I just finished a book called A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last–a very straightforward name and such a simple concept, but it really brought about a new way of thinking for me. What would you do if you were diagnosed with one year to live?
We always think we have our whole life planned out and we live according to that map, but we rarely, if ever, think about if it were not to go to plan. We ignore death, but no one’s exempt from it–it’s actually quite a practical practice.
As a result of this book, every situation I’ve been in lately has led me to at least think about this concept. I’ve been less inclined to do things that I feel are a distraction to what I need to do and I’ve been less inclined to cater to people’s needs that aren’t in line with my own. It’s led me to shift theory into action, I’ve been writing lists of things that need to change and changing them–I even launched this blog “before I was ready” as a result of the book.
There are so many things we feel we need to do, but we don’t because we “don’t have the time” or whatever the case may be, but if we were given a year to live, we would make the time. There are things that were lingering in my mind (one of which was writing this blog) that I hadn’t explored, but this book gave me a sense of urgency.
It talks a lot about meditation practices, which, whether you “believe” in or not, help to bring you back to the basics. It also helps to get clarity and oversee what’s important if we were in this “urgent” situation. We need to learn to come back to the breath and soften all the hardness we’ve implemented in our lives.
I’m planning on exploring this book through this blog and open a discussion for anyone who would like to. The date I was introduced to this concept and set as a “death” is November 28th, 2013.