One of the perks of being a yoga teacher is that sometimes your students bring you things. One of mine recently brought me a book called Five Wishes, by Gay Hendricks. She said it reminded her of something I would read in class.
Intrigued, I started reading it. In the introduction, I found an excerpt that I just had to read to my class. And I’ve been reading it for several classes since, as often tends to happen when I find something that really resonates.
Five Wishes centers around a deathbed meditation. Imagine you're on your deathbed, and you're having a conversation with someone talking about whether or not your life has been a total success. Then, once you identify the ways in which your life hasn't been a total success (assuming it hasn't been), you have the opportunity to create a goal to make it so.
Here is the excerpt I've fallen in love with; it focuses on the author’s fifth wish.
“My life was not a total success because I rushed through it. I never stopped to savor the precious moments along the way.”
Here is the same statement as a goal, as written by Hendricks:
“My life is a success because I savor every moment of it along the way.”
Ahhhhh.... The wisdom. A magnificent life of complete fulfillment. Hell, yes! Please and thank you! That is something to savor, indeed. Sign me up.
What does that mean?
In my mind, it means the following:
1. Always speak the truth.
Resist the temptation to exaggerate or embellish, avoid the truth or speak falsely. Simply speak honestly with kindness and grace.
2. Do not engage in dark energy.
It will be tempting. People will try and suck you into the dark side. Your own shadows will try to capture you when you are tired and lonely. Rise above the fray. Come back to the light. Expand your shiny bits. No matter what.
3. Savor the moments.
It’s not easy, or everyone would be doing it. But work to be present in the moment. Work to savor your children, your friends, your family, your loved ones, your neighbors, your community. You may not always ace this one, but it’s worth fine tuning with integrity and with a sense of ease.
4. Let yourself have some freaking fun.
I know too many people who work all the time. I also know a whole lot of folks who think everything is so serious. One of my favorite things about the spiritual masters I study is the encouragement to have humor in your life and to enjoy yourself. Explore your joy. Outrageous joy, baby!
5. Be passionate.
Do what you love, speak about what comes easily to you and what makes you smile, be transparent about it. Be on fire about it. Share it with glee!
I hope these tips help you out. They've helped me so much, and we're all in this together.