Minute by minute, one step at a time, we’re all travelers in this life—so how do we create more joy in our time here?
There’s nothing like the loss of an icon to remind us that life is not to be taken lightly. But good grief, who’s next?
The list is long: David Bowie, Prince, Maurice White, Harper Lee, Zaha Hadid, Patty Duke, Garry Shandling, Leila Alaoui, Afeni Shakur — and in 2018, the passing of an era's stalwarts, Aretha Franklin, Kofi Annan, John McCain, Norman Lear.
These losses have me thinking about Rilke’s invitation to “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.”
Death is always personal, even when the people we lose aren’t our friends or family. People touch our lives in ways we don’t even begin to understand—until they’re gone.
That life ends is a basic and almost unbearable fact of life, but we are very clever at hiding or staving off this indomitable truth.
We barricade ourselves with exercise, yoga, healthy eating and the occasional prayer. And technology has our back in this endeavor when it provides convenient, expensive devices that monitor and track our sleeping, eating, walking, even breathing—anything to keep our minds busy and as far away as possible from thoughts of the big end-up.
Our fear of the inevitable has affected how we care for ourselves—and the same trend could be driving the all-natural, indie movement in beauty products and food.
Taken to their logical extremes, wellness fads, anti-aging creams, lotions and potions challenge every rational, healthy sense of how life actually works.
How does all this real-time tracking, measuring, graphing and trending help us manage the “beauty and terror” of life? Are we simply outsourcing the mindfulness and attention we once had time for to our wristbands?
Practically everything about us that can be chalked up as proof of life is quantified, and so we mark our every step without the slightest hint that each one is taking us closer to the last.
"Life will bring you
pain all by itself.
is to create joy.”
— Psychologist Milton Erickson
When I stop and take the time to reflect back on my one precious life, I’m not thinking of a spreadsheet or looking for data. I’m seeking presence and connection, the beauty of life, beauty only experienced through living in a body.
Perhaps it’s my immense gratitude to my body that I’m working so hard to change the focus of skin care to include the body.
It was with me when I came into this life and it’ll be there when I take my last breath.
Everything has its own time. So when I’m hit with the terror of loss, I think of Rilke’s words:
“Just keep going.
No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself
And what better time than now to perpetuate joy by giving our attention and care to life’s small daily opportunities to be alive and be present?
The body is our home and ancestral treasure. It connects to us this life, to those who came before us and to those who follow in our steps.
So, love it. Befriend it. Care for it. And in the process, experience the sublime joy of being alive.
..........................Eu2Be founder Charla Jones captured our photo of flowers on stone.