There are two things I’m sure of: Life and Death. Both are inevitable, and a blessing given to each of us.
Since the age of eight, I have lost a lot of people who meant the world to me.
Three deaths stroke my tribe in the past two weeks and this morning I received a phone call announcing the fourth one.
There I am sobbing and reflecting on how death has shaped my life.
Death is painful and tragic no matter how the person left this world. The loss of people of all ages has taught me a few things.
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”
Do not take the people you love for granted
If you are lucky enough to have loved ones in your life, call and visit them often. Share your experiences with the people who love you.
It’s all a matter of perspective
So you lost your phone, or you said something on Facebook that caused a bit of a storm. So what?
Let’s think about how important it is. Is it the end of the world? No? So, move on. Don’t dwell on insignificant things, because they are reversible.
Compare the idea that’s causing you grief with something that would cause you real pain; perspective is powerful.
Be around people who light your fire
People who are lighthouses and hold on to them. When my aunt Julia unexpectedly passed eleven years ago of an aneurysm, my priorities changed; and I started to see the world differently.
I don’t care much about arguments, gossiping, negativity or self-centred people.
Interact with people who make you feel positive and hold on to them. Find your tribe, and let them know you appreciate them.
I always tell my “light gang’ how much they mean to me. Make sure they know they light up your life, and you, in turn, you will light up their day.
Do you know what’s worse than finding yourself in a place you don’t like?
Staying there. We’ve all been in situations where we aren’t happy. Maybe you hate your job; perhaps you’re in a bad relationship. Leave it.
Be in charge of your happiness; no one else will.
Don’t be complacent, and spend your time wishing away your tomorrows. Don’t wait for a more convenient moment.
Be brave, leap. It will be ok in the end, and if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.
Remember that thing you’d love to do someday?
Do it now!
I’ve watched so may friends stumble on this. Plagued by ‘what ifs’ and doubts, unable to move forward because they are afraid.
We’ve all heard people shouting ‘YOLO’ and chastising our safety-minded heads, and we laugh it away because it isn’t practical.
But what losing loved ones taught me is that you aren’t guaranteed a tomorrow, another year, or another fifty. So if you have a passion, you want to pursue why wait for the perfect time?
What’s the point of spending years doing something that you hate and then die? You don’t want to have wasted your life waiting for the perfect time. There is no ideal time. But there is today.
Shine and help others to shine
I pretended to be stupid for a long time to avoid intimidating those around me, not because I’m some genius, but I didn’t want to appear arrogant. That’s stupid! It doesn’t serve anyone, and it didn’t help me.
What serves you, is to be the best version of yourself. And as you liberate yourself you will unconsciously permit others to do the same.
Don’t do things that make you unhappy
Sound simple? It’s not that simple.
It takes a lot of focus and will to say no to and let go of things that aren’t helpful to you, but your life genuinely is too short not to.
It has has been my mantra since the day my aunt Julia died unexpectedly 11 years ago. It’s not been easy to follow.
I’ve been in crap places doing things I didn’t want to do, and it was easier to stay, but it wasn’t helping me, and I was miserable, So I left.
I left a relationship that pushed me to the edge of suicide; I left a job because I felt numb. And that was scary. But those decisions got me to a much better place.
If you’re unhappy, then something isn’t right and needs to change.
Figure out what it is and make that change. You OWE it to yourself.
Find your thing, and do it
How often have you heard to just “Do what you love”? It can sound like a load of hullabaloo. But it’s not.
I have a friend who says “What’s your tennis ball?” What is the thing that, like a dog chasing a tennis ball for hours on end, gets you excited?
Maybe it’s playing the piano or working painting, or perhaps you love doing yoga or collecting boat miniatures.
Find your tennis ball and do it. When you chase things you’re passionate about, opportunities follow.
We often hear that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something. So do what you like and see where it leads you, plus you’ll have fun along the way.
One day you’ll be thanking yourself for having done so.
Create serendipity for yourself
We all love those moments when you are in the right place at the right time. It looks like luck, but in truth, you create them.
Be with people who challenge you to do more and with who you come alive. Step out of your comfort zone, try something new and scary every month, you will be stupefied by the opportunities you create for yourself.
Go out there and create serendipity for yourself. The only reason I now have the privilege to run a business, write blogs and coach women I because I put myself out there.
So why not breaking out of your comfort zone today? Try something that stretches you. You never know what it will attract in your life.
Give, give, and give some more
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.”
I feel so happy when I see someone being joyful because of something I’ve done for them. We all have so much to offer: time, money, knowledge, advice, a smile.
It’s so easy to share a little of yourself with those who need it, and it makes life so much more vibrant.
I volunteered in various places, and each week I’d walk away beaming.
Not keen on volunteering? Then why not give to people you know and need a listening ear or support? It will enrich your life and their lives.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
We live in an ever-connected world, and that doesn’t help our self-confidence. We are acutely aware of the fantastic adventures and jobs that our peers are undertaking.
FOMO is accepted into the national vocabulary and dampening our chances at being happy with our lot.
You have a friend who went off to India for eight months on an adventure of a lifetime, you see your peers starting up businesses and taking year-long sabbaticals, and it’s hard not to beat yourself up thinking that you’re not brave enough.
Instead of criticising yourself, set your definition of success, it’s personal. Take small steps; they’ll lead you in the right direction.
Be grateful; you’re alive
We all have something to be thankful for, no matter what has happened in our lives.
I have so much to be grateful for. I feel the pain of my loved one’s death, and sometimes it’s tough to keep it up, to feel positive and to move forward. But most of all I am grateful for the time we had together; I am thankful for the last time I saw them, for the conversations, the laughter, the hugs.
I have an appreciation for my silver lining.
These lessons learned from living through the grief of losing someone I loved have brought an awareness that guides me to live a better, happier and fuller life.
The death of friends and family led me to the beautifully intricate and fulfilled life I now have.
I hope this blog resonates with you because we can all find something in difficult times that we feel gratitude for; a lesson learned, a new friend, a newfound strength.
This is the powerful gift of death to life.
Did you miss last week’s post? Check it out here: Getting Back Your Inner Power