What makes you feel alive—not kind of alive—I’m talking KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF ALIVE? I posed this prompt to my FaceBook friends last week when asking for help with my writing. What I received were dozens of heartfelt, tender, and incredibly ordinary slices of the human experience. Here are a few:
- Walking to take in the sun and nature’s beauty
- When I just HAVE to sing!
- Hiking with my dog
- Knowing my kids are happy
- Connecting with people of other cultures and religions
- Feeling the wind
- Hearing children’s laughter
- Feeling in love
- Laughing until you cry from laughing so hard!
Ordinary and available are the two words that came to mind as I read through the comments. Many included water, beach, nature, and children. None of them included having more stuff, more money, or six-pack abs. Best of all; these simple, yet soul-lifting encounters were all free of charge and mostly available to you every day.
There was a common trait to every one of your glimpses of aliveness. It was your capacity, in that exact moment, to show up, open and available to experience your life fully.
Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist wrote, “I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive”. In my thirty years of teaching people to move, breathe, and show up for life, I couldn’t agree with him more. We simply want to feel alive. We simply want to be touched by life—every day.
This week I’d like to offer you a simple practice to feeling more alive more often. Before closing your eyes tonight, recall three moments you consciously experienced being alive during the day—three times you felt touched by life. Perhaps it was seeing the sun hit the top of the trees in the late afternoon or hearing the giggles of the neighbor’s kids in the backyard. Maybe you listened to a friend in need or belted out a song during your commute home. Ways I felt FULLY ALIVE today—list them in a journal or simply in your mind.
Feeling fully alive isn’t just something that happens when you are at the beach, on a mountaintop, or even in the middle of a crisis. In every moment you are somehow touched by life and the more you show up, the more often you will feel not just a little bit alive, but KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF ALIVE.
This is my life’s work and what I am excited to continue to share in my blog. Exploring how to intentionally experience the beauty and power in feeling alive—not by chance, but on purpose—is really the essence of all of my teaching and also my upcoming book not surprisingly entitled: On The Verge: Showing Up. Being Available. Feeling Fully Alive.
Thank you for your generous comments and for helping me to gather ideas for Chapter 3. I would love to continue to hear from you. Please share your answers to the following:
- How and when did life touch you today?
Until next week I encourage you to laugh until you cry from laughing so hard, seek to connect with others, feel the wind on your face, and bask in the glory of being fully alive.
Next week’s topic: Showing Up Fully!