"When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice." ~ Cherokee

Coming Alive

Are you alive? If you are reading this, I know you have a pulse. But are you fully alive?

I have reflected on that question often, and it is involved in the working title of my next book.  The question challenges me. And it haunts me.

So often we sleepwalk through life, maybe just for an hour, or a day, or maybe even far longer. We convince ourselves that this is normal or we owe it to ourselves. The reality is the only thing we owe to ourselves, to every person in our life, and to the time we live is to be fully alive in every waking moment.

It begins with a realization and it continues with good habits. The realization is that this very moment is a gift. We are here. There will never be another moment like this again. And there might not be another moment at all. We have a finite amount of time here on this earth. Yet, often we live as if our lives are infinite. As if we are guaranteed another moment, another day, another year.  We know better. We have all lost someone. And it was always too soon.  We each have suffered adversity—some more than others. But we are not our circumstances.

I am challenged to wake each day with gratitude and with a renewed commitment to be full on. And I am haunted by the days and the moments I have failed my obligation. Then I remind myself those haunting thoughts are not real, and the only reality is this moment. I am the cause of my life, and my present is not because of anything in the past. That is a story that I cannot tell myself and let it steal the gift of this moment from which I can create anything I want. Something powerful, life-affirming and lasting.

What habits do you use to remind yourself of how fortunate you are?  Waking up every day and being thankful is mine.  Breathing, meditating, smiling. 3 minutes to think of 3 things I am grateful for and 3 minutes to commit to 3 things I want to accomplish that day.The power of 3. When I stray off course during the day, I try to return to the same 3 things – breathing, meditating, smiling. It is hard to be distracted when you do that. A clear mind, deep breathing, and a smile can conquer just about anything.

We live in challenging and ever-changing times. The people I admire are the ones who are completely present. Unfazed by what has happened in the past and encouraged by all that can be created at this moment.

Let’s take the ultimate challenge. Right now, let’s come alive. Fully and unapologetically alive.  Grateful, generous, loving, hopeful.

With a smile, let’s recognize this gift and create something special.