Aug 16 2018

“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”

Gwendolyn Quinn

Ms Aretha Franklin's publicist

As The World Turns

When power isn’t absolute, and absolution doesn’t heal

According to a searing report this week, bishops and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covered up child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests over a period of 70 years, persuading victims not to report the abuse and law enforcement not to investigate it.

It’s another blow to a faith-based institution, in a time when our yearning for an abiding faith feels greater than ever. What do we do when external symbols of faith and strength crumble? Do we forsake faith itself? Or do we find another way into a life of faith? I firmly believe in the latter. Secular life is grand but, sooner or later it begins to feel hollow and soulless.

Speaking of institutions…

America’s intelligence community (IC) is having to prove its independence and credibility yet again, as former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance was revoked by the White House this week. Part of the IC’s institutional memory resides in its past leaders and, while America’s current administration hasn’t (yet) faced a major national security incident, it needs to lean on every “I was there” IC mind when a crisis does occur. That said, the decision to revoke his clearance has some merit. Director Brennan’s track record isn’t pristine – really, can any human claim their own to be so? – but in the grander scheme of things, I do wonder if revoking his (and potentially other) security clearances is in the best national security interests of the country.

Om Is Where The Heart Is

Icon. Trailblazer. Queen of Soul.

Another musical giant left the earth today, to join the other stars in the sky. What a life Ms Aretha Franklin, and what a message you lived for us in that life.

Part of my calling is to be a spiritual biographer, to tell soulful stories like yours so we can all know and understand your glory and humanity. I’ve already begun the process, and hope to infuse my words with yours.

As for you, my dear newsletter reader, I’ll let you know where and when my thoughts about Ms Franklin are published.

News and Views

Leaning into a writing life

“But this I know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master–something that at times strangely wills and works for itself.”

Charlotte Bronte

British novelist

I used to write with a specific goal, for a specific client, to help a specific boss. On hindsight, that kind of writing was much easier to manage. The hours were grueling, but the writing process was fairly predictable.

Now that I listen more closely to my Muse, to the infinite intelligence that we can tune in to for guidance and inspiration, the process can sometimes get away from me. Time stands still, or hours fly by. And yet, I surrender to the mystical flow of it all, and the words that emerge are well worth it.

Have you ever experienced the wonder of your Muse? Do you want to? Send me a note and tell me all about it.

In the next issue:

I’ll probably have more to share about my tribute to Aretha Franklin. And Hollywood is buzzing about a movie that showcases my homeland of Singapore – that should be an interesting story about cultural identity!


Live well and lead large – Maya

(featured image of Ms Aretha Franklin from

About the Author

Maya Mathias is a peaceful leadership advocate, spiritual biographer and soul guide, with a life and career spanning 3 continents and 5 inspired self-reinventions. She is a global leadership veteran, bringing her unique blend of East & West to her leadership development and writing practice. Maya’s life began with a lower-middle class upbringing in Asia, surrounded by poultry & vegetable farms and the "simple life." She doesn’t forget her humble roots, and her body of work seeks to bring more equality, justice and personal purpose in troubling times.