Recently I read an article that served up a huge ah-ha moment for me, it felt like a soul awakening reality check. In the article the author wrote that according to the national average, North Americans live to approximately 79 years of age (Im averaging the difference between US and Canada, Europeans apparently get an extra year or two). The author stated that he is turning 50 years old this year and realized that according to national averages for longevity he would have approximately 29 more summers to enjoy! Now of course we all pray and think we will live longer but really, we have no idea how long we will be here and the author wanted to bring home the awareness that every moment is a gift and so very precious. Wow, what a wake up call for me!
After reading the article I sat back and calculated my earthly time if I lived as long as the National average dictates. That meant that if I lived to be the average age of 79 I would have….24 summers, 24 birthdays, 24 changes of season, 9000 sunrises and 9000 sunsets left! oh my the numbers were obviously speaking a loud message…am I making a living or making a life, the choice is mine, the time is thine! Soon I will be 55 and those summers, birthdays and sunrises of the past 55 years have zipped by in a heartbeat! Time to embrace the next phase of life!
Upon completing my calculations and looking at the possible time left here on earth I surprisingly felt no sadness, no pain, no regrets of the life I have lived thus far. My guide Nathan has always taught me that “life is absolute perfection, authentic and real in this moment..then the next…then the next”. What did arise in me was a strong sense of wanting to get to the celebration of more of my life, to live with more awareness, to dance even when I feel vulnerable, laugh out loud, live fully and bring forth the fullness of me in every moment. Im not talking about living a perfectly achieved, strived for, aced it kind of life. Im talking about missing fewer sunrises or sunsets, to really and I mean really celebrate birthdays (eat the damn cake, with ice cream and love it!), to bathe in the sun on those sacred summer days, to really slow down to enjoy the autumn colours and allow myself to breathe in..deeply.. the salty sea air. Time to get that haircut Ive been waiting to one day have, to wear the jeans I love no matter what my inner critic says, to live, travel, to be alive, cry more if I need, sleep in sometimes, embrace my dreams, to worry less about making a living and celebrate more of life. Yes, debts, payments, rent, family struggles, etc are all facts of life, but they are not the only force or focus in life. I do choose to live a minimalistic lifestyle but not for the sake of suffering but for the sake of liberating my time and space so I can live more of life. Ive had my shares of traumas and dramas and probably more to come, thats called life, but in the past Ive often allowed it all bowl over me like a tsunami verses riding the wave and being present in my life alongside of what it is that I need to address and care for. In other words, that which I focus on will be my day spent…how do I wish to live this day?
The article I read re-affirmed everything I understood and committed to after my life threatening illness. I learnt that life is an absolute gift,.. sometimes its a gift box filled with thorns and wasps, other times its chocolate cake and puppies but the simple fact that I am on this side of the grass today gives me a blank slate to decide how do I want to live life. Am I going to let life live me, do I want to make a living or do I want to make a life? Im alive…the choice is mine.
What did I learn?
-Be compassionate and loving to myself for the times that I made choices to make a living and was too busy to live my life. Its okay to be human and falter and fall, get up again only to trip over yet another trial. I can look back on life with regrets or I can look back on life like a hungry student eager to learn my lessons and apply them in life
-Living a life vs making a living does not mean that I will sit in the bushes in a lotus position hoping that dollars will fall from heaven and ignore my opportunity to make active contributions to the world. It means that I will slow down (or speed up) enough to see that sunrise, to eat the cake, to go for the walk, to get my faux hawk haircut, to wear the jeans, to dance, to laugh, to love, to cry, to strive, to achieve, to drive the convertible (and let the wind blow my hair), to eat pasta in Italy, and more. Living life means I can have a dream, career, lover, financial goals, visions for my life, but they exist as a part of the whole of me, not the only force to live for. In other words, I choose to pay attention to that which gives me joy and brings love to others and live more in alignment with those choices rather than be a slave to the constant barrage of have to’s and have not’s that drive me to exhaustion and disconnect me from the beautiful love around me.
-I really don’t know how long I have here on the planet in human form, I pray it will be for a long time. I will not live from scarcity or fear around death and living but I will make conscious choices to live from the place of knowing that my time here is a gift and to embrace a sense of urgency to really relish in and savour this precious gift of life.
Blessings and Light! Time to go eat that cake!!!