Toward a Life Well Lived, Part Two: A Joy That Transcends

Aviv Shahar with Tim Coats

another flood?

As we continue our conversation with blog author Tim Coats, we explore the heart of his reflections on increasing joy in everyday living with a deeper look at what it means to lead a well-lived life. In a word, it’s joy; but the pathway to that joy is a life with meaning, which involves real connection with people, with nature, and with spirit. Meaning and connection are the guideposts to a joy that transcends circumstance.

Central to a meaningful life is a connection with spirit, which encompasses more than religious practices to include the intangible quality which is created and exists between people. People who are joyful despite traumatic life circumstances have that spirit.

The journey of finding meaning is a question that ultimately asks where and how deeply do we connect? And connection to a large degree requires awareness, the basic facility of being aware that we are aware. The more we develop that awareness, that presence, the more that real connections begin to emerge.

The conversation leads Tim and Aviv to look at the practices that can help achieve a balanced life of body, mind and spirit.

As we develop awareness, whether it's through a sitting practice, or through communing with nature; whether it's through just catching ourselves in the moment, the more we develop that awareness, the more we develop that presence, the more connections begin to emerge. And, suddenly, life isn't about me - it has become increasingly about we.

Tim Coats

Tim Coats

Tim Coats

At age six, while playing with friends in our yard, I was suddenly struck with the thought, I am me!

The thought has never left me. What is the nature of awareness? How do we find joy that transcends circumstance?

I grew up in a devout Christian family, but organized religion never spoke to me. Determined to find a way, I began a thirty-year journey, reading, studying, and journaling.

Ultimately, I found the road to peace, by way of intellect, was impassable. I began a contemplative practice that is integral to my life. I reflect on this life-long journey in a blog titled, “Towards A Life Well-Lived” at

Aviv Shahar

Aviv Shahar

Aviv is the Founder of Aviv Consulting, helping leaders unleash strategic innovation, and is the author of Create New Futures: How Leaders Produce Breakthroughs and Transform the World Through Conversation.