Friday, February 18, 2011

The Fs of Life

The facts of life are pretty simple. You're born and like the brilliant contemporary philosopher and comedian Chris Rock says, no matter what your horoscope sign is, eventually, "You're gonna die." Why is it then that death seems like such a big deal?
This morning I awoke to the sound of my alarm and like all mornings I immediately checked my e-mails. There's one person in particular whose e-mails I anticipate with such eagerness some nights I can barely go to sleep wondering what humorous stories will await me at dawn. My inbox becomes the base of my very own daily Christmas tree, opening the e-mails sent by this individual feels like unwrapping presents. My cheeks rise, my eyes light up and I speed-read through the entire e-mail only to re-read, with care, the words as I sip my morning coffee slowly before I begin my daily Yoga practice.

This morning, however, one fleeting comment cast a dark shadow over all the other remarks that typically would make me laugh so hard my phone would plop right on my pillow. An 11 year old child was unintentionally hit by a car and died. I have no idea who the driver is or who the child was, but something about the story just lingered with me throughout the entire day. It's devastating to think that now so many families are being effected by a death that probably, with some additional care on behalf of all parties involved, could have been prevented.

Souza has a quote about life that I try to live by. “Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven is on Earth.

For me the facts of life have been less to do with the obvious fact that death awaits us all and more to do with the three Fs I believe that if juggled with great balance can offer the most fulfilling life.

Above is a picture of my, "Ama." My 93 year old grandma who is the rock-solid foundation of my entire family and also my hero.

While in Hangzhou's Lotus Garden in China, I took a picture of these three amazing women. They had each been friends for well over 40 years and every morning they met to take a hike at dawn and practice Tai Chi. Their friendship inspires me till this day.

In Bouddhanath you can find monks who left their families as early as their adolescent years. They perfect their crafts, whether it is painting intricate Thankas, playing instruments used in religious ceremonies or analyzing ancient Tibetan texts, they each live with diligence and faith.

Musician Gerard Way once said, "One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching." When it comes to a matter of life and death, I couldn't agree more.

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