When was the last time you slowed down to ….
Notice the rays of the sun highlighting your child’s hair?
Hold your partner close and notice the rhythm of his heart beating?
Extend a smile of welcome to someone on the periphery?
Wholeheartedly do what you want – without feeling guilty?
For me, this is about being present and grateful.
Three days ago I lost a close college friend, Lisa. She was smart, funny, real, compassionate (before it was a “thing”). She was one of those people who looked at you and you could see the love in her eyes. She was romantic, thoughtful, spontaneous and deliberate. And so much more. She left an impression on my heart.
I’d left a couple phone messages for her over the last couple months, but we hadn’t connected in a while. I envisioned a reunion (soon!) of the 5 or 6 of us who’ve remained close since college. You know those friends, the ones that you know you’ll be friends with as long as you’re alive? Maybe you, too have grown lax about seeing them regularly with hectic schedules, and school vacations that never align, or money constraints.
If Lisa’s life was anything like mine (or maybe anything like yours), her last day may have been spent thinking about the errands she would run when she felt better. Planning upcoming birthday parties in her mind. Remembering that she hadn’t responded to this social invitation or that one. Thinking about what she would do this summer with her husband and kids.
How in the world would you wish you’d spent your last 24 hours?
This Mother’s Day, I feel Lisa nudging me to let go of the urgent, but unimportant things in my life – for the sake of making more time for what’s most important.
Love more. Laugh more. Play together more.
Really pay attention.
Do laundry Monday – it will still be there.
Make time for the bike ride you’ve been meaning to go on with your child.
Look in the eyes of the man or woman you love and remember why you fell in love in the first place.
Notice the mantle of joy and freedom that your kids run so confidently underneath. (There’s room for you there, too!)
Set aside your worries and live in this moment. (Try it just one moment at a time).
Do something everyday that makes you feel ALIVE
Choose love over pettiness.
Be honest and learn from mistakes.
Lean into compassion, courage and gratitude.
Accept what is – and know you can change somethings, but not all things.
Trust that you are enough, that perfection isn’t required (or even desirable!)
Let people see the real you – and look back on others with eyes of love.
Tell someone “I love you” – and mean it.
Be a sheltering heart for a friend.
Make your life beautiful, from the inside out.
We are not in control. We do not know that we will wake up tomorrow, that our loved ones will walk back through the door again at the end of the day. We trust that it will be so. Like squinting up at the sun, we can’t look too closely at our mortality.
In moments of loss, I’m reminded that we can’t live in fear, but we can live aware that each day is precious.
We can live lightly, with the freedom and joy of a child, if we take time to appreciate the many beautiful things (and people) in our lives. Have you noticed that when you pay attention, life comes into sharp focus? You can take in many things at once, and time seems to stop, even while the busyness of life runs right past you? For me, those are gratitude moments.
This Mother’s Day, slow down and open your eyes. Open your heart. Look around and live this day like it may be your last. Love like a mom loves: fully, freely, with fierce commitment, seeing the beauty and potential buried under lack of skill or confidence.
Lisa, you are loved and already deeply missed, sweet friend!
We will remember you to your husband and children, to each other, and celebrate the ways you shaped our hearts.
Until I see you again –