Sunday, August 28, 2016

Inspire / Expire

This is the second time within a few months I have visited this place to pay respects to people (younger than me),,,both dedicated their lives to helping others.  Through the sorrow of the homily, I remember the words "its not how long you live but more importantly how you live life".

Last week I was throwing a diva tantrum in my brain thinking I have no time.  I was working 12 hour days, missed hugging my son good night, listened to alot of unhappiness during doctor hospital contract meetings, hardly spoke with my best friend/partner for life, painfully documenting hours of patient encounters in a computer system that was updating its servers, unable to work out or hike...thank god I had Davidji and his newest guided meditations to help ground me.  In fact, when I start to catch myself stepping onto the pedestal of ego to accept my diva award.....I just think back to the casket at the front of the funeral home carrying the lifeless remains of someone that was near and dear to humanity. A lifeless body with makeup, a favorite garment, a watch that stopped ticking....surrounded by pictures that celebrate joy, love, excitement beauty....the reason we get up everyday to a new sunrise ready to live life.  I stimulate my frontal lobe to conjure up, what would it be like if I was there, would my pictures say I was happy, did I contribute to the universe, would my kids be able to fight back the tears with memories of spectacular experiences with me?  Did I do my part to make the world a better place?

Passages in some of the oldest books of wisdom paint the picture that we are crude vessels that temporarily carry and express the energy/spirit/breath of the universe.  Eventually we surrender the vessel back but the spirit rejoins the universe to continue existence as nature or a sunrise or an inspiration (inspire and spirit both come from the same root word of breath).  Right about now some of my atheist readers will be rationalizing that nothing spiritual can be proven ...... but I am pretty sure even the most concrete thinking non believer will get to a point in their journey when they yearn for a higher power to help take the last walk.  As a doctor I have been witness to it many times, the sense of calm that comes over the sufferer.  Whether it is preceded by the most searing chest pain imaginable OR persistent difficulty in catching a breath to to point of passing out OR being wheeled away by the anesthesia guy into the operating room and saying the last goodbyes to family and friends OR  being taken off life support just in time for family and friends to wish a bon voyage OR getting the last morphine dose...there is usually a point when the anguish and facial grimace are replaced by peace and a face that just resembles sleep.  I believe that is the point when the universe fills our lungs with calm...we get to see the big picture that our lives are temporary expressions of the same energy on borrowed time.  The crude material that makes up flesh and bone isn't important, what matters is the way the universe pumps life into the vessel to play the music that would only exist on paper.

When we go through life day by day, just to get a paycheck, or live for Friday when we can go out and get wasted, or refuse random acts of kindness assuming someone else will do it...we don't allow the expression of the music inside us.  Its not that we are obliged to contribute to the universe and support life, it is in our DNA to express life and support the symphony with our individual musical notes.  In ayurveda its called dharma, purpose in life.  We cant find it in a formula or in a book, you just get this overwhelming feeling of peace when your doing what the universe created you for. I think its the same peace we can experience right before our last breath when you accept the universe back in and surrender the vessel back, well I feel in my heart that when you find your expression of energy/spirit/breath, a sense of calm and joy rewards your actions by unraveling DNA to give you such a natural high.

I think its easy for us to put the blinders on and just physically go through the motions of an 8 hour work day, get home, have a drink, watch mindless TV and go to sleep.  The point to ponder is are you feeling fulfilled?  Are you happy? Have you found your purpose in life?  What will your homily be like...did you contribute?  did you suffer? OR did you live your life hair on fire, driven to express yourself just living with an endless source of energy that seems to be a beacon for others to also search out for their individual expression. Aim to breath your last breath full of energy, creativity and peace....INSPIRE.

(try this exercise link)