I Declare I Am Going To Really Live From This Day Forward.
I declare… from this day forward I am going to live every day in preparation for my death. I declare I am going to look at obituaries. I declare I am going to write my own eulogy. I declare I am going to imagine my celebration of life now.
Those declarations may sound morbid or gruesome but I do not believe so. I believe they are life-supporting, life-enriching and life-enhancing.
What I know for sure is that I am at a stage in my life where I am attending more funerals than weddings and that makes me achingly aware that my time here, right now, on this earth, in this most amazing blessed life of my mine is oh-so-very short.
I was at a celebration recently that touched me in a way others have not. It was sad but it was not sad… there was a stream of people who got up and spoke about what this amazing woman meant to them while she was on earth and what it would mean to carry her in their hearts forever.
It was held in a church and there was not one thing that was religious about it, yet Spirit was everywhere.
What struck me was the many ways this live affected so very many others. I found myself wondering if she knew that while she was here on earth.
Did she know the impact she had, the support she gave, the love she showered, the laughter she brought or did she get all caught up in the busyness of living putting things off for another day?
While the celebration was beautiful, what had the most impact on me was what a friend of hers said to me through her tears, “I think I better start living, I have never really lived.” She hugged me and walked away leaving me breathless.
I better start living? I have never really lived?
I thought how incredibly sad, and then started to wonder if I have really lived. What am I putting off for another day, for another day that I may not have? What will I leave undone?
I am not talking about the usual procrastination we all have about doing the laundry, cleaning up, calling parents or going to the gym. This is about what you are putting off that would bring life to your life and the lives of others.
What are you putting off? What speaks to your soul?
Do you want to ballroom dance, sing, skydive, become a chef, quit your job and backpack across the country? Do you want to have a torrid affair with your husband, do you want a divorce? Do you want to back to school, do you want to run away, do you want to write, act, teach or rescue animals?
Do you want to adopt a child? Do you want to volunteer with the homeless, help alcoholics, sex trade workers, read to the elderly or hold sick babies? How much is fear holding you back, what would you do if you knew you would be wildly successful at it? What or who do you need to forgive?
What are you putting off?
If you are uncertain, stop and think about what you want people to say about you and your life at your celebration?
Now ask again, What am I putting off?
Today, every fiber of my being feels more aware that my time here could end tomorrow. What would be said about me? Did I bring joy and laughter, or did I suck the life out of people? Did I go after every adventure or was I stuck in martyrdom?
Did I love freely, fully and completely or did I keep people away for fear of hurt? Did I inspire or did I criticize? Did I try or did I hide? Did I keep the good crystal for the right day or did I grab life by the balls?
This is not a narcissistic or arrogant way to look at life, this is wake up call, and it is all about living today with intent — with an eye wide open and focused on death.
What do I need to do? What will be my legacy? Who will I have impacted? Will the world be a better place because I was here? Will those I love know what they meant to me, how they impacted me, the difference they made in my life?
I am starting a personal revolution. I am going to write my own eulogy. I am going to have surprise celebrations of life now. Can you imagine — being invited to your celebration of life while you were alive?
I declare from this day forward I am going to live every day in preparation for my death.
I declare I am going to look at obituaries.
I declare I am going to write my own eulogy.
I declare I am going to imagine my celebration of life now.
I do declare I am going to live to die!
P.S. My eulogy will end with: Buy the shoes, always buy the fucking shoes!
Rhonda Cochrane is a Yoga instructor, personal trainer, life coach, Ironman competitor, athletic coach, lover of all things spicy, and an aspiring author. She has a passion for helping others realize their strength and potential through all forms of psychical movement.