This is not a sad blog. This was a life changing thought that struck me one morning while I was sitting on a balcony in Greece admiring the view.
I was thinking about how beautiful it was there and how some people will never be lucky enough to be sat where I was or even if they were that they would not see the beauty in the simplicity of my surroundings and this got me thinking about how so many of us take things for granted, get bogged down by the small stuff or tell ourselves that we have time to experience the beauty of life.
So I'm sitting there with my cup of beautiful cacao which has relaxed me and enabled me to connect to my heart centre, improved my thinking and enabled me to verbalise what is going on in my head and I realised that I am on occasion, despite all that I know, guilty of doing the same.
So I thought it would be interesting to ask myself if today was my last day,what would I do differently? what changes I would make to the way I lived and what would be important to me?
Now obviously most of us don't know this or want to know this but already, I could feel my mindset shifting.
If I knew today was it, how would I spend it? I set myself some boundaries because I didn't want this to become a bucket list day, I wanted to see how I could make a long term improvement in the way that I live. So I had the same money I have now, live in the same place with the same people doing the same job. But what would I do differently?
The first thing, I realised is that I would tell people how much I love and value them. I wanted them to know the joy they had brought me and how much they had added to my life.
I also believe very strongly that if we live our life through love we are better people. We are less judgemental, less confrontational and less ego based so I made a choice to spend what could be my last day making decisions from a perspective of love. What I noticed was that solutions appeared as if by magic, that people responded more favourably and that I was even happier.
When I encountered a problem or felt stress rising, I tried to feel a connection between me and the person I was dealing with. After all, we're all just trying to get through life in the best way we know how. To be fair, that one is still a work in progress but progress is being made and that's what I need to focus on.
I already did this to an extent with family but I have since ramped up the thank yous. I tell people when I've had a lovely time or that it was good to see them and it makes a difference. I feel good knowing that they know how I feel and they light up at being appreciated.
I leave feedback for service providers to say thank you whereas I would have been too busy or couldn't be bothered to complete it before.
I knew that I would react differently to services not answering the phone, messing up orders etc because in the swing of things, it's not really that important and that's exactly what I have continued to do. I'm not perfect and Evri do my head in when they chuck a parcel over the gate without knocking but I accept the reality of it and get on with my day.
This mindset has made me even more aware of how precious my time and energy is. So I am more consistent in enforcing my boundaries and also in letting people go.
I love to make friends and I treasure the people in my life but I will not chase them. Relationships have to be equal for me and those people who don't respond to invitations, consistently cancel or don't check in with me are allowed to fade from my life.
This is not me being callous. Obviously I realise that we are all busy and life throws its curve balls and I there will be times when I need to support someone or give them space but I also want to receive the same from them and if I feel that it is very one sided, I create a little space between us to see what happens and take things from there with no expectation of an outcome.
I stopped trying to change people's minds. I realised that I don't need them to agree with me. If I have checked and challenged my beliefs, then that is enough for me.
That's not to say that I am arrogant enough to think that I have all the answers. I don't and I am always open to new ideas and perspectives. I just don't need people to agree with me and am happy to have differing opinions.
I think this mindset has also enabled me to take my Mindfulness practice to a deeper level.
Like us all my time in this body is finite and I don't want to waste a second of it.
I try harder to be more present in my activities and interactions because I want to experience it all.
I problem solve quicker because I don't waste time and energy getting annoyed when things aren't as I think they should be. Instead I deal with what is in front of me and move on and I make the best use of my time. I use lists and get up early and make use of slow cookers and meal planning.
If I'm sat in traffic, I'll listen to a short podcast. If I have half an hour, I'll stop scrolling and read something or make something or I'll give myself time to meditate and check in with myself.
I'll plan and organise things so that I'm not wasting time faffing about but I also build in time every day to just be still. To acknowledge all that I'm grateful for and revel in this complex journey called life.