Good Shopping, and Good Reading, if you’re into angels and figuring out your life purpose!

On our way to Boston to visit our great friends and allies at Dana Farber and Brigham and Women’s, we stopped in to finally meet Terah Cox, author of the book on angels (which I kept talking about on our Caringbridge website Well, we did not call ahead, so we just browsed the shop instead. I let Terah know (by phone) that we would love to be able to place on-line orders, because her work is so inspiring! Check out her website for a peak, but know that her framed poetry, greeting cards, etc… look even better in her shop. Very high quality.

Terry’s book, Birth Angels, really helped me to shift my thinking further toward how life calls us forth. Regardless of our personal religious beliefs, this book asserts that we all have birth angels or energies corresponding to our specific birthdate and time. The angels “reigning” at our birth have special gifts for us. We can call on them for support, and we can embody their strengths in our lives, as we reach out to others. So this fit nicely into my “angels in the outfield (and infield)” message… we all get to “be angels” for each other. This is what we experienced during our 20 month (so far!) walk thru cancer and transplant. We felt very taken care of.

I want to take it another direction, for discussion purposes, I guess! If we “listen to” or acknowledge the yearnings in our heart, we can learn a great deal about the person we were meant to be, and the person we are becoming. It is about listening closely, looking within, and then, about making choices.

One on my good friends recently told me about a book called The Alchemist. She said it had made a big impact on her life, particularly as she struggled through life transitions. Well, I don’t think that it is a coincidence that the first book I saw when I walked into Terah Cox’s shop was The Alchemist! I believe this was an omen that I should read this book, so I bought it. I already love it. I have only barely gotten through the author’s introduction. It reads “What is a personal calling? It is God’s blessing, it is the path that God chose for you here on Earth. Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend. However, we don’t all have the courage to confront our dream.” I hope author Paulo Coelho doesn’t mind me quoting him, and promoting his book. I recommend the 10th anniversary edition, which has this updated introduction.

And while you’re book shopping, pick up Birth Angels too! I have a list of many of my favorite books on my profile page. I will be adding The Alchemist.

Your turn! Please share your 2 cents about favorite books, websites, resources that have helped you on your path… Anyone else read the Alchemist? What did you think?

Living “on purpose” – Melissa musing…

Hmm….You know, the interesting thing is that if you are always growing, and learning, then I think you are probably on “track”. Or even “on purpose”. Even if it doesn’t feel like it. For years, I have felt that my profession didn’t perfectly suit me. I enjoyed the hard work, I felt that I was growing, mostly, but I had this hunger for something different. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it kept me exploring. So I went from undecided engineering in college, to Andersen Consulting, to IBM (IT Consulting, project mgmt, to sales, to sales management). I should have had a clue when my favorite freshman class was “Great Ideas of Western Culture”, which all the other engineers in training referred to as “GFI” (Great F…ing Ideas – you fill in the blanks).

How many of us go through our entire lives feeling that there must be something else, a better fit? Or perhaps burying the hunger so deep that we don’t even notice it anymore?

Anyway, without getting really long-winded, as a sales manager at IBM, I got introduced to professional coaching, and my whole body and soul just went …aaahhhh…. You know the feeling, when you fall into your favorite chair (or bed) at the end of the day? I knew that this would become part of my future. It wasn’t love at first sight, but almost. The first exposure was about 2 hours of coaching training (very simplistic) in a 2 day mandatory manager’s class. It wasn’t enough, but I was intrigued, and I scratched the itch. I brought the instructor, who ended up becoming my first coach, into my sales team’s kickoff meeting the following quarter. The big …ahhhh… and aha came during my first 2.5 day coaching class, almost 9 months later. It was an IBM-sponsored workshop, and it was like a retreat. (Note: the content of this 2.5 days comes from CTI – Coaches Training Institute. Check it out at

So, all these years, was I off course, or “on purpose”? Well, it’s a matter of perspective, I suppose. It became clearer to me as Dan and I faced this latest cancer “O’Marathon”. We both had to rely on all of “whom we had become on our journey”, separately and together, in order to climb that next cancer mountain. It was in the way, and there was no going around it. By the way, it had lots of “false peaks”. Just when we thought we had reached a summit, and could surely start the descent, another peak loomed around the corner.

We used everything we had learned about the web, about business travel, about frequent flier miles. We leveraged our personal and professional networks, and created new ones. We leveraged our knowledge of nutrition, and supplements. We leveraged our ability to communicate with others about “difficult” topics. We leveraged our medical and hospital experiences with my broken leg, and with the illnesses of other family members. The kids and I drew strength from our local church, where we had only become actively involved in the previous year! And I drew on all the personal growth and professional development resources that I had used as a sales manager and a coach. And I used them in parenting, in all my relationships, and in ways I am sure I don’t even comprehend.

So, was I living “on purpose”? I couldn’t have articulated exactly what my life purpose is. But I was learning, growing, and making good decsions that kept me moving in the right direction. I feel sure in retrospect that I have had “angels” or “divine energy” or the Hand of God (pick your language) guiding me, supporting me, nudging me. Would I have said the same thing a few years ago? Probably not…

What about you? Are you growing, learning, and listening to your intuition? Are you on purpose? I postulate that you are. Are you “where you want to be”? Maybe not! Maybe so! It’s just really important to notice! Pause, reflect, and notice. You know the answers, it’s all inside of you. The search within can be very interesting, and can last a lifetime.

My two bits… now how about yours? Please post your thoughts, and let me know if I’m too preachy!