I don't want to die.....

It’s my greatest fear.  Only a handful of people in the world know that, it’s not something I share.

It literally scares me to the point where I can feel the anxiety in my body, in my breathing.

This week I realized that my greatest fear may indeed be my greatest motivator.

Two friends had a family members pass away this month, one a brother and one a mother. What I find surprising is that also in the past year four of my Toastmasters friends have lost their mothers.  Several of these six people, but not all, are in their 50’s so you may say it’s that time of our life where we start losing our loved ones; it’s the natural progression of aging and life.

But when many of these are sudden, with no warning to help us come to terms with what is about to or has just happened it becomes difficult and we of course don’t get the chance to talk out how we are feeling, to deal with this tremendous sense of overwhelm and emotion.

So how does this become a motivator for me or anyone else?

It made me realize that at any moment it can all be gone, (snap fingers here) literally. Our reality, our daily grind our world comes to a screeching halt. It is all over, there is no tomorrow for us.  Because of this I knew that I had to take charge of my days. Even more I have to continue to “dare greatly”  “feel the fear and do it anyways”  “treat life as a daring adventure or nothing at all”, "dance like there's nobody watching." There is only one chance here, one chance to be happy, live our dreams, get the most out of this amazing gift of life and damn it I’m going to make sure that I do just that.

A friend of mine, and fellow coach, runs a company called 4000 Saturdays. He calculated that we only have about 4000 Saturdays during our life span, so what are you going to do with them he asks?

Well... what are you going to do?

I will continue to live by the  quotes I’ve listed above. I will continue to connect with others and to be curious about who they are as human beings. I will continue to pursue my dream of coaching, to create wonderful memories, to love and appreciate those in my life and to tell them that. To continue to build connections and improve my communication. I will continue to cherish the life that I have been given because others have reached the end of their passport. I haven’t yet so why would I waste even one day feeling like I had.

I’m off to be a part of the world outside my window, how about you? How will you choose every day to embrace the life you have been given?

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Comments

Ah yes, I think part of what you're telling us is to live in the moment. I'm trying to do that, really I am! I wonder if you could offer some ideas about how to trigger ourselves to get back to the present moment.

Thanks for another post, Linda. :)

Hi Merideth,

Well it's not just about living in the moment, it's also about gratitude and about taking a chance, doing things that seem scary because we feel we may not do it well or we may fail at it, in the end when our passport runs out how will we feel about having always played it safe in our lives. As for living in the moment I try and stop my brain from going in a million different places and I pull out my curiosity. I try and look at things through the eyes of a child or someone who hasn't seen it before. So I would sit and smell the roast beef dinner on my plate before I took the first bite, I would stop in the middle of what I was doing to hug my child and connect eye to eye with them, giving my full attention. Sometime it's just about shutting up and being quiet. :) I bet you become present in this manner when you reach the top of the mountain you are climbing and you take in everything around you, enjoying the view and the silence. :)

On Monday, my son, my brother and I are going to go white water rafting. This may not seem much, but I have a lot of problems with my back, which means that I'm in pain a lot. Going rafting is going to mean that I probably won't walk the next day. That may be a good excuse not to do it, but why on earth should I deny myself amazing experiences just because I have to pay a price for them later? I could live a life of vanilla ice cream and mashed potatoes, but I choose to live with spices and garlic, and to hell with the consequences!

Karen you continue to inspire me!! Oh how I miss you and your sense of adventure. Have a blast my dear!!

Great post Linda! I remember the busy days when my son was little and recall feeling frustrated, at wit's end, anxious and tired a lot of the time. I just spent a week with my two little grand-daughters, 4 & 6, and yes, it was crazy, constant and busy!! I don't have the energy I once had, but I HAVE developed a powerful wisdom about how to appreciate the moment, savour it, drink it in and set it in memory. Those little girls will never be just as they are today and knowing how fleeting life is, I was as present as I have ever been in my life.

Those two little girls will look back on their lives and say, my grammie inspired me to be who I am and I love her for that. I know that you are one of the ones who's own mother passing has changed her life. Thanks for being a great example to those of us who spend time with you.

I am reading an excellent book from the library called Scarcity. It's nearly overdue and I've left it too late to finish it. The irony has not been lost on me. I love your post Linda. Thank you for the reference.

The challenge we face in life is unlike my near overdue book. None of us know when our ultimate 'dead'line is. That's why most people I meet live like they are immortal. It's not that they think they are superheroes, it simply they do the mundane thinking they can get round to living their dream a little later. A little late never comes.

Our mortality, a very loud ticking clock, has for me been my ultimate motivator in my life to try some crazy things, dream big, live bigger and still find time to watch the sunset. A fear of death is simply a disguised fear of not living. Death in itself is just a moment. A half-blink of our eye. Many are dead metaphorically whilst alive, living in the small shadowed corner of their brilliant selves.

Not living? That's 4000 Saturdays of paying the man, gossiping, thinking small, blaming everyone and everything, living the the past or trying to escape the future, and reinforcing the cyclical thought on a daily basis that they are not worthy, beautiful or talented.

Most people spend their lives believing they are not who they really are... a creation of genius. They only discover this the moment they return from where they came - the bright side of that final blink. When the light returns, they realise they are all-powerful, all-knowing, part of the whole, a piece of God. They spent their human existence in the illusion that they are the opposite of who they really are, to juxtapose their reality.

In life we have two choices. Live in our brilliance and inspire others to discover their own light, or reinforce the illusion by choosing to live small, and in doing so continue the eternal myth that has been passed to us.

When you get beyond the fear of death, you discover you no longer have the fear to live.

Don't die with your match unstruck.

Hi Mark,
Thanks for taking the time to not only read but to respond. I wrote my post to be motivational, you however I believe responded by being inspirational. I thank you for that. Thanks for being you :)

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