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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Preface One year ago on New Year’s Eve, which is also my birthday, I made a pow- erful decision: to deepen my spirituality and live a truer life. What I could see about my life in that moment was this: I could see that I was repeating patterns and feeling ho-hum about rela- tionships that by all rights should be life-giving. I could see that I wanted to reclaim the promise of my life and discover how to live more deeply, meaningfully and, above all, spiritually. What I could not see was the path ahead. Yes, I had a happy and fulfilling life. But something was missing. Some- thing was amiss. Something awaited me that I could not see. That something was a second chance. It was, in fact, a life of second chances. And so I stepped away from the known (a well-tended home by the lake, a fifteen-year relationship, my ebullient perennial gardens, my beloved yellow lab, my easy and predictable patterns) to risk the unknown. The life that awaited me included a journey literally around the world (Boston to London to New Delhi to Jaipur to Udaipur to Mumbai to Kath- mandu to Hong Kong to this day and this place). And now I have ridden the back of an elephant up a mountainside without fear. I have ended untrue relationships. I have been measured for dazzling and sparkling saris. I have moved into a house built in 1890 with pocket doors, patterned hardwood floors, and stained glass. I have regained the courage to hear and tell the truth. And I have written a book about second chances. I had no idea where my quest would take me. But I knew I had to choose freedom over security, learning over repeating, and love over all substitutes. You have had these moments, these opportunities for second chances. You offer these moments to others every day; you bear witness to a child’s COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL ix