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photo by dawn ashley via flickr creative commons

photo by dawn ashley via flickr creative commons

I watched a video last night about Zach Sobiech, a teenager who lived with a full heart and a busy life and unbelievable wisdom as he dealt with a terminal cancer diagnosis.  The video went viral yesterday after he passed away at age 18…or as he said it, “just closed [his] eyes and [fell] asleep.  At the end of the video, when asked what we wanted to be remembered for, Zach said he “wanted to be remembered as the kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.”  His closing words were an incredible combination of solid self-assuredness, profound sadness, deep perspective, and brightness.  Just plain brightness.  Amazing, even shocking…brightness.

That’s all I’m going to say about the video…it speaks for itself.  Check it out if you have tissues handy, would like a dose of perspective, and would like to honor Zach’s legacy (that life really just boils down to making other people happy).

This was the first SOULPANCAKE production I’d ever seen, and I checked out the site afterwards to see what it was all about.  It’s a beautifully designed site designed to serve up “brain batter of art, culture, science, philosophy, spirituality and humor to open your mind, challenge your friends, and feel damn good.”  I just liked it on Facebook so I can keep tabs on their work, and I checked out some of their content.  There is a tab called “Activities,” which is really fun, and something I’ll refer back to.  Here are a few of the exercises I liked as I scanned through:

  • In 100 words or simply one, tell us where you are most in your element.
  • Quick write your latest mantra. Breathe. Repeat.
  • Memory wipe time. List four things you’re dying to forget about.
  • In 100 words or less tell us what “the bigger picture” means to you.
  • Upload a creative travel guide to your home town.
  • Sum up what you are striving for in a single word.
  • What things are you working on now that will pay off in the future?
  • List the 10 most important things to you, in order.
  • Describe what you’d do with an extra day inserted into every week.
  • Fill in the following sentence five times: I belong
  • Upload a picture of hidden beauty.
  • How will you become a happier human?

And the list goes on.  SOULPANCAKE is trying to modernize spirituality, and I love what they’re doing.  Their provocative questions and content let you think about abstract things like God and afterlife and soul within the context of practical, real and beautiful things all around us.  It’s fuzzy meets real.  Serious meets fun.  Spirituality meets self-knowledge.  It’s a great attempt to deal with the hard stuff in an easier and lighter and more palatable way. I look forward to following along.

In Zach’s honor, may today be filled with brightness and love and compassion and joy.

What, if anything, guides you through the muddiness of modern spirituality?  If you had a question to add to SOULPANCAKE, what would it be?  

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oh wow, I will have to check out the video — stories like this one always remind me of the obvious (how much we should appreciate the RIGHT NOW because that’s all there is!) and make me step back and marvel at the sheer brilliance and incredible strength of character (and, as you say, unbelievable wisdom) of so many of our fellow humans. Thanks for writing about this. Brightness and love and compassion and joy are a couple of things I could get on board with. xox

    May 21, 2013
  2. Naisydae #

    What guides me is a belief that our true purpose (if there is such a thing) is to care for others and the world we live in. This is the best thing we can do and if we all did it then all would feel cared for and our world protected.

    I’ve long been a big proponent of an extra day added into the week. I would spend it practicing writing and being more creative.

    I suppose the question about being in your element may already cover this, but the question I find meaningful is, “Where/When/With Whom, do you feel most connected to yourself and the natural world?”

    May 21, 2013
    • How beautifully simple. You’re right…if only that could be everyone’s compass. Thanks so much for sharing!

      May 21, 2013
  3. Thanks for the lead, Brynn. Going to check out Soul Pancake.

    May 27, 2013

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