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To live a good life

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To live a good life

My uncle passed away on a Wednesday afternoon after struggling with ALS a diseases that basically starts shutting down the different body parts. I wrote about him about two years ago when he was first diagnosed. He was what you call a “bon vivant” refused to wear ties under any circumstance, used his shirts inside out so that the tags wouldn’t bother his skin. Traveled the world, too some of the most remote places. Ate the most extravagant meals and drank the finest whiskey and wine. Not only that, he was a world re-known sculptor with art exhibits around the globe. He was happily married for 50 years with 3 children, 7 grandchildren and was greatly loved by those around him.

His life got me thinking about what it means to live a good life. Some of us won’t be able to travel the world, we will be tied down by work or family, and not all of us will eat the most extravagant meals or drink the finest wines because we live on a budget or just don’t enjoy drinking. Some of us won’t have kids or grandkids or become famous. So will we have lived a good life? I think our culture makes us believe that to live a good life is to cross certain things off the list.

Personally, sometimes I think I need to do more to feel I’m making a difference. I need to write a book, do a TED talk, and change thousands of people lives through my actions and words. As if those things would give my life the meaning it deserves.

But another part of me (the wiser) knows that to live a good life and the reason my uncle's life was so full was that he enjoyed everything he did, loved deeply and felt loved. My aunt was telling a story that he was nominated with an award along with 9 more people. They were CEO’S, people that ran nonprofits, Doctors and they were all talking about how hard they had worked to be where they were in life. When it was my uncle’s turn to be interviewed he said “I feel sorry that you didn’t enjoy getting to where you are in life. I haven’t felt like I had to work a day in my life” Trust me this man worked for my grandmother it’s not that he inherited money or had an “easy” life. He was just good at accepting/enjoying things as they were.

So if your bucket list is having 4 children, becoming a monk, having thousands of followers, saving trees or birds it’s beautiful but it’s also “Mindmade”. My cat is a great example of a meaningful life, she doesn’t have thousands of youtube views, planted a tree, or does some insane trick (she does play fetch which is pretty insane if you ask me) but she has taught me so much about love and relaxation. Why would that not be enough? How is that not significant? Today I contemplate how true meaning in life is found in simplicity, kindness, and love.

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Ironing the Pain

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Ironing the Pain

Most people I know are going through a very hard time. If you go on social media all you can read about is basically hate, shock and some funny memes along the way. People are so concerned about what will happen to the world and its not that I don’t feel this despair. I do with all my heart. But there is more than enough sadness, shock and hate in the world right know. So it is only fair that I join the “light team”

A yoga teacher once said “Asana is about spreading awareness through the body” meaning that a pose is never just about the legs or the arms, it’s about feeling and being aware of every inch of your body (that’s where the meditation kicks in). If something is hurting or uncomfortable you look into it, you understand it and then you focus on everything that does work, everything that feels good in the body. It’s like ironing a shirt, you don’t just leave the hot iron over the wrinkle you have to move it.

This same theory applies outside the body. When you feel pain or sadness over a situation in your life you connect with things outside your life, outside your circle, you connect with the wonders of nature, you place your curiosity on the moon and the stars, on the ocean and the birds. You bring your awareness to what is infinite. You iron your despair with love and gratitude. 

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Light and Dark

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Light and Dark

Today during Yoga class the subject of darkness was brought up and how staying in the light is no easy task. Even the comics think Star Wars, Superman became darker with time.

This really got me thinking- “What makes us stay in the light?” we all go through hard times in our life, at some point or another we are crossed by somebody we trusted, somebody we love passes away, our heart is broken, friends are lost, parents aren’t who we thought they were. Every day we are given reasons to let go of our nature, of our goodness, of our light.

This is what keeps me light.

-          Humor- Even a fake smile long enough makes you genuinely smile.

-          Relationships- Having people to turn to when it gets rough can feel like not having to carry the supermarket, while holding crying twins. (just the idea made me tense)

-          Trust- That where we are, is where we should be.  

-          Curiosity- This one is new for me. But looking at every experience like a tourist with no judgment. Think Tarzan style…

-          Movement- My mom always asks me why I move so much. I find that giving my body movement brings space in my mind and heart. Movement sometimes looks like yoga and other it looks like a homeless off her meds ( sorry)

-          Breath- Oh breath just the word makes me feel light.

So what keeps you on the light side? 

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