How often do we grumble about our lives? How often do we catch ourselves moaning, “I wish I were _____ [fill in the blank]. Instead of ____ [fill in the blank].”
We all do it occasionally. We get caught complaining about this or that; wishing our lives were more of a juicy prime rib steak instead of a cold ham sandwich.
I turned 59 this past Saturday. With the luck of the Irish and a pot of grace from the Creator, I’ve celebrated another year of life.
According to howlonghaveibeenalive.com that means I’ve been alive for:
Or 414 dog years.
How about you?
How many seconds, minutes, how many hours have you been alive? I mean alive?
Feeling the simple beauty of the blood pumping through your veins? Tasting the fresh air filling your lungs?
How many births have you witnessed? How many hugs have you received and given?
How often has your cat or dog caressed you with their gentle tongues? How many sunsets have you experienced? How many loved ones have you kissed on the forehead as you said your last good byes?
I take life for granted all too often. I forget that nine months ago I was asking God if I would live or die as I sat in a hospital bed wondering if the stroke I’d experienced would take me home to the other side or instead allow me to learn how precious life is.
Bit-by-bit, day-by-day, I’m realizing, “alive” is a gift. And when we’re awake to life, when we realize—this is our life and although it’s not perfect, it’s dang sure pretty good—the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Holding the hand of a loved one. Watching grandchildren grow. Working-out at the gym with a best friend. Seeing our children thrive. Witnessing for another day that shining glow in our spouse’s eyes, knowing it’s the light of their soul.
Alive is a gift. The ups and downs on life’s roller coaster contain simple treasures. And when we receive each moment as a gift, it’s then that we are alive!
—brian j plachta
In this fast-paced, often overwhelming world, it’s important to develop life-giving practices that teach us how to slow down and care for ourselves. Taking time to focus on our breath—both during quiet times of meditation and throughout the day—restores our balance and inner peace.