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Thursday, December 9, 2010

None of us get out of it alive

This is a quote from my aunt today, "None of us get out of it alive." What is it, you may ask? Life. Oh, the irreverence!!! And the laughter that followed.

We will all die at some point, we just don't know when that will be.  The question then arises ~ how do we live each day fully while still acknowledging our mortality and the fact that we could die at any time?

My aunt and I struggled with this question today as we discussed her cancer prognosis. It seems to be a paradox, but it reminds me of the yogic teachings of non-clinging, aparigraha. Accepting what is without holding on. Being present without trying to control the outcome of our actions. 

I had a visual image of walking a line and leaning from to the left, then right; moving from light to dark; from hopeful to hopeless. Then more irreverence..."weebles wobble, but they don't fall down." We all wobble along that line every day, although sometimes we dip too far into one side or the other, drowning in denial or darkness.

As I think about my life, I am reminded that truly all I have is this moment. Nothing else is guaranteed. Whether the moment is full of laughter and joy, pain and sorrow, or something in between, this moment is the only one I have. It can be difficult to stay present when I'm tired, frustrated, and at the end of my rope. It's easy to escape into drama, self-pity, or blaming others.

But what can I teach my children by practicing staying present, being in the moment, recognizing when to let things go? I can teach them trust, acceptance, and love. My daily struggles and successes as a mom and human being can be lessons for them and me.

I can teach them to honor and savor each moment, to rejoice in what they have, to know that they are loved, and that their love and lives make a difference to others.

It often takes the reality of loss to help us cherish what we have because it is so hard to wobble along that line, feeling each moment fully.

May this remind you (and me) to notice this moment and all that it has to offer, then with lovingkindness gently release it as we step into the next moment, should it be there.

Namaste