I've been thinking a lot lately about my dream life and exactly what that would look like. There's something really powerful about envisioning it and the way that that helps draw all of it to you as if you were a magnet for it, and part of the trick to it is to get really detailed.
A friend of mine recently asked me what I would do if I knew I only had a year left to live. It's a really interesting question because it automatically gives you an extraordinary amount of clarity on what is most important to you and the ways that you aren't currently living your dream.
We all deny ourselves our dream lives for all sorts of reasons, most of which are based in fear. We don't think we have the time or the money or the energy to do the things our souls crave, but I'd be willing to bet that for most of us, knowing we only had a year might inspire us to find the time, money, and energy.
So, here's my list of what I would do if I knew I only had a year left to live and my commitment to myself to stop putting these things off for one day when...
If I only had one year left to live…
I would write my story. I would tell it the way that only I can tell it and share all of the tragedies and wonders of my life, great and small, for anyone and everyone who might benefit from hearing it. I would hope that it would make someone out there feel less alone and more understood. I would trust that it would give someone hope even years after I was gone.
I would travel. Oh, man. It would be hard to fit in all of the places I would want to see. Thailand. Tahiti. Fiji. Galapagos. Morocco. Brazil. Cambodia. Bhutan. Peru. Japan. Kenya. Iceland. Greece. Bali. The list goes on and on. I would go to these places and soak up all of the sights, sounds, and smells. I would explore each place and study the most important thing--what makes us connected, what we as humans share, no matter what our nationality or culture or faith is. Yes, I would definitely do that.
I would take TONS of classes. Not because they would be useful one day. No, I would be gone in a year, so I would be taking classes purely for the joy of learning something new. I would take classes in artisan chocolate making, flower arranging, plant healing and medicinal herbs, wilderness survival techniques, DJ-ing, voice lessons, and ancient forms of dance. Oh, and art classes! So many art classes! I would soak up every fascinating piece of knowledge and would never once worry about looking silly because I’m a beginner.
I would spend most of my time in nature. Because that is where I am happiest.
I would throw parties celebrating moments and events that usually go unrecognized. I would find all sorts of reasons to gather my friends together and would take great pleasure in creating beautiful moments with them over food and drinks and music and laughter.
I would get the wardrobe of my dreams. It sounds silly and superficial but it's one of the places that I deny myself. I feel like fashion is such a beautiful way to express yourself and yet I often find myself feeling like it's not a "justifiable" expense so I tell myself “no”. If I only had a year to live, I wouldn't worry about saving money for a rainy day and I would go ahead and spend money on clothes that make me feel like the truest, most awesome version of myself.
I would watch the sun rise and set. I would sit in awe every morning and night, not even trying to wrap my mind around the magnificence of it. I would pay attention to every color and the way the world changes right in front of your eyes as the light touches or leaves it.
I would tell people I loved them all the time. Most definitely my family and friends, but everyone else, too. When I met new people, I wouldn't be too shy to tell them what beauty I saw in them or the reasons I appreciated their presence in my life, however brief. I would write letters to all of the sources of light across my lifetime and thank them for inspiring, guiding, and supporting me. I would do my best to impart a profoundly positive impact on the people I was to leave behind.
I would be more generous. I would buy gifts for people for no reason and take my loved ones out for fabulous meals. I would leave really big tips and give monetary support to every good cause that I came across.
I would spend much more time enjoying the sensations of having a body. I would bask in the warmth of the sun and stand in the rain. I would walk barefoot in the sand and dive under waves. I would dance and stretch and climb trees. I would stick my arms and legs and face out of the car window as someone else drove and feel the wind washing over and past me. I would sing. Out loud. With no concern for whether or not I was any good at it. I would hug and kiss and touch and be touched so much more and I would savor every moment of my physical existence, because really, it’s a miracle. Every single day.