💀 Embracing Death To Live BIG: Beyond The FearSep 02, 2023
Read time: 7 mins
In this week's dose, I discuss how embracing the inevitability of death can fuel and transform our lives. Plus, I give you a fun 3-day challenge to try at the end.
🗣️ Quote(s) of the Week:
"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time." - Mark Twain
"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live." - Norman Cousins
It feels like ALL the great ones thought about death often.
Twain, Jobs, da Vinci, Buddha, Gandhi, Lao Tzu, Marcus Aurelius, Thoreau, Lincoln…
They all GOT how precious life is.
And I think that’s a big part of why they were able to live such incredible lives.
Let’s invite death into our minds this morning to see what kind of fuel it can give us ️ ⛽️
🌎 Embrace Mortality: Zoom Out
As I continue to push the limits of my comfort zone through growing a business, training jiu-jitsu, and re-entering the dating world, I’m learning how easy it is for my mind to pull the e-brake.
It hates change, discomfort, and the unknown.
It definitely hates the potential of rejection or failure.
Which is incredibly ironic because not only is THAT living, but all those things tend to lead to the best things in life.
My mind bombards me with worst-case scenarios to try to scare me out of stretching myself.
It feels like I begin to view life through tunnel vision - becoming hyper-focused on all the negatives with a version of tense, anxious energy.
Part of my practice for beating this for the last 2-3 years has been to zoom OUT.
My favorite way to do this is at the coast, staring out into the horizon, breathing in the magnitude of the ocean.
I’ll just try to widen my gaze to capture the width of the horizon and focus on the sound of the waves.
If I’m not at the coast, my meditation for this is to close my eyes and imagine that I’m looking down on myself like a drone that keeps going up in altitude.
Elevating so high that I’m eventually looking down on my house, then my neighborhood, then San Diego, then the coast of California, and then the view gets so high that earth becomes a blue dot the size of a quarter.
Then, I zoom out even further to view our solar system as a tiny dot.
Ahhh, the calm that comes over me.
These practices instantly make me feel small and remind me that I’m just a speck on a giant ball ripping through space.
And that, in relation to the age of the universe, I’m only here for a fraction of a second.
My worries are inconsequential and kinda funny when I think about it.
I often laugh during these practices as my perspective shifts on my life.
Our lives are incredibly short and death can come any day, at any moment.
Facing our mortality head-on is embracing the beauty of our existence.
When we acknowledge the finite nature of life, our priorities shift, leading us to value experiences, deep relationships, and personal growth.
These 2 practices remind me of that and get my ass in motion every time.
(Here's a photo of where I do my horizon practice 😎)
🌌 Mind-Body Mastery: Buddha’s Guide To Death
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
Buddha had 3 key points about death that resonate with me most:
1. Impermanence (Anicca):
- Impermanence means that all things, including life, are transient and subject to change.
- Buddha emphasized that everything in the physical world is impermanent, including our lives.
- Understanding and accepting this can help us detach from our fears and desires, leading to a more peaceful state of mind.
2. Death as a Natural Process:
- Death, like birth, is a natural part of life.
- It shouldn’t be feared or avoided, but rather understood and accepted.
- Just as birth is a transition from one state to another, so is death.
- Honing the craft of mindfulness (sati) allows us to be fully present in the moment and cultivate awareness.
- The paradox of awareness - we all believe we are aware until our awareness expands... only then do we realize how unaware we truly were/are.
- Being mindful of the inevitability of death can fuel us to live TRUE to our core and appreciate the moment in front of us.
Why this matters:
- Most fear death, allowing it to CONTROL them
- If we embrace death, we channel it to FUEL us
This practice can be highly uncomfortable at first (it was for me) - especially if you live from a place of fearing death (which is not really living IMO, but I digress)…
But remember that meditation is also challenging for the beginner.
So is strength training for those who have never been under the weight of a barbell.
Or a jiu-jitsu newbie stepping on the mat for the first time.
Remember that just because something is uncomfortable, doesn’t mean it’s bad for us.
Usually, it means we’re about to learn a shit ton, grow, and evolve.
🌟 Weekly Challenge
This week, I want to challenge you to dedicate a few minutes each day to reflect on the fragility & precious nature of YOUR life.
Consider what truly matters to you, and express gratitude for the experiences and people that enrich your journey on this floating blue dot.
Tap into your inner Buddha and embrace life's impermanence as a reminder to be present and live authentically.
I challenge you to…
Take 3 minutes to ponder your death for the next 3 mornings.
Its inevitability, unpredictability, and its integral part of LIFE.
Its role in YOUR life. And how you want to LIVE before that day comes.
Write what comes to mind and what you’re missing out on by allowing it to hold power over you.
How can you use mortality for FUEL instead of FEAR?
Love you guys,
(Here's a photo of me writing this newsletter so you know I'm a real human)
And whenever you're ready, here's how I can help: