The Wake Up Call

Recently one my regular students told me she had a health scare.  She was rushed to the hospital as a result of feeling critically out of breath.  In the end, it was nothing serious, she was released and told to take it easy.  As a result, she's decided to take more time off work, go on vacations more often with her daughter and practice more yoga. I hear a variation of this story time and again as a yoga teacher.

A health crisis wakes someone up to the preciousness of their life.  A health scare reminds someone that they are mortal, of their impending demise.  What do we do in the face of death?  If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, how would you live today?

I often am caught up in the trap of thinking that really living, soaking up life, involves doing more, doing big and exciting things.  However, the more people tell me about their wake up calls, their health scares, I am reminded to slow down, relax and just look around me.  The more I realize it's the little things that make a precious life.  It's the savoring of the every day, ordinary life stuff that makes the days and the moments so full and so worth living.  It's remember as the Dalai Lama says "...I have a precious human life and I am not going to waste it...."

It's the food, the cooking with all the colors of the universe, the combination of flavours that dance on my tongue.  The feeling of the sun beating down on my skin, the glorious blueness of the sky, the majesty of the sun sets over the ocean.  The good, deep and meaningful conversations had, the walks in the park with the dog, smelling the fresh cut grass and the dew on the leaves.  It's the times I turn over in the middle of the night and see Chris's smiling face.  The feel of the water rushing down my back while taking a shower, the sound of the rain as it hits the tin roof and the skylights, the fantastically scary and awe inspiring storms with the thunder that sounds as if it's clapping right next to your ear.  The chanting of OM.  The look on my students faces after a yoga class, the thank yous for the difference it has making in their lives.

Sometimes, often in fact, I over look these things.  They're just part of the fabric of my everyday life and seem perfectly normal, not worth remarking upon.  However, then, I'm reminded that this life is impermanent, fleeting, temporary.  So I wake up to the splendor, I'm reminded that I am a part of this universe, that the universe is a part of me, I remember that I'm made of star dust and that seems pretty damn awesome.

So please, don't wait for your own health scare to really live.  You have a precious human life!