This morning I spotted a poignant Winnie the Pooh cartoon. It was a conversation between Tigger and Christopher Robbin. In the first frame they sit relaxed, hanging out together, leaning against a tree.
Then Christopher says, “I don’t understand this business about death. If we’re just going to die, what’s the point of living?” The next frame pictures them upright, eyes wide open, startled and anxious. This is the human condition we call existential angst—the fear that life is pointless or lacks meaning.
That fear resolves or eases when I take the time to define what matters most to me and then I live my life toward that end. To define what matters most there are some questions I need to ask.
What Are Your Questions?
For example: What’s my purpose? How do I contribute? What is enough? Each of us needs to find the questions—and answers—that are right for us.
In our ordinary lives, there’s often little to no space for answering these questions—or at least we rarely take or make the space. We’re too busy trying not to feel our existential angst—and often we don’t feel it until we break down in exhaustion or illness. We tend to race toward our death without having reflected on our lives or defined what’s meaningful and how to consciously proceed.
But when we stop, take a break away from our lives, not just to lie on a beach and drink Mai Tais, but to step away and reflect on what we want our lives to be—to soothe the angst that unconsciously drives our busy lives—we begin to settle our souls.
Some of us find that the freedom to answer these questions for ourselves is frightening. There is no guidebook or scorecard really. So doing this with a group, on retreat, with kindred souls, who are there for the same purpose, can be remarkably comforting and profoundly rewarding.
We encourage you to take the time and space to remember, restore, reaffirm, reconnect and perhaps reconstruct your commitment to living a conscious life and begin to more fully inhabit your soul.
Just another moment
I heard Ram Dass say, “If you have identified with your soul while you are alive, death is just another moment.”
AAAHHHHhhhhh yes. And so, identifying and connecting with my soul, for me, means remembering to be present for every moment and making a positive difference in people’s lives.
If I live my life consciously, am present for most moments, make conscious choices, and some kind of positive difference, I’ll waste little of my time in regret or angst. And I’ll feel satisfied and perceive my death, as Ram Dass suggests, as just another moment.
If you want help exploring what questions you might ask, feel free to send me an email. And please consider joining our monthly free webinars.