Seize Every Opportunity
“Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
When it became clear that the Master was going to die the disciples were depressed.
The Master smilingly said, “Don‘t you see that death gives loveliness to life?”
“No. We’d much rather you never died.”
“Whatever is truly alive must die. Look at the flowers: only plastic flowers never die.”
Tony de Mello’s fable underscores the message that a life well lived does not perceive death as absolute; it celebrates its meaningful existence.
Your time here is a fleeting experience. Relative to your life’s journey, you may hold a different perspective of what living fully entails.
Those in their final moments will recount a list of regrets or failed opportunities.
Many of which stem from working too hard, not spending enough time with loved ones, acquiring material possessions and not expressing their true feelings to those who matter.
What are your regrets regarding the road less travelled?
Regrets are a call to take action in that part of your life. Do not wait for the right time since that time may never arrive.
Because time is bound by your internal state. If your inner state remains the same, you may never take action.
In Mitch Albom’s book Tuesdays with Morrie, the author recounts his time with his dying sociology professor.
Morrie writes about the impermanence of life and the need to take inspired action: “Everyone knows they’re going to die,” he said, “but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.”
Knowing this, we must take life by the lapel and seize every opportunity while we’re alive.
We needn’t compose an elaborate bucket list, nor undertake extravagant experiences to discover the essence of life in those encounters.
Transform Disempowering Emotions
“I wish I could stand on a busy corner, hat in hand, and beg people to throw me all their wasted hours.” — Bernard Berenson
To live while we’re alive begins at the smallest level and expands far reaching, like a pebble dropped into a pond, so that its ripples are felt by those around us.
It begins at the level of the self by making peace with our inner world.
Internal conflicts which perpetuate means going to war with that part of ourselves.
What we oppose within, we oppose in others. As we make peace with our fears, doubts and anxieties we transform them into higher emotional states.
Freedom and inner peace is gained from this purposeful intention and we mustn’t go to our grave having allowed our emotions to dominate our existence.
There is much to be attained by transforming disempowering emotions into the wholeness of our being.
Viewed from this context, our actions originate from the unconscious will and stem from our beliefs, thoughts and observations spanning our lifetime.
For example, can you truly claim your thoughts are unique to you or are they the product of your conditioning?
Navigating The Torrents Of Life
“Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you’re not taking advantage of it? Do you realize you’ve lived nearly half the time you have to live already?”― Ernest Hemingway
Consider your response to the following question: What does it mean to be in tune with your emotions?
To know your emotions at the deepest level, not dismiss them as fleeting experiences.
What emotions arise when complimented by a stranger?
What is the smell of a spring morning?
Or the sense of falling in love for the first time?
We ought to connect with these emotions by allowing ourselves to go deeply into them. Only then can we claim to have fully lived.
Equally, we mustn’t dull or anaesthetise our emotions with drugs, alcohol or toxic foods.
Our body is a wondrous chemical facility capable of producing hormones and sensations.
Nowadays, a potion or pill is readily available to dull every mood at the drop of the hat, yet it does nothing to dissuade us from making sense of life.
We must strive to attain self-mastery if we wish to truly live while we’re alive.
Self-mastery at the deepest level is the knowledge of one’s core self beyond the superficial façade of our likes and dislikes.
I consider these the paint on the exterior of a house, yet it tells me nothing of the foundations of the house.
To know ourselves entails connecting with our core self which resides at the soul level.
A measure of this wisdom is echoed by our willingness to assume responsibility for our life.
This means embracing a better version of ourselves by connecting with our deeper wisdom; the wiser self. This wisdom helps us navigate the torrents of life.
This begs the question: what matters to you?
Explore your answer and sure enough there lies the essence to your existence. I urge you to go deep into it to discover what mystery lies waiting for you.
Life does not know what it will become until you step into it with an open mind and a soft heart.
Pursue what makes you come alive: what are your passions, interests, joys?
Follow them, fall in love with them.
Savour them and let your spirit come alive through them.
Find your flow within them.
Explore your talents, gifts and genius.
It was Dr Wayne Dyer who said: “Don’t die with your music still in you.”
You were born to prevail, to let your light shine. To withhold it due to past suffering or apathy creates a deep void which yearns to be filled.
This advice does not take away from your struggles since that is part of the journey contained within this material realm.
“Whatever is truly alive must die…” allows us to acknowledge that a life well lived has not been in vain, yet fertilised the seed for others to know the way.