Jan 01 2014
"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."
Why is it that a famous person’s death brings clarity about our own mortality? During my recent visit to Palm Springs, I was inspired to explore the concept of time and mortality while taking pictures at the larger-than-life statute of the late Marilyn Monroe. This icon, as you know, died quite young. But in her short time, Ms. Monroe said some pretty powerful things.
“Millions of people live their entire lives without finding themselves. But it is something I must do.”
I realized that she may have understood that her time was limited and that every life experience has some deeper and richer lesson when we contemplate it within the context of time and mortality.
Radical acceptance of what is and what will inevitably be can change how we live in the world – and how we choose to approach the things we can change. There’s a dynamic paradigm shift happening here and now around the topic of mortality and how it informs our lives. Isn’t it interesting that at the tail end of 2013 at least two major TV shows tackled this sacred exploration of death?
Anderson Cooper explored life, death, and faith in “To Heaven and Back” with interviews of people who have had near death experiences. Showtime premiered its ambitious “The Time of Death” with six episodes delving into the final weeks in the lives of dying people and their loved ones. Entertainment Weekly’s Jeff Jensen said:
“You won’t want to watch this. Yes, it will wreck you. But you’ll be grateful you let it.”
It seems quite natural for us to fear the unknown, especially about death. But many teachers who specialize in Personal Death Awareness share the multiple health benefits of deepening our ability to tolerate and even overcome the discomfort around the topic. In some ways, denying death is a form of adult magical thinking and can lead to aggressive and destructive behavior. On the other hand, a grounded acceptance of death as a part of life offers us a precious perspective on how abundant life can be. Beyond the fear, there’s an opportunity to cherish all aspects of our lives.
In an earlier MINDFUL CHATTER entry I offered several practices and disciplines that anyone can develop to create this evolved relationship with time.
So, what are you doing to enhance the finite number of minutes, days, months, or years as we enter 2014? Can you take some of that time to devote to exploring your own fear or fascination with death?
Yoga, yoga therapy, and other healing modalities can also help you develop and share your thoughts and feelings about death and dying.
Finally, check out additional resources on my website’s MINDFUL LIVING/CONSCIOUS DYING page. As our fast paced world makes time speed by, set an intention to deepen your appreciation of every moment! Or, as Marilyn put it…
“We should all start to live before we get too old”