. That doesn’t mean that both parents cannot work, because the reality in today’s world is that, for the majority of families, it takes two wage earners to care for a family. Children innately recognize whether mom and dad work long hours because they need to provide for rent, food, clothes, health insurance, and the necessities of life, or just because one or both of them are “workaholics.”

There can be no more important arena to practice the principles of Sophrosune than in your family life. If you can build a loving family for your own children, it is a gift for them beyond measure.

Meaningful Work

At every stage of life, we need some sort of meaningful work to help tell us who we are, and help to define us. Not all of us are lucky enough to have careers that can take us through our entire lives, but we can always find some opportunity for meaningful work. All we have to do is look around and see a need that needs filling that is in alignment with our passions and our skill set, and we can be on the road to finding something bigger than ourselves.

What we do with our time reveals what we value, and what we think is important. By allowing yourself to be challenged and making full use of your capabilities, your creativity will be fostered and you will be given an opportunity to make a difference in the world. Without meaningful work, you can feel adrift and that your life has no meaning or connection with anything outside of yourself.

One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is to pour our lives out for a mission we are passionate about. This kind of connectedness creates a sense of purpose and a reason to get up in the morning. It creates energy and sustaining power in our lives. It can help to overcome childhood trauma, as the spirit inside you encourages and moves you forward to something “more.” This spiritual essence that “you are here for a reason” creates the internal nurturance that a good father or mother does with their own child. It helps to create sustaining power, vision, and perseverance. It is never too late to find this inside of oneself. Indeed, we often find out who and what we are in the eyes of other people through finding this calling.

Health & Wellness

You can’t control the genes you inherit, or the occurrence of random events such as lightning strikes, hurricanes, and tornadoes, but you are responsible for what you can control. Being an emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually mature person means that you take responsibility for yourself, and don’t let your emotions drive you to behaviors that can cause you harm. If you face risks to your health and life, you use your intellect to understand where you are vulnerable, and try to do everything possible to maximize your health and not leave it to chance. You do this for yourself and for those you love. This is being mature and responsible.

Self Nurturing

Self-nurturing is ultimately about finding the “source” from which life springs and being in touch with the ultimate heartbeat of the universe in body, soul, and spirit. We first have to discover it for ourselves, and only then can we fully share it with our families and those around us to make the world a better place for all of us. This means regularly taking time out of the whirlwind of our lives and committing to a lifelong process of growth through self nurturing.

In its highest sense, self-nurturing involves understanding and developing your strengths and addressing your weaknesses in each of the three core components of emotion, intellect, and spirit. There are many distractions in life, and part of our journey is to sort through what clamors for our attention. Ultimately, we need to identify the things that are truly the most important in life so we can become what we have been put on earth to be and to do. There is no greater feeling than knowing you are becoming what you were destined to become, doing what you were put on earth to do, loving your family and friends wisely, and making your corner of the world a better place because you are there.

You cannot borrow or buy a sense of personal destiny and purpose in life. It comes from self-knowledge, self-awareness, and a highly developed interior life based on values and a connection to something higher than oneself. It also takes the daily living out of this knowledge. This, I believe, is the ultimate gift that we give ourselves. This is the divine part of self-nurturing. Spiritual self-nurturing allows you to become at home in your own body, have a deep sense of who you are and why you are here, and enables you to live with purpose and meaning that emanates from the core of your being. Buddhists call it “dharma,” and Christians call it a renewed and transformed mind.

Friends & Community

All of us have an innate need to find connection with others around common interests. This adds joy and growth to our own lives. Making an investment in someone else’s life introduces us to their world, their experiences, and their problems; widens our own personal world and perspective; and makes us better people. We become greater in spirit and imagination because of the connection. A good friend is there to share the joys and happy times, and also is there to abide with you during the hard times of life, when you can’t make it alone. When we have close friends, it can help us put our own lives in perspective. Too often, when we only superficially know people, it is too easy to feel  envious that they “have it made.” We think they have perfect children, a perfect job, a perfect marriage, even perfect pets. However, when we really know people we discover they are human just like us. Realizing they have problems with their children, jobs, marriages, and pets helps to give us a more realistic picture of our own life. We are all unhappy to the extent that our “expectations” are not met. It is vital that, through observing and knowing others, we find out that our own life is not so bad, and that we truly understand that life goes up and down for every one of us, and that no one escapes harsh realities.

Finances & Wealth

We are what we repeatedly do, not what we say, or what our best intentions may be. That is most clearly illustrated in how we obtain and spend our money. Unless we really consider this part of our life, society will tell us what we should value and do with our money. Newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and television are filled with pictures of the “good life” that is ours for the taking. And there is a bank somewhere who is ready to loan us the money, even if we can’t afford it.

Left unexamined, our society, cultural norms, and advertisers will establish the values “of what’s important,” and will become the yardstick of the “best and most acceptable” ways to use and spend money. The result is that if we have not clearly thought out what money means to us and what is important in life, we are in danger of being led astray by our own greed, vices, and weaknesses (which we all have!). Even the best of us may fall prey to, and become undone by, our own self-destructive tendencies where money is concerned.

Play & Recreation

What does your idea of play and recreation reveal about you?

For most of us, our recreational time is very valuable because it gives us time to indulge in our favorite activities and spend it with the people we most value. Seeing how someone “plays” and who they “play with” tells you a lot about who they are, their values, and what they feel is important in life. It reveals how they get energized and emotionally fed.

There is a “dark side” of play (addictions, pornography, gambling, affairs) and also a “Radiant side” of play, where you use your talents, money and time to give back to make the world a better place.

Your level of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual maturity is revealed in every block of the house of your life, but none is more revealing of who you are than how you choose to use your free time, and in how you play and have fun in life.

Legacy & Contribution

It is never too late to start thinking about the legacy you will leave behind and to begin living with greater intentionality.

Every plan begins with a vision. Without a vision, you leave life to chance. The vision leads to the plan. The plan leads to action and accountability, and this leads to results that become visible in your life. The Bible tells us that “without a vision the people perish.” And so it is with us. This kind of vision of life leads to determination, and is acted out with your hands, feet, and heart as you seek to live by the principles in your life. It is marked by a sense of duty, steadfastness, self-discipline, and hard work. You do it when you feel like it, and you do it when you don’t. It’s that simple and that hard.

Nothing worth having is done overnight. Maturity and wisdom don’t come in a microwave pack or in a credit card application. They come with struggles, setbacks, and trying again and again until you begin to get it right. This kind of discipline creates courage, steadfastness, strength, and results. When these results occur, it creates people with a strong sense of their true north and a compass to guide them. They most often leave a legacy and music for those who come after them. We each have personal choices in how to live  life. Consciously or unconsciously, we help compose the music of our own lives that lives on after we are gone.

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