In the Spring of 2024, out of an invitation from a podcaster, I was invited to ask some of my clients the question, “What is the Legacy I am leaving with you?”

I did so, and these were some of the responses I received. Their responses astounded me and brought me doubly present to the blessing and privilege I have to serve.

What is the Legacy?

I’m not sure I would have discovered my life had it not been for meeting 
you. The reason: I thought my life was my life circumstance.

I was a pudgy, acne-prone middle child who lived in the shadow of my older brother, 
who was most things I wanted to be – taller, smarter, popular, athletic. I spent my childhood and early adult years trying to earn the respect of others through my “doings.” By working hard, accomplishing business goals, and striving to win golf tournaments, my identity was sourced from my accomplishments (my doings), and my worth was sourced from how my accomplishments stacked up against others.

Part I of your legacy to me is Awakening. The first time I truly looked inward and considered who I was in the matter of my life was in my first Heart of Leadership course in 1997. I confronted the questions: “What do I stand for?” and “What is my unique contribution to the world?”

These two essential questions have nothing to do with my doings, my older brother, my 
family of origin, or, quite frankly, my life circumstances. They have everything to do with me. Simply, me. These questions sparked an awakening and have been the source of an internal journey over the twenty-five years since the HOL course.

One of my stands back in 1997 was ” to touch the lives of others.”

Part II of the legacy you have left me with is Enlivening – what I would call carrying forth my 
stands and unique contribution to the world – most acutely, to the communities I am part of – my family, my friends, peers at work, etc. I discovered as I held the questions of my unique contribution and my stands in front of me, while adding new ones, like – what is the name of my soul? – that I was not just touching lives, but being in service to the lives of others. 

Awakening without enlivening misses the opportunity to dance with life, to contribute to humanity, and to be contributed to by others as well.

Part III of your legacy is Humility. As we carry forward our unique selves into the world, being and becoming fully who we are, we do so from the place of being human. And being human means we have egos, it means we judge others, it means we’re insecure at times, it means we get triggered. It means we operate from our stories. It means we see things the way we wish them to be, not as they are. It means we are, at times, arrogant.

With this awareness of what’s going on inside ourselves and what might be operating inside of others, we can generate workability by sourcing love. Sourcing generosity. Being compassion. Summoning patience. Calling forth forgiveness.

This third part of your legacy – humility is part II – enlivening but with the addition of being stuck. Either with myself, with others, or with life. And awakening and enlivening without becoming stuck robs us of the opportunity to grow. And to grow, we need the fertile ground of Humility.

We’re meant to be awake so we can discover our gifts. We’re meant to enliven ourselves to bring our gifts to the world. And yet, it’s only human to get stuck and work our way through our stuckness. Over and Over and Over.

I used to think that if I got good enough, I wouldn’t get stuck. With humility, I realize becoming stuck is a natural and frequent waypoint on my life’s path. And getting good is not staying stuck for long.

Amba, I trace my capacity in all the areas to you. To the source and to the 
force, you’ve been in my life. I’m forever grateful.

James Bailey, Founder and CEO, Perspective Wealth Partners

Hi Amba,

“What is the legacy I am leaving with you?”

I think if I was asked this 6 years ago around the time I took Heart of Leadership, it would’ve been an impossible question to answer. The context Marc comes from in the letter you included here is interesting too, because I have never thought of you as an elder in terms of age. As he brings up the concept of being an elder in multiple domains, I understand more fully the intent of his interview with you.

It’s hard to imagine me as a leader, a physician, and truthfully as a person in the world without your spirit and guidance speaking to me. As I reflect on HoL from years ago, I know now that I took a fork in the road that you revealed. I think it had been there for a long time but you gave me the permission that I needed to make a choice as I always felt like a square peg in a round hole. It was truly a red pill blue pill decision for me back then. Around that time I had recently finished an MBA and was becoming slowly indoctrinated into the corporate management mindset, which was disagreeable to me although I wasn’t quite sure why. So I took the fork of possibility.

This meant connecting with my children in a different way than I thought I could in past. Now that they are adults, my relationship to them is strong and satisfying and includes the spouses of the older kids. If this was all, it would be enough. 

This meant connecting with my wife differently. We will celebrate 31 years of marriage in June, but things positively changed for us after HoL. She’s very gifted in so many ways, and I did not appreciate these wonderful things. HoL and subsequent work significantly changed my mindset and gradually cracked open a space that had been riveted shut by so many years of surgical training. My true nature was hidden away.  I believe now that the JoB course I took a few years ago was ultimately for her and created the possibility for her to quit her job and for us to open up Novel Healthcare. If this was all it would be enough.

This meant interfacing with my colleagues in a way that propelled me to Chief Medical Officer of Pulse Heart Institute. This meant interfacing with my patients in a way where I am the most requested heart surgeon at Pulse by patients and physicians. If this was all it would be enough.

You opened up possibility for me Amba and helped me to see what it means to live and work wholeheartedly. So many facets of my life have been affected and without you I’m not sure I would have found the path I’m on. The impact is not just on me, though. I see it in my family and others and in the inspiration that I continue to draw from our work together that I apply in every situation. The JoB we just completed has taken me even further down this fork of possibility and passion for the future.

So your legacy is huge and hard to name. But if I had to call it something, it’s possibility. Before I met you and started this work, I thought my life would be. Me being a heart surgeon, eventually dropping dead at the OR table. What I realize now is that I was already dead, at least in spirit. I was stagnated at home, at work, and in life in general. Being able to pull someone from this precipice is a true gift.

With much love,

Mike Meyer, Cardiac Surgeon

I see you Amba, as a conduit of love.  A channeler, linking wisdom with knowledge, empowering and inspiring others, making a positive impact in the world.  You have skillfully offered me and many others, invitations to explore our vast interiority, and awaken, recreating a life that is full of possibility and promise. Amba, you are an elder with a unique gift serving others and guiding them toward transformation. I feel that you are helping to create a world where individuals feel seen, heard and valued.

Mary Scribner, Parent Coach

Parent Coach, Participant in courses


The Book of Proverbs offers a kind of funny thesis: “The beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom!” (Prov. 4:7). I think the gist is that wise people go hunting for wisdom. I always hungered to learn and grow, but — as you like to say — I didn’t know what I didn’t know. You have left a legacy of wisdom in me, illuminating pathways and principles I might never have explored that have become some of the most important in my life. I bring more skill, presence, joy, and depth to my marriage, my parenting, my friendships, and my work because of you. Insights and practices that came from my time with you have continued forward from me, as I’ve passed them on to hundreds, maybe thousands. I remember going up to you on the first or second day of Heart of Leadership and telling you, “You are a great spiritual teacher.” I was moved and blown away because I hadn’t found many of those. What a treasure to find a great spiritual teacher — and more importantly, one of the dearest, most beloved people in my life — at what I thought was going to be “just” a business conference. Your beautiful heart for people, your fiercely authentic Amba-ness, and the profound, ageless WISDOM you infuse into others CONTINUE to enrich every part of every day of my life. How’s that for a legacy? I’m grateful for the opportunity to mention that to you and thank you again. 

Love you Amba!

Ryan Joy, Minister

Hi, Amba, this is a short message in response to your question for Mark’s podcast about “What legacy are you leaving with me?” And I what I would say is a legacy of transformation and and growth I came into your work, being on this journey of growth in different ways and not knowing how it could totally transform my life. And I know that it can because it has I’m a different person doing different things than what I was doing before. It has been and continues to be a journey of a lot of healing and being in touch with old wounds and seeing them and holding them and healing them on the one hand.

And also, a journey of stepping forward and moving forward in different ways of feeling, going from being stuck in habits that don’t serve me to declaring and living into the habits that do serve me. And the transformation I think comes from a number of things you do incredibly well.

One is hold space for people create safe spaces so that people can show up and do this kind of work. And you do that in in really beautiful ways. And in really effective ways.

The other is the way you structure your work. I have noticed that you’re always clearing out starting by clearing out space for what wants to emerge and then spending a lot of time doing the deep work around what wants to emerge and supporting that work to emerge. So that’s pretty incredible. The structure you bring, the exercises you bring are really enriching and alive, enlivening.

And then the other thing that you do is you are promiscuous in terms of the teachers you tap into and the teachers you connect with. And the way you start these conversations, the content that you bring into these conversations is incredibly powerful. You know, from marketing Bo to David. White to Parker Palmer, you know, being introduced to these teachers and being able to, to connect with them and to listen to their wisdom in a very applied context is really amazing. And then, holding space, structuring your work there was one other thing that I had in mind

Oh, modeling. You know, the other thing that I told you this before, but the first conversation we had when I started to understand what your work was, and I remember you talking about the threshold crossing you had gone through with Marielle the I remember thinking like, shit, you know, she’s still doing this work like Shouldn’t it be over by now? And you know, that’s I think a thing I still Still it still wants to be let go of, for me. The idea that this work has an end that there’s a destination and the way you model your own work the way you you put yourself in the work the way you you know, show up and share. Yeah, it’s really it’s really, it’s really profound. So you know, when when I take this, how you work, it’s different than the way I’ve ever seen anybody else work.

And the results are incredible. I mean, the results are my awakening my taking responsibility for my own happiness, my living into a different existence than I was living into before and being on this journey in a different way than I was before. So that’s where I’ll leave it. I’ll say thank you and I love you and I am very grateful that our paths have met in this corner of the universe at this moment. So thank you

Chris Clearfirled, Founder Clearfield Group

Dear Amba –

I want you to know that you mean so much to me and have made such a big impact on my life. Here are just a few things that come to mind:

  1. You’ve been my greatest teacher on faith and God and spirit. I grew up protestant going to church every Sunday, and I went to Catholic school from kindergarten through freshman year of college. However, deep inside I never felt a deep connection to my faith – one that was truly mine and not just what people told me to believe. Your legacy is that you’ve shown me and demonstrated that God and spirit is far greater than religion and Christianity. You’ve helped me find God, feel God and experience God’s presence in the world. 
  2. You’ve gifted me with tremendous confidence and steadiness in my life. Before I met you, I was much more a victim of the feelings and opinions of others. I took things hard and let other’s influence my emotions much more easily. Now I see, through your guidance and teaching, that these are not mine to take on. 
  3. You were with me in the boat, guiding me through my ending at Bartell’s. These were dark, stormy seas. I am confident that without you in my life I wouldn’t feel the peace I feel about this ending. I would be harboring resentment, regret, possibly anger. You gave me the gift of safe passage – of peace – of laying to rest honorably this ending. I cannot tell you how tremendously grateful I am to have had you with me during this time.

And because of you, I have no doubt I am a better human out in the world. I am a more patient mom. I am a better listener to my husband and family and friends. I have more compassion for others, see more beauty in the world around me, and live a more peaceful, happy life. I have no doubt that you and all you’ve taught me (and will continue to teach) will stay with me the rest of my days.

I am deeply grateful for you and the person you are! 

Sending you all my love,

Evie Merrill, Parent, Previous family owner, Bartell Drugs

“In the end, it’s not about who you are or what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” – Mark Nepo

I originally took a class with Amba to learn how to be a better listener. I had no idea it would also include being a better listener to my own thoughts, to my actions and my life goals. The journey began around 8 years ago, and I have tried to take a course with Amba at least once a year. Her insights and questions cut through the fog and the bull in our lives. Working with fellow “pilgrims” make me feel a part of a community where we are all there to support one another. It is an incredibly safe, warm spot. It is a place where you are heard and seen.

I have a better understanding of myself and what’s important in my life. I have also dealt with baggage in my life, working through it and trying to come to a peaceful resolution within myself.  (It may include speaking to others). 

I was unable to go to the class in 2023 and I felt a hole in my life. I find being with Amba and my fellow “pilgrims” rejuvenating. Spending uninterrupted time working on a better understanding of oneself, working towards your personal goals while being surrounded by people who cheer you on is a luxury. Amba provides the space and wisdom for this to happen.

I feel lucky to have learned from Amba. 

Linda Flame



I remember when I did the Joy of Being I had a forehead slap moment of “this course is NOT called The Joy of Getting Stuff Done”. That is your legacy to me. Joy is not to be made or worked out or found. Joy just is. It’s like the sun. It’s warming you even when it’s behind the clouds and you can’t see it. It lights up the moon at night. The sun is there whether or not you believe it’s there, but if you do believe it’s there you’ll see how it’s taking care of you all the time. Joy about accessing, not generating. When I connect to my center, and I’m humming with my natural tune, the joy is just there. I just have to relax and let it be. That is a pretty freaking awesome legacy and I am very very grateful for it.

Jenny Nichols, Town and Country Markets, Market Director

In my home I have a statue of the goddess Quan Yin…. She is serene and emanates peace and wisdom. I am given peace and rest every time I look upon her… because I want to achieve what she has in that pose.

She is a wisdom guide…. much as you are my wisdom guide. There was a time I looked upon you with much the same near reverence I have for the goddess…. but time, and your own deep revealing have often let me see what it must have been like to be near to spiritually divine persons such as Jesus… or the Buddha… living in the real world of their time… feeling the power of their confidence… and yet still witnessing the agony revealed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Their/Your humanity in living awake on full reveal for all. And in experiencing that beautiful truth I find the ability to connect with my own humanity with more compassion than I could have before. I have often had little regard for my own humanity until I understood it’s relationship to the divine. I used to think it the weak side of myself… the part to be hidden and shut away from view… lest I be found out a fraud.

You taught me that the divine and deepest connected relationships all live in the beauty, messiness, and joy of living life awake… of the gift to be had that can only be found in the courage of living truly in the authentic core of your own calling and self-development. Coming back again and again to owning the discipline of putting myself in the right relationship for how I manifest the life I most dearly seek. I pull the nails from my feet…. I point the finger to myself… I realize the cost of being seen as ‘right’ is too high to ever be worth striving for if it lays waste to the world around you.

That I must pause… and interact with everyone as if THEY were God.

We are all more than the sum of our parts… but the cracks we fill in with gold… to highlight the brokenness with beauty… that is the wisdom you have shared with me as my dearest elder.

And I am blessed.

With deepest love,

Victrinia Ridgeway, IT, Harmony Hill Cancer Rereat Center


I would say that what you have contributed to me, your legacy with me, is to embrace who I am and live from that core.  I used to know that core, then forgot it in all the drama of growing up and remembered it again in my work with you.  Staying true to that core, hanging onto the thread, has been the north star for me, my work, and my relationships.  Kind of like the Biblical admonishment to not hide the lighted candle under a bowl.  Letting my light shine now and in the future.

With much love,

Marianne Bastin, Retired, Previous Director in Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital

Wow, that is a request for introspection.  I can offer this, Amba:

You have provided me with a lens through which to see our world and a framework for approaching life.  If I could summarize in one phrase, it would be “rediscover your core and see the core of others.”   You have taught me to cultivate presence in service of connecting with the true, whole self – my whole self and the whole self of other beings.  And I’d be remiss not to mention trees, rocks, and all matter of beings and things on this earth (yes, DW “speaking” through me there)!

Thank you, Amba.

With love,

Eric Cress, Founder, Urban Development Partners

The one thing I find I want to share from “what is the legacy (you) are leaving with me?” is:  I truly believe down to my deepest bones, that I was able to find and acknowledge the dharma of my being during your original ‘Resultswork’.  And from that day forward I was able to walk and cherish my lifework as a toucher, connector, and mirror for people through their bodies (and I would like to think sometimes through spirit)….and love being able to be here sharing this opportunity with my clients.  You helped me accept the pure joy of my work that makes me want to do it until my little fingers can’t!

And what a gift that is!!!!  Thank you…..!!!

Joanne Hopkins,  Massage and Structural Integration Therapist


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