My insights as we begin the exit of a worldwide pandemic: Circumstances in life happen “FOR” me, not “TO” me.

The isolation endured during the yearlong pandemic of 2020, which continues to devastate the world, brought clarity for me as our past normal behaviors were no longer ours. I’d taken for granted a life of freedom to explore and to be curious, but two days into what was to be a week-long “Michelin starred, Five-star – – all “elevated things,” of a Parisian getaway” in early March of 2020, was shattered as our abrupt and frantic scramble to exit Paris made the pandemic very real for me and so the new normal began.  After returning, I made a conscious choice to minimize the posting as the lifestyle/career I’ve cultivated was in direct conflict with what was transpiring in the world and close to home.

As we all made certain choices going through the pandemic that impacted our individual freedoms and futures, I was reminded of one specific choice I made almost 30 years ago that changed my life’s trajectory, and placed me on a journey that I LOVE, EMBRACE and SHARE with those inclined to be more than what they were yesterday. After singing with the Grammy Award winning group Arrested Development almost 30 years ago, I was offered a record deal with terms that conflicted with my authentic self.  It was obviously appealing, VERY APPEALING, as it enticed me to imagine a life I could only dream of in the world of an “Entertainer” living the good life and partaking in all of life’s relishes – – “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”  I rejected the record deal, because it “wasn’t me!” I keep the unsigned contract as a reminder that I had the courage to say “no” to something that wasn’t authentically me; and the courage to say “YES” to me.  Saying “no” to that record deal is a badge of honor and somewhat comical when I’m now told – – “You should have a record deal,” and I reply with, “I do it’s home on the shelf.”

Thus, over the past year and half, I took the opportunity to evaluate those choices I’ve made over the past 30 years – – and to give recognition and gratitude for all those choices, people, environments, and obstacles that made me who I am.  The flourishing and grounding experienced in the past have been renewed.

As we face our “new normal,” we must confront the reality that life comes down to personal choice and being responsible for the choices you make.  To embrace life, one should daily act upon: What choices am I going to make today to make me think and feel healthy?  Who am I going to associate with today?  Today, how am I going to effectively fulfill my Purpose and Calling in life? And what are my personal goals that reflect my authentic self, and what I am doing today to meaningful achieve those goals?

 As I look to the future, while embracing and giving gratitude to the past, I could not have imagined the wonderful experiences that developed or the challenges that forced me to grow. I’ve learned that life offers blissful, but sometimes heartbreaking, series of opportunities and options that will either break us or empower us to elevate our current station in life, mentally, spiritually, and physically.  What truly matters is having a well-developed positive attitude, endless patience, empathy, a passion for the common good, and love for life while maintaining a 30,000 feet perspective.  As we confront those opportunities and options before us, we must make the choices that enable us to reveal our full self and respond to our calling in an informed and proactive manner.

I’m extremely excited as I move forward in sharing with you more of my adventures in wine, food and travel while exploring the amazing personalities and cultures that make it all possible.   

May we move forward in truth, honesty, transparency, and authenticity.

With reverence, humility, gratitude, and grace.