If I Told You...

Photo Credit: Terri Spaulding

If I told you that you were going to die tomorrow, would it change the way you live today?

It should.

This question may seem irrelevant because you are probably not going to die tomorrow and no one could predict it anyway. But I believe the question should make you do more than think.

It should be a catalyst to bring on changes. Changes that move you into the present moment and out of the future or the past.

If you, like me, have spent way too much of your precious life here on earth doing things that didn't really matter, you might feel a pang of remorse when you ponder the question.

A twinge of regret for the moments lost, adventures rejected, and connections missed while you went about accomplishing all your ridiculous goals. Or a pang of sadness for all the frustrating attempts to prove yourself worthy that ultimately resulted in added  disappointment. You might even experience some reservation at the out of character actions you took trying to be accepted, included and appreciated.

And nothing grabs at a girl's heart more than realizing how silly it was to try to control the future by planning the life out of everyone and everything around her, even if it all started with good intentions.

For highly sensitive people like me, fitting into a world where you feel you stand out (for all the wrong reasons) is sometimes a major objective, a vision clouding objective. We get caught up in the doing, and we forget about the being. What we don't realize is that when we try so hard to 'fit in', those little compromises we make occur at the expense of our souls and eventually mess with our self-worth.

When we don't live in the present, we put off things that matter thinking we will have time to do it later. Until later comes and we comprehend all the missed opportunities.

I'm sure you've heard the saying many times 'live each moment like it is your last'  and maybe you, like me, would pause and reflect for a moment on where you were spending your time and attention, and then go right back to doing things the way you have always done.

When I finally recognized my life was not heading in the right direction, I changed it.

And in doing so not only changed my life, but the lives of those I love. What greater inspiration is there than leading by example?

So many good changes have come from being more aware, from living in the moment right in front of me. For a long, long while I forgot how to appreciate. I was so caught up in planning it all out, in accomplishing things, in making sure that I was responsible and productive, that I lost "me" and life delivered me to my lowest moment. I was emotionally and physically exhausted from all that striving. And I realized I was missing the joyous parts of life.

If you knew that today was your last day--how many people would you want to see, talk to, hug, write a letter to, or tell how much they have meant to you? If you knew you were going to die tomorrow wouldn't you want to spend the minutes of your last day doing things that matter.

I would.

A while back I started to get the sense that my time was limited. Not in an I-am-going-to-die-tomorrow way, but like a wake up call to pay attention to all the little moments I was missing. Stopping to smell the roses was not in my original plan. It is the only plan now.

One moment at a time. One person at a time. One honest declaration of love, one heartfelt I'm sorry, one please forgive me, one hug filled with positive energy, one thank you so much, one I am listening, I see you, I hear you, one you can do it! Those are the moments that matter.

What would you do differently if this were your last day?

There is time to make a change. Follow your heart. Go on an adventure. Do absolutely nothing. Believe in yourself. Whatever it is that is different than what you usually do; do it. And do it with all the focus you can muster, as if it were the last time.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

— Dr. Wayne Dyer