Image by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash
Reflect on your mortality. Not exactly an uplifting opening line or prospect. However, on further consideration you may come to agree that it is actually a necessary and positive exercise. It can infuse a healthy sense of urgency and allow for possibilities not previously considered!
A Health, Wellness & Fitness magazine appeared in my mailbox recently. One cover article promised “44 Health, Wellness & Fitness Tips”. I’m a sucker for these. I know many of them so I enjoy making a righteous mental tick mark. Others are new ideas or good reminders. But the suggestion to reflect on my mortality stopped me.
After all, on an average day how often do you think about your mortality? Usually, especially in these strange times, we are encouraged to focus on the positives. Look for things to appreciate. I recently offered a 5-day Savor challenge with the idea being that stopping to savor something leads to gratitude.
And I still believe gratitude and positivity is valuable.
So, when I saw “reflect on your mortality” as a wellness tip … I paused.
Small but life changing advice
At first blush it seemed quite grim. Morose. Sad, even. But I stayed with it for a bit. I read the whole paragraph and came away with a fuller understanding of what the author was trying to convey.
It wasn’t saying my time was nigh. It was reminding me that we are mortal beings. Not eternal. Our time here is finite. Not infinite.
If you took that to heart, what would you do differently? Right now? It could be life changing.
Now, I know that you don’t go through life thinking that you’ll live forever. Hopefully you’ve done your estate planning and have your end of life wishes articulated. But you certainly don’t ruminate over your final days. If you think about it at all it’s to wish or pray that you won’t suffer, or that loved ones won’t suffer.
But we all come with an expiration date. And there’s no convenient stamp on us to tell us when that time is.
And, again, this wellness tip wasn’t asking that we reflect on our date of death. The message was “Memento mori” – “remember that you will die.” One day it will be too late.
Before it’s too late
There’s a quote that I always associate with Wayne Dyer: “Don’t die with your music still in you.”
It’s a beautiful metaphor for the gifts inside you waiting to be shared. It’s also another reminder to not wait until it’s too late. To start now even if with tiny steps. To start now even if the song is not clear in your head, even if the melody is sketchy and the theme not fully formed.
The music doesn’t have to be elaborate. Simplicity can be just as eloquent. You also don’t have to think in terms of the grand gesture. Start small. Here’s a story of someone who followed a thread in her life, got involved in a local organization and enriched her life while making a difference in the lives of others. Her music is out in the world.
In her blog post “5 Regrets of the Dying”, Bronnie Ware writes about the misgivings many of her palliative care patients expressed as they neared the end. It’s poignant and a great lesson. How wonderful it would feel to live with no regrets.
A final example, my husband’s friend who had many health challenges in his later years. Even though it might have helped, he resisted the physical therapy that was recommended. At the end he asked his son if it was too late to try. Of course, it was. The grief of what could have been is deep.
I’m challenging you to pause and think about this. And then ask yourself what you’d do differently in this moment. Right now? In the juicy bit of the present. Before you rush on to the next task, appointment, social media post, Instagram photo, text message?
What would I do differently?
I would be bolder in inviting you into a conversation about how our working together would help you create and live a second half of life that is rich and meaningful and in touch with the music that’s inside you.
I would be more direct in telling you that it’s not too late to be or do something you’ve put off, to make more daring and unexpected choices in how you spend your day, to make meaningful life changes.
I would urge you to shake off the status quo and live unapologetically. Now.
I would show you the container and the tools to unfold your Multidimensional Life that’s as necessary and vital as all the things you do for your health.
I’m urging you to do this now. Contact me to get started.
Staying centered and sane
Even in the midst of life’s challenges and disappointments and hardships this is possible. I have found during my own hard times that taking time for those things that make me come alive is what gets me through. Taking 20 minutes for a walk with a friend. Talking on the phone with my writing buddy, puttering in the garden for 30 minutes, savoring my morning Barry’s tea even if the rest of the day is going to be consumed by the urgent. I have learned that even small moments of the important make all the difference. They keep me connected to the layers of my Multidimensional Life. That keeps me centered and sane.
Reflect on your mortality. You don’t have forever so start now! Now in what might be the middle or the final quarter of your life. Start now because you’re not dead yet. And, of course, once you are…well, it is just too damn late!