i practiced dying yesterday, twice. first, on a plane flight with turbulence more turbulent than i’ve previously experienced. later, nearly falling down the stairs backward which would have smashed my skull on the cement landing. the plane touched down safely. i regained balance and prevented my fall. yesterday was not my day to die, only a day of practice.
during the plane’s turbulence, i closed my eyes and meditated on death. i took a mental inventory to check for anything unsaid or undone in case my moments for saying and doing had expired. i considered everyone i love and everything i love doing. because i’ve learned to expect unexpected tragedies, i hug my loved ones goodbye and say “i love you” at every parting, insuring that the last words i’ve spoken to everyone i carry in my heart are loving. i checked to see if i have forgiven everyone and everything that needs forgiving. i found that i have released all past grievances and grudges. i’ve healed old hurts and crystallized lessons in compassion that accompany healing. i’ve danced and skinny dipped every time the moon, desire, and opportunity inspired me. i’ve surfed all four oceans. i’ve snowboarded mountains, hiked forests, cuddled babies, and learned to pray in ways that make sense to me: sex, silence, breath, poetry.
an hour after exiting the turbulent flight with safe landing, i lost my balance and fell backward from the top of three flights of stairs. startled by the empty space beneath my feet and air whooshing past my ears, i threw my body forward at the waist and caught myself before gravity took me all the way down. in that split second i flashed relief that i had already completed a death meditation that day. i knew i was ready to die. my life is already complete.
yesterday was not my day to die, only to practice.
i am determined to begin each new day with infinite possibilities to create more love, more living, more practice for the dying that will come for us all. next time you have a quiet moment (now is as good as any), please close your eyes and inventory your checklist for anything unsaid or undone because today is the perfect day to say and do what your heart asks of you. today you are alive.