How alive can you be

photo: brian birzer

This past week was anything but easy. A homeless man was shot by the cops outside my favorite local coffee shop. He died at the scene. My Godfather was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Chemo might prolong his life. A really good friend passed of a brain hemmorahge while recovering from heart valve replacement caused by a staph infection. Leaving us all stunned and asking, “Why?”

I mean come on, really?!?!?! I literally felt like one of those clown punching bags we had when we were younger, I’d rebound from one whack and then, Wham! Another was hot on it’s heels ready to dole out just a little bit MORE. 

At each occurrence, I was reminded of how fragile life is. How fleeting. Precious beyond our comprehension. And with each additional smack, that knowledge became more embedded into my heart, etched on my bones.

I was stunned (still am). I cried. Lots. This morning I cried again on my yoga mat, dedicating my practice to life, and death. I got pissed. (“What the hell, Big G?”) 

And walking off my mat, as I wiped away the sorrow and anger gathered in each drop of sweat, I gathered myself up, stood tall and summed up all the gratitude available in every cell of my being. And I realized, this was not happening to me, or to us (the collective us who have lost this week). This was happening FOR us. 

As I felt the tears come up again, I found myself questioning, wanting to retreat, to hide. And then a whisper, “It is times like these we can either wallow in the despair, become gripped by grief, overcome by the anger, or we can simply see the MORE.” 

Aaaahhhh…yes…there is indeed MORE in every less.

Our friend Danny was one of those guys that brightened a room whenever he walked in (I bet you know someone just like him). You could tell one of his greatest joys and sources of pride was in being a really good friend, an amazing father and loving husband. He was eager to share anything and everything he had to give, rarely if ever turning down an invitation to share a pint, a thought, or some amazing advice. 

Walking home from yoga, I began to think about Danny and all the people he touched. And I understood the reason he touched so many people was because he truly connected with everyone and everything he encountered. He came alive in service for every single person. And what an amazing gift that was to all of us.

We easily forget that life is meant to be lived. Sometimes it feels like it’s easier to numb out, to allow the current of life just to carry us, and reserve our “aliveness” for the so called “important” days or the “good” times. 

What I came to truly understand today is this idea of presence and being present that so many of us seem to struggle with and work so hard for, it’s not really a struggle at all. 

Being present is actually as simple as coming alive. Allowing our aliveness to be who we are. 

And what I know to be true… Allowing requires less energy than resisting. Creating more space for connection, which is what we all crave.

Being alive in every moment of every day of our whole entire life here in this lifetime, that is a life lived MORE. Because when we come alive this is when we are MORE, this is how we live MORE, this is why we do MORE, this is when we attract everything our hearts desire, and MORE. 

So, I invite you to consider, and ask yourself… how alive can I be? When you think you’re filled up, how can you overflow? When you think you’ve hit the limit, ask for MORE. Give MORE. Come as alive as you possibly can, in that moment. Turn up your light, then try and make it brighter than you ever did before. And let it shine big, beautiful and bold. The gift is in showing up, not just with your body, or your mind, but with your soul and Spirit. With all your humanness. 

This is coming alive. And coming alive is the best way to live a life of MORE.

May you live more alive each and every moment and may your MORE deeply touch someone else’s soul. And may that touch help them to become MORE alive too.

With MORE:love,