Updated: Feb 21
Every day is an opportunity, until it is not~
I was talking with my dear friend Meryl last week about her reflections that were prompted by the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. The theme she read that morning was parallel with readings that I had the day before. In one day I met with two women, in two different cities, strangers to one another. Two women who were confronting situations of life and death with their husbands. Both of these amazing women having to be strong, supportive and positive for their husbands as each one faces a serious health crisis. I have known these women long before they met their husbands. I was a part of their journey as they fell in love and chose to get married. Both of these marriages are still what I consider to be new, less than 4 years wedded. My heart hurts with theirs as they forge onward on a path filled with uncertainty, and unfortunately a certainty unwanted.
Simple Abundance is a daily reflection book with a different subject on each day. Meryl called to talk about "Until it is Carved in Stone" that includes this quote: “It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up -- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
I love so much what Sarah wrote in her book for January 10 that I am including it here. I could not write this or express it any better:
Visiting old cemeteries can be very illuminating. They are so still and silent. So quiet. Old cemeteries remind us that until it is carved in stone, realizing our heart's desire is possible every day if we recognize what it is that makes us happy.
In Thornton Wilder's play Our Town a deeply poignant scene takes place in a graveyard. Ghosts comfort the young heroine, who has recently died in childbirth. Emily, still longing for the life she has just left, wishes to revisit one ordinary, "unimportant" day in her life. When she gets her wish, she realizes how much the living take for granted.
Eventually her visit is too much for her to bear. "I didn't realize," she confesses mournfully, "all that was going on and we never noticed.... Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover's Corners ... Mama and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking ... and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths ... and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you."
This is the season of Epiphany, when the renewal of light and revelation are celebrated in the liturgy of the Catholic, Episcopal, and Eastern Orthodox churches. On our new path we seek everyday epiphanies--occasions on which we can experience the Sacred in the ordinary--and come to the awakening, as Emily finally does, that we cannot longer afford to throw away even one "unimportant" day by not noticing the wonder of it all. We have to be willing to discover and then appreciate the authentic moments of happiness available to all of us every day.
It was not long after Meryl and I shared our thoughts that Lisa Marie Presley died. Just a day or two before she had been at the Golden Globes. No one was aware that her time in the physical was so drastically limited. And a few days after that I learned my sweet sweet friend Elizabeth McGonagle made her own transition. At least in her case, she knew her timeline and she even extended it! She was surrounded by love and had the time to say and share all of the things many of us regret we didn't share.
So my blog perhaps reveals a more somber tone than you rarely see employed by me. I share this now because as we look at the year ahead, we are only a few days in, we have time to consider this message. We have time to make adjustments to how we are living, to what we are appreciating and to how and whom we are giving our love, time, attention and energy to. Let whatever you're feeling in your heart inspire you to live this year with bold determination to be present in every moment, with courage to embrace and feel every emotion and with motivation to explore everything as an opportunity.
My Guides would tell you to take responsibility for your life and if you are not living here how you want to be living here, then change it! It is YOUR LIFE! You choose. You decide. You, and only you, can honor the deep desires within yourself. Life is too short to be here in a way that is unfulfilling or inauthentic. One thing you can start today is be like "Emily" and notice and have gratitude for the simple, the mundane to the wonderful and the magnificent.
What you focus on expands; and, if you want to change your life then focus on things to be grateful for. When you do this you will get more things to be grateful for. (Same rule applies if you complain.... you just get more to complain about). You are in charge. Take a moment now to look around at where you are. I mean look at where you are physically right now. Where are you sitting as you read this message? What do you see near you, next to you, far from you? What do you hear, sense, smell? Take it all in. Use all of your senses. Be present with where you are right at this very moment. Let yourself have gratitude for all that is around you. Remember, every day is an opportunity until it is not.
Ironically, speaking of life and unexpected loss, Meryl and I met years ago, before I even started doing "readings". We shared a mutual friend, Dana Goudie, who just knew we would be fast friends. Dana was right. Meryl and I did become fast friends. Tragically, not too long after we met, we lost Dana in a weekend that should have been filled with joy and celebration, and instead, was marred by loss and pain. We had no warning. It was one call on a Sunday morning that altered the course of my life.
We did not get to share with Dana all of the wonderful things that we felt about her. We didn't get to tell her how much we admired her and what an inspiration she was to us and to the community. I personally lamented the many times I was too busy to drive to Mobile to see how she decorated her home with Meryl's guidance within Feng Shui principles. I was too busy to see how she took my housewarming gift and incorporated it into her sacred space. I didn't go see the room she created for Thai Yoga, of which she was one of the first to bring to the Bay area. To this day I have a sadness there, might as well call it a regret. That loss forever changed me and I am, or was rather, thankfully blessed my many visits and conversations with Dana in my dreams. The point though, in all of this, is be aware of what you value and hold that, whatever it is, like you would the most rare and precious of things.
Value this life.
Value this Earth, this day, this moment.
Value your connections.
Value your Self.
Value your time, your energy and your desires.
Remember, every day is an opportunity, until it is not.