525,600 Minutes... to Live Like You’re Dying
If you’ve seen the Broadway musical Rent, you may already be humming this tune in your head. This inspiring song is actually called “Seasons of Love” and is on my playlist when I need a boost in the middle of my day.
The main gist of the lyrics is about how we can measure the precious time we have on earth in so many ways—minutes, sunsets, cups of coffee… miles, smiles, heartaches, bridges we built and bridges we burned. And it reminds each of us that one of the best ways to honor our time is to “measure our life in love.”
I know, I know… a sticky sweet sentiment. But now you know something more about me… if it’s something that touches my heart and the hearts of those around me, then I’m all in.
Now, to be honest, I haven’t always felt this way. In fact, I realized that I’d lost this part of myself after navigating through the competitive business world for 3+ decades (to see more of my story click here). But now I’ve come back to the real me—a me who’s growing and learning how to change my ways and open my heart again after having closed it for so long.
Now the real me wants no more standing and managing from the sidelines—staying aloof, analytical and critical. No! I’ve been there, done that and gotten the proverbial T-shirt. Thank you very much, but no more plates full of judgements for me! Please pass me the love and all the dishes we can create balancing the sweet with the bitter, the sour with the salty.
No flavor is too much to be left off the table of my life anymore. And I want love to be the main entrée served for as many meals as I have left in this world. That’s how I want to measure my life. And, for as many mistakes as I’ve made in trying to perfect that dish—and by the way, there have been plenty of mistakes—it doesn’t matter! I’ll keep trying until my last ounce of strength is gone.
And, speaking of love as the main entrée… I also love being reminded by my 525,600 minutes why I’m so committed to this transition and end-of-life calling. I want for myself, as well as every client I serve, to know that when they fall asleep each night, they lived that day as though they were dying—not in fear of death or the mysteries of the unknown… and not in denial that the end will come… but restfully and deeply, knowing they respect their life and death and did the very best they could to live each moment to the fullest.
I call this a “No Regrets Life.” We’re all living our lives doing the best we can to survive and succeed based on values shaped by our life experiences and what we were taught as children from parental figures, schools, churches, colleges, workplaces, and all the people and institutions that shaped us. But underneath all that, we are still a unique soul given life to learn our lessons and find our way. We are not just carbon copies or mini-me’s of others. I believe we’re here to discover our unique gifts and share them.
And, by the way, the purpose of living a No Regrets Life is so we can experience a beautiful, No Regrets Death. I’m imagining you saying incredulously to me, “Come on! How can dying be beautiful?” And I totally understand because I also used to think the same. In our western culture we’re told that dying is hell, and we’ve often modeled it by sending our dying away without any conversation or preparation because we don’t know what else to do with them or for them. My own mother, nearly six decades ago, was dying in our home, and no one in my family would talk about it.
Sadly, that approach continues today, and only reinforces our fear of death and our belief that death is hell. But I want you to consider that we can do more to make sure that our death and the death of our loved ones are peaceful. And no one needs to carry the weight of regrets into those last breaths of life.
No Regrets Living and Dying for me, looks like no longer being content to just dream my dreams and live on hopes. No! I want my living and dying to mean something… I want to play full out now. I want to have deep conversations with my friends and family, and I want to live my dreams and find and share my gifts for as long as my energy holds up.
I want to know that when my energy does succumb to the will of my body that my soul and spirit were satisfied and that I created a safe space and had open conversations where my end-of-life plans were put into motion and my family and friends didn’t need to worry about what was undone or unsaid. When my time comes, I’ll be ready for the music to end and to step off the dance floor knowing I gave it my all. Make no mistake, I’ll be sad the music is over, but oh so very grateful that I got to dance!
If that’s the kind of life and death you want to experience too, then join me on this journey. Together we can build a new trajectory for you not based on fear but based on peace of mind for you and your loved ones, and one that can be measured in far more than minutes… one measured in love. Believe it! It’s possible!
I invite you to message me by clicking on the heart icon in the header bar on the left or email me at KarenK@GoldenHeartTransition.com if you’d like to learn more about how to take the next steps to find your way through the transition you’re facing.