This past weekend's itinerary was packed full of things to do, as well as things to learn. I volunteered at our studio's fundraiser for JDRF, a diabetes 1 research supporter, went to a friend's wedding, Easter was Sunday and then later that night my friend Elijah and I recorded our first podcast for an upcoming show we want to put together. As usual, there were lots of breakthroughs to share by the time Monday morning rolled around and I couldn't be more grateful for them all.
#1: Be Grateful for Your Health
A working heart, eyes that see, ears to listen - there are literally hundreds of processes that go on every moment in our bodies that are each individually amazing on their own, let alone that they are independently coordinated by your body. Even the slightest variation in function can spell disaster, so to have so many things working in perfect parameters automatically all the time is in and of itself a miracle. Learning about the struggles of diabetes through my boss' daughter and their road in the last year has been really eye-opening for the basic health we all take for granted. I can't imagine what they had to go through, and being at our JDRF fundraiser reminded me that there is so much to already be grateful for when it comes to health.
#2: Your Time is Limited
At the JDRF fundraiser I met this older couple that had come into town from Hawaii and they were looking for something to do that night because come Monday, the wife was getting back surgery. Talking to them made me realize how important time is, how it is the one and only thing that we truly lose. Everything in life works in cycles. Money comes and goes, love, joy - time doesn't do that. Time comes, and then it goes forever. And while you may have plenty more days ahead (at least we hope, right?), they are numbered.
Life is a journey, but you can only take it once.
On Saturday thanks to our co-worker Luisa's special day, we all got a chance to experience a beautiful backyard country themed wedding.
While sitting at our table during the festivities, I got hit by one of those feelings of timelessness that is often in the air when you are at these kinds of things. I've been to several backyard weddings, and there's just something about being outside with beautiful, warm lighting, people dancing and having fun, the night sky and nowhere to be but there. It makes you appreciate the little things in life, and on the other end of that thought is that those little things are not forever.
I remember turning to one of my friends and saying something like, "You know, it's funny, as beautiful as all of this is - tomorrow it's going to be old news."
Now, that in and of itself is a neutral statement. You can take it in a way that it sounds depressing and hopeless, or you can add value and presence to every moment in front of you. Time is moving forward no matter what, and we know that value is based on scarcity. The less of something there is, the more valuable it is. And because there is only one present moment at a time, how valuable does that make it to you?
When you will never get that moment back, how important are the things you do and say with the people you love right now? When you have no idea how long you will live or the quality of life you will have, how does that impact the choices you make today? Every moment, no matter how beautiful, disappears into the void and this stark reality of life, when it finally settles in, leaves you with two conclusions:
Live every moment fully and let go of the small stuff as much as you can. People, love, the world around you are way more important than being upset or worried.
Create something you will leave behind other than your tombstone. At the end of your life the last, consoling experience will be knowing that you have made a difference and left something behind for others. What will that be for you?
Time is the variable that defines every aspect of our life, and as we age it becomes more and more valuable, shaping our choices and in the process of prioritizing things differently because of its increased value in our lives we experience maturity. It is truly priceless, and asking yourself on a regular basis if you are using it wisely in alignment with higher principles is a practice we can all better from.
#3: Be Surprised by Life
Easter Sunday usually means going over to my parents' house, eating good food, pretending to be interested in all of my mother's guests' conversations for an hour or two and then going home. I thought yesterday would be the same deal, but what I learned was to always allow yourself to be surprised by life because it can, and will, do so when you least expect it.
After the usual introductions with everyone there, I moved outside to enjoy the rest of my meal and the beautiful weather in the backyard. At that point I was joined by a young kid, Franco, about 12 years old. I figured be polite and make conversation, so I asked him about school and the usual stuff thinking nothing of it.
I don't know at what point it happened, but I found myself in a conversation with this kid about time, the Universe, consciousness, gravity and all of the interesting things I love to talk about on a daily basis. And then another guy, Robert, who was in his 50s, joined us outside and then suddenly we were all having an engaged conversation about all of this stuff. I sat back for a moment and observed the situation - 3 people from totally different generations sitting around at a table without judgment talking about life.
It was truly a surprise, and a miracle.
Other conversations happened at that party and what, in my mind, was going to be this drag of an event actually turned into a mind-blowing set of conversations and even a few potential future creative projects with people I just met. It was so crazy that I was actually disappointed when I had to leave my parents' house. Now that I didn't expect.
Let life surprise you, because it will. And the more open and willing you are in each moment, the more surprises there are to be uncovered. A famous quote I love from Einstein goes something like this:
"You can life life like everything is a miracle or nothing is."
Which is it for you today?