June 21, 2007
Liz published this at 7:58 am
Give It a Try
Oh yeah, science has defined and described life — no disputing that. It’s that time that occurs between birth and death that we fill up with breathing, eating, sometimes sleeping, preserving the species, and whatever thoughtful and mindless else we might devise.
To get beyond the state of being to having meaning is an art and a craft. The trick is finding the space between the literal and the figurative.
If you want to give it a try . . .
How to Be Alive
In some ways, being alive is a mystical balancing act. It takes thinking and feeling about ideas, things, and people. Actually being alive is deliberate and spontaneous. It’s getting all systems go while being totally still. It can be done. I’ve actually met people who are alive!
Here’s a way to give it a go.
- Check your life signs. Even though working lungs and a beating heart are clear necessities of living, most of us hold our breath and lose our hearts when we’re overwhelmed. We crawl up into our heads and forget who we are.
- Know that you can’t get a life — you’ve already got one. If you don’t have one, you’re not reading this.
- Bring things to life. Be there and show up with all that you are. We get back what we invest.
- Hold onto your wonderful memories, but let go of the rest. Keeping too much makes us less, holding onto less makes us more.
- Work hard to reach for your potential, but be easy on yourself. We all need love — our own most of all.
- Be true to life. Listen to what you knew when you were born. We start out wise, authentic, and letting the world know we’re here. That’s the part we call spirit. We know. We did then. We always will. It’s who we are.
- Be who you want to become.
One reward of putting all you are into living is how other people find a living soul fascinating and attractive. We’re drawn to a person so vibrantly centered. Our life expands with each person who responds that attraction.
10 Ways to Celebrate Living
When we walk back into our own life again, it’s a wonder — we wonder at what took us so long, wonder at things we hadn’t been seeing, doing, being, sharing with folks we care about. The realization can be quite stunning and profound.
Definitely worth celebrating. Here are 10 Ways to celebrate living.
- Whenever you stretch your mind, stretch your body too. The difference is exponential and incredibly cool.
- Do something that’s not electronic. Better yet make it something you’ve never done that you do with someone who sees you as you are.
- Go somewhere you can’t see anything made by people. Then before you look, close your eyes to listen for the longest while.
- Eat something delicious. Go for that “last cookie” feeling with every bite.
- Run your hand along a fence or a wall. Sit on a floor. Walk the curb like a tightrope walker would. You know how. I bet you’ve done them all before.
- Listen to music filled with images of your history. Seek out and savor the smells and tastes of comfort times in the past. Send a thought to the people who experienced them with you wherever they are. They’re not gone, if you remember.
- Test drive your body like a two year old who just got brand-new shoes.
- Run in the grass and fall down on purpose. I bet you did that once too.
- Touch wet paint to see how wet it is. Wipe your hand on your pants without a thought. Then send a wish to a guy who did that same thing once, while his mom was watching. Know that his mom didn’t get mad.
- Say “I love you” and mean it to someone who least expects it. Then do it again and again. Every time that you do, tell yourself the same thing.
I’m guessing you have the hang of it by now. Being alive really comes down to one sentence.
We have a whole life of time to do nothing but that. It makes sense, simple and elegant. It’s not hard to be alive . . . once we remember how.
–ME “Liz” Strauss