Recently, as I was watching my daughter train with her GAA team at our local football pitch, I was casually chatting to a lady about a couple of different books that we were reading and we were swapping thoughts about them. One of them was ‘The Midnight Library’ by Matt Haig and the other was ‘Awaken your Power Within’ by Gerry Hussey.
As we talked about which book we couldn’t put down, the lady then made one of the most striking statements that I have heard in some time! She said that both books helped her to realise that “This is it, this is not a rehearsal!” She continued by describing how we only get one chance at life and that this chance is now, that we don’t get a practice run!
I was stopped in my tracks by such powerful statements and it really made me think of everything that I have in my own life. It really made me realise that by me having a freak out over the mess of the house, in particular the children’s playroom, of falling behind on the laundry, of feeling that I don’t have enough time to do all the things that I want to do is completely pointless!!
If I knew that today was the last day of my life, would I want to spend it cleaning my house, tidying a ‘lived in’ and very happy playroom, stressing about not having time to work on new and existing projects? Absolutely not! I would direct my time and energy towards my family, my animals, my friends, to spending time outdoors in the beautiful elements of Mother Earth. I would sit in the ‘messy playroom’ with my children and embrace their laughter, their fun, their innocence and their sheer joy in their every moment!!
While I was talking to this lady, I had an empowering realisation, that I don’t get a second chance at living my life. I don’t get to run through a dress rehearsal every morning. But I do get to live presently in each moment as I move throughout my day, whether that moment is one of pleasure or pain, I can choose to be consciously alive in it, rather than just a by-stander, observing from the side-line.
I can accept whatever my current experience is, whether I want to be experiencing it or not and that in itself can bring huge healing and surrendering in the moment, as acceptance is purely recognising the way things are in any given moment. With acceptance comes healing and happiness.
Once you can accept where you are and your experiences in any moment, you can experience peace, comfort and safety within yourself, as you are truly present and alive in your moment. As described by George Orwell:
“Happiness can only exist in acceptance”
Each night as I pull down the window blinds before bedtime, I have a strong realisation that ‘another day is nearly gone off my life’. I experience a strong awareness that I will never get the day just lived back again and I also experience a recapping or reflection of how I was during the day.
Some days, I feel pleased and proud of how I ‘performed or lived’ during my day, of how I coped with the stresses, strains, hurts, pains, demands and tiredness of normal human life. Other days, I feel embarrassed, ashamed, guilty and disrespectful to myself and others for not coping as I would have liked to during the day.
It is on these harder days, that I really need to show myself extra love, compassion and understanding, as I am only human after all!! To leave you with a lovely quote from quotesgram.com:
“Life is NOT a dress rehearsal …
The curtain is up and you are on …
So get out there and give it your …
Reflective questions to ask yourself as your sun sets each day:
Take a moment as your sun sets each day to reflect and to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Was I kind and caring to myself, others, my animals and Mother Earth?
2. Did I meet myself with compassion and understanding?
3. Did I thank my amazing body for everything that it does to keep me alive?
4. Did I take accountability for my actions today? Did I apologise to myself or others if I said or done something unkind?
5. Did I carry out an act of kindness for myself or someone else?
6. Did I laugh today? Did I see the lighter side of life and enjoy myself?
7. Did I eat the food that is suitable for my body?
8. Did I fuel my body with enough water and rest?
Thank you as always to Brian O’Loughlin at The Westmeath Examiner and his team at Celtic Media Group (https://www.anglocelt.ie/, https://www.con-telegraph.ie/, https://www.meathchronicle.ie/, https://www.offalyindependent.ie/, https://www.westmeathexaminer.ie/ and https://www.westmeathindependent.ie/ for all their wonderful help!
As published by The Celtic Media Group 7/5/2022
© Leona McDonnell Mindfulness and Wellness 2022