I don’t know why this keeps coming up for me lately but it is. This whole concept of “living my life as if I was going to die tomorrow”. I suppose it is partially because I spend so much time lately talking about and researching spiritual stuff. A few years back I read a book called “Dharma Punx” written by Noah Levine. I could really relate to this book, knowing his story well, having seen it played out in many of my friends during my youth. He writes of his struggles living on the streets, being a punk desperately seeking some meaning in life and hoping to find it in the punk scene. Like so many of my friends he ended up messed up and hooked on drugs. His story is about coming through this and out the other side. In the biography he writes how he spent a year of his “recovery” living for a year as if this was his last year of life. His inspiration for this life changing adventure came from his father Stephen’s book A Year to Live: How to Live this Year as if It Were Your Last.
Why am I writing about this on my yoga blog? Because in yoga we have been talking about Sankalpa. Sankalpa loosely translates to intention or resolve. In Yoga Nidra (and sometimes other practices too) we state a Sankalpa to ourselves. In our last Yoga Nidra the teacher presented us with an interesting scenario to set ourselves in a mindset for accessing a Sankalpa that was valuable and relevant. She asked us to imagine that we were elderly, just days before our own death. Then she asked us to have our elderly self look back on this time of our lives and give any advice that seemed relevant. It is funny what becomes important with this filter added onto things. So much of life’s worries fall aside. Yoga falls aside, my job, my house.. but what doesn’t is my family and my friends. Really very little matters except these connections of love we make in our lives. It was a fun exercise.. perhaps the results were a little cliche.. but the cliches are there because there is so much truth in it.