Tag Archive | Sarah Ban Breathnach

Born over & over. And over again.

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“This girl is a woman now
She’s found out what it’s all about
And she’s learning learning learning to live…” ~ Gary Puckett & the Union Gap

“The wound is the place where the light enters you. ” ~ Rumi
“Surviving meant being born over and over.” ~ Erica Jong

Adversity can crush our spirit – or strengthen it – it is our choice.

Yeah, this post isn’t about reincarnation in the sense of the rebirth of a soul or spirit after biological death.  But it is about death and rebirth in a sense.  

This post is more directed at women but men and anyone who identifies as both/none can read and learn too!   The message is definitely not exclusive to women.  The book I’m reading is mostly geared towards women. But the lesson goes for anyone.

I’m reading Sarah Ban Breathnach ‘s “Something More – Excavating Your Authentic Self.”
I absolutely love her writing style.  It’s so warm and gentle but so strong and passionate.

In this book, in a section called, “Near-Life Experiences,” she writes 

“Every day we experience death.   The death of dreams, misconceptions, illusions. The death of vibrancy and enthusiasm. The death of hope. The death of courage. The death of confidence. The death of faith.   The death of trust.   More often than any of us ever expect, life stuns us with the sudden wrenching away of a loved one, a devastating diagnosis, a conversation that begins with the chilling words “There’s Something I’ve got to tell you.
We feel as if life is over, and we are right.  Life as we knew it is over.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach writes about when her marriage ended and when her health was threatened.  She writes

 “In each instance, when I regained consciousness months later, I was someone else.  I died to myself, and a stronger, wiser, and more passionate woman was resurrected in my place.  Although this woman answered to my name, she was profoundly different. “

This woman was in a serious accident, years ago,  in a fast -food restaurant with her toddler daughter when a large ceiling panel fell off and crashed into her.  She fell unconscious onto the table.   No one else was hurt.  She suffered a severe concussion, was bedridden, confused, and disoriented for months and disabled for a year and a half.   For a few months her senses did not function properly.   She had to stay in bed constantly in the dark because her injuries rendered her extremely sensitive to light.  She was inarticulate and couldn’t speak coherently.  She felt imprisoned in her own body, neither alive nor dead but having a “near -life experience.”  

She shares a quote by Eudora Welty, “the fantasies of dying could be no stranger than the fantasies of living.  Surviving is perhaps the strangest fantasy of them all.”

And here is, what I see, as the most beautiful part of Sarah Ban Breathnach’s story.

When she was bedridden in the dark she had nothing to do but tell herself stories in her head.   She writes this,

 “In order to get through this purgatory, I would lie in the dark and tell myself stories – discombobulated sagas, to be sure – as I wove in and out of wakefulness. Clara Pinkola Estes believes that ‘Stories are medicine.’   They certainly became my homeopathic remedies.   Although I had been a journalist for ten years, I had never thought of myself as a storyteller. But snatches of stories-fairy tales I’d heard as a child, adventures I’d lived as a young woman- would float to the top of my distress and hang in midair until I retrieved one and recast it as a personal parable.  Each starred my own romantic heroine, an extraordinary woman who triumphed over her travails with courage, grace, and grit – a person who bore no resemblance to me at all.    This woman was beautiful and radiant, with a strong, healthy, and vibrant aura.   Her eyes sparkled and she laughed uproariously . She was mysterious, magnetic, accomplished, powerful, irresistible, confident, smart, sassy, funny, and sexy.  She was passionate.   She possessed verve, but more important, she reflected, even in the worst situations, the essential characteristic of all romantic heroines – repose of the soul.   I couldn’t remember having an imaginary friend as a child, but now I did and I adored her company. 
I looked forward to my alter ego ‘s daily dose of diva-gation- her wandering, straying, but always pulling through with pluck to live and love again.”

After this ordeal was over, Sarah Ban Breathnach realized that this beautiful, passionate, strong woman in her waking dreams is in fact herself.  Her authentic self.
 The self she always knew deep, deep inside she can be.   The self she already was then but buried beneath layers of social demands and pressures, the stresses of everyday life, denial, feelings of unworthiness….She had to learn this and practice acknowledging it but eventually she came to know that she is a strong, wise woman of love, passion, and strength.   This woman and this wisdom were born of pain and horror but she was there all along waiting for the birth of herself. 

It’s true that every single day parts of us die so new parts can be born.  Even our skin and cells physically die and give way to new ones.

Death hurts. Not just the biological death of someone we love or the death of a relationship but even the death of minor details in our lives or the death of certain ways of thinking can hurt. Something we once believed and no longer believe.   The death of certain opinions, the death of an illusion. 
The death of certain ways of living.
Even the death of something unpleasant can hurt at first.  A job you always wanted to leave and finally do get to leave it.  It can hurt because you’re pushed out of your comfort zone, something you have known for so long. It hurts.  Even though it’s what you wanted.

When hope dies, when faith dies, and we fall, when we have setbacks and seem to fail, we can let this all guide us, push us forward to something bigger and better, we make room for new things, better things, more beautiful things to fall into place.

We can allow our pain, struggles, challenges, failures, setbacks, relapses, and unpleasant experiences to strengthen us, make us wiser, better, enlightened, empowered, and more empathetic and compassionate to others and ourselves.   We can take our pain and struggles as challenges to come up with creative ways to better ourselves and use them to our advantage. 

So, girls think of the woman you long to be, the one you would love to know, be friends with, be in the company of, the woman you KNOW you CAN be and deep inside ARE already her.

Materialize her. Realize her.  

Think of the best girl friend you would love to know or one you have already if you’re that blessed or the the kind of mother you want to be if you want to be one and would love to have for yourself, the kind of sister you would adore, the professor you would look up to in college, the counselor you would love to talk to, the neighbor you would love to chat with on the street, the girl of your dreams….

What do you love about her?  Why do you adore her?  What traits does this beautiful woman possess and display?  What virtues does she embody?   What surrounds her? What dwells within her?  What does she do?   What do you see in her?  What ways does she have about her?  What goals does she have?   What does she dream about at night?   What daydreams occupy her mind?  How does she feel?  How does she love?

If you can dream her, you can be her.

You can recreate yourself into the you that you want to be. You can strengthen and play up the things you already love about yourself and develop the things you want but do not yet possess.

“Act like a lady, think like a boss.”
“She believed she could so she did.”
“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.” ~ Elizabeth Edwards
“She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world. ” ~ Joanne Harris
“Girls compete with each other, women empower one another.”

Don’t deny your needs and desires.   Don’t repress yourself.   Let your opinions be heard. Don’t feel threatened by an opinion which opposes yours.   If you know what someone says is or may be correct and you are wrong, admit it, at least to yourself.   Let it shake you up and then change your views.   If you know in your heart of hearts that you are correct then let your opinion be as loud as the opposing one.   Don’t let anyone make you squirm or back down.  Stand tall.   Stand proud.   Stand.
It’s ok to be wrong and it’s ok to give in and see the other side and admit it.
It’s ok to build yourself up.
To call yourself beautiful. 
To love you. 
To cherish you.
Do what makes you happy no matter what, don’t let anyone dull your sparkle or get in your way.   Be true.   Be you.
Take care of yourself, tend to your needs, be selfish occasionally when you have to be for your own mental/emotional/psychological/spiritual & physical health.  Say no when you must.   Say yes to you. 
Buy yourself flowers.
Laugh loudly. Live passionately. Love fiercely. 

Reflect and think about who you want to be, write in a journal, meditate, list qualities you wish to posses or strengthen and ones you want to abandon.

And if you’re not a woman, this can still apply to you. It applies to all humans. We can all work to be a better version of ourselves.

Each moment we fall apart, we are made new. Born again. And again. And again. And again…..a new dawn comes to life. The sun rises again.  Morning has awakened.

Crumble. So you can stand again but even stronger.

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“Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything .”~ Helen Reddy

“You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul” ~ Helen Reddy

“I’m not a one in a million kind of girl, I’m that once in a lifetime kind of woman.”

“Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell
But I won’t back down

No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down.” ~ Tom Petty

Let your pain make you better, not bitter.

“Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens.” ~ LeeAnn Womack

Xoxo Kim

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Gratitude Meditation <3

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“While there is time let’s go out and feel everything” ~ Steve Winwood

I have been meditating more regularly than usual and have been doing more gratitude meditations, usually at night before sleep.

It has a serious, positive effect on me. Not just while I’m meditating but all day when I wake up. Even with less sleep I feel more energized, more alive, more awake, and aware.   And more grateful.  

During my meditations, I have been overwhelmed with powerful emotions coming over me, flooding into my consciousness.   One emotion which has been so strong is grief.   Grief over my dog who died in April this year of old age, grief over broken friendships, grief over people who died, grief over the years I “lost” to depression, grief over people I once knew and let slip away, grief over years gone away, into the light of yesterday…

I’m not exactly sure why this is. I know meditation has the tendency to bring about strong emotions which we have pent up inside, emotions we repress or deny. But I haven’t been denying my grief for the most part.  I have grieved so hard over my losses, not denying them.  But grief over a loss, especially a permanent one, is not easy for me to handle. There sometimes comes a point where my grief reaches a pinnacle so great, it’s too painful to bear so I do try to repress it, not deny it but just push it aside.  Maybe my meditation practices are bringing to the surface of my consciousness, the remnants of initial grief I kept locked away.

It’s possible to repress things or have thoughts or feelings without even realizing at a conscious level.  The experience of my grief flooding back to me during meditation is not bad, it’s good.  It allows me to experience and release.  It is painful though.

Also, I have been gaining some fascinating and deep insights about creativity, beauty, open-mindedness, and seeing various things in different ways, at different angles.   I feel even more empathetic and compassionate than ever.  More creative and enlightened, like the beginning of some awakening that’s difficult to put into words.

Everyday I acknowledge gratitude and being alive.  Sometimes I just think of things I’m thankful to have and the fact that I’m alive.  On other occasions I actually feel gratitude seeping into me at a deep level, flooding the cells of my body, tingling and sinking into the marrow of my bones, just flooding over me. 
And I feel so alive, absolutely fully alive.
Sometimes this feeling comes on out of nowhere, other moments I can tap into it intentionally.  And other occasions I feel ungrateful and not appreciative. Or numb, trudging around in a sense of stagnant drudgery. 

I don’t have to just be happy to feel so alive.   I have felt this in moments of grief and pain, anger, and heartbreak. Life is full of happiness and joy and also pain and heartache. So if we’re alive and fully receptive, we will experience it all.  And it’s beautiful to feel so utterly alive.

I want to pull in and embrace every emotion and feeling that comes to me, snatch it up and hold it close while I can, even the painful ones, as they are an indication of life.  So life-affirming.

I want to feel everything while I can.

I want to take full advantage of the gift of life, my blessing of being alive and conscious.

Since practicing these meditations more regularly I have been feeling the deep gratitude feeling more frequently each day, not just acknowledging things I have to be grateful for, but the feeling of gratitude living and breathing, dwelling in my cells, venturing through my veins and each artery, and each breath of my heart.  The gratitude and life that breathes in me.  The gratitude that floods my existence, caresses my very essence.

It’s so different than the depression & despair that generally consumed me for years.

How often do you truly feel alive? So alive that you can feel every sensation in your body and notice every thing outside of you? All the colors, feelings, textures, lights…of your external environment, the tingling in your toes and fingertips…so alive on a deeper level than what we usually feel everyday..

Even in monotonous moments and routine environments?

“I will live while I can, I will have my ever after” ~ Steve Winwood

“We go so fast, why don’t we make it last
Life is glowing inside you and me
Please take my hand, right here where I stand
Won’t you come out and dance with me
Come see with me, oh, come see” ~ Steve Winwood

One very interesting thing is I have been feeling somewhat distracted during meditation the last few nights. I usually do not have this problem too often but I have been, lately, so I have been doing, let’s say, “half-assed” jobs at meditating and still seeing incredible results. So imagine what I’m capable of when I get over my distraction and give it my all!  

I have been struggling for a few days with not feeling very grateful as much as I possibly can. I have been having annoying technology problems with my phone that won’t allow me to do things that I do every day.   Also, I just found out a man I have known for some years and talked to frequently, recently died, of a possible drug overdose and I am so sad.  He was so friendly and outgoing and kind.  He struggled off and on with alcohol and other drug addiction and attempted to get help on multiple occasions.   But we lost this battle and it’s devastating.  And my heart goes out to everyone impacted by this tragic loss.

And to everyone affected in any way by any kind of addiction. It is a devastating and heartbreaking struggle.

It’s often easy to feel and express gratitude when things are going well.   But what about when it seems that everything is going wrong, all wrong, when we have a heavy heart, a broken heart, when the world seems to be crumbling on top of us?   When we lose and lose again, sinking so low it feels we can’t go lower, then we do?  That may be when we need gratitude the most.  Maybe we won’t feel it purely but we can feel and express it to some degree if we try and practice.
It is possible to feel a slither of gratitude even in the midst of pain and anger.  And that slither can be enough to keep us going.

I wrote this.

(Much of it is inspired by 

Mobile: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo 
Comp. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo

which is created by Angela Carole Brown and is a brief meditation video for gratitude affirmations.)

I live in gratitude.

I breathe gratitude. 

I am grateful everyday that I live and breathe.

Every day that I have a creative idea, a revelation, learn something new, and am able to let go of old limiting beliefs, I am grateful.
Every day that I face my fears or overcome obstacles, I am grateful.
Every moment that I am given awareness of the simplest of beauties, the opportunity to experience profound joy, and feel genuine happiness, I am grateful.
Every day that  I stumble upon hidden treasures, I am grateful. 
Every moment that I am enlightened and discover insights, I am grateful.
Every day that my heart feels compassion, understanding, patience, and peace, I am grateful. 
Every day that I act upon love and compassion, I am grateful.
Every day that I Encounter and engage with another living being, I am grateful.
Every day that I am
Hugged, kissed, and loved, I am grateful.
Everyday that I 
Laugh or make someone laugh
Inspire and am inspired
Hear of someone’s life being saved
Change someone’s life or someone changes mine, I am grateful
Every day I love, live, and breathe, I am grateful.
Every day my heart pumps, I am grateful.
Every day I witness, hear about, receive, or engage in an act of kindness, I am grateful.
Ever day my heart is overwhelmed in anger, pain, frustration, negativity, bitterness, and grief, I am grateful 
Every moment that I act out in anger, I am grateful
Every moment that my heart is broken, I am grateful. 
Each challenge, painful situation, every loss, setback, and failure provides opportunity to learn, to evolve, to get stronger, to become more aware, more compassionate of myself and others, to develop deeper empathy and I am grateful.
Everyday that that I am
Humbled by a mistake, a thing learned, a person who teaches me…I am grateful.
Everyday I am faced with
Seemingly unbearable pain, and struggles
I am grateful
Every day for Lessons learned, I am grateful
Every day that 
I am Strengthened by pain, I am grateful
Every day for moments of 
Quiet and reflection, I am grateful
Every day for stillness and calm within, without, I am grateful.

Every single day, 
At every single moment
I am grateful.
Forever grateful.
Thank you

This is Angela Carole Brown’s page.

 http://www.angelacarolebrown.com/GLOBALYOGA.htm

Please check out her gratitude meditation youtube video. It’s so beautiful.
This is only seven minutes and forty-three seconds long. 
Mobile:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo

Non mobile:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo

It’s so inspirational and when practiced everyday can be life changing for the better!

She explains how gratitude even for unpleasant experiences is the way to go. A life with some pain and challenges is better than an “effortless ” life, as she says. Because we become stronger, wiser, more empathetic and compassionate, and learn many valuable lessons.

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

Much love & gratitude to you all!
And thank you for reading! 😀

Xoxo Kim

“We must live while we can and we’ll drink our cup of laughter
The finer things keep shining through
The way my soul gets lost in you
The finer things I feel in me
The golden dance life could be

I’ve been sad and have walked bitter streets alone
Come morning, there’s a good wind to blow me home
So time is a river rolling into nowhere
I will live while I can, I will have my ever after

The finer things keep shining through
The way my soul gets lost in you
The finer things I feel in me
The golden dance life could be” ~Steve Winwood

Until It Is Carved in Stone

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(second photo not mine)

Hello darlings, I’m here to knock your socks off this lovely morning.   It’s just after 12:00am. Yup! ;-D

Have you ever read a play called “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder?  I have and it’s amazing. It’s beyond amazing. It was produced and published in 1938. It won the Pulitzer Prize.
It takes place in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s.

I first read it when I was twenty – six years old. And whoa am I so beyond pleased that I did. Thank You to Sarah Ban Breathnach for mentioning this play in her book “Simple Abundance”!!!! Sarah Ban Breathnach is another one who has one of the biggest impacts on me with her beautiful writing.

The play is about a young woman, Emily, who dies during childbirth. She’s twenty -six years old.  It starts out when she’s a young girl and it’s all about her and her family and friends and all the people in their small village of Grover’s Corners.  It’s so small everyone knows each other.

The girl dies at age twenty – six years and she “wakes up” in the afterlife where she meets again, all those who she has known during their living years.  The girl, Emily, is freaked out, grieving, and just devastated that she lost her life and can never again have it back.   She was always a happy girl with a wonderful life while she was alive, but just like most of us tend to do, she usually took most things for granted. Never stopping to just be and allow gratitude, wonder, and awe to surge through her at all the simple joys like the white fence surrounding her house, coffee, flowers, the way people look at each other, the simple ticking of clocks and folded laundry…

Other than people dying throughout the play, the play is extremely uneventful and has received criticism for that fact but the very essence of being uneventful is the whole point of the play. It is the heart, the gut of it, if you will.

Mr. Wilder intended to show people through his wonderful play, how beautiful, wondrous, amazing, lovely… life IS even when it’s so simple, monotonous, agonizing,  and lacking in big events.
While this may seem like a play depicting an idealized view of American life, it actually is not.   The message is that life is good while being painful, it’s heartbreaking but breathtakingly beautiful.  

One character in the play, Simon Stimson, is a pivot of this message. He struggles with alcoholism and is known as the town drunk but he serves as a message to people . He is a tortured soul who constantly cries out for help but people refuse to help. They are steeped in denial and overlook his desperate pleads for help.  He eventually dies by suicide. The message here is that society, friends, family, people….we ignore, deny, repress, overlook so much of life. Even when one of our own is desperately pleading, screaming out for a helping hand.

   In the version I have, there is a beautiful forward by Donald Margulies.  

Donald Margulies states, “You are holding in your hands a great American play. Possibly the great American play.”
He goes on to say if you have read this play many years ago, perhaps in school as a requirement for some class, you will greatly benefit by reading it again.  But now, read it more mindfully, soak up the incredible message this play conveys.  Draw on your own life, your own experiences to really receive the deep wisdom of this play.

Donald Margulies admits that he is envious of any person about to begin reading this play who has never read it previously. He loves this play passionately but reading it again isn’t the same as reading it for the first occasion, he says.   But he is a teacher/professor and gets to watch others experience again and again which he loves.  

The title of this play “Our Town,” itself, is a pivotal message. The town in the play, “Grover’s Corners” is a representation of human life everywhere.   It can be extended to all of American life and beyond, all around our world.  We are all human and we all share basic human traits no matter our culture, country, society, nationality, religion, skin color, sexual orientation, political views, experiences, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, opinions…

“Our Town”, as Margulies states, is a “microcosm of the human family…”. It is all towns.  Everywhere.  This play captures the universal experience of simply being alive.

Act III of this play is breathtaking. Mr. Margulies states that he was shattered by it and that is how I feel as well.  Shattered then put back together once again but not without a few scars, a few breaks, a deep enthralling sense of enlightenment and compunction.

You know someone is a good teacher when that person can slap you with a truth so profound it brings you to a sense of ruin, leaves you with a sense of pudency, remorse for old ways, living and never knowing.   But it’s good to have someone or something break you down to the bone, pierce you to the core, punch you in the gut , knocking the wind out of you,   shatter you just to build you back up with a new sense of life, a new philosophy, a newfound strength, rebirth. 

Let it rip your heart out, shatter it to pieces, almost beyond recognition then let it glue it back together and move you forward with some scars to remind you to be mindful of the wonders of being alive.   The wonders we ignore, overlook, and slap in the face day by day.

Now I will leave you with some poignant quotes or lines out of this play.

In the play when the stage manager is interviewing one of the main characters, Mr. Webb, about their town, Mr. Webb says this:

Very ordinary town, if you ask me.  Little better behaved than most. Probably a lot duller. But our young people here seem to like it well enough. Ninety percent of ’em graduating from high school settle down right here to live-even when they’ve been away to college.”

Mr Webb: “…No ma’am, there isn’t much culture; but maybe this is the place to tell you that we’ve got a lot of pleasures of a kind here: We like the sun comin’ up over the mountain in the morning, and we all notice a good deal about the birds. We pay a lot of attention to them.    And we watch the change of the seasons; yes, everybody knows about them. But those other things – you’re right ma’am, – there ain’t much….”

When Emily died and found herself in the afterlife she insisted on looking back at her previous life.  The other dead people strongly advised against it as it would be too agonizing and despairing to see a life we once lived and can never , ever return to , but sweet, innocent Emily just had to see for herself.   They urged her to choose an “unimportant” day as opposed to one she viewed as very important.  One dead woman told her to choose the “least important” day of her life as it would be “important enough.”  And it would still be incredibly painful.

Emily chose her 12th birthday.

Here are some things she said as she looked back, as if watching a movie.

Emily: “Oh, that’s the town I knew as a little girl. And look, there’s the old white fence that used to be around our house. Oh, I’d forgotten that! Oh, I love it so!…”

Emily:(softly, more in wonder than in grief.)  “I can’t bear it. They’re so young and beautiful. Why did they ever have to get old?  Mama, I’m here. I’m grown up. I love you all, everything. – I can’t look at everything hard enough.”

Emily: “Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw me.  Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I’m dead. You’re a grandmother, Mama. I married George Gibbs, Mama. Wally’s dead too.  Mama, his appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway.  We felt terrible about it – don’t you remember?  But, just for a moment now we’re all together. Mama, just for one moment we’re happy.  Let’s look at one another. “

When asked if she was happy looking back, Emily responded, “No…I should have listened to you.  That’s all human beings are!   Just blind people!”

Here is what Simon, the suicide victim says after death to Emily:
Yes, now you know.  Now you know!  That’s what it was to be alive.  To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those…of those about you.   To spend and waste time as though you had a million years.   To be always at the mercy of one self – centered passion, or another.  Now you know- that’s the happy existence you wanted to go back to.   Ignorance and blindness. 

Emily:
Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover’s Corners….Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking….and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths….and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth,you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you.  Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it–every,every minute?
Stage Manager: No. (pause) The saints and poets, maybe they do some.”

Think back to days in your life, maybe a birthday, a holiday, a special event, a graduation, a wedding….what was important to you then?  The perfect napkin patterns?   The perfect gift?  Being a perfect entertainer? Spending a certain amount of money?  Looking good?  Getting gifts?

What was really, truly important?  Napkin patterns and “perfect” gifts?  Or looking into each other’s eyes.  Really looking. Hugs.  Warm embraces.   Really tasting that hot tea or coffee. Looking up at the sky and feeling awe surge through you.  Genuine friendships. Tucking your kids into bed.   Really listening as we speak to each other.  Stopping to see the flowers, to feel the sunlight, to hear the cars on the expressway, the birds chirping, to feel the warm blankets at night.  Cuddling with your fur friends.   To smell the honeysuckle and the roses and the warm cookies baking, to feel the rain on our skin , the soil beneath us.

Think of any “ordinary” day. What about clocks ticking?  What about the refrigerator buzzing?   What about the cars parked on your street? What about the concrete beneath your feet? What about the feel of air on your skin? What about the walls in your house? The ones you look at every single day. Do you ever stop to notice them?   Or are they so mundane you don’t give them a second thought?   What about when you’re making your coffee or tea? The sugar and cream going into it?  Look at that. Really.   Just look.   When you brush your teeth, get a shower, wash your hands, inhabit your body and your life.  What if you died but were allowed, for a few minutes to look back on this life, wouldn’t you miss all this?  Miss it ALL with a passion so potent it can knock the stars and the sun into oblivion?

It’s not just the big things, the holidays, the birthdays, the weddings, babies, and graduations.  It’s not just the pretty things, the sky, flowers, sun, butterflies and birds.   It’s everything.   All of life. The cars screeching in the streets, getting out of bed. Walking, driving to work, standing in lines, paying bills, stress. Wouldn’t you miss all that?  
What if your life changes dramatically?   What if someone dies on you?   What if you are stricken with a long term illness or chronic pain disorder?   What if a close family member or friend, a pet becomes terminally ill?   What if you become paralyzed tomorrow or something else drastic happens and your life doesn’t look like this anymore?  Oh, how you would long for the mundane, your old monotonous ways, your old stress and concerns.

It’s too late for them, but not for us. We are still alive.   Still so blessed with this gift. THIS life.

And now with this awareness.

We can wake up and do all the things alive people can do. You can die at any second whether or not you realize or believe it.  

Isn’t Thornton brilliant?  Isn’t he still touching people long after his own death with this wonderful play? His beautiful, profound message?

You can die right now.

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So what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and go make eye contact.  Go smile at a stranger.   Go embrace someone.  Go look up at the sky.   Hold hands.  Sit in a warm, cozy cafe with a friend and truly listen.  Go listen to people. Listen to what they say. Listen to what they don’t say. Take advantage of your senses, of being alive, Share a banana split with your mom, sister, or best friend, hold a door for someone and really want to, buy someone coffee or tea, And if you plan on getting married, forget about the napkins if they don’t turn out right, if you plan on celebrating the holidays, forget the “perfect ” material gift.  The true gift is your presence and your love and care.
I am a blessed girl. Truly.

Now.

Xoxo Kim.

P.s. And oh, yes, go read “Our Town” please. Ty

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day, I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” ~ Mary Jean Irion 

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“There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.” ~ Alexander Woollcott

“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.” – Rosalind Russell

“So the sidewalk is crowded, the city goes by
And I rush through another day
And a world full of strangers turn their eyes to me
But I just look the other way

They roll by just like water
And I guess we never learn
Go through life parched and empty
Standing knee deep in a river and dying of thirst” ~ Joe Cocker (and other singers)

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” Oh the wild joys of living! The leaping from rock to rock … the cool silver shock of the plunge in a pool’s living waters.” ~ Robert Browning