Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Death Threat That Didn't Work

Last week I received a death threat via email. The message informed me that a friend has paid a large sum of money to have me killed. The purpose of the note was to give me a chance to save my life by (you guessed it) paying $5000 for the information about my upcoming murder. This was my first death threat (at least in writing) and has provided a great deal of fun within a circle of my friends as predictions are made about the how and the when. I'm sure the purpose was to scare the
bejeebers out of me, but my bejeebers are all intact.

According to my note, I have another seven days to live.

Over the past week I have thought about how I would be if there was a real death threat on my screen of life. What would I do? I suppose, I could never really know, but my sense is that I would not change the way I was living, even if I knew someone or something (like an illness or accident) was going to soon end my living existence in this body.

I would not choose to live in fear, looking over my shoulder at every turn for the assassin, accident or illness that was threatening to take me out. I would live my life in the best way I know. I would want to cultivate joy in all that I do..... to connect with love with all that I see. I would want to be fearless in my quest for life's experiences and to squeeze every drop out of the time I had. I would laugh a lot, eat great food and enjoy my friends and family every moment I had. I'd be grateful for every gift in every day. I would allow myself to feel and express emotions and go from laughter to tears and back to laughter without explanation or apology. I would forgive all those that no longer cared about me. I would hug everyone that would accept it. I'd treat myself to massages, yoga, wonderful books, and lovely wines in pretty stemmed glasses. I'd push my body to be stronger, even when I was tired and weak. I'd constantly create new ideas and then turn them into realities. My mind and spirit would be curious and playful even when my body no longer worked.

The bottom line is, I would not want the threat of death to keep me from living life while I waited for it to end.

Perhaps if we all see death as a fact and not as a threat looming over our shoulder, we'd all be happier living each moment in the time we have. I know I will.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lesson in the Dust

Earlier today I was on a six mile hike on a dusty, dirt road that serves up some breathtaking views around every turn. I love this trek since I can walk for miles without running into another human being. I see lots of birds and wildlife going about their business, but rarely even see a car go by.

This morning, my peaceful connection with nature was unexpectedly interrupted. As I was taking in the view at the top of a hill, a small red pick up truck raced by me. I was startled by the speed of the vehicle on a road such as this. The driver was apparently unaware that his speed left a tornado of dust behind affecting a lone walker.

As he buzzed down the hill, I thought about all the times that I am also unaware of what disturbance or discomfort I am unintentionally creating for someone else. Either because I am in a hurry, distracted, stressed, scared or just not present, I can also leave someone in the dust. I know the red pick-up driver and I are not alone. Many of us, much of the time, are so tuned into ourselves, we lose our sense of awareness of others. We don't intend to have a negative impact, but it can easily happen.

As I dusted myself off and continued on my way, a few minutes later, I spotted another vehicle coming towards me. This driver pulled off the side of the road apparently waiting for me to pass. At first I wondered why, but then realized, he was not wanting to leave me in the dust. A moment later another vehicle came along and offered the same courtesy.

My experience with the second and third drivers was far different than the first. It felt good to have been seen and thought about in a positive way.

After a brief hello and an offering of gratitude to these drivers, I once again continued on my way reminded that the more I stay present, the better I can be aware of how to avoid kicking up dust for others on my path.