To say that we have been living in trying times, pales to the reality of what those words mean. From the pandemic, to lost loved ones, jobs, and homes, racial and social injustice leading to civil discord, our children at home distance learning, and most recently horrific fires that ravished our community. The lengthy list of adversity might seemed to have been an impossible and cruel joke just one year ago. So much has changed in such a short time, that almost nothing seems certain anymore.
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from a well known yoga teacher I have had the blessing of practicing with and learning from over the years, Judith Lasater. Her title was, "Live Fully Anyway".
She began addressing what we all know well - the desire for our situation to be something other than what it is.
We all want to be with people again in a way that is familiar to us; sharing life with our friends and family without the worry of getting each other sick. We want to celebrate events, birthdays, anniversaries, and other significant milestones without restrictions. To be able to travel freely and visit places we love. To have businesses open and thriving, and our kids back in school. And we all want peace and harmony in our society.
We may not be able to always choose or change things, but we can choose how we react and respond to such difficulty. And if you've read enough entries from me, you will know that this does mean to deny the emotions we experience from those difficulties. But even during the times of great duress, intense sorrow, and paralyzing fear - we can still choose to live fully.
To live fully, is the purpose of living.
A short time after reading that email, I had sent a friend some photos of my children enjoying a day at the beach. She wrote back to me, "Seeing your family enjoying the beach, no one would ever guess the tough times you've been dealing with."
I realized in reading this, that here was an example of Living Fully in my own life.
I am most grateful to my children as they inspire me to do this. In truth, I am inspired not to live fully for myself, but to live fully for them. For this is what my heart desires most - for my children to be fully alive and thriving, with an insatiable curiosity and thirst for life, even when life is difficult.
When we lost our second child, there was a period of time I didn't want to live at all. It was my first born that kept me anchored here on earth. I struggled to show up, but pushed myself each day for him. It took some time, but in choosing to show up each day whether I wanted to or not, it gradually paved the way to once again live fully, even with a huge hole in my heart. I still miss my son, some days unbearably. But the fullness of life has helped to mend my broken heart and show me the abundance of blessings that is always there.
The lengthy time of grief has taught and continues to teach me not to waste precious moments because of sorrow. I've learned to seize them and experience them fully, while holding my sorrow. It taught me how to show my first born (and myself) that you can still experience the completeness of exuberant joy, while longing to go back to the time before life changed in the most unexpected way.
And it is through this, that we gradually find the ability to let of go of that longing. Not because we shouldn't still aspire to overcome difficulty and make our world better when we can, but because we realize we can't go back. We can't undo what has been done. We can only move forward.
In my experience, when we make that choice - we create in our own life what is necessary to live fully once again.
My heart hopes for all of us to find our way and I long for this message to be heard and shared.
Please don't lose another moment.
This life is yours and it is yours to live fully.