Dying’s not a sin; not living is.
Jack Lemmon’s character Jake in the movie Dad
I’m in the midst of a bit of a health scare, and have been finding myself examining just what this thing called life actually is, and what it means to me. Of course, I’ve done this before, but situations like this (and on the tails of just having lost my sweet Jasmine) bring a sudden raw clarity about how precious and fleeting our lives are that just isn’t always there otherwise.
On Roses and Poo
We’ve all heard the expression “Stop and smell the roses”. This is great advice. Some of us have gotten really good at it, too.
The problem comes when we get a whiff of poo. I have yet to hear the expression “Stop and smell the poo.” And just for the record, I’m not exactly suggesting that.
But what I am suggesting is that you do stop and appreciate that you can smell the poo. (And the roses too, I suppose. ;-))
Now, Law of Attraction people (of which I am one, to a degree) would say that the poo provides contrast so you can become more aware that you want roses. That you don’t have to settle for poo but instead can attract roses. This may be.
Life and Its Content
But even at best, the Law of Attraction still only addresses the content of your life. As fun as it may be to learn how to attract roses instead of poo, you’re still just playing in a world of manifestation. Of content.
And by content, I mean everything that appears to be other than your unchanging true nature, your essence. That includes your thoughts, emotions, psychological makeup, energy body, physical body, etc. Even these that seem so close are content.
And life itself is bigger than just content. Much bigger.
The real thrill is learning how to relate to that content so that you can appreciate the richness of it all. All of it. Even the poo.
To be really alive, no matter what.
A poo-free life of roses sounds nice. But even if possible, would it be? Really? Would life be anywhere near as interesting with no challenges, no “negatives”, no poo?
Embrace It All
By far, the best practice I’ve run across (and I’ve run across plenty) in this regard was discovered by John Sherman of River Ganga.
The simple practice he teaches pulled me out of the quicksand of what was becoming an alarming depression after a few huge blows that left me gasping for air.
The need to keep a distance from your own life, the need to maintain a wary watchfulness over what’s coming and going in your own life … that need vanishes. It just goes away.
And life is revealed to be what it’s always been, which is an endlessly challenging, rewarding adventure that is deeply interesting in its own right; that is unpredictable, wondrous; that consists of problems and solutions, desires and aversions that come and go, that have no effect other than to capture our interest.
John Sherman, A Worldwide Meeting – March 12, 2011
And as I continue to do “the looking” as he calls it, my relationship with this fascinating thing called life continues to improve.
John’s simple approach is radical and powerful, and he is a generous and humble man. I can’t recommend him enough.
And if you go to his site, I’d love to hear what you think.
The Privilege of Life
On a related note, my sweet, 79-years-young friend Christopher Foster of The Happy Seeker is launching his course today titled “How to Look (and Feel) 10 Years Younger in 4 Weeks”. Christopher has a beautiful spirit and much experience and wisdom about how to fully embrace life.
But aging isn’t an enemy. And it doesn’t need to be a drag. It’s a privilege, rightly.
I was lucky to be able to review his course materials and can tell you that if you actually do this course you will come away with useful insights and new habits that can make a marked improvement in how you experience life — no matter what your age.
I just know you’ll love his simple yet profound wisdom, and this world will be a better place because of his sharing of it.
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