Late in 2019 I experienced a health situation that challenged and changed me. For weeks the front of my neck had been sore, and now it felt like there was a vice grip tightening day by day. My heart was racing up to 145 beats a minute while resting on the sofa, all of my muscles weak and achy. For nearly two months I was barely able to walk up the flight of stairs in my own home, sometimes struggling to walk across the room. I couldn’t pick up my tiny granddaughters much less carry them. I felt on the verge of a heart attack, as thyroid hormones flooded my body and anxiety came from the chemicals within.
I began to wonder if I would ever feel better, if I would ever be able to live the life I had planned for the next thirty plus years.
There are so many things I still want to do. At the top of my list: visit New Zealand, finish writing my memoir, nurture the close relationship I have with my granddaughters into their adulthood and witness them following their dreams. At the very least I want to write letters to each of them in case I’m not here in their adulthood, affirming who they are, highlighting their amazing gifts and unique characteristics. There are some relationships with friends and family I’d like to nurture more.
There also ways I still want to BE before I die. More fun, more active, less offended when that family member does the thing they have a habit of doing every time we are together. More prone to ask for exactly what I want. Even more present when I’m with my loved ones, asking them the questions that don’t come up in everyday conversation. More comfortable with the fact that I am moving toward death. Most of all I want to live each day in touch with my power to create my own experience of each and every moment, no matter what’s going on in my circumstances.
It turned out my health challenge was a rare and probably temporary thyroid issue. While it was painful, debilitating, and sometimes frightening, it was also a gift. It’s ridiculously easy to spend our days as if they are unlimited. This powerful reminder inspired me to make changes to my life, to bring me still closer to the life I truly want to live before I die.
In my work, both with estate planning clients and those who have hired me as a coach to help them live lives of greater possibility and richness, I see a theme. Our fear of death causes us to freeze, makes us live tiny little lives. It is possible to move from a fear of death to death as an inspiration. We can live great lives not in spite of death but because of death.
What’s unfinished in your life right now? What are the things you haven’t gotten around to yet that feel most important? What are the relationships you want to nurture, and those you want to clean up in some way, either offering forgiveness or an apology of your own? What are the conversations you’ve wanted to have with your loved ones but have hesitated to bring up? What’s the truth you haven’t told?
Don’t wait to act on what’s most important.
We have an ability to create so much of what we want to experience in life, far more than most of us ever realize. We can live a created life rather than a reported on life. If you’re ready to dig in together to create the life you really want, let’s have a conversation. The life you long for is closer than you think.