A Life Well Lived (Purpose)
A Life Well Lived (Purpose)
A Life Well Lived (Purpose)

A Life Well Lived (Purpose)

What are you here to do? How finding out why you are here is the best gift you can give yourself—and the world.

Last Updated: June 22, 2022
Contributor: Meghann Shantz

Meet a psychologist whose journey through addiction led him to help others in need, a man who is healing his community through urban farming, and a woman who’s learned a few things about living with purpose from the bees.

Explored in this episode

  • The power radical acceptance can have on your life
  • The idea that you can take your pain and redefine it as something you have moved beyond
  • The importance of honouring everyone’s story, regardless of what they are going through
  • How spending time with bees can be a grounding, calming experience and help relieve trauma through mindfulness
  • The culture of bees and their representation of community
  • How someone’s experience of trauma or exclusion can become a message that they aren’t valued
  • The necessity of feeling needed and included to our health and well being

Voices in the conversation


Adi Jaffe, PhD

Founder & CEO of IGNTD, host of the IGNTD Podcast, lecturer at UCLA

If you don’t find that what you are doing in your everyday life is contributing to the greater good of the world, you’re going to get in trouble. Period.

Adi Jaffe is a world renowned mental health expert who has published dozens of articles, book chapters, and presentations on the topic of mental health and addiction and is currently working on his first book. He is incredibly passionate about issues of shame and stigma in mental health, and is an advocate for a new way of approaching addition. He describes himself as a recovering addict and is now using the approach that helped him to help others.

We spoke with Adi about how developing a sense of dignity and purpose can help heal the individual, and also the society around them. He talks about how we can turn our pain into triumph, and live a life we might have thought was impossible. .

His latest book, The Abstinence Myth, outlines his approach to overcoming addiction without shame, judgement or rules, based on his personal experience and expertise.


Sarah Common

Co-Founder, Chief Community Officer, CEO of Hives for Humanity

I get to work for an organization, with a community that has a depth of generosity that I haven’t experienced anywhere else in this world…yet.

Sarah is a community support worker, a beekeeper, and someone who has dedicated her career to supporting vibrant, healthy community through empowerment and education. She believes in the profound impact of connecting individuals and communities to their land, their food and their spirit.

The vision of Hives for Humanity, the organization she co-founded with her mother and bee master, Julia Common has a vision of healthy communities connected through the culture of the hive. To achieve that, they create ‘transformative opportunities for people and pollinators”. We connected with Sarah at her Hastings Street location to talk about how she is supporting at-risk populations—both bees and residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Sitting amongst the flowers, we learned about the power of community and purpose that the bees represent, and that they can help build in those who interact with them.


Michael Ableman

Co-Founder of Sole Food Street Farms, pioneer of the organic food & urban farming movements, author, photographer

Not too many things are as meaningful or powerful as getting your hands in living soil and growing from seeds actual nourishment that the community can use.

Michael Ableman has farmed organically since the early 70s, and founded the Centre for Urban Agriculture in Goleta California, where he farmed for 20 years. He now runs Foxglove Farm on Salt Spring Island BC, in addition to co-founding Sole Food Street Farms in Vancouver with Sean Dory

Known as North America’s largest urban agriculture project, Sole Food’s mission is to empower individuals with limited resources by providing jobs, agricultural training and inclusion in a supportive community of farmers and food lovers. They transform vacant urban lots into farms that grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables that are available at farmers markets and sold to high-end restaurants.

Through his work, Michael has created opportunities for hundreds of marginalized people living in urban centres access training, a safe space, and healing through working with soil and growing food. By offering employment and education, he is helping a community grow beyond the stigma by discovering the power of living with purpose.

Michael’s book, Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs and Hope on the Urban Frontier, is “a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and the power of farming and nourishing others as a way to heal ourselves and the world.” Purchases of the book directly support the Sole Food Street Farms project.

Meghann Shantz, The Host of Well Now
Meghann Shantz
The Host of Well Now

Managing Editor at Saje Natural Wellness, Meghann Shantz brings her personal story of healing and a love of storytelling to Well Now – a podcast born out of a desire to help us all discover the hidden side of health and how to achieve wellness. She draws from her experiences navigating western and alternative medicine to heal her anxiety and physical injury to connect with guests about their own stories of overcoming physical and emotional challenges.

Naturally curious and on a quest for meaning, Meghann holds space for the raw expression and authentic stories of her podcast guests, believing that our world would be better if we chose to honour other people’s journeys and processes without judgement – and believing in the power of telling your story.