Years ago, I made the decision to stop making a list on how to live my life and to start living. Honestly, I didn’t know how to make the transition, but I knew I craved to live a fuller life. I didn’t want my life to go to waste any longer, which meant I had some catching up to do.
To start, I listened more intently than I ever had in order to hear the answer. I listened to everyone everywhere, people I admired, and those I didn’t. I listened to silence and music, and that is where the transition started. A song came on the radio that talked about live like you were dying by Tim McGraw. Not only is it a beautiful song but now I had a starting point and lots of questions.
- Was I living or just breathing until I die? Clearly, I was busy breathing and checking things off my list.
- The song says “I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.” Wait a minute! I’m a grown person, I can do what I want. No one is the boss of my life but me! So why not choose to live my life completely.
- I asked myself, what’s stopping me from living? This required some thought. I realized it was me, life, permission to live, society’s expectations of what life should look like, or lack of courage to consciously choose a different life, ….. I also had money and time on that list at first, but those were just excuses. As a grown person, I control my time. And money, well some of the best and heartfelt experiences cost nothing but time.
- Why wait until there is something medically wrong? If I did that, then there wouldn’t be enough time or energy to get all the experiences life has to offer. I needed to take action now!
- What did I want my life to look like? Hummmm. I didn’t know! I didn’t know, but I knew it wasn’t what I was doing. I also realized I didn’t have to have all the answers to get started.
- How should I start? I dreamt. I dreamt by hearing and seeing the world as possibilities to experience. I’d privately think about what I saw or heard and say “What if?”, “Would I like to try that?”, “I wonder …”, “That looks or sounds like a blast!”, “I’ve never done that before!”, “You don’t see that every day”, ….
- What do I want to do? The first thing I did was become a tourist of my own city. I researched things and events going on where I lived. If I had not had the experience before I said “Yes” to it.
- How often do I have experiences? I decided my finances would allow me to do something I’d never done before once a month. Monthly also gave me time to research and plan the experiences.
- How will I “be” as I’m in my new life of living? I approached everything with curiosity and graciousness in hopeful anticipation of each new life experience.
It’s been several years since I transitioned to living life’s experiences. You may ask, how is it going? It’s the best decision I ever made. I’ve learned far more than I dreamed I would. For example:
- I became comfortable putting my life in the hands of strangers (sky diving, race car driving, …). It required trust. Trusting myself that “I have this!” Confidently doing my research and soul searching, realizing that this and every day might be my last, so let go of it all.
- “Letting go” became a new perspective I incorporated into my whole life, not just into each experience. Work, family, friends and life have been easier because I don’t have regrets. That includes living through the pain when someone important to me has passed or our time together has ended. I’m learning to be at peace, whatever each new day brings to me.
- I noticed that I was becoming less uncomfortable when I put myself into new and challenging experiences. Trust and confidence in my trusting, grew as I trusted more. This skill was super helpful not only in my personal but also in my work life. I now roll with the punches, I look for solutions and put changes into the bigger picture of my life. We are all on this big blue ball together so why not be open, positive, and supportive.
- I realized I have always been curious, but often it wasn’t a trait always encouraged or appreciated. My curiosity is probably why I was voted the “biggest pest” in high school. My curiosity is also what makes me a great coach.
- Surprisingly, I experienced more meaningful connections with amazing people once I started getting out of the house, off the computer, and off my phone. Instead, I was interacting with real live people who were doing the very same thing!
- I’ve learned I no longer have to seek out new experiences because they are all around me. The sad thing is, I never noticed them before. Almost daily a new experience presents itself to me and I say, “Yes.”
- I still don’t have all the answers to “What do I want my life to look like?” What I do know now is that it involves adventure, meaningful connections, simplicity, and love. The rest will work itself out, as long as I keep saying, “Yes” and experience what life has to offer.
I’d love to hear what spoke to you most from this blog, email@example.com