If you had one day to live, how would you live it?
I pondered this question last week as I was trying to calm myself down before teaching my first official public yoga class, while also juggling emotions about certain events at home over which I had no control. Read that as: anxiety.
And in the midst of this all-too-familiar emotional turmoil I felt myself being consumed by my thoughts. And yet, if I had only one day left on this earth, I can’t image that I’d let myself get mired in everyday worries. My perspective would immediately snap into a megawide view of everything that exists in the world.
It would be easier to see the beauty everywhere. Consider this: when I returned to Southern California after four bitterly cold years in a Northern climate, I noticed every.single.palm tree. I was so aware of everything that I had missed during my years away and appreciated every ray of warm sunshine. Other cares temporarily fell away as I was filled with gratitude to be back.
If I had only one day to enjoy the world, I hope that I wouldn’t spend it lamenting over little things. I would sit with my face to the sun, smell the breeze, take deep breaths and appreciate the here and now. Accepting that I had only 24 hours, I imagine that I wouldn’t be ruminating about something a co-worker said to me in passing or how I really should be cleaning the bathroom more often.
So interesting that it would take facing the end of my days to begin truly appreciating them.
So how about this (and this was what I meditated on last week in the midst of nervous feelings), why not imagine the feelings of that last precious day every single day? Stop and feel into my feet on the ground and the air in my lungs. There is so much wonder all around us and what a pity that it takes a drastic event to experience a perspective shift.
It feels so glorious to be alive.
Don’t get me wrong, the shock of knowing that your end is near could be devastating. So if you’d like to use this idea as a meditation prompt, perhaps consider if you were on vacation in a paradise-like location and if your plane were leaving in a day, how would you enjoy your remaining time there?