Last night I found out a yoga friend, younger than me, died of a stroke on Sunday. She left behind her husband, baby son and their 2 dogs. They had a full life.
Her husband posted a tribute to her on Facebook. Through tears all I could say to him was “my heart is with you”.
I cried a lot. For him. For her. For all of us who have ever experienced heart wrenching grief. For all of us who have asked, “Why?" and "God, where are you in this?"
Death is a reminder of life. It's a reminder to ask:
Are we living our life fully? If so, what does that look like for us?
Do we have the courage to live and to love with everything we have- here now today?
Are we willing to grow beyond our comfort zone?
Are we willing to live and love fully here now today without making excuses we have to wait for some future event to happen? I.e: more time, money, that job, relationship, whatever
I sobbed for awhile. Tried to make sense of it. So exhausted yet unable to sleep. So. I do what helps me understand life. I reflect and write.
Naturally I thought a lot about the relationship with my lover/man/beloved/friend (pictured below). I think about us all the time, even still. Like a teenager in love. True. Will that ever change? Hope not :)
I pondered our journey as individuals, and as a couple. I reflected on the power of our love to both create and destroy. We’ve had many challenges in the short time since we met. Lots of change, lots of uncertainty. Yet with change, comes growth if we choose to see it as such. I welcome all of it, even when “I don’t like it”, stamping my feet and clenching my wrists.
Beautiful really. Intense too. Life. So Rich. So Magical. So Precious. every moment sacred.
I believe we are all doing the best we can. However, there’s always room to grow. By growing I mean to grow in love and wisdom toward that which brings us joy and therefore peace in our heart.
To be clear. I am not chasing happiness. That’s a prison. It comes and goes. I talk about this in my book, Reclaiming Joy.
I am hungry for life. Always have been. Always will be. Hungry for deeper intimacy in my love relationship. Hungry to stop the nonsense and celebrate love. To release the past and our ex’s and focus on what is in front of me-- the US.
Even in my sadness last night, I still felt joy.
Why? I see possibility everywhere, especially in the challenges of life. I took my rfiends death as another reminder to LIVE.
As an opportunity to do better. To be better for myself, for my relationships, for humanity.
Perhaps most humbling---even in the sadness and tragedy of my friends death, I see her husband making a promise to her that he will make her proud. Has her death given him new life?
A promise he will care for and provide for their family. That he will meet her again when it’s his time.
Love. So Powerful. Love, it’s all there is.
Tonight I was moved to finish this poem (below) I started writing on Christmas Day while I was with my family and that of my love. I was conflicted at the time. Feeling the joy of being with family- his and mine. And also the tension.
Do they always coexist? Joy and tension?
If so isn’t inner peace simply a result of skillfully holding the tension?
Doing our best to be with all of it without judgment?
I believe so.
So on Christmas Day I asked myself...
”What If I Had One Year Left to Live”... would I do it differently than I am now?
The question is a way for me to step up to the plate of life.
To hone in on what matters and commit and recommit to taking action.
Here’s the “finished” poem:
“What If I Had One Year Left To Live?”
Get up Earlier...
Linger Longer in bed with my lover in bed?
Love More Freely, without demand of that same love in return?
Let Go Harder...
Accept Allow Ask
Talk More ... Face to Face
Be Present. Like really present for myself and others...
Move As if The Divine was dancing me?
See the Divine in everyone? Yes, EVERYONE.
Laugh More- Out Loud. Deep belly laughs.
Dance. More. Period.
With Myself. With my beloved. With my cats.
Call. Visit. Show Up, unexpected.
Take time, make time.
Stop the excuses
Pause. Exhale. Inhale. Reaeat.
HUG more. The 3 second heart to heart kind.
Forgive! Myself, others. Again and again.
Say Yes. Yes! Hell fucking YES!
Say thank you. A lot more. So much more.
Lend a hand?
Give, so much more.
So so much more.
Of myself, of my heart, of imperfect me.
Cherish it... My beauty and my imperfections. My rage and my love.
Shame and blame less.
Talk softly and seed beauty.
Give the benefit of the doubt.
Have faith. Deep faith.
Pray for peace. Pray for other.
Accept that everything lives within.
Believe in magic, miracles and the power of love. Then go for it! All in.
Embrace the effort required to build a beautiful life.
Celebrate the effort required to build a love filled life.
Let go of all effort and realize “effort” is only a word. It’s our attachment to it that causes us pain.
Have more fun.
Play in the sun.
Raw Vulnerable Sexy Sweet
Have the courage to speak up, ask, and turn it over to God.
My answer to all of this is YES.
I would love it all - Live it all.
With gratitude and grace.
Because yes, life is a one time race.
If I had one Year To Live, I would surrender my life to love, in all its forms.
At the end, I would have no regrets.
This is how I wish to live.
This is the prayer I give.