I have an active dream life. There are mornings I wake up and am actually tired from all of the dreaming that went on the night before. Often, I wake up in the middle of the night from a dream and know that if I go directly back to sleep the dream will pick up where it left off. Most of the time, I don’t want to reenter the plot line of the dream, so I deal with it as most people do in this day and age do – I pick up my phone and scroll.
It gets my mind off of the dream and breaks the dream cycle, so that in a few moments when I drift back off to sleep I can start fresh and not wake up in the morning, tired from too many dreams.
This past week though, as I grabbed my phone and turned it on, the light illuminating my face and the sheets pulled up around my shoulders, I wish I hadn’t gone into Facebook. There was a post from an old friend – someone I haven’t seen in years – commemorating the life of someone important to their life, as that person had passed on that day. I knew this person. I had met this person. And the grief that pulled at my heart and lodged at my throat to know that they were gone, and at such a young age, kept me up for hours after.
I knew this person’s mother and had heard stories about them from their childhood. I had admired their work in their world and stood in awe at all they achieved. I had been inspired by their tenacity, their ability to juggle multiple situations, and still seem on top of the world. How could their life be over?
This is not the first or last time I will ask this question. This is not the first or last time I will be sad over the loss of someone I don’t know. And I know that even greater heart breaks will occur within my life. But it did make me look around at my own life and start to see where the gaps were – where I wasn’t using my time here on this earth to its fullest potential.
My close friends will read that last sentence and shake their heads at what they know is my “crazy.” I spend most of my days making sure that no one on earth could ever refer to me as lazy – taking on project after project and balancing multiple careers that keep me hopping from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed at night. But “busy” is not a life well-lived.
As I took a step back on the days that followed I could feel myself letting go of the things that weren’t serving me much – thoughts, situations, and people. If I leave this world tomorrow I don’t want people to remember me as “the busy person.” I want to be remembered for something much deeper than busy.
I want the people in my life to feel like I was there for them – that I took the time to know and understand them. I want to spend less time focused on the people that don’t get that and celebrate the people that do. And I want to spend less time wondering if I am enough and more time knowing that I am. It is as simple as that.
To me it was amazing that I was so moved by the loss of someone that I don’t know, or was close to, but it also made me realize how much one life can affect so many others – lives they didn’t even know they touched.
We have the potential to do great work in this world in small ways. Your life matters. How you live matters. Yoga can help you tap into that. Your practice can empower you to take on new challenges, let go of old patterns that aren’t serving you, and propel you into a life that is fully lived. Roll out your mat today. Take the leap. Decide to truly live the life you’ve been given. You can start at any time. Maybe you’ve already started. Maybe you decide to start today.
Love the blog? You will love the book! Follow my yoga journey and the accomplishments of five of my students, as well as, recount some of the most popular blog posts in my first book: Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi.