In case of amnesia, notes to self on a life worth living:
Wake up and dance. Do yoga. Do whatever makes you feel alive. Move as if you know tomorrow you’ll be paralyzed for life. Throw every limb, every ligament, every tendon, every nerve, into it. You were made to move. Not to perform, not to be ornamental – you were born into this body to stretch its capabilities, its possibilities, to explore the marvel and power of your being while you have the gift of inhabiting it.
Listen to the music. Listen to every layer. Every harmony. Lean into the discord. Delight in the darkness. Relish in the lightness. The more you listen, the more you hear.
You cannot wear out a song you love. There’s no such thing. Not if you really, truly listen. The expressions will change. Partly, because you are changing. Partly, because the experience of listening is so often passive, and when you really listen with your entire being, what you hear is entirely different than what you think you heard.
This is also true of people. You think you know people. You spend your whole life with someone. You have decade-long friends. But the slate is always blank. Sometimes you think the book is written. But really, there’s always another chapter. Just ask, and really, really listen. And even ask the same questions over the years, because the answers might very well be different.
Breathe deeply. From your head to your toes. When Abu was in her last days, remember she had to fight for every breath, until finally, she couldn’t catch any more air. Never take your breath, your lungs, the power of your body for granted.
And your mind. Talk. Learn. Write. Think. Learn everything. Stay insatiable. The sharpness of our brilliant minds isn’t to be taken for granted. Like all things, the mind fades over time. Don’t waste writing on emails. Or if you’re going to write emails, or send texts, write them like poetry. Like love letters. USE CAPS LIBERALLY. Say what you mean. You can even be funny if you feel like it. You are funny.
Give, give, give – find out if giving runs out. Give your time, give your love, give your generosity, give space, advice, listening. Try to give forgiveness but don’t be terribly hard on yourself if you can’t.
Serve. Life isn’t worth living if not in service. There’s too much pain and suffering in this world, too many things designed to hold humanity back, to bring us to our knees, to keep us in all manner of chains. You cannot be free while others are in chains.
Envision the world as you think it should be. Now create it into reality. Do not despair when you see things that humans do to each other that make you unfathomably sad. When you feel that sadness, let yourself feel it, be consumed by it. That is your fire. Focus your attentions onto creating a different reality, one where the atrocities, the pain, the suffering does not exist. Create a new space, a better space, for others to live in.
Question everything. Challenge your assumptions about yourself, and the world. Reflect often to make sure your life isn’t being defined by rules created by others. All constructs were created by another human, like you. Always be searching for the next set of rules to break, to mold, to re-create in the image of what you know to be true to you. Your life, your rules.
Look up. Cloud-watch often. The more you look, the more you see (true of humans and all nature too). There is a giant, exquisite, blue sky above you. Wonder and awe are just a glance away.
Experiment with infinite loving. You’ve already broken all the finite thinking rules. Stay infinite in this realm. Keep loving and find the boundaries of where it runs out – if it does. Maybe it never does. And you just discover that love truly is infinite.
At the end of the day, trust yourself. Everything is inside of you. The answers, the power, the love. Only you hold the keys to being free.
What do you think is a life worth living? I’d love to hear your contemplations: connect with me on Linkedin to share.