When I was younger my dad used to read the obits, as he called them. I always found it fascinating how someone’s long life could be condensed into just a few sentences. You have to really choose your words wisely!
Which is why I was careful when I wrote my own obituary last week, an exercise that turned out to be way more insightful than I thought it would be.
My intention was to see if I was staying true to myself with what I’m doing with my life – – if my doing was aligning with my being.
This curiosity washed over me right after I learned of a local father in our community passing away. A life gone too soon, I thought. But such is the unpredictable nature of these precious lives we live.
The days of our lives can scream by with endless things that need to be done, get done, finished up and started.
And with such a list to contend with every day, if we’re not careful, the bigger plans we have for our lives can get buried beneath the dishes in the sink.
And that’s no place for dreams to take root and grow.
Writing my obituary was such a helpful exercise, you may find it helpful too. Grab a pen, a piece of paper and write out the story of your life in as few sentences as possible – give the highlights.
What is your life’s work? What imprint does your heart leave on this planet? Who are the great loves of your life? Who are you to the ones you love? What is it you love doing? What are you known for? What is your legacy?
By drawing the big picture we can become very clear on how our day to day lives are filling in what we want our lives to be. Who we want to be, what we want to be known for, the impact we want to have.
When we know this golden bit of information we can course correct if we need to, which means we can actually decide to change how we spend our time if it’s not lining up with who we truly are.*
*please note, this does not actually get you out of doing the dishes.
BUT… IMAGINE THAT! With your obituary in hand, you may actually be able to replace habits you’ve been meaning to break, or do that scary thing you’ve been avoiding, and go out on a limb and do it anyway.
My obituary has lead me to some big and day to day changes, yours might too.
Or maybe you’ll be reinforced with the knowledge that you are right on track, working that legacy of yours like no one else can.
You go, girl.
Either way, your life is this gorgeous blessing that only you get to decide how it is spent. Spend wisely, spend freely and spend lovingly.
As Rumi said “Forget safety, live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”
Lots of love,