“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
I will never forget sitting in my parent’s living room in Cleveland with my Dad 2 months before he passed away from cancer. He was sitting in his usual lounge chair with his feet up just staring into space looking scared to death. I remember not knowing what to say to him to alleviate his fears and the pain he was going through. I made an assumption. I thought he was afraid of dying. So I asked him. “Dad, I know the thought of dying is scary. Is there anything I can do to help?” He looked up at me and said the following, “Chris, I’m not afraid to die. I know God will be there to meet me. It’s all of the life I didn’t live and now never will have a chance to that gets to me.”
Those words still ring in my ears to this day. I made a vow at that moment…to live my life in a way where at the end of it I would never have to say the words, “I wish I would have…”
We get very caught up in our lives; working, driving, cleaning, kids, etc. These things are a necessity. We have to pay our bills, take care of our kids, eat, get gas in our car, and the list goes on and on. But what we forget is our life is made up of these moments and of the moments in between. I meet people that seem to have an attitude of “I will do that when…” When what? When the kids grow up, when I have money, when I’m older, when I get divorced, when I’m done with school. I’m sure you can finish off the list. If I learned anything from the experience of watching my father die it was to live life NOW! Not tomorrow, not when the time seems right, not when things are perfect, but now!
I met a man from Scotland named Gordon when I was in Seattle a few years ago. He was traveling alone and so was I. We met at the Boeing plant tour and gravitated to each other immediately. We ended up spending the day together touring Seattle. At the end of our day on the bus ride back to our respective hotels, Gordon asked me why I was traveling in Seattle alone. I proceeded to tell him I had a speaking engagement in Seattle but decided to leave 2 weeks early, fly into Colorado and drive my way to Seattle; hiking Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, the Great Basin and Mount Shasta along the way (See my Journey West blog under Categories in this blog – it’s a hoot to read!). He got tears in his eyes as he touched my arm and said, “Good for you for not waiting to live your life! I waited 2 years to take this trip.” He then told me his story. Two years earlier his wife of 65 years and the love of his life, died from lung cancer. She was diagnosed and then passed away 6 weeks later, leaving no time at all for Gordon to prepare to not have his sweetheart in his life anymore. They loved each other very much and had a passion for traveling. They saved all of their money for when they retired so they could travel the world together. Carol died 2 weeks before she was eligible to retire. With tears streaming down his face, Gordon said, “Never once did I think one of us would not be here when we reached retirement.”
Stop waiting to live your life. Make play a habit. Every day do something that brings you joy. Say what you want to say to people. Tell them how you feel. Stop the excuses. Money always shows up when you need it and just in the right amount. You always have what you need so if you don’t have it you mustn’t need it. We were born here to this Earth to enjoy life, not to suffer. Question your thinking when you find yourself making excuse after excuse. 80% of what you think is a lie. It is only your “story.” Change your story!
My roommate Elaina and I have been working very hard at our businesses since we moved to Scottsdale, AZ. We have been blessed with meeting new people, experiencing amazing synchronicities and having what we need when we need it. We balance our work with lots of play; hiking in the mountains, swimming in our pool, hanging out with new friends, etc. We decided after a long grueling week last week to take a mini-vacation to Sedona (see the pictures). What an amazing time and the perfect shot of adrenaline to start our new week! Did we have other things that maybe needed to be done? Of course. But, we chose to balance our lives by having a little fun. All work and no play never worked for me anyway! LIVE YOUR LIFE NOW! HAVE FUN!!!
“Work like you don’t need the money;
Love like you’ve never been hurt;
Dance like no one is watching.”
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.