Change your life in 3 fun minutes.
I am not one of those yoga teachers who feels inclined to give out unsolicited non-yoga-related life advice to the masses. And I really never do it. Really. It’s annoying.
But this time I have to. I’ll make it quick and you don’t have to thank me, but you’ll want to.
I randomly happened upon an idea, which led to a query, which led to an answer, which led to life changing action and, I kid you not, it took one minute tops to get come serious clarity about what to do with myself henceforth.
I’ve thought long and hard about how to present this question to you in an open-ended way so that you are not influenced by my answers; yet I must also ensure that we are crystal clear about the precise task at hand so that you actually do the thing I did. Stay with me because you and I both need you to get this right, although you don’t know what “this” is yet. Trust. We have already come this far.
I arrived at a question in a rare waking moment where it didn’t matter what my mind was doing and during which I was not looking at or listening to anything.
So, I started imagining that I was giving my own eulogy.
Now let’s pause and deal with your reaction to that. Take yourself a breath. I only barely started to indulge in this eulogy thing for half a second before it became something else- the thing we are here to talk about.
But, come on. Don’t act like you haven’t had funereal thoughts. I don’t do it a lot, okay? The last time I spent a moment on it was probably in high school- where the imagined church was packed beyond fire code, and the air, humid with tears and snot, was loud with competitive crying.
No, in this slightly more intellectual, reflective version spawned by my 50-year old brain, I can’t see those gathered to send me off because my back is to them momentarily as I approach the podium to give my own eulogy.
Oh, another thing. I am also not me. I mean, how could I give my own eulogy? All good fantasies have to have some root in the real world. So I don’t know who this eulogizer is but, in this moment, I must provide him or her with something to say. So I suggest that they start by talking about a day that James would have loved.
And that was the end of that funeral. It dissolved immediately as the moment shifted into one where I did have a task. I started to answer the question, “How did James love to spend his time?” for myself.
Each day is an amalgam of different elements. Our days are made up of a mix of things … like doing yoga, hanging out, doing your job, doing hobbies (whatever they are), being with certain people, and other stuff. Get the idea?
So, I wondered, “What mix of elements should make it into my hypothetical cross-section of the good life?” My face let go, then I started to smile as my mind projected thoughts of my favorite things.
But, I didn’t write this to share my list with you. It would not be meaningful to you, unless you’re me. And you’re not. However, in the interest of teaching with clear instructions, I will tell you three of my answers because I want to make sure you get the idea, and because they are obvious.
Three elements of my ideal day would be: being with dogs, practicing yoga, and writing something. Ok?
When I put the first few things on my list, this was still just a kind of weird way to fill a moment. Then it transformed into something important. Something worth sharing. Something kind of serious.
I put something on my list- something obvious that will probably be on most of your lists. But, for me, it was very different from the elements I’d chosen up to that point. That is, I realized that, unless I made a pretty dramatic, but doable course correction, that particular thing wasn’t ever going to happen again.
Talk about a moment pregnant with value. That one was. Because at that very moment I decided to start to shift things while I still can. And I have. And it feels really good.
It feels so good that I want you to do it. Maybe there’s something obvious that you haven’t noticed, like there was for me. Is there something on your list that you’ve accidentally stopped?
You want to think about that? It will probably take less time than reading this post has and it might be just what you needed, as it has been for me.
Or maybe you will find that you are already living your ideal life, which would mean that this task was not a waste- not even for happy, self-actualized you. I’m happy for you. The rest of us are almost there.