My friend Curt died a couple of weeks ago. I learned about it on Facebook and was stunned.
Curt was a heart-centered, caring soul and helped me in many ways over the years. He was a person I could trust to be honest, authentic, and to listen deeply. He could also be quite funny.
A few weeks before that an important person in our local music community died quite unexpectedly, a real shock. He wasn’t old. Then, my friend Amy’s mother died, also suddenly.
All of this death and loss is having me consider mortality and how I want to live, how I want to spend whatever time I have left, which may be very little or perhaps many years. There’s no way to know.
What if I only have a few years left? What if I have ten? Or just one? What do I most wish to do with that time? How can I live my best life now?
Death is so clarifying.
“Dying requires that we take the step without proof. We walk through the door. We cannot turn around and go back, so we walk through. The end. No guarantees, no certainty, no assurance. We walk, taking each step not from fear but from love, because a great mystery is blessing each footfall. Our hearts understand that mystery and feel the joy. It is the mystery returning to itself.”Rodney Smith, Lessons from the Dying as quoted in Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations
What rises up for me is the desire to do even more of what I love, to make even more time for creativity in my life, to make it even more of a priority. I want to study it more deeply, be in creative community with peers and mentors, sharing with others and dialoguing about art and making.
And I want to enjoy my daily life, the small moments, each act of doing, each interaction with another. And continue to heal or release what hurts or haunts me, so I can be most joyful, alive, expressed.
All this uncertainty and upheaval in the world brings losses, endings, and letting go of various kinds. We can contract in fear or we can open in love to the mystery and wonder.
I’m choosing to make the most of my life now, to shape the most beautiful, rich, meaningful life that I can.
I choose to spend my resources of time, money, energy as much as possible on the things that are closest to my heart, bring me the most joy, and help me live well.
And that’s scary because my fear says I should spend all my time, energy, resources on preparing for a changing world—I’m doing that too—and on making more money. But I might not be around to enjoy that money. Whereas, if I make more time for making art now, I know I’ll be loving my life.
What are those things for you that bring you joy, fulfillment, love, peace?
I invite you to explore this in your heart, your thoughts, and in your journal. Answer, as best you can, from your heart, not your head.
If you only have three years left to live, how do you wish to spend them? What rises as a priority? What would make for the best life?
- And then, how can you honor those priorities through your choices now?
- What actions can you take this week, this month, this year?
- What might you need to let go of or stop doing to make more time, space, and resources for what you most love?
- What might you need to invest in?
- What supports do you need to put in place to make more space and time for what matters most?
So much is changing in the world in radical ways. We don’t know what the world will look like tomorrow or next year. This makes it hard to plan. Even crazy-making.
For this reason, I feel there is no better time to focus on what your heart feels most drawn towards, what fills you with delight, or meaning, or love, or joy, even if you are full of doubt and fear about taking those next steps. Whenever something is on our heart path, there tends to be doubt and fear.
There are no assurances, no guarantees, but the path of heart is the best path I know. And it’s the one you are called to for a reason. If you long to dance, then dance. If you long to make music, make music. If you long to paint, please paint. And if you long to study marine biology, do that.
Perhaps you want to play music and study marine biology. Trust that. There may be a beautiful interweaving of the two that wants to come uniquely through you.
The dreams of your heart and soul were given to you for a reason. We need you to follow your dreams.
And if you are longing for support with finding and following your heart’s dreams and desires, check out my Creative Life Coaching & Mentoring.
To your heart-centered life with love,