“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching”
– Gerard Way
I admit, I listen to Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Dr. Laura is a marriage and family counselor, turned radio talk show host. She’s socially conservative, brash and outspoken. More often than not, the callers who reach out to her with their problems disconnect in a wash of embarrassment and shame.
This is not why I listen. I tune in to hear Dr. Laura’s common sense advice and sometimes outrageous commentary. But there’s one recurring morsel of thought that she tends to throw out to callers that has begun to stick with me. This snippet of advice seems to be the go-to answer to a plethora of questions from listeners. The answer is, “is this how you want to live your life between now and dead?”
This bold question sends a powerful fist of thought right between the eyes. If you’re like me the first time I heard it, I paused all other thoughts and asked myself, “well, is it?” Am I living where I want to live between now and the Hereafter? Am I living with who I want to live with? Am I living my life in the way I wish to live it? Because if my answer is no to any of these questions, then I need to make some changes.
Shortly before my husband and I made the decision to move to Marco Island, we suffered the loss of two friends. One in a motorcycle accident and the other to a rare form of cancer. Both men were in their 40’s. Both deaths were sudden. And after each loss, I believe my husband and I individually asked ourselves the question, “am I living my life the way I want to live between here and gone?”
Our life on earth is a microscopic blip on the radar of the universe. We are generally unaware of when our time here is up. We are generally powerless to manipulate the end or how it is presented to us. But fortunately, as individuals, we are the single greatest determining factor of the quality of our own lives.
Svadhyaya is a Sanskrit term in the philosophy of yoga. It means self-study. Svadhyaya is any action that cultivates self-reflection. When I ask myself, “is this how I wish to live my life between here and gone?” I am practicing Svadhyaya. But it’s when I contemplate the answer to this self-inquiry that the real work begins. Do I change my address? My partner? My job? My diet? My attitude?
Contemplation leads to discovery. And from discovery we take action. We have one shot at life. Its duration is out of our control. But the quality of our lives is ours alone to shape, one precious moment at a time.
Yoga teaches us to live in the moment, to be present in our lives. If we are truly present, in each cherished increment of time, then we will be living the life of our choosing between here and gone. It’s the yoga guarantee.
Laurie Kasperbauer is an active Florida Realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. Laurie also enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes.