I went to a friend’s birthday gathering the other day. It turned out to be a spiritual experience. I thought I’d share:

John, whose birthday it was, went around to each person at the table and described why each friend in particular was a blessing in his life. He listed each friend’s traits and what they add to his life. He described the blessings in his life and the hope of being strengthened to continue to grow in the right direction. He shared with us the Jewish perspective on birthdays: Birthdays he said, come around once a year to allow a person to evaluate their lives. Is the soul and the body in sync? If not, what can we do to get them aligned? With each birthday we need to re-adjust slightly, take the steps necessary to fulfill the cravings of soul through our physical world. An simple concept, a difficult thing.

Birthdays, John continued, are the time to rejoice in the gift of life, to rejoice in the particular strengths and talents we were given. Birthdays are a time to access our lives, realign our life with the vision we have for it before we get too far off track. Birthdays are the time to ask ourselves: are we fulfilling our calling?

So I started to think…. What is my calling. Is my life on target?

I started to think of all the people in history I’ve admired, people who have changed the world… Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir and many more. They affected millions with their actions and decisions. What about me?

Then I started to think. Who have I affected and how do I change the world? Yes, I’ve raised three wonderful sons. But what impact have I made beyond that?

And then it came to me. What I do best . What do I love to do? I love to ignite the creative spark in others. I love to help people realize their passions, pursue their dreams, develop their creativity. I love to encourage people to take the leap, do what they are dreaming of doing. I like to brainstorm and help them find ways to move towards their dreams. Is that a calling? I think it is.

And then I realized that authors of children’s books have a great potential for sparking a child’s creativity, and imagination. Stories often help us unlock and undertstand our dreams, lead us to our calling. So what do you know? Thanks to John’s birthday– I discovered my calling.

Thanks John for an inspirational and uplifting day. Happy birthday to everyone!

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