Facing “What Is”

A look in the mirror when we first wake up can truly be one of life’s most potent wake-up calls. The inevitable changes in the physical body and the accompanying wrinkles and gray hair remind us of our transitory nature. The awareness of this, however, can set us free – free from the illusion that one more face lift or tummy tuck will bring us happiness or immortality. It’s like chasing after the wind. When we stop chasing the wind, we can begin to live in peace.

Every bulwark against aging is slowly corroded by the necessity of impermanence. Everything put together falls apart. And for everything that falls apart, something new and unexpected is born to take its place. The mulch of generations of leaves and branches fertilizes every manner of plant, fungus, tree, and flower. Life emerges from death and death from life at every turn in the trail. It feels as if the earth is absolutely incapable of not producing life at every opportunity.

The moon, the stock market, our hearts, the whirling galaxies all expand and contract with the rhythms of life. Every wise voyager learns that we cannot hold on to the last port of call, no matter how beautiful. To do so would be like holding our breath, creating a prison from our past.

Our awareness of this inspires us to be more fully alive. It allows us to live more gently and easily, to let go of many cumbersome responsibilities and begin to more thoroughly enjoy ourselves. It inspires us to say, “Every day is a miracle. I feel such joy to just be alive today. I only give my care and attention to what is really important – being loving, being kind, creating beauty, being grateful.”


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