Jet lag and I have been at it again this week. I had been up most of the night but at 3:30am, I closed my book and decided to go to sleep. Reading always makes me sleepy and The Autobiography of a Yogi is about the spiritual path of Yoginanada through self-realization. The calm, relaxation-inducing kind of material to bring on the sleep. No such luck. Instead, my inner voice was loudly recounting the many reasons that make our lives so remarkable. How c ould I sleep anymore when no dream could surpass such intense reminder about daily bliss?
This post was written between the hours of 4am and 6am and it was a magical time of the night to write. My sincere wish is that it stirs a part of you to fiercely remember why you live a remarkable life and to hold on to those reasons when routine sets in and when clouds take over and to brighten your days with that reminder.
My 33 reasons to fiercely embrace life:
1. Freedom of expression, be it on the web or in a conversation. Use your freedom, enjoy it, revel in it but please don’t stupidly abuse it.
2. Being able to think for myself. Not ever taking this one for granted. Nor forgetting to put it to good use.
3. Holding my husband’s gaze for 5 seconds and filling up with overflowing love. If you love someone, let them gaze at you as long as they wish.
4. Knowing the depth of my mom’s care and compassion. Adore your mom and forgive the flaws, yours and hers.
5. Learning to forgive, even if it’s just learning in tiny baby steps. It has tremendous healing powers.
6. Touching on the outer edge of inner bliss when the 50th attempt at meditation takes me to that peaceful place if only for a few fleeting moments. Meditation teaches you patience before it rewards you.
7. Having my amazing mom around to remind me of all the basics that I beg her to stop repeating because I know. I’m not sure I do. Let your mom baby you. One day, you’ll return the favor.
8. Having access to affordable medical insurance and to caring nurses and doctors who do what few of us can imagine doing for a living. If you are one, thank you!
9. Getting wet eyelashes and a cold nose from the rain when I miscalculate the weather. Who needs a silly umbrella? Love Mother Nature. Love all of her.
10. Believing in the goodness of humanity. The alternative is too dark and the power of our beliefs too strong.
11. Being able to call my brothers for advice. Consult your siblings. They are one of the few people that have known you since your childhood and care deeply about you.
12. Feeling care over criticism when someone that loves me tells me I am wrong. Admit it when you are wrong, even if you do it silently to yourself.
13. The taste of delicious food. Never forgetting that it is a privilege to be able to eat, both to have food and a body that can enjoy it. Be thankful for your every meal.
14. Seeing so much beauty in Mother Nature that it aches you. Absorb the immeasurable beauty around us. Feel the healing powers you can draw from it. Indulge in the remarkable fact that you are alive to witness it.
15. Sleepless nights and foggy days from jet lag. A sweet reminder about my fierce love for travel. Travel at any cost if your heart yearns for it. It rewards you handsomely.
16. The power of good manners that can turn a bad situation into a mediocre one at a minimum. Use your manners, for use they were learned!
17. The sound of the water, be it the sea, the ocean, the waterfall, the river, the lake or a tiny pond. It is nature’s music in every shape.
18. Owning a camera and creating memories on digital film to your heart’s content. Can you imagine living just a few decades earlier?
19. Our ability to fly. In airplanes. At 32,000 feet. Across oceans. Every day. For a very affordable price. Something Leornardo da Vinci would have given an arm and a leg for and instead, we mere average mortals get to experience his dream. It must be the worst timing of the universe. So I beg you, don’t let this miracle of flying go in vain.
20. The kindness of people in a foreign country. Even when they do not understand a word you say. Their desire to help. Heart-warming and unforgettable.
21. Literacy. Being able to read. Being able to consume information and having the ability to educate ourselves. Do not fill your mind with junk and garbage. It was made for better things.
22. The choice to turn a television and radio off and to choose your own stream of information and entertainment from millions of options before you. Thank you, Internet.
23. Technology. Being able to live and breathe in a technologically advanced world. It is the revolution of our century. Embrace it.
24. Breaks from technology. A return to basics to balance our gratitude in both worlds.
25. Immediate access to knowledge. Any minute of the day. Any knowledge your heart desires. Remember that knowledge is our light and the absence of it takes us back to the dark ages. Protect it.
26. Our ability to heal after a heart-break, a disappointment, and even after a grand failure. Acknowledge the pain but do not succumb to suffering.
27. Arriving in a new place. The moment of arrival when all anticipation comes to an end and excitement fills your heart. What adventures await you here, you wonder?
28. Laughing. Belly laughs especially. Believing in the therapeutic powers of laughter especially after crying.
29. Childhood friendships. The proof of undying love between two people who have parted ways and meet again in another chapter of life. Seek out your childhood friendships.
30. Music. The sound of music in every corner and facet of our world. From a street musician to hundreds of music channels and songs at your disposal, how lucky and blessed our ears and our hearts have been to be born into this age.
31. Loose-leaf tea. A Chinese tradition that has transformed my body and well-being. A taste and an aroma that leaves me wanting more even after a thousand cups. Much more than tea, it is meditation in a cup. It is worth giving up alcohol for. Come to think of it, just about anything is worth giving up alcohol for.
32. The gentle punishment from yoga when I’ve not done my practice. “Do your practice and all is coming” ~Sri Pattabhi Jois
33. Doing work that you love and can find meaningful at the end of your life. Or knowing – and believing – that no matter what, you have the option and understanding all your choices. If you want a helpful nudge with this one, come hither!
Your turn: What is your number 34 reason to fiercely embrace life? Which of these resonated with you? And what do you feel compelled to share about your love of life? Share it in the comments and share this post with one friend in your life.