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Notice What It Feels Like to Be Alive Today

During a recent camping adventure, I was able to tube down a gorgeous spring-fed river. This photo perfectly captures what it felt like to be alive in my body and in my spirit on that day….my physical being suspended gently in the buoyant clear blue water that connected me so effortlessly to all the other beings (especially turtles!) sharing the river with us that day.

“Notice what it feels like to be alive today.”

My online yoga teacher, Adriene, often encourages us to “take a moment and notice how it feels to be alive today,”

But since she usually says this right after she has led us in through yet another mind-bending sequence of poses my body clearly hadn’t planned on doing that day, I actually have never heard – I mean truly heard and comprehended – her saying this until this morning.

So I decided to try it. Lying there in shavasana (does it seem a little more than coincidence that the finishing pose for most yoga classes is called “corpse pose?”), I try to tune in and notice what it feels like to be alive today.

What does it feel like? Just to be ALIVE?

The first thing I notice is phlegm. Ew. I clear my throat and decide that was just a warm-up. I try again.

Notice what it feels like to be alive today.

I feel my heart beat. In my THROAT. Okay, weird. Slightly creepy. Maybe it is just because I am lying down and that makes my heart beat higher or something.

Another test-run. I try again.

Notice what it feels like to be alive today.

And that is when I feel it. 

Organs. Blood flow. Heart beat (throat beat). Systems. My liver. Kidneys. Spleen. They are trusting me. They are waiting. They are working hard, no rest for the weary, as the blood pumps oxygen and nutrients their way, which are always grateful received.

I reach in a bit farther and notice….is that anxiety? Probably. But also something deeper. Fear. Time is short. I worry I am missing out. What does it feel like to be alive today?

I feel not alive enough. Not living enough. I am anxious because I have more dreams than energy or money and (honestly) I am not getting any younger. Also, some of my dreams appear to conflict with one another, in a “if I do this then I cannot also do that” kind of way. And some of my dreams hinge on the decisions of others – others who, so far, have not decided the way I have hoped they might.

My organs, I notice, are not worried about these sorts of high-level hierarchy-of-needs sorts of worries. They are much more interested in blood flow. Respiration. Pumping. Taking out the trash.

My organs, my cells, my systems, they don’t really have time to worry. They are busy.

But my mind, my heart, they are the ones who feel alive, just not alive enough.

My spirit, from the little I can grasp, is totally fine with just resting in corpse pose. It knows death is only a matter of time and it hasn’t planned to sweat the small stuff until then. It also seems to believe death isn’t nearly so scary or final as the rest of me believes it to be.

My spirit is kind of on another level. Every day feels alive to my spirit. Alive, and alive-enough.

Today’s Takeaway: Have you ever taken time – a moment, a handful of moments – to just notice what it feels like to you to be alive, today, right here, right now? I would be so curious to hear what your experiences are like!


Notice What It Feels Like to Be Alive Today

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2018). Notice What It Feels Like to Be Alive Today. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Sep 2018
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