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The Meaning of Life

How I had to stop driving forward in order to get ahead.

Podcast Episode #23

My name is Naomi Shibles and I’m here to tell you Why I Need This Author Gig.

With each episode, I’ll share a little bit about my writing journey, sprinkled with some anecdotes so that we can share a laugh.

In this episode, I cover:

  • Brunch & sympathy

  • The meaning of (my) life

  • Things that make you grin

Painting of cute bear with jack o lantern
Image by RuneSnow from Pixabay


Last weekend, I experienced something rare and wonderful: an intimate brunch featuring Maia Toll, author of the popular Wild Wisdom books.

She’s had a fascinating set of experiences so far, which I’m reading about in her new memoir, Letting Magic In.

Hearing her recount some of the moments that led to big new chapters of her life reminded me that we all experience this world in similar ways—even as we each add our own flavor to how we perceive those life-changing moments.

We’re all chasing contentment and creative fulfillment. And no matter how successful we become, those two states of mind remain elusive.

The wiser I get, the more I realize that life isn’t about goals. Goals lead us through the moments that life is about. It’s like when I thought that I would be happy once I became published. But what actually makes me happy is writing, so goal-oriented happiness wasn’t sustainable—I had to learn to quiet down and enjoy the process in order to enjoy life. That’s what it’s about. Also, 42.

Goals lead us through the moments that life is about.

I’d been doing this all wrong, living more in the past or future than in the present. When I became a mom and shifted my focus from myself to my son, my reward was learning how to live—and mostly stay—in the moment. And that’s when my writing began to grow.

I was lucky to have something big and unexpected shake up the way I perceived life, or else I’d probably still be waiting for that happiness life raft to be thrown my way. But you don’t have to have your life turned upside down to realize that it’s happening right now, as we speak.

Choose to examine the thing that makes you feel like you—like this is what you’re meant to do. I don’t care if it’s writing, or spending time with your friends, or taste-testing fried tofu—whatever makes you grin is worth doing because you can build your life around anything.

I can’t wait to hear all about it!

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