Having a conversation with a girlfriend the other evening about what kind of legacy we want to leave and what our lives are meant for started me re-examining my own life.
Seems lately that every day all day I see infomercials for buying final expense life insurance to make it easier, at least financially, for your loved ones when you pass.
The existential conversation about life and death can be quite complicated. Running the gamut of you live, you die, and that’s it, to a belief in an afterlife, maybe even reincarnation. I’m one who believes in the karmic synergy of the universe and that life on earth is just a way station. Our evolution as humans come from an understanding that our purpose is to learn gratitude, understand we are part of a whole and that what we do to others we do to ourselves.
Surviving cancer has given me a renewed relationship with my own mortality. I don’t fear death, it’s part of the human experience. I believe we were sent here to understand that we are reflected in the faces of others and that we are our brother’s keeper. In totality, we should aspire to our highest self.
My sadness about departing my physical body comes from the separation, no longer being able to hang out with my family and friends; enjoying precious time together. But, my new consciousness evokes a more incredible point – the amazing reality that I ever existed at all!
We are all miracles; chosen for an existence on earth. My greatest wish for humankind is that we embrace the fact our lives have an expiration date for the lessons we must learn.
For me, it means being given this amazing gift of life to explore, reflect, and leave this world a little better than I found it. My desire is to achieve my highest self; moving on with a smile on my face from having lived a life of joy with no regrets; clear in the ultimate understanding that every moment is precious so, be present and choose love as a mantra for existence.
Each and every day I choose to live my life without fear; understanding that taking chances and keeping faith through adversity is to grow as a person and citizen of the world. Fear makes some people commit heinous acts and is responsible for so much suffering in people’s lives. Fear can prevent us from speaking out when seeing a wrong or blaming some “other” for our problems.
But, living fearlessly can open infinite possibilities. Believe and realize your dreams. Reach out and understand that a simple smile can brighten someone’s day. Adjust your attitude to a positive point of view and create the life you seek.
Take the leap and have faith. Destiny lies in your hands.
While watching one of my favorite tv shows, “The Voice”, I was struck by the lyrics of a song I haven’t heard in years, Joan Osborne’s incredible 1995 hit “What If God Was One of Us?” I instinctively grabbed my laptop and began writing down the bleak thoughts that had started rushing through my head.
With all the conflict, and negative energy coursing through the world these days, the question of the song lyric – “What if God Was One of Us?” made me pause and ponder; in what spirit are we living our lives?
“What if God was one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home?”
How we interact with or judge others has a ripple effect. Love and compassion shouldn’t be dirty words and we should be offended by and call out those who judge the world and view people through a crooked lens. As we go about our daily lives let’s be mindful and strive to live a life of hope, mercy, and kindness.
What we say and do matters. You never know who’s listening and watching.
“My religion is simple. My religion is peace, love, compassion, and equality.”
From the first time I heard this song and still now, I feel joyful and appreciative for the blessing of waking up to a beautiful day! And my intention reminds me – make the most of it!
Since I’m a word girl and lyrics get butchered all the time,😄 I picked this video which showcases the impactful words of “Beautiful Day.”
It sounds like such a simple thing to do but so easy to forget. Each day, each moment is a gift. I know for me, next time I question what’s up with time, I’ll have to reflect on my own sense of appreciation.
Last week I was feeling extremely stressed and in a fatalistic mood. I didn’t even feel like this when I had cancer. My emotions have been running the gamut of mad, sad, empathetic, scared, and grateful for those incredible souls on the frontlines who are working 24/7 to assist and save as many patients as possible.
So, I wrote a dark, end of the world, melancholy opus to fit my hopeless state of mind. After reading it to my husband and accepting my feelings; I shook myself and said “you can’t publish this. It’s okay to live in your emotions for a short while but, you must pick yourself up and put events into perspective. Creating the reality you want to see.
We’re all sad, frightened and hyper-sensitive of the ground shifting moment by moment on this roller-coaster ride that is Covid-19. “After all this…” is a reminder to refocus our minds and embrace the implications that are woven into Humanity.
I Am You and You Are Me. We Are Our Brothers and Sisters Keeper!
Being diagnosed with both Colon and Breast Cancer at the same time heightened my self-awareness big time! It slapped me in the face and said, “girl, you better appreciate each precious moment you’re given because this fight is fluid as is life.”
I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone but facing your mortality can be seen as a blessing. It affords you a second chance to treasure your life, family, and friends, like never before.
Since then, I’ve made it a priority to cherish the time spent. Heck, I even named this blog, Livinginthemoment2015, marking my year of living with cancer and its impact.
However, you don’t have to wait for some tragedy or moment of truth to start living a mindful and conscious life. Take advantage of this post and the current series – “Mindfulness and Meditation”byDr. Richard J. Davidsonand use itas an opportunity to learn to appreciate the silence in meditation and the awareness it brings.
Make it a practice to live in the here and now, not the past or the future. Realize that NOW is the only reality there is.
“Certain meditation exercises have been proven to lower stress, anxiety, and depression. They have also been shown to change the self-awareness, attention, and resilience dimensions of emotional style.” Dr. Richard J. Davidson
The goals of Dr. Davidson’s meditation techniques are:
° To foster a routine of daily practice for cultivating well-being.
° Establish a simple meditation process taking a few minutes a day.
° Recognition that one size does not fit all.
° Making meditation work for you.
This lesson focuses on the technique of “Mindfulness Breathing Meditation”
“If we can pay attention to our breathing, we can pay attention to almost anything.”
Sit comfortably, spine straight and strong but not rigid, body relaxed. Release any tension in your jaw, shoulders, neck or anywhere that you may have the habit of holding stress.
Breathing through your nose, take a gentle but deep inhale. And as you release the exhale, allow your eyes to drift closed, or if you prefer, just lower and soften your gaze. Begin to turn your attention inward, taking a moment to notice your inner landscape, the state of your mind.
Are there emotions present? Are you sleepy or energized? Mind buzzing or calm? Without forming an opinion or passing judgment, just notice this.
Now, with a deep inhale, imagine that you are gathering in any mental residue from your day. Any problem or unfinished business that is tugging at your attention. And with a complete exhale, release it, and see it all drop away.
Notice your breath as you set your intention to be present for this meditation.
Letting the breath come to you, without attempting to change or control it. Just notice as it falls into a natural rhythm.
Breathe in, breathe out. When thoughts arise, which they will just notice them, and let them pass away.
Gently return your attention to breathing. Calming, centering, constant. There is only this moment, this breath; connecting mind and body.
When you’re ready, take a deep, intentional inhale, and with your exhale, release your attention to the breath, and open your eyes.
“As you move through your day, it may be helpful to remember that breath is always with you and can be used, in the moment, as a method to calm and focus your mind.”
I use this Breathing Meditation to take myself out of my surroundings and re-focus on feeling centered and present. Taking a body scan is also an effective way to gauge your emotions. Do I feel anxious, tension, pain? Being aware of your emotions helps with empathy and compassion. Often times we lash out at others when feeling anxiety or anger. Recognizing this internal state can allow us to halt the impulse and take a breath.
Why are we feeling this way? A lot of times our anger has nothing to do with the moment or the person on the receiving end. I know I’ve been guilty of holding onto anger until finally exploding over something that has nothing to do with the current situation.
I loved this song when it first came out and I love it even more today! The lyrics still inspire and the rhythm excites and pumps me up. “I get knocked down, but I get up again” are definitely great words to live by and it’s a perfect rallying cry for a fierce, kick butt attitude! The song so inspired me that I put together this little slideshow. Hope you enjoy.
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy, shaping our lives and image of ourselves based on outside input and descriptions others have deemed to be true. From birth, we take on the totality of remarks and declarations outright or subtly put in our heads. Whether it’s from parents uttering – “oh, you’re so pretty” maybe trying to build up our self-esteem or to teachers concluding “you don’t really have a head for numbers” in an effort to shield us from what they perceive as a possible failure.
These early definitions paint a picture we add to as we approach life and try to sort out how we fit in and what we’re capable of accomplishing. We are socialized by our peers, teachers, and loves. What we hear we sometimes assimilate to and believe.
I used to call myself a late bloomer, but a therapist corrected me saying “No, you come into things in your own time.” That perspective totally changed the way I thought of myself and opened my eyes to the fact that I was basing my definition of self on what others deemed as “appropriate” timing or behavior. I had been primarily judging myself by letting society dictate, on some level, my worthiness.
Maybe, if we stop letting others define who we are, we might just find the person we were meant to be.